Knife Care and MaintenanceCongratulations on your new knife! However you’ve made your way here, you want to know how to get the most out of your new blade. If you never did a thing to take care of your knife, it might last a long time, but if you take proper care, it could last a lifetime. Whether your knife was a wedding party gift, a birthday present, or a personal purchase, you want to get your money’s worth, and we’re here to help. Immediately below, you’ll find some quick tips and tricks to get you started. If you want to dig deeper on a given subject, check out the directory and you’ll be on your way. Thank you for choosing LazerDesigns.com for your personalized knife needs.
Quick Tips and Tricks-To open: Every knife will vary, but many have a thumb stud that will assist opening. Open it carefully the first few times, until you’re familiar with how your knife works. If there’s no thumb stud, look for a groove or a hole that might do the same job. -To close: Again, many knives very, but a locking mechanism is common on folding knives to keep them from closing on you when you use your knife to cut. To close your knife, you may need to find the lever that will unlock it. The lever is commonly found at the base of the blade, or the spine of the handle, or at the base of the open blade. -Keep your knife clean. For more on how to go about this, see our Cleaning Guide -Keep your knife oiled. This is important for all knives, but particularly good for folding blades. They have moving parts that could corrode with heavy use. Your main worry with fixed blade knives will be in preventing rust. If you’re not sure which type of knife you have, check out Types of Knives to learn more. -Keep your knife sharp. If your knife has gone dull and you’re not sure how to get started, check out our introductory Sharpening Guide. -Contrary to popular opinion, a dull knife is not safer than a sharp one. A dull blade will be more erratic when in use, meaning it is more likely to slip from the object to be cut and slice your fingers - If you are using a folding knife, make sure to lock it all the way open before use. It should make a satisfying clicking sound. - When cutting something open, grasp the knife firmly in your dominant hand and hold the object to be cut in your other hand. I usually have the best results when I put what I want to cut on a table so that I can exert downward pressure. Remember to always cut AWAY from your body (this includes your fingers!). -NEVER try to pry with your blade. Most knives aren’t designed for that, and it could break the tip off, causing injury and ruining your lovely new knife. Always use the right tool for the right job.
- A sturdy pair of rubber gloves
- Household lubricant (like WD-40)
- Oil (3-in-1)
- Mild dish soap
- A soft sponge or toothbrush
- A soft cleaning cloth
- A nylon pad
- Sharpening Rods
- Water Stone
- Sharpening stone
Anatomy of a KnifeHere we’ll take a look at the anatomy of a knife and what the different terms mean. For more on the different kinds of knives, see Types of Knives Terminology: Bevel - A flat expanse that runs from the spine to the belly of the blade Blade belly - The area of the knife just above edge. Bolster - Metal knobs situated on either end of a folding knife Butt - The end of the handle, opposite the point. Choil - The end of a knife’s cutting edge on the handle side Edge - The sharp part of the blade Guard - Projections between blade and handle meant to protect your fingers Point - The tip of the blade Pommel - A knob on the butt of a knife Ricasso - A flat expanse between the guard and the belly of the blade. Serration - Saw-like teeth Spine - The thickest part of the blade, usually opposite the edge Swage - An edge opposite the primary edge Tang - The part of a blade where it joins or is held by the handle. “Full Tang” means the tang goes all the way through the handle Thumb Grip - A projection on the blade to assist in opening a folding knife
- When cutting, always cut AWAY from your body, not towards. One of the easiest ways to injure yourself opening a package.
- If you drop your knife, it’s best to let it fall. You might catch the wrong part of the blade and cut yourself. Just don’t let it hit your toes, either!
- Hand the knife to someone handle first. Giving it to your friend or loved one with the blade facing out is not only rude, it’s also dangerous.
- Keep your knife folded up and/or sheathed when you’re done with it. This is easy to remember with a big knife, harder to remember with a keychain knife, but they can both cut deep.
- Keep your knife clean, oiled, and sharp. A properly working knife is always safest.
- Speaking of… discard it, retire it, or get it fixed if something breaks. Sometimes the manufacturer will fix it for you, if it’s covered under warranty. If not, there are specialists who can fix a broken knife for you if you don’t know how to do it yourself. They will also sharpen the blade for you. (Look up “knife repair” in a search engine online to find options in your area)
- Knives are like scissors in that you shouldn’t run with them in your hand.
- Don’t use a knife on electronics until you’ve made sure they’re unplugged and/or the batteries are out.
Recommended Resources for Further Learning
- Spyderco Edge-U-Cation - in depth articles and pictures of various types of edges, clips, different types of steels used in Spyderco knives
- Care for your Buck Knife - A quick guide by Buck to caring for your knife
- Safe Knife Use by Gerber - Safety Tips by Gerber
- American Knife and Tool Institute - More safety tips and other information, also has pages on introducing young people to knife use.