Rougeau Knives

Caring for Your Knife: A Knife Maker’s Perspective

Proper Use
My knives have been designed to be used! They offer exceptional functionality and durability, however, like any other fine blade they should be treated with care. A knife, tool, machete or sword should only be used for its intended purpose. For example, the blades have been designed to cut meat, hide, soft wood, rope, and additional pliable materials. Do not use the blade as a throwing knife, hacksaw, chisel, pry-bar, or screwdriver, or to cut substances for which it was not designed. Use common sense, there is no such thing as indestructible steel and any blade finish will scratch during use.

Steels and Staining
My knives are manufactured using high quality stainless, high carbon, tool and Damascus steels, and will corrode and lose their edge if neglected, or misused. All carbon, tool steel and most Damascus steels will stain when cutting most organic materials. This is due to the acid within the materials and will not affect the knives’ strength or performance. Staining can be removed by polishing. If rust should occur, lightly sand with fine sandpaper or steel wool and re-oil the steel.

Stainless Steel
Stainless steel needs very little care when it comes to staining, just wash the blade after every use and keep it dry.

Natural Handles
Natural wood and horn can be re-sealed by applying a light furniture wax or oil and rubbed in by hand. It is advised not to let these materials dry out.

Synthetic Handles
Synthetic materials need no maintenance and are extremely durable. However some materials like linen Micarta can benefit from a light coat of furniture wax or oil to help bring out the color or pattern. Materials like canvas Micarta are best left dry for maximum grip. Carbon fiber and G10 materials just need to be kept clean.

Cleaning your Knife
After each use, clean foreign substances from your knife blade and handle using fresh water, mild detergent and/or wipe down with rust preventative solution. (Do Not Wash in the dishwasher or heat up the knife in any way). Always dry the blade thoroughly before returning the knife to its sheath.

Storing your Knife
Be aware that storing your knife in its sheath for long periods of time may result in tarnishing, staining and/or rusting if moisture is trapped in the sheath. Acids from leather may also stain the blade over time.

Rust Prevention
To prevent rust, especially to the Damascus and high carbon blades, apply a light coat of oil or a rust prevention lubricant to the blade after each use. Silicon sprays may trap moisture on the blade. WD40, gun oil, or other rust preventing lubricants are recommended, but if you don’t want to use petroleum based oil you can use a thin coat of olive oil.

Sharpening your Knife
All knives need to be sharpened periodically to maintain a productive cutting edge. Keep the knife sharp, because a sharp knife is safer than a dull knife. I recommend using a ceramic stick/rod for light touchups and medium to fine diamond stones for more serious sharpening. A Lansky Sharpener also works well (get the diamond stones). A diamond file, 420 grit, works well for field sharpening. Be advised, I do not recommend using a chef’s electric knife sharpener. They tend to remove too much material too quickly and they change the edge geometry. If you do use one, take it slow and be careful. You may also consult with your local cutlery or sporting goods store for other sharpening products and techniques. Check the internet for sharpening techniques such as But if you would like me to sharpen the knife for you, ship it to me for a free sharpening and cleaning. You will be responsible for all shipping fees, to and from.

Kydex Sheath Maintenance
Very little maintenance is needed with Kydex sheaths. If it gets dirty, clean it with fresh water and mild detergent, avoid solvents. (Do Not Wash in the dishwasher). Excessive heat will soften the Kydex and it will lose its form. So don’t leave the Kydex sheath in a hot car in direct sunlight.

Leather Sheath Maintenance
It’s best to clean leather with leather soap. Do not soak in water or use oils on the leather, as this will loosen its molded shape and the knife will not fit properly.