Calton Cutlery

Thank you for purchasing a Calton Cutlery knife!

It is my hope that the knife you now hold in your hands will give you many years of good service and become one of your favorite knives. It will need a bit of care to perform to its full potential.


For a sharpening stone, I like a Smith's coarse diamond stone the best. These are packaged as being 325 grit but, I think they are a bit coarser than that when it is brand new. You can get a small one at Walmart for around $15 that has a coarse side and a fine side. They are relatively cheap and last me about 6 months here in the shop but, I sharpen a lot of knives every month. One would probably last a normal person 5-10 years or more. Walmart also carries the same Smith's stone only in a kitchen "steel" form that works very well in the kitchen. Amazon carries a bench stone version that is 2" x 6" and has become my favorite for shop use. All of them will give the best edge after approximately 10-20 uses once the "bite" has been taken out them, through use. I have recently been working with a set of DMT diamond hones in coarse, medium, and fine. I am really liking the coarse {blue} one!


I do not recommend the various mechanical sharpeners, as I feel that they are rough on a fine edge and most importantly they rob you of precious practice time with a stone. With an automatic sharpener, you are limited to the sharpening angle that is built into them. With a stone, if you want to change the angle, do a compound angle, set a tougher edge on a portion of the blade, play with different sharpening grits, or any other fine tuning, you are free to do so.

For the correct sharpening angle, that is a bit tougher to explain. The lower the angle, the finer the edge but, it wont last as long. The higher the angle the tougher the edge but, it may not be as fine. On a thin kitchen knife, the edge is already very thin, so you are just tuning the edge most of the time. As you get to know your knife, you can change the angle to suit your cutting style. If you sharpen the knife, and the edge is a bit fussy, the next time you sharpen, put a slightly higher angle on it.


If you are new to sharpening your own knives, take a red or black magic marker and color the very edge to maybe 1/8" back from the edge on each side of the blade. Let it dry. Then hold the knife at about a 20 degree angle to the face of the stone and try to slice a thin layer of the stone off the entire length of the edge. Repeat this motion approximately 3-6 times then examine the edge. Where the marker has worn off is where the edge is making contact with the stone. Adjust your angle to evenly take the marker off the edge. Once the marker is gone from that side, check the other side for a "burr" of metal that will form there. Do the same thing on the other side. Once you have a burr raised on each side you are almost done.Take approximately 3-4 lighter strokes on each side to weaken the burr. 


Once the burr is established and then weakened now, it is time to remove it. There are several ways to do this but, my favorite is to "shear" the burr off and create a microbevel at the same time. Go to the side where the burr is and raise the blade to approximately a 40 degree angle and use the weight of the blade on the stone only, lightly shear the burr off that side. Repeat this a few times on each side until the burr is completely gone then you are done. Remember, to just use the weight of the blade, you are not trying to do anything but, remove the burr at this point.


*Remember: Raise a burr on each side, weaken the burr, and then remove it. Sharpening is as simple as that!


 I truly believe that if you can use a knife, you can sharpen one! At first, you might not be proficient at it but, with a bit of practice you will be able to sharpen your own knife and soon after that you will be able to customize the edge to suit you perfectly. Imagine being free from relying on mechanical sharpeners, friends or family, or the guy at the local sporting goods shop to sharpen your knives for you!! The absolute best person to sharpen your knife is you! You and you alone know exactly how you like to use a knife and what edge works best for you. For this reason, I do not offer to sharpen them for you. I would rather take a few hours on the phone {it has never taken that long} with you helping you learn how, than to take the 10 minutes in my shop to sharpen it myself. It is that important to me to help you learn to sharpen your own knife.

Also, if this is your first quality kitchen knife you are in for a real treat! Take it very slow and easy at first until you get to know your new knife! The first few times that you cut a potato or carrot, it will probably surprise you how easy the thin blade falls through to the board. Use very little pressure in the cut with a slight drawing or forward motion and the blade will literally fall to the board. If you use too much force you will slam your fine edge into the board and damage it. Be sure to use it on a wooden or plastic cutting board. Never use it on a glass, or stone board, or plate as this will damage your edge. Also, if any friends or family will be using the knife be sure that they take it slow and easy at first also.


Unless the knife is a cleaver or a specially ordered knife with a thicker grind, it is not meant for use on bones, crab legs, frozen meats, or anything else that might damage the edge.


Your new knife is made out of high carbon steel. Which means, that it will rust if it is not taken care of and kept clean and dry. It will discolor or "Patina" as you use it. This patina will serve to protect the surface of the blade against future rust after a few years, and to lovers of high carbon steel the patina is a beautiful thing!! All the colors in the blade are wonderfull to look at! The first couple of times that you use your high carbon steel knife, you may get some taste transfer from the steel, as the patina builds up, this will lessen. When you are done using your knife, hand wash it in the sink, dry it immediately before putting it away in a knife block, or magnetic strip where it will be protected from other utensils until the next time you need it. Never allow your knife to soak in water, or place it in the dishwasher.


If your knife has a natural wood handle, you can use a a few drops of food grade mineral oil, sold as butchers block oil, or wood, and bamboo oil when the wood looks like it needs it.


If there is anything that I missed, or If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a line.

Joe Calton