Have you seen your Grandpa’s pocket knife? Chances are its the same knife he used when he was kid. That life lasted a long time and a lot of use. But most knives won’t do that automatically. It takes a bit of care to maintain your knife and make sure it doesn’t get worn down. Without proper care and handling, a new pocket knife might only last a few months. But with the tips in this article, you should be able to make your knife last a long time.
The first thing you should consider is how you use your knife. A pocket knife is designed for simple, everyday use. You might use it to open a bag, cut a string, or whittle at a stick. There are dozens of daily occurrences in which you might want to use your pocket knife. That being said, there are some things you definitely don’t want to use your knife for. You do not want to throw your knife. I know from personal experience that this will damage and loosen the pivot mechanism of your knife. You also don’t want to use your knife to hack or chop at something hard. Such an action might damage the locking mechanism or the handle of your blade (source: sogknives.com). In addition, you probably don’t want to use your knife as a pry bar or a screwdriver. This might damage the blade of your knife (source: sogknives.com), especially if your blade is particularly thin.
None of this is to say that your knife can’t survive some wear and tear. Good pocket knives are designed to be durable and to be used in a variety of activities. However, if you refrain from certain unconventional uses of your knife, your blade will definitely last longer.
Once you make sure that you are using your knife correctly, the next thing you want to do is make sure you are cleaning your knife well.
Pivot and Lock
First, you will want to look at the pivot and locking mechanisms of your knife. Small amounts of pocket lint or grit can enter these mechanisms and clog up your blade. This could slow down your opening speed or even prevent the lock from properly locking. Such a malfunction could cause serious injury.
The way to deal with this is to regularly clean out these mechanisms. A toothpick or a Q-tip can usually be used to get most grit out. If these methods aren’t effective, you might want to soak your knife in soapy water to loosen up the grit. You should be careful with this method however, as knife handles can be damaged if left in water for too long (source: instructables.com). If your handle is made out of natural materials like wood or mother of pearl, you may want to avoid this method entirely.
The next thing you should consider is rust. You can largely prevent rust by drying it thoroughly whenever it gets wet. However, it is still a good idea to use a drop or two of oil to oil the spring and lock mechanisms on a regular basis (source: knifecenter.com). You will also want to use an oil damp rag to wipe your blade.
If rust has already appeared on your blade, it shouldn’t be too hard to clean. Use a lubricant like WD-40 and a nylon cloth to scrub away at this section of your blade. Just use more WD-40 and more intense scrubbing for areas that don’t go away immediately. Soon your knife will be as good as new!
The old adage that a “Dull knife is a dangerous knife” is completely true. A dull knife can easily slip and gouge into your flesh. If you are like me, you don’t want this to happen. Sharpen your knife regularly so that it always remains ready for use. If you don’t have a knife sharpener at home, don’t worry! You can either check out our blog on the best knife sharpeners to buy or head over to our blog post on how to sharpen a knife without a knife sharpener.