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Jump straight to FAQ: Caring for your Söliditi™ knife
Upon receiving your new knife, it'll be protected with a beeswax blend (beeswax, avocado and coconut oil). You can choose to start using your knife as is or remove the wax coating using hot water (your choice). If you do remove it, ensure you dry the knife well. To avoid rust, dry immediately after every use and whilst your knife is new and the patina is forming, we recommend rubbing it with oil before storing it to help protect it.
Avoid cutting through bones, frozen foods, coconuts, or extremely dense items like hard fruit and vegetables.
Carbon steel knives never remain pristine bare metal, but develop a patina over time which helps reduce corrosion. They can however rust without proper care. Thoroughly dry your Söliditi™ knife after washing, then rub it all over with your preferred food-safe oil, before storing it in a dry place. Our ‘Iron Love’ seasoning bar is excellent for corrosion protection.
Never leave to soak or put in the dishwasher (as with all quality knives).
We highly recommend reading some background information on Japanese chisel-edged knives if you're not too familiar with them. Here is a good place to start, then the internet will recommend many more.
These blades are legendary among serious knife users because they are simply the sharpest (practical) blades, by nature of their geometry (one bevel crushing the food, instead of two, in simple terms). We used that principle as a starting point, then did something entirely different with the blade geometry to radically reduce 'sticking friction', and basically eliminate the sticking of sliced food to blades.
If you own our innovative InversionEdge™ Sharpening System, you will find it relatively easy and quick to maintain the razor-sharp fine Japanese style chisel edge. If not, you will need to maintain the edge with traditional Japanese manual sharpening methods: high-quality water stones to very fine grits, and a lot of skill. Very few Westerners have these skills, but YouTube has certainly helped! Search for ‘sharpening Japanese chisel edge knives’ or ‘sharpening Japanese single bevel blades’, or similar, for a long list of excellent videos. Please never use a Steel, drag-through gadget, powered wheels or belts, or any other method other than fine water stones. Your finely honed edge will be quickly lost, and the asymmetrical chisel edge geometry could be irreversibly ruined.
Safety first! Because our Söliditi™ Usudeba and USG blades are razor-sharp, please keep your fingers well clear of the cutting edge.
The Söliditi™ 15cm Usudeba knife is a combination of Japanese Usuba and Deba chisel edge blade geometry, so your blade will excel at very fine slicing of vegetables and slicing meats. Use similar blade handling methods for those traditional blades (excellent demonstrations all over YouTube). Our innovative corrugated blade geometry greatly reduces sticking friction so you will find that most foods peel away from the blade far more readily than any flat-surfaced blade. Just like the thick chisel edge of Deba blades is not designed or used for hacking through the middle of hard vegetables, your Usudeba blade will also not be ideal for that type of rough chopping.
The Usudeba is machine closed-die forged, whereas the USG is hand forged. Whilst the corrugations may not feel as defined as those on the Usudeba, the irregular indents from hand forging also work well to reduce sticking of food.
We make our own, in Australia! Unlike most knife makers who use imported ‘off the shelf’ blade material (most of which is excellent), Mark Henry wanted something different. His long experience with Japanese knives, particularly their modern carbon steels, made those the obvious starting point for this ‘flagship’ first Söliditi™ knife. However, the exact composition didn’t exist to best suit the blade/edge properties he wanted. Investment casting gave him the ability to precisely specify the smelting of his own carbon steel composition to achieve the perfect material for Söliditi™. We can’t disclose the exact composition, but it is broadly a high carbon alloy steel, with a tiny amount of Chromium (for blade performance, not for corrosion resistance, though it helps a little). Not at all related to all the stainless steel knife materials (particularly the common CrMoV stainless alloys), our steel is also unlike old soft carbon steels (in the French tradition), and not exactly like other common (and excellent) modern Japanese carbon steel grades. This is something else again and perfectly suited for optimal performance with our Söliditi™ blade design and manufacturing.
Slice with Söliditi™, and sharpen it, and you will know this material, at this hardness, with this new patented geometry and manufacturing method, is something entirely new and exceptional in knives.
