The ability to maintain and care for you Case Pocket Knives, or knives in general, be they pocket knives, hunting knives, or kitchenware, is an important trait every person that owns a knife should know. I thought a quick heads-up on three useful tips would be a good thing to know for up and coming knife carriers, or anyone wanting some back-to-basics info.
- Make sure to oil your blades on occasion.
Just because you have a stainless steel blade doesn’t mean you should neglect this—even stainless steel can rust if you’re careless. Even if you’re simply leaving it in a display, every few months (around two to three times a year) you should take it out and give it a few drops of oil at the backsprings and a quick dry on an oil cloth to avoid any sort of corrosion.
If you get your blade wet with any unknown liquid or saltwater while working, you should wash it with tap water, dry it with a cloth and then oil the blades up.
- Don’t store knives in their sheaths
Leather can and will affect your knives if stored in them for long periods of time. Use the leather to carry them, not store them. For long-term storage, it’s recommended investing in a display case or at the very least, a felt wrap, to prevent rust, corrosion, and humidity from altering your piece.
- Sharpening should be more proactive than reactive
What I mean by this is that nobody wants to go to a job and have dull blades. What you should do is sharpen them when you think they’re starting to dull—a dull blade is far more dangerous than a regular one, if you’re forcing a dull blade to do cutting, then you’re putting a lot of force behind the cut; force that can go through the object and into a leg, a thigh, a hand. A sharp knife, on the other hand, will typically use its own weight to cut through most things, very little outside pressure tends to be required. While there are many schools of thought regarding sharpening knives, one ‘beginner friendly’ guide is “Razor’s Edge” by Doug Smith, and can be found here.
Learning how to take care of knives isn’t something you stop doing after you get experience. You adapt and grow, deciding on techniques that work well for you. The sharpening guide listed, as an example, doesn’t even cover things like circular sharpening, and that is a well-loved skill utilized by many across the world. Keep looking for answers and just remember that there’s always ways to improve in what you do.