July 8, 2014
Opinel is a French knife-making company that numbers its models. The “no. 6” above has been modified with a rounded notch on both sides to better grab the blade from a closed position. the stainless steel ring at the base of the blade may be rotated to lock the blade in the open position.
Often knives from Opinel come in two varieties: stainless or carbon steel. A carbon steel knife is illustrated above. Stainless steel resists corrosion, but a carbon steel knife will resist rusting once it develops a patina. To get such an oxidized coating started, immerse in a vinegar-water solution for a couple of minutes before stopping the reaction with a baking soda-water solution.
A perfectly good patina will result from simply using the knife to cut fruit.
Edible oils can be used to lubricate the knife’s joint if it is to be used for cutting food. Saturated fats are actually better for this purpose because unsaturated fats are more easily broken down by light or microbes. The products of both reactions will leave a rancid taste.
Carbon steel has a rusty taste as well, though it does not transfer to food.
Though some care is involved with having a carbon steel blade, the metal is actually harder than stainless steel will keep its edge longer.
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