How To Care for old Hickory Knives?

By | June 4, 2022

How To Care for old Hickory Knives?

Old Hickory kitchen knives  have been on the market since 1889. With their superior quality  and exquisite craftsmanship, they have endured the test of time. Each old hickory knife is composed of  1095 carbon steel,which has been completely treated and tempered to offer a razor-sharp cutting edge that can be sharpened as necessary. The knives have an elegant “Old Hickory” wooden handle that is held with brass compression rivets.

History of old hickory knives

The Ontario knife company, an award-winning cutlery manufacturing company, first made the old hickory knife. The early knives were factory-made on a hydroelectric power grindstone and traded by the way of handcart over the near rural area.

As the business started to expand, more space and more power were required, so an old lumbermill was bought that has much wider space than the current one. It was a place near the Frankville village that was run by hydro-power from Ischua Creek.

The founding proprietors of the Ontario Knife Company were acquired by the owners of another local knife maker. Empire State Cutlery Company, in 1904, and the two enterprises were merged in Franklinville in 1905 under the Ontario Knife Company brand. The firm developed once again, and a -new structure was constructed between 1912 and 1914, which is still in use today.

James A. Chrestensen, who operated the business for multiple years was named head in 1923, and the “Old Hickory” line was produced. When his father retired in 1952 his son started to run the company as president. With participation in the American Cutlery Manufacturers Association, of which Robert was a previous president. Ontario Knife would grow its influence in the cutlery business.

Dos and Don’ts while caring for your old hickory knives

Old Hickory knives are composed of high carbon, giving a more mystical appeal to the knives. Moreover, these knives are considered more durable than other stainless steel knives. However, the only disadvantage of the old hickory knives is that they’re more prone to rust and corrosion. Only disadvantage of the old hickory knives is that they’re more prone to rust and corrosion. Only

essential care of these knives can help to keep the rust and corrosion away. Here, we stated every method that you can try to keep the rust away from your old hickory knives:

Don’t sweat the stains.

These old hickory knives are made up of high carbon steel, which tends to corrode more often than that of another stainless steel knife. To lessen the effect of corrosion, you have to wipe the knife frequently to mind the rust.

Do build patina

One thing you see often is thin layer on the  old hickory knives. It is grayish blue in color and considered healty for our knife.

A healthy patina Is good for your knife in keeping the rust away. Usually, patina is naturally occurring: however, you can also use something acidic to build patina early that shields your old hickory knives.

Don’t use Knife Block.

Do you know that knife block does more harm to your old hickory knives instead to keep them safe? Yes, it’s indeed true! Most people keep knives in the knife block without drying them properly. resulting in your knives getting exposed to water. Rather than using a knife block, you can use a magnetic strip on the wall to store your old hickory knives, or you can wrap them in a cloth or paper

Do Use Mineral Oil

To let your old hickory knife shine for a longer period. consider washing and oiling it shortly after each use. You can use food-grade mineral oil that will help keep the rust away from your old hickory knives and make them shiny. Using other oils instead of mineral oil is a bad idea as, with time, it will get sticky and will not get away.

Don’t put knives in the dishwasher.

A dishwasher can be harmful to old hickory knives. The detergents used in the dishwashers are sought of abrasive

that can rust or corrode your old hickory knife. Using the dishwasher on your knife means compromising on the sharp edges of the knife. Thus, it is better not to wash knives in the dishwasher.

Do Sharpen by Hand

Experienced chefs use carbon steel knives because they tend to get sharpened easily without getting chipped. When you know the art of sharpening knives with a hand, it makes old hickory knives your best choice.

Don’t keep your knife in sink 

Do you want to maintain the sharp edges of your old hickory knives? Don’t keep them with other dirty utensils. In the sink, your knife might bump into other utensils, leading to losing the sharpness of the knife.

Do Know your knife

When you know what percentage of carbon your old hickory knife has, then you can easily find the methods to treat the possible chances of rust. 3%-8% is the optimum percentage that knife could have that makes it less prone to rust. Having more than 8% of carbon in your old hickory knives makes them more reactive to rust.

Steps to keep the rust away from old hickory knives

Hone your knife: Regular honing of your old hickory knives is beneficial to keep the blades balanced. Honning gives a new edge to your knives,making them more pointed and more operative.

Wipe your knife: A dishcloth is enough to wipe your knife after each use to keep them away from rusting. Don’t miss to wipe after use, especially after cutting acidic foods.

Wash your knife: Use only warm soapy water to clean your old hickory knives. Never keep your knife in the sink full of dishes, or it will get corrode easily.

Dry your knife: Immediately after washing your knife, you should dry them properly. Use a dry cloth or towel to wipe every drop of water.

Oil your knife: After using all such precautions mentioned above, still your knife gets rust, then apply some mineral oil to the rust spots. A light layer of mineral oil can help reduce the possibility of rust.

Store your knife: A plastic sheath or a magnetic knife strip are all perfect means to store your knife. It helps in keeping all the rust away from your old hickory knives.

Frequently asked questions

Is the tang on Old Hickory knives full?

It contains brass studs and a full tang design. The 1095 high carbon steel blade is held in place by brass compression rivets on all Old Hickory knives. Each Old Hickory knife has a razor-sharp blade that holds an edge and sharpens better than other stainless-steel knives.

Is it still possible to get an Old Hickory knife?

The Old Hickory line has existed for almost a century, longer than most of our grandfathers. It’s difficult to find the old-fashioned carbon steel kitchen knives that were popular years ago. Ontario Knife Company still produces these knives from high carbon steel here in the United States.

What is the age of my Old Hickory knife?

The Old Hickory knives, which were first presented in 1924 and are still in production today, are a historical product line. The Old Hickory knives have a hardwood handle with brass compression rivets that are fastened to 1095 carbon steel blades that are both sharp and capable of holding an edge.

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