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KitchenAid Knives

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I got some stainless steel Professional series KitchenAid knives in April. I take good care of my knives: never in the dishwasher, handwash and dry immediately, straight into the butcher block, etc. Yet, they already have rust spots on them! I'm pretty upset. What caused this? Should I go ahead and return them, since they should still be under warranty?
post #2 of 22
KitchenAid Pros come with a "no hassle, replacement guarantee." If you liked them at all, it sure seems worthwhile to have them replaced. They're made of a stainless alloy called 420J2. 420J2 is quite corrosion resistant. It's a surprise that your knives show rust, especially since they were well cared for.

Good luck,
BDL
post #3 of 22
I'm sure you could get them replaced but you may want to try cleaning them with bar keepers friend. This will likely take the spots off. You can find it near the scouring powder at any Walmart and many grocery stores. Less than $2 a can.
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thank you!
post #5 of 22
The name "stainless" does not mean 'stain proof.' Given enough salt and time, any stainless steel shows signs of corrosion.

If this is a deal-breaker for you, return the knives.

However, if the knives are 'perfect' for you and you do not wish to chance a new knife with other new problems, simply have the knife cleaned or polished. As I have stated, a "tinker" is a repair craftsman for kitchen items. Find a good tradesman in your area and have this issue professionally solved.

You can do it yourself. Yes, Barkeepers Friend is a brand. Personally, I'm going to polish decorative areas anyway. I use Mothers Billet Paste, or Nevr Dull (yes, that's the correct spelling).

These products are good for other uses, like cleaning tarnish on copper pots.
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thank you.
post #7 of 22
That's the question we need to work on. You can polish the knives, replace them, whatever, but I'm concerned that you're getting rust spots. As has been noted, stainless steel is not perfectly rust-free, but you shouldn't be getting rust on them based on the care system you describe.

I have a few questions:

1. Do any other knives in your block (if there are any) rust?
2. What sort of climate do you live in?
3. Where does the block rest?

In my experience, stainless steel rusts and pits only when there is stunningly bad basic care (which doesn't seem to be the case here) or when it is stored in a damp, corrosive environment. So I am suspicious of your block: I wonder whether it is holding moisture somehow. Is that possible?

Even if these knives were defective somehow, that shouldn't produce this result. The steel is the steel: they don't make it themselves, nor is it carbon steel (which rusts) plated or cladded with stainless. I suppose there could be flaws in the blades that are trapping corrosives, but I find it hard to believe that this would happen on multiple knives simultaneously. Thus I'm looking not at the knives but at what's happening to them.
post #8 of 22
I would agree, but remember that not all 'stainless' alloys have the same make-up.

For example, to be classified as stainless, an alloy must have at least 12% chromium, that's why a great steel like D2 at 11% is not marketed in that fashion.

Alloys in the jargon of "high carbon low chromium" like the twins ATS-34 and 154-CM barely make it to the level of stainless. However ZDP-189 is 20% chromium.

But to be fair, there are knives that spend their entire lives wet or in salt, and those belong to sailors. However their most popular brand is Myerchin, and corrosion is never mentioned.

I think our forum member just needs a lick of polish and nice micro-fiber cloth.
post #9 of 22
Sure, but we're not talking about fancy Japanese knives that are just barely or not quite in the stainless range, we're talking about KitchenAid knives. All I can find is that they're labeled "high carbon stainless steel." I'm betting we're well into the stainless range here. So even though, yes, PixieDiva can just polish off the rust, I still think there is something else we need to work out or it'll just happen again.
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
I store them in the butcher block that they came with (the KitchenAid one), on my granite countertop, next to my gas stove. I ONLY keep the KitchenAid knives in that block. I live in Oklahoma, so it is not overly humid. I do run a humidifier if it gets too dry in my house.
post #11 of 22
You're not making this easy, you know. ;)

I don't suppose you could post a photo of one of these knives with the rust on them? This is really bugging me: it shouldn't be happening, and I'm at a loss for how it could be.
post #12 of 22
I'm not sure that's possible in the real world. Any tool suffers some form of wear just by being used. Yikes, my bike would just sit in the garage--and BTW I have to make this quick, it's sunny...

