Maintaining Your Knives
April 23, 2013
A knife is a great tool can last you a lifetime, but only if you take care of it! Regular maintenance on your favorite knives is important, not only for visual appeal but also for top rate functionality. Whether your blades are fixed, folders, gravity or anything in between, weekly maintenance will extend the life of your knives, make them easy to use and increase their visual appeal.
Maintaining a knife is fairly simple. To start cleaning and maintaining your knives at home you’ll need a short list of supplies, including:
- Oil ( We prefer mineral oil such as Nathan’s Honing Oil which is food safe, but good old gun oil will work too)
- Cotton Swabs
- Clean Dry Rag(s)
- Linseed Oil ( for wood handled knives)
- Fine sandpaper
- Beeswax (for wood handled knives)
- Metal Glow (metal polish)
- Gun Solvent
Fixed Blade Knives are obviously the easiest to maintain. Follow these simple steps:
- Dab a little solvent on a rag and clean the blade and metal hardware (only) with the solvent and wipe off completely.
- Use Metal Glow to polish the blade and hardware, if desired. Wipe down the blade with a clean rag when finished.
- (Wood handles only) Use fine sandpaper to very lightly sand the surface of the handle.
- (Wood handles only) Dab some linseed oil on a rag, apply oil to the handle, wipe away any excess oil and allow the handle to dry.
- (Wood handles only) Rub beeswax into the handle and work it in with your hands.
- Wipe the blade down with a clean rag again and apply a liberal amount of Nathan’s Honing Oil to the blade.
- Wipe the blade clean with a clean rag and oil the blade and hardware again.
- Let the oil sit on the blade for a minute or two and then gently wipe away the excess oil.
- You may now store or sheath your knife but remember never store a blade in its sheath for long periods of time.
Folding Knives are a bit more involved to maintain but here is how to clean and maintain your folders regardless of their locking mechanism.
- Dab a clean cotton swab in solvent and clean the blade, as well as, inside the liner, moving hardware, etc.
- With a couple of clean cotton swabs carefully clean away all the solvent. For good measure clean some more.
- Polish the blade with Metal Glow, if so desired, and clean thoroughly.
- Dab a clean cotton swab in Nathan’s Honing Oil and clean the blade, as well inside the liner, moving hardware, etc.
- Move the action of the knife around to let the oil penetrate the mechanisms.
- Clean the knife thoroughly with clean cotton swabs/rags.
- Repeat step 4 and let the knife sit with oil for a minute or two.
- Repeat step 5.
Your knives should be clean and ready to use! If you consistently maintain and clean your knives you’ll be using your favorite blades for years to come. Make sure not to store knives in their sheaths and remember that even stainless steel will corrode given enough time and the right environment. It should be noted that this method works great for regular maintenance, but if your blades are heavily corroded or unusable, you’ll have to be patient and spend more time cleaning, especially on folding knives. Be Safe, Be Smart and Stay an Edge Above the Rest!
Apr 29th, 2013
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