Taking care of your pocket knife isn’t rocket science. In reality, it’s mostly common sense. There are 4 points to keep in mind to ensure your pocket knife is always primed and ready for use.
Keep your knife dry
Most knife blades are made out of some variety of steel. In addition to the the blade itself, other parts of your knife may also have hardware that can rust when subjected to moisture. Some steels are more susceptible to rusting, corroding, and discoloring such as different varieties of carbon steel. By keeping your knife stored in a nice dry place, you can ensure rust is never an issue. However, a lot of people work outdoors and may encounter moisture as a part of their job. If your knife is going to be subjected to moisture frequently you will want to research knife steels. Finding a knife that is best suited to the conditions you are going subject it to is a good idea. If you get caught in the rain once in a while, that shouldn’t be a big deal. However, it is always a good idea to thoroughly wipe down your knife to remove all moisture. You should do this as soon as you can. The longevity of your knife should always be of importance and keeping your knife dry is one of the best ways to care for your pocket knife.
Keep your knife clean
Cleaning your knife frequently is a must! If for no other reason than the simple standpoint of cleanliness. Should you for some reason need to use your knife on a food item it’s good to know your knife is properly and regularly cleaned. From another perspective, cleaning your knife and ensuring it is free from debris helps it function at its best. I am not a big fan of chemically abrasive cleaning options, such as acetone or paint thinner. I prefer using a rubbing alcohol or an antibacterial kitchen dish soap and microfiber cloth to clean my blade. For all other parts of the knife, I use my air compressor to ensure there is not an over abundance of dust, dirt, grime, or pocket lint built up in the handle of my knife. For a more detailed cleaning, I will occasionally completely take my knife apart, giving attention to all parts, pieces, hardware, and how everything fits together. Remember, some knives are under tension from springs. Please, always use caution.
Keep your knife lubricated
Lubricating your knife serves two very important purposes. It provides a moisture barrier ensuring your knife blade and hardware does not rust. Also, lubricating will ensure your pocket knife opens and closes smoothly and effortlessly. It is very important you remember to lubricate your knife after a thorough cleaning and even between cleanings on occasion. A thin film of lubricant is all it takes to ensure your knife stays in tip top operational shape. Also, be sure to not over lubricate. Over lubricating can and will attract excessive dust, dirt, and with the passing of time may potentially make your pocket knife tougher to open having the opposite of the intended effect.
Keep your knife sharp
There is absolutely no reason to carry a dull knife. When you use a dull blade it requires you to use more force to cut, which increases the odds the knife may slip from your hand or cutting position. A sharp knife will more readily bite into the object you are cutting, and provide a better cut or slice with very little effort. With so many various knives and steel types you may need to sharpen you knife frequently or infrequently. It truly depends on the steel quality of your particular pocket knife. If you buy a knife with a high quality steel you will generally sharpen you knife far less frequently. There are a great many number of sharpeners out there. One thing I do know for sure, is using a cheap dollar store knife sharpener would be better than a dull knife stuck in your hand!
Please keep these four points in mind when you care for your pocket knife.