Carbon steel forced patina

The first thing I do with most of my carbon steel knives that I’m going to use for cooking, bushcraft or gardening is to force a patina on them. A forced patina will help protect carbon steel blades from rusting, and will give you a cosmetic headstart on the inevitable “natural” patina that will occur from general use. My favourite method of forcing a patina on a carbon steel blade is by simply sticking the knife into a large lemon and leaving it there for an hour. I then wash it in water, wipe it dry, and apply a thin layer of sewing machine oil or olive oil. A forced patina not only looks kinda cool, but will really protect your blade from getting rust spots on it – especially if you use it for gardening or cooking. Get yourself an inexpensive carbon steel Mora or Opinel and try it.

The photo below is my Mora carbon steel 711 with a lemon forced patina, I use this knife daily in the garden and kitchen. Carbon steel is a beautiful thing!

Forced patina



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