These knives are cast and forged, then sharpened by hand. They are nothing like mass production machine-made knives. Each knife will have forging, casting or hand sharpening marks in a different place. Each knife is unique and has its own fingerprints! As with our cookware, our tools are designed to be workhorses, to last generations - not beauty queens. The beauty is in the performance!
Over time, your knife will develop a greyish-blue patina – this is very normal and a good thing! A patina works as a ‘seal’ and will help to protect your knife from rust. Just like our AUS-ION pans, your patina will develop and darken over time with use. Think of the patina as your knife's personal history!
Rust vs Patina: Both patina and rust are forms of oxidization, though one we want to encourage, and the other we want to avoid! The patina (which will naturally build over time with use) helps to protect your knife from oxidization and will be a greyish-blue colour. Rust on the other hand will present as orangey and will occur if the knife has been left in contact with water for an extended period of time.
To avoid rust, dry immediately after use. And whilst your knife is new and patina is forming, we recommend rubbing with oil before storing to help protect it.
To remove rust: First, clean the blade of your knife with a non-abrasive cleaning solution (eg bar keepers friend) and a cloth. Try to avoid having to use water to clean your knife blade, but if you must, use water sparingly and dry very well afterwards. If any moisture is left on the blade from a water cleaning, the possibility of more rust forming on the blade of your knife increases dramatically.
After your knife is clean, mix a small amount of baking powder with a little water to form a light paste. Lay your knife on a surface and apply the baking soda paste to one side of the blade. Depending on how much rust is present on your knife, wait between five and thirty minutes before continuing on with the next step.
Once you are ready, take your scrubbing pad or steel wool and scrub the side of the blade that has the baking soda paste on it. Reapply more paste whenever needed until all the rust has been scrubbed off. Once satisfied with one side, flip the knife over and repeat the same process to the other side of the blade.
When you have scrubbed both sides of the knife blade and all the rust has been rubbed off, wipe the entire blade with a cloth to remove any rust particles and excess baking soda paste. Apply a light coating of oil to the blade of your knife for extra protection and overall good health of your knife blade. Wipe off any excess oil before continuing on. After wiping the blade down, scrubbing your blade with abrasive materials may dull your knife blade, it may need a quick sharpen.
NB. There is plenty of information online about building patinas on carbon steel knives. THIS PAGE is a good starting point, also written below.
While researching carbon-steel knives require more care than stainless-steel knives because they can oxidize in two ways. Hematite—rust—is an aggressive form of oxidation that eats into the metal, creating a flaky, orange surface. Magnetite is a mild form of oxidation that affects only the outer surface of the metal; its presence actually prevents further corrosion. Magnetite turns carbon-steel knives a charcoal grey, giving them what we call a patina.
Both types of oxidation occur when carbon steel comes in contact with oxygen and moisture (reactions that are sped up in the presence of salt). If water is left in contact with the blade for an extended period of time (for instance, if a wet knife is allowed to dry naturally), rusty spots will quickly form. Magnetite will form when exposed to oxygen and water is limited.
We found that if a knife developed a light charcoal-grey patina naturally over time, it was less likely to rust if left wet. To put this protection in place quickly, some manufacturers suggest forcing a patina to develop on the blade. We tried one method: soaking the blade in vinegar (a low pH environment favours the production of magnetite) and then washing and wiping it dry. The approach gave the knife a matte, grippy finish that created undesirable drag in food, and more importantly, the blade ended up rusting more easily. The upshot? The best way to develop a protective patina and avoid rust is to use your carbon-steel knife regularly, to wipe it dry continually during use, and to rinse and dry it thoroughly as soon as you’ve finished a cutting task.
Just like all the legendary Japanese chisel edge knives, our single bevel Söliditi™ knives also have a chisel edge. This means they have an asymmetrical blade that is only sharpened on one side, which tends to cause the knife to steer inwards when cutting. This is normal in all the best Japanese knives, and the design allows for extremely precise chopping and fine slicing. If you are used to using a symmetrical knife (as most Western knives are), using a chisel edge knife can take some time and practice to learn how to counter the blade's inward steering with your cutting motion.
