Wooden handle maintenance

Wooden handled Kiwi Brand or Kom-Kom Branded knives will benefit from some basic maintenance from time to time to keep your knives in top condition.  Applying a small amount of oil to the wood will condition the wood, helping to protect it from moisture, dirt and bacteria, and it will also keep the wood looking rich and vibrant. 

oiled knife handle

To oil your wooden knife handles, you will need to use a food grade kitchen oil, such as food grade mineral oil, walnut oil or grapeseed oil. Avoid using vegetable oil or olive oil, as these oils can turn rancid over time.  While it is not recommended, I have personally used groundnut oil for many years and have not any problems with it, however my knives are washed regularly and so the oil is typically replaced before it has an opportunity to go rancid.

Here are the steps on how to oil your wooden knife handles:

Wash and dry the knife handles thoroughly.

knife needing maintenance

If you are being extra careful, you can do this job without the next step however it is aways a good idea to protect yourself from accidents.


Take some stiff cardboard and fold it over the blade then secure it with some tape.  This will help to protect you should the knife slip.

Apply a small amount of oil to a clean lint free cloth or some kitchen roll.

oiled knife handle
Rub the oil into the wood in the direction of the grain.
Allow the oil to soak into the wood for at least 30 minutes.

extra knives

Buff away any excess oil with a clean cloth.
You should oil your wooden knife handles every month or two, or more often if they are exposed to a lot of moisture or heat. If the wood starts to look dry or dull, it is a sign that it needs to be oiled.

finished handle oiled

Once the handle has been treated, it should bring out the grain of the wood making it look great.

Here are some additional tips for maintaining your wooden knife handles:

Do not wash your wooden knives in the dishwasher. The heat and harsh detergents can damage the wood by removing the natural oils and the heat will make the wood shrink, ultimately ruining the knife.
Hand wash your wooden knives in warm, soapy water. Be sure to dry them thoroughly immediately after washing.
Avoid soaking your wooden knives in water.
Store your wooden knives in a dry place.
If your wooden knife handles become cracked or damaged, you can sand them lightly and re-oil them.
By following these simple tips, you can keep your wooden knife handles looking and performing their best for many years to come.