How to care for your Fillet Knives

The fillet knife, it’s something very personal and special to many anglers. Some have been handed down through the years and have latterly cleaned thousands of fish. Actually, if a filet knife could talk think about all the stories and places it has been. The stories it could tell would be something special for sure. Now that I have reminded you of how special that knife is in the drawer to you and your families heritage. Let’s teach you some simple steps on how to preserve this precious heirloom.

A knife is a tool and all tools require some maintenance and care in order to last a lifetime or longer. The number one mistake made by most folks happens after every use. The knife goes into the dishwasher for a cleaning. This is a big no, no, for several reasons which we will discuss further.

Whenever having this conservation on knife care with an angler the first thing out of their mouth is “But it Stainless Steel?”  Yes, that maybe true but stainless steel is not what you think. Let’s look at the makeup of what that knife blade is more than likely made up of.

The definition of stainless: a form of steel containing chromium, resistant to tarnishing and rust.

Yep, it’s resistant to tarnishing and rust but think of it as stains less. Most blades are typically made up of 18% chromium and this is what gives the metal blade the properties of being stain less resistant. So now you can tell your buddies and they will think you’re a metallurgist or a professor of metals instead of a dumb fisherman, LOL.

Here are some tips to follow to keep that knife for years to come.

  1. Wash knife in warm soapy water by hand in mild detergent. Not scolding hot water or the dishwasher. The intense heat in the dishwasher will destroy the handle and pit the blade.
  2. Do not soak or leave the knife at the bottom of a stainless sink or pan. This prevents Galvanic action, which is the transfer of electrons from one metal to another. This prevents pitting the blade and damage to the blade edge. Not to mention for your safety reaching down into a sink full dishes.
  3. Rinse all Mild soap and detergents off from the knife and wipe dry with a soft towel.
  4. Avoid storing knife loosely in the Kitchen drawer. This again will prevent the blade from getting chipped or pitted. And once again for safety reasons.
  5. Store knives in a block or the sheath that was provided.

If you noticed a common theme here that all these tips prevented the blade from getting chipped, dull and pitted. Furthermore, a dull knife is more dangerous than a sharp one. When the blade hangs during use, the angler applies more pressure to break it free causing the knife to jump. Thus, creating an accident.

Try these tips on your fillet knives and make them last for years to come and pass them down to your kids. Just think of the feeling you get when using a tool that your father or grandfather had used for years.

The greatest fishing legacy one can pass on to one’s children or grandchildren is not just money or fishing tackle. But rather the character and sharpness of a man’s blade.

Tight lines everyone and take a kid fishing.

Roger Hinchcliff

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