When using one of our Söliditi™ chisel edge knives, hold the knife firmly and start cutting your vegetable, fruit or meat, feeling for the natural inward steer of the blade. Once you have an idea of where your knife is naturally going, consciously correct this motion by steering slightly outwards to produce a straight cut. Keep practicing this corrected motion - it will soon become automatic, and you will be a master of the chisel edge knife in no time!
Söliditi™ 15cm Usudeba knife excels at fine slicing. The only thing they don’t do as well as very thin ‘Westernised’ Japanese Gyuto blades is chopping through the middle of very hard vegetables, where their thickness then becomes a disadvantage. For almost everything else, particularly fine slicing, they are a superior blade.
The USG is inspired by the traditional Japanese eel knife and is an excellent everyday utility knife. Think fruit, vegetables, cheese, salami...
Like our Solidteknics cookware, our Söliditi™ knives are wrought from one solid piece. We expect them to endure for centuries, with normal use, so our warranty is multi-century for our cookware and our knives. That means we will happily repair, replace, or refund, after inspection by our experts, any Söliditi™ knife that has materials or manufacturing defects. This warranty of course does not cover the use of the knife outside of our recommendations, or normal uses of fine Usuba or Deba knives, abuse, neglect, dropping, sideways leverage, or normal blade wear from cutting and sharpening.
With proper sharpening, your broad Usudeba blade can be sharpened over the centuries through phases of smaller chisel edge blades, down to fine paring or boning blades, and be handed down through many generations as a treasured date-stamped family heirloom.
Our founder and development engineer, Mark Henry, has been hand-making knives all his life, and production manufacturing knives his whole career. He was still at university finishing his engineering degree when he founded Füri™ knives in 1996. They look common now because they have been ‘adapted’ by many mass consumer import knives over the decades, but they were considered cutting edge back then! His honours thesis was based on a pioneering deep study of knife materials and cutting edges under wear conditions, which produced insights he still relies on to this day. He took the Füri™ company to the USA in 2005 and sold it in 2008 when he was making half a million knives each year.
After developing a new knife division for de Buyer of France (the first in their nearly 200-year history), and launching an Australian cookware company, he didn’t stop developing knives but worked long and hard to find a way to achieve a whole new blade geometry and new manufacturing method to overcome the old bane of ‘sticking friction’ in knife blades. He also wanted to find a way to demystify the ancient Japanese chisel edge, particularly sharpening, and put their legendary sharpness into the hands of many more cooks.
After launching the world-first, patented, machine-wrought Solidteknics cookware in 2015, this is Mark’s long-anticipated return to his first love in engineering: high-performance chef knives. After many years of research, and a few intensive years of solving the manufacturing challenges, the Söliditi™ knives and InversionEdge™ sharpening system are the ultimate syntheses of everything he has learned, and everything he loves, in knives.
He has plans to roll out many more Solid knives and accessories in the coming years, so this could well be the start of an iconic new knife brand. If so, this first numbered limited series, signed and hand-finished by Mark, will become the most cherished heirloom Solid knives in coming decades and centuries. That is why he is offering this first batch exclusively to his beloved Solid Lovers Group, in appreciation for everything they have done to help build this remarkable new era in innovative, local, healthy, sustainable cookware … and knives.
For detailed background information on the development behind Söliditi™ and what makes it so exceptional, CLICK HERE.
Hey, we’re knife nerds too, so we understand the passion and enthusiasm as much as anyone! However, like our cookware, we need to protect our many trade secrets. We hope you will understand when we say that there is a limit to the information we can put in the public domain and the volume of personalized responses to FAQs. Everything we are able to reveal is on this page. We understand that may not be enough to satisfy the curiosity of some and they may want to look elsewhere - and that’s OK. Life is short!
After an engineering honours degree thesis on ‘Knife materials and cutting edges’, multiple patents, and decades of knife making around the world, including the USA, France, and Japan, Mark J. Henry is widely regarded as one of the leaders in chef knife innovation, despite (or driven by?) him being Australian.
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In the spirit of reconciliation Solidteknics acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.