Knife maintenance is very important and even stainless steel knives can rust if not taken care of. Knives laying around wet and dirty in a sheath is a very bad idea. The acid and bacteria can make a knife rust very fast. To care for your knife, do the following:
Always clean knife immediately after use! Wash by hand, dry with towel. Make sure the blade and handle is dry, and finally apply a thin layer of good oil.
Care for high carbon steel
Most of my knives are made in high carbon steel, and that requires alittle more maintenance. It´s very important to keep the blade well oiled at all times. Carbon steel will change color over time, and it gets a nice patina/personality. Carbon steel rusts easily without care, but it can get wicked sharp, and it’s a really solid steel type, that helps me in my goal; Make knives for hard use, built to last!
Good oil or wax
A good oil, in my humble opinion, is an acid free oil, without any toxic additives. Remember you might have to cut meat or a piece of bread with your knife. The taste of chain oil is horrible! I have been using Froglube for many years, and I am also experimenting with a homemade wax containing bee´s wax and food safe mineral oil. Wax gives a slighty thicker coating, and the bee´s wax smells amazing.
A knife is not a can opener, hammer, chisel, pry bar, shovel, axe or screwdriver. The fastest way to ruin your knife is to use it for a task for which it was not intended!