I remember a time...


Jan 10, 2000
I remember a time that we spoke about steels and edges, knives and honour. Now, we do not. Ah, whine, don't whine, pay, don't pay, many no longer shive a git. So, in an effort not to babble knifelessly, I ask everyone to focus. See the glint in the steel, feel the hair leap from the edge, remember the knives and uphold the honour.

So - to the blades: many of us like a nice patina on our carbon blades. If this is what you seek, just cut up some mango. WOW! Patina-a-gogo.

I picked up a Cold Steel extra-large drop-point Twistmaster, Carbon V, and put it to work in the kitchen. Fruits and vegetables. It started out with a rainbow glint like an oil slick, then it darkened across the length of the knife, now the patina is deep and smooth -- beautiful!

Since I use it on food, I lube it with olive oil.
Alright all of you carbon steel lovers out there, here's a question for you. I have 5 knives currently ordered and all feature carbon steel blades. 2 big bowies with 5160 blades, two folders with 52100 and one damascus folder. Three of these knives feature blades with differential heat treat and temper lines. So my question to you, how does a patina brought on from use and age effect the temper line? Will it still be visible or will it be lost in a sea of dark gray?
blademan13; age and use may effect a patina, but your question seems to be how will a patina affect a quench line (hamon) or a temper line.

As far as the hamon goes, the samurai were known for keeping their blades spotless with a small bag of abrasive which they would strike against the side of the blade.

With regards to a temper line, the Mad Dog line will show a temper line even through a matte hard chrome plating.

My advice to you, since these sound like expensive knives, is to keep them free from oxidation from the beginning. Letting them oxidize and then experiencing a great amount of difficulty righting a situation which need NOT have occured in the first place seems like folly to me.

With modern rust preventives, especially the Thin Film Corrosion Inhibitors (TFCIs; Tuf-Cloth and the like), a patina, or oxidation of the blade is NOT a unavoidable thing.

Hope this helps, Walt

I am not sure if I will be able to totally prevent this from happening, or that I want to. The bowie in question was ordered with the intent on using this knife in the role of a camp knife which will run the gamut from food prep to chopping wood. It's role in food prep will efectively eliminate the use of Tuff-Glide or similar chems (ever happen to taste this stuff?) and prolonged chopping will probably scrub off about anything else. The folder is a simple working folder from Ed Caffrey and once again was purchased with the intent on using the thing frequently, possibly daily. It also looks like it will be well suited to hunting chores. I am really looking forward to the knives aging with me, just wondering if the hamon will be lost during this character building process.
I stick to my position that a patina is NOT unavoidable. You can wash a TFCI coated blade with soap and water or ethanol before food prep, and apply again after you are done. Or you can use Ren wax or mineral oil, or any of the other rust inhibitors which have been suggested.

Since you seem determined to let your blades get oxidized, however, why don't you just go ahead and do it, and then let US know the answer to your question.

BTW; a hamon is a quench line. A temper line is something different. So, we would be interested in your experiences with each.

Temper lines AND quench lines are actually brought out by etching. Acids attack the hardened and softer steels at different rates. When a steel acquires its patina, it's due to the etching of acids that it encounters in regular use. If its exposure to these acids is uniform, then your differential line will remain visible until the etching is either even, or too dark to see a difference.
Now the bad news. Patinas from use are rarely even. What you'll tend to have pretty soon is a line that doesn't show where your hard steel ends and soft steel begins, but a line that shows how far into your work your blade generally penetrates.
You can restore this line by sanding to 800 grit or so and immersing your blade in warm vinegar for a short time, then neutralizing with baking soda or dish soap.
Sounds like you have some nice blades on the way.
Lets keep this thread going! I'm sick of hearing about paying this or that and who shoud do what with their pyramid! So here's another question are there any special properties that add to corrosion resistance with folded blades?
I was using a Case trapper with the yellow handle and carbon steel blade in the yard the other day and was working up a sweat. Had the knife in my pocket when I wasn't using it and the thing started to rust. I'm now looking forward to resharpening and cleaning the rust off with some Flitz. AAAHHH the simple things.
I thought that patina and actual rust was different? Right? I had my 1095 blade mirror polished. I cut up some strawberries and it turned dark grey instantly. I call that a patina. A coloration from citric acids and other natural chemicals. A carbon steel knife you found at the lake that would not even open I would call rusted. Am I right?
Blademan 13,
Which 52100 folders do you have? I've been looking for one. Would appreciate a link. Thanks,