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To Force a Patina, or Not to...

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by IanShane, Oct 11, 2014.

  1. draggat

    draggat Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 26, 2010
    What specific polish do you use? I don't really like patinas either.... it's what keeps me from carrying some of my favorite knives! I prefer to keep em shiny.
  2. Sam Dean

    Sam Dean Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 3, 2012
    I'm 50/50 - some forced, some earned. At first, I liked the patterns & effects that could be done with a forced patina. And on some patterns, like the 99 F&F, I prefer the forced.

    More and more though, I've found I prefer the honest earned patina. For example, I keep a GEC 72 that is only used for apples in the fall. The memories of spending time with my family that are stained on the blade are priceless.

    In general, I like some form of patina more than shiny polished. It's your knife, so do what makes you happy!

    I will add, I've noticed that blades with a forced patina corrode much more easily than blades with earned patina's. I'm talking about the onset of red rust, not just discoloration. I've had forced knives rust in my pocket in a single (hot) summer day, while one with an earned patina in the same pocket was unaffected. I suspect it's akin to seasoning a wok - slowly over time with oil in the pores leads to a much more durable surface. Forcing a patina by using acids actually strips the oils & pits the metal, leading to decreased corrosion resistance. Just my observation - YMMV!
  3. Bigfattyt

    Bigfattyt Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 23, 2007
    I do both also.

    I do prefer a dark even finish. But plenty of knives don't get the forced patina.
  4. quattromori


    May 7, 2011
    I agree with Jeff.
    I'm not a fan of carbon steel, but I have a couple of course. I prefer forcing an even patina when the knife is new. It seems to reduce pepper spots and gives a nice (to me) dark color basis to all the acquired patina that any knife will develop with use. Also, patina tends to reduce the metallic taste to food, so I see no reason to eat a bunch of "carbon apples" before a certain degree of patina develops.
    Pure matter of taste though :)

  5. pertinux


    Feb 1, 2012
    One of my favorite Traditional sights is that ribbon of bright, sharp(ened) steel on the edge of a gray blade.

    Those look great, Jeff!

    ~ P.
  6. navihawk


    Feb 21, 2006
    I feel the same way. Nowadays I try to keep the blades clean. They still get spots and stains, but now they tell a story. With that said, I do like the color of different steels. My favorite being D2. A little more stain resistant, and over time takes a nice blue/grey color.
  7. black mamba

    black mamba Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 21, 2009
    Thanks, ~ P.
  8. Daddyo16


    Jan 12, 2012
    The way I see it, cutting and peeling fruit is part of what I carry a knife for, so mine comes from use, not forcing it.
  9. gooeytek


    Jul 12, 2011
    Apple picking season. This is just after slicing a couple of apples.

  10. J_Curd

    J_Curd Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 26, 2006
    Gooey we have very similar tastes. Great patterns!
  11. mostho


    Mar 5, 2007
    I never forced any patina on my carbon blades. I don't see any problem in forcing some patina but actually I just love to have it by work. How beautiful is the bright strip over the patinated blade?
    And generally if I don't want patina on my knives, I just change knives and use the stainless or the modern ones...
  12. ellipticus


    Jan 21, 2013
    I have forced a patina with white vinegar on a Sod Buster Jr. not too long ago....


    It was an experiment and my first attempt. I like the way it turned out. I think, with proper blade preparation, I might be able to get a consistent grey like the bottom photo in post #25. I consider a forced patina a preventive measure against red rust.

    You've got two fairly inexpensive knives, force one and let the other develop it's own patina over time.

    P.S. Tons of information about patina in the Maintenance, Tinkering and Embelishment sub-forum.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2014
  13. J_Curd

    J_Curd Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 26, 2006
    Use acetone to prep the blade, pre-vinegar...you can get it entirely uniform barring any imperfections in the steel.
  14. sitflyer

    sitflyer Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 10, 2011
    I've forced a patina, and used cold blue on blades, but my favorite patinas developed by using my knives on food, peeling potatoes, cutting up apples, using the knife plateside at dinnertime to cut a steak or whatever, or just sticking the blade in a potato and leaving it there overnight. Its all good!

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