Knives in the Dishwasher? The Bane or The Liberator...

October 27, 2020

Knives in the Dishwasher? The Bane or The Liberator...

  There are two schools of thought on this topic, those that feel the dishwasher is the destroyer of kitchen knives and those that say why not. 

"... Hand Wash Only, Do Not Use Dishwasher..."

 - If this looks familiar, then you have purchased kitchen knives and read the material that comes with it. So, we sat down and tried to think of reasons to prevent the culinary artists in all of us from using the dishwasher and reasons for allowing it.

   Know before you read further, this is based off our personal experiences within the sharpening world and is not to be taken as gospel. These are our opinions and welcome an open conversation on the topic.

CORROSION

            Let’s start with the most logical and straightforward reason for not using the demonwasher, sorry dishwasher. Most kitchen knives are made of “stainless steel”, but is it? Real stainless steel cannot not be heat treated well and is not used in knife making, it is used in the making of spoons, forks, pans, and other kitchen paraphernalia. Most kitchen knives are made with semi-stainless steel to be more rust resistant, but even the best rust resistant steel falls prey to the manufacturers processes, blade finishes, and more. High temperature water and chemicals increase the likelihood of damage. With that damage comes the extreme likelihood that the customers will stampede and use that “warranty” that accompanies the knife or knives purchased, hence their trepidation of allowing the use of the dishwasher.

CONSTRUCTION

            The construction of the knife will definitely bring about the divide of CAN and CANNOT. Right off the bat, if the handle is wooden…immediate expulsion from the dishwasher. It doesn’t matter what the wood is, it will lose its good looks and dull, it will start to deteriorate and fall apart, full and hidden tang alike.  Polymer handle you say… ok glued or riveted? If it is glued, then…EVICTION. Full metal composition, now you are talking, again one full piece or pieces. If one full piece or pieces soldered then you should be good to go, if those are glued, then you are right back into EVICTIONVILLE.

PRIDE

            We know that we aren’t the only ones that like to brag about what we have. From day one it has been keeping up with the Jones’. We also want everyone to want exactly what we have, knives included. We disapprove of the dishwasher because the knives can develop spots from the chemicals, they receive damage from clanging against other cutlery, and the vanity of being the person that goes the extra mile and handwashes. 

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WHAT TO DO

   This section we are going to break it down and try and make it easy for you.
The steels that are safe or don’t seem to have issues with being in the dishwasher are (but are not limited to):

 SAFE Not affected, but... For sure not safe
X50CrMoV15 BD1N M390
X45CrMoV15 VG10 ELMAX
CROMOVA18 GIN1 ZDP189
DSR1K6 VG-MAX 204P
AUS4 VG1 20CV
AUS6 AUS8 S90V
X55CrMo14 AUS10A S110V
4034 R2
4116 SG2
13c26 FC61

 

   You are going to want to stick to full metal construction, soldered metal, or riveted polymers. Don’t forget the higher the carbon the more risk of rust. When it comes to the dishwasher, there are different models of dishwashers out there that have the ability to change the temperature, you will want to keep it around the 50-60 C or 122-131 F temperature, also start with a paring knife, nobody really uses those ones, to see how the knives will react to it. Lastly, be your own person, don’t worry about what the Jones’ are doing, no person or object is meant to be perfect, everything gets spots and dings. BUT… if you want the full Japanese high carbon Damascus knives and the cleaning of them is your zen time and you find inner peace, then have at it, we are not going to stand in your way.

Special Thank You we want to say to Mr. Ruslan Kiyasov for the chart of "Dishwasher-Safe-Or-Not" metals and his ideas and opinion on this topic! If you speak Russian - pls take a look at his great YouTube channel and the website: Kiyasov.com




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