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Sealant on Kitchen Knife Blade Handles

5899 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  childress
I am currently building a set of four steak knives as a christmas gift for my parents. I bought the kit from woodcraft, for the handles I cut up a piece of firewood that was cut from an oak tree in thier front yard. In the instructions it says to "seal the wood." What should I use to seal the wood that is dishwasher safe, will look really good, and last a lifetime? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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First, you should never put any good knives in the dishwasher. Wash and dry them by hand, that's the first rule in taking care of good cutlery.

If you want food safe, salad bowl finishes are available at Woodcraft. It will have to be refreshed frequently since it doesn't hold up to washing for long. I sealed mine with a water based urethane since there's not enough contact between the food and the handle to concern me. That's just me, some people are very touchy on the subject of coatings that might come in contact with food.
I have used polyurethane (at least 3 coats) with good results. HAND WASH and it will be looking good years from now.
Knife maker Bob Kramer tell his customers to only use danish oil on his handles. this is what he says on his site…

Wood Handles

Soaking your knife in water can make the wood swell and possibly crack. It is best to gently wash the handle with a mild soap, rinse, and dry. If you notice that the wood seems to be drying out, I recommend Tried and True Danish Oil. This product is 100% food safe, as it is made from polymerized linseed oil without any heavy metals or petroleum products added. You can find it online at This should keep your handles looking good for many years. Thanks to Chris Harris for this great tip! Apply a small quantity with a paper towel, and let it soak into the wood for 20 minutes before wiping off the excess.

And yes, like araldite said, "First, you should never put any good knives in the dishwasher." especially if you have wood handles…..There is no finish that would make any wood dishwasher safe, the temps are just too high.
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