As stated, "stainless" really means the alloy can endure more of the corrosive process than carbon steel or iron. I have a Shapton iron stone flattener that proves that point.

There are things--like Nevr Dull--that do leave sort of a 'dry lubricity' on the surface.

Now, I've talked to a rep from Sentry Solutions about Tuff-Cloth and use on food-grade items. They do not have a governmental sanction despite lots of safe use. Let's face it, the cloth smells like mineral spirits. I only use it on hard use working knives where abuse is part of the job.

Use the knife, take good care of it, enjoy it. Dry it thoroughly, and polish it before corrosion gets out of hand. I cannot remember the last time I polished the Myerchin in my blue jeans. Nor do I worry about it.
post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
I called KitchenAid and explained the situation to them. They stated that they would immediately mail me a new set of knives and I could keep the old ones!! I asked them why they thought this was happening to the knives. They stated the most likely cause in my situation was a defect in the manufacturing of the steel. Thank you for all of your advice and ideas. I'm very happy to know that KitchenAid stands behind their products... Hopefully these new knives are better!
post #14 of 22
Yes friend you are right..no Garnette for stainless that it will never get corrosion...
post #15 of 22
One more question:
Is the block made of Yellow Pine or Cedar?

Those are both acidic woods and could be affecting the steel.
Dammi un coltello affilato e vi mostrerò l'arte più belle del mondo.
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Dammi un coltello affilato e vi mostrerò l'arte più belle del mondo.
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post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 
I am not sure. On the KitchenAid website, it just states, "a black wood storage box with the KitchenAid® emble." I appears to be painted all the way down the slots where the knives fit. So, I'm assuming they just touch the paint.
post #17 of 22
Hmmmmmm? That probably rules out the wood of the block as the source of corrosion.
Dammi un coltello affilato e vi mostrerò l'arte più belle del mondo.
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Dammi un coltello affilato e vi mostrerò l'arte più belle del mondo.
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post #18 of 22

Stainless steel knives SHOULD NOT RUST!  Forget about climate and where you live and all of that.  I've got 40 year old Victorinox knives that are perfect.  They've been in Marin County, San Francisco, San Jose, and Palm springs.  ALL CLIMATES.  

 

If those knives are rusting it is a BAD RUN OF STEEL.  Send them back and demand replacements! 

post #19 of 22

Stainless steel knives do rust and pit on occassion if they are a low gauge ,bad finish and cheap.  Kitchen Aid Brand are not by us considered a proffessional grade of knife . They are usually for household use. Also don't compare older vitronox or emil urn, or forrtchner  with newer knives , it's like night and day.. Today the cheaper they can produce them the better for them  not us.

CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #20 of 22
I once read that older stainless products made from steels like 18/10 ( old system that only states Chromium/Nickel content) were manufactured with higher than stated Cr/Ni content because they had much less control over the accuracy and as such when over the requirements to pass the grading. As manufacturing methods improved, they started to bring the Cr/Ni content down back to the minimum for making the grade. Which is why (but not the only reason though) most older stainless products seem more rust resistant than newer products made with the same grade of steel.
post #21 of 22

This thread is more than three years old.  If anyone is trying to give advice to the OP, it's way too late.  However, some of the new posts need attention on their own.

 

Also don't compare older vitronox or emil urn, or forrtchner  with newer knives , it's like night and day.. Today the cheaper they can produce them the better for them  not us.

 

Ed:

Forschner and Victorinox are one and the same.  R. H. Forschner was the North American importer for Victorinox, the Swiss based manufacturer.  Forschner used to sell Victorinox knives under the Forschner name.  Currently two of Victorinox stamped kitchen knife lines, Rosewood and Fibrox, are sold in North America as Victorinox/Forschner; while the rest of Victorinox kitchen knife production is sold as Victorinox. 

