Having a knife is not as simple as just opening and closing it. In order to ensure its durability and effectiveness, it is important to regularly maintain it. Just like a car albeit a bit more simple, the working parts need attention and care to get the maximum out of our little pocket tool. Depending on the type of use, knives can become dirty or sticky and it is imperative to look after them not only for aesthetics and practicality but safety reasons as well.
All knives, folding blade, fixed blade or switchblade, need care to ensure their durability and functionality. Dirt and sticky residue can affect the grip and working parts of a knife but more importantly can affect the blade and its sharpness that can lead to self-inflicted wounds due to the behavior of the blade - and not cutting how we are used to.
You don’t need a pro tool kit for cleaning and most things you can find lying around the house:
- Old toothbrush
- Lubricant (machine oil, WD-40)
- Paper towel
- Cotton cleaning cloth
Step 1: Blade Durability
Place your knife (blade open) in front of you ready to clean. If you can, never close your knife when dirty to avoid getting any particles lodged in the enclosure that can lead to blade damage upon opening and closing.
Always try to use warm water because it is very effective in breaking down particles of dirt that makes it easier to scrub off in the next step.
Step 2: Brush ‘em good
Check your case/grip handle for debris. You can dislodge dirt or debris with a toothpick which is smaller and easy to maneuver around. After doing this rinse the blade and also water down the case to clean and remove any loose debris.
Take your toothbrush and soak it in a few drops of soap before scraping the blade and ridding it of any and all dirt.
Step 3: Rinse, Rinse, Rinse
Take your time to brush and rinse every part so that you can keep track of your progress and making sure your knife is on its way to becoming spotless clean.
Step 4: Let it dry
Place your knife down on an old cotton cloth or towel and pat it down to dry as much as you can. Then let your knife rest and dry naturally for a few hours. ALWAYS DRY YOUR BLADE FACING AWAY FROM YOU!
Step 5: Lube me up
Apply your oil to the pivot, blade and any other moving parts to lubricate the mechanisms for smooth working. Remember to dry down and wipe any excess lube from your knife after application
Step 6: Ready to play
Your knife is now locked and loaded and ready for use.
Regardless of whether you have a switch knife or hunting knife the approach to cleaning is always the same.