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A while back, I bought an ordinary-looking pizza cutter with a dull grey handle. However, I soon found out the hard way that the handle is made from some weird metal or alloy that reacts with water, staining everything it touches black:

enter image description here

"Water" here includes even slightly moist or sweaty hands, making this a real pain to use. What is this stuff and how do I stop it from staining? And for extra credit, why on earth would you make a hand-held kitchen utensil from it?!

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  • Is it heavy enough to be cast iron? Cast iron teapots do that, it's highly annoying. Commented Apr 12, 2015 at 21:11
  • I don't think so: it's pretty heavy, but not that heavy? Also, the original color was a dull medium grey (see eg. the light patch on the left side near the bottom of the handle), whereas all the cast iron I've ever seen is black or close to it. Commented Apr 12, 2015 at 21:14
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    If it's that big of an issue, I recommend trashing it and buying a new one... they aren't that expensive and the ATK top rated one from OXO is $13.
    – Catija
    Commented Apr 12, 2015 at 22:03
  • Spray painting the handle should solve the problem, but it would probably be cheaper to just to get a new cutter like Catija suggested.
    – Ross Ridge
    Commented Apr 12, 2015 at 22:18
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    Do you remember the brand? Knowing that is the most likely way of finding out what it's made out of. I did an image search for these cutters and couldn't find anything identical to it in the images or on Amazon. Brand and/or the country it was purchased in will help.
    – Catija
    Commented Apr 13, 2015 at 0:31

1 Answer 1

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Mystery solved! At Catija's prompting, I managed to dig up the cutter on the website of the shop I bought it from, the Chef's Hat in Melbourne, Australia:

enter image description here

CUTTER PIZZA W/ALUM HANDLE 95MM S/ST ($6.60)

So turns out the handle is aluminum (aluminium), which can be discolored black if the alloy is not dishwasher-safe, which this clearly wasn't. Time to ask a new question about what, if anything, I can do to fix it!

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    So can you polish it and stop putting it in the DW?
    – Catija
    Commented Apr 13, 2015 at 2:07
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    I'd see if you can take the blade off, then scower with steel wool, spray with a metal spray primer, and some new color/top coat. A clear coat would probably make it dishwasher safe. The three cans of spray paint, and a spray can trigger probably cost more than a replacement. Commented Apr 13, 2015 at 17:29
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    Independently of the alloy used, cutting implements don't go into the dishwasher, it blunts them in no time. Anything except for a butter knife should be washed by hand. I would guess that this is why the manufacturer didn't care to choose a dishwasher safe alloy for a pizza wheel.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Apr 13, 2015 at 19:54
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    for $6.60...buy a new one...May I recommend this pizza cutter from Amazon I have one and it is great. [IMHO]
    – Cos Callis
    Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 1:33

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