 

R. H. Forschner started importing Victorinox knives into North America in the late thirties.  Sometime in the late seventies or early eighties, either shortly before or just after Forschner "went public," Victorinox acquired a substantial portion of Forschner which it still owns.  Whether or not it's a controlling interest, Victorinox is in complete control of the knives we Americans still call Forschners

 

Victorinox kitchen cutlery stainless is the same stainless it's always been, no change.  It's X50CrMoV15, and still made in Germany.  The Fibrox and Rosewood knives are still made in Switzerland.  Victorinox also markets a couple of forged lines in North America, those are made in Germany from the same alloy.

 

Gustav Emil Ern is not a knife maker I follow, so... 

 

If I'm not mistaken, Gustav Emil Ern went broke a long time ago and the name was licensed to a new maker.   The old Solingen maker made extremely good "carbon" (i.e., non-stainless) knives, and the new, "International" manufacturer makes crap stainless knives and attempts to trade on the reputation for quality of the old knives by referring to the new knives as "professional."  I'm not sure if the old manufacturer ever made stainless knives.

 

I once read that older stainless products made from steels like 18/10 ( old system that only states Chromium/Nickel content) were manufactured with higher than stated Cr/Ni content because they had much less control over the accuracy and as such when over the requirements to pass the grading. As manufacturing methods improved, they started to bring the Cr/Ni content down back to the minimum for making the grade. Which is why (but not the only reason though) most older stainless products seem more rust resistant than newer products made with the same grade of steel.

 

Wubu:

You found a bad source.  Almost none of this is true. 

 

  • The convention which uses terms like 18/8 and 18/10 is still around and has not been replaced.  It's not so much an official "system" as a shorthand reference to the family of S304 alloys;
  • The one thing your source got right was that the two-number convention refers only to the amount of chromium and nickel content;
  • The stuff about lack of accurate control is false;
  • To the extent there is a difference between old alloys and new alloys of the same name and description it's that new alloys use a lot more recycled, "International" steel, while older alloys relied more heavily on "virgin" iron ores.  That can make a difference for some knife properties, but not corrosion resistance;
  • Alloy is alloy.  Old stainless is not more corrosion resistant than equivalent new stainless; but
  • As manufacturing chases low labor costs, there has been a race to the bottom in other respects as well.  A lot of low end knives, especially those coming out of Asia, are not actually made out of the alloy from which they are purportedly made; and finally
  • Any kitchen knife made from any of the S304 alloys is a crap knife and to be avoided. So for that matter is any knife made from something marketed as "surgical stainless." 

 

BDL


Edited by boar_d_laze - 12/23/12 at 6:11am
post #22 of 22

I feel like I need to restate myself,

 

With advances in process control over the years, more manufacturers are able to make cost saving measures in adding the minimal amount of alloying constituents (like Cr and Ni) while removing the minimal amount of impurities to reach the spec requirements of a particular steel. To qualify as 304 steel for example, the minimum for Cr is 18% and Ni is 8%, while the upper limit for impurities is 0.03% for sulfur and 0.045% for phosphorus. Removing impurities involves more processing, hence more cost. The purer the target steel, the harder (more energy) to remove impurities.

 

Which is why I made the statement that older steels tend to overshoot the required spec a bit more than newer steels. Older process control meant much more difficulty in hitting the spec requirement for steels. To reduce the chance that a batch is rejected from quality testing, it was better to just play on the safe side and put more energy and materials in.

 

Of course the constituents of the metal aren't only the factor in the metal quality. There's also the distribution of the constituents, grain/crystal size and structure (martensite vs austentite), and processing (same composition, but improperly processed steels [annealing, tempering, cold working] can have internal stress and crystal defects, which is probably why some VG10s are more chippy than others).

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