OTF Knife Maintenance Tips

What’s the most horrifying thing you can think of in a survival situation? You got it. A jammed automatic OTF knife.

Imagine you desperately needing to cut a tangled rope around you but your blade won’t jump out. Or you flick it open to realize the blade’s too dull. These are survival horrors we all dread.

Automatic OTF knives fail, even the best of knives can do. It’s not an everyday thing but they happen. 9/10 cheap automatic OTF knives will fail irrespective of what you do.

However, if you own a switchblade from a reputed maker, the top-notch mechanism will help deploy the blade even in its worst beaten shape.

But why face the danger when you can alleviate the risks altogether? Marines, expert hunters, fishermen and outdoor campers all know the importance of knife maintenance. They know a blade in first-rate condition can mean the difference between life and death, eating and starving.

And here’s how you can do it too.

How to keep your Automatic OTF Knives Razor-Sharp

I already wrote a separate article on how to keep your automatic OTF knives razor sharp. Basically, blades will go dull at some point depending on the usage. It’s a natural process of steel erosion. As you cut, something, tiny bits of the metal fall out and some stick around the blade.

When sharpening your knife, you’re doing the same, removing tiny bits of the steel and rearranging them.

Use a whetstone stone to sharpen your blade. This is the most basic sharpening tool you can find and the best in my opinion. It’s easy to carry, costs next to nothing, you don’t need power (use it in the forest) and can bring the zing back to the best of knives.

Sharpening stones are two-sided. One side is more abrasive than the other, use that side first if your knife edge is too dull. Then use the smoother side to give it a sharp silky finish.

How to know if your knife is sharp enough?

You can test the bite of your blade with the most mundane vegetable. A tomato. If your knife can slice a tomato into thin capriccio without effort, then you’ll know your automatic OTF knife is ready to cut.

Beginners Knife Sharpening Tutorial

4 Knife maintenance Tips that’ll keep your knife firing like new

There’s no point in having a razor-sharp blade if it fails to deploy. Or, if it’s unusable altogether. The key is maintenance. Even best of knives need care.

Here are some basic things you can do to ensure your automatic OTF knife never fails on you.
1. Stop playing with your OTF to keep your hands busy. Many of us fire and retract our autos while sitting idly when there is no need for it. Spare the spring mechanism of unnecessary routine beating.

2. Know when to clean. We recommend cleaning your knife after every use. However, that’s not always possible especially when you’re facing doomsday. Here are indications when you should clean your knife.

  • Your knife is misfiring when charged
  • The mechanism feels jerky or unnatural
  • It takes long for your automatic OTF knife to discharge or retract
  • Your blade is jammed

4. Clean your knife on a regular basis. Your survival depends on your tactical OTF knife. Even best of knives need proper care.

  • Discharge the blade, unscrew and disassemble your knife (place the screws in a zipper bag) and then clean the components with a soft rag.
  • Next, lubricate the spring mechanism and inner blade. Use only a small drop of recommended lube for OTFs, otherwise, it’ll attract gunk.
  • Take time to reassemble properly. Do not skimp on this. 

5. Store in a place away from moisture and dust. This’ll help prevent your automatic OTF knife from rusting and clogging. 

Folks, try this. And as long as you have a quality OTF knife from a reliable maker, it’ll keep rapidly firing a razor sharp blade every time