TOP 5 Knife Care Tips from Atlantic Knife
Here are some quick tips on how you can care for your knife and extend it's usability.
Tip #1: Know Your Knife
All types of blade steels, knife handle materials, and pivot assemblies (or lack there of) are different, so knowing how your particular knife should be handled, sharpened, and cleaned is very important. We recommend that you read whatever knife care instructions are included with your knife's packaging. Most knife companies will include a list of do's and don'ts within these pamphlets, so make sure to read thoroughly. That way you have this knowledge at your disposal whenever your knife starts to become dirty, dull, and/or temperamental.
Tip #2: Clean Your Knife - Religiously
Depending on the type of blade steel and the functionality of your knife (a kitchen knife would be cleaned differently than say a $600 Medford Framelock), what to clean your tool with can fluctuate.
Cleaning your knife with water is the most least expensive and least likely to damage your knife option. However, make sure to completely dry your ENTIRE knife once you are done cleaning it. Leaving water on any type of blade or material will eventually cause rust, water damage, and/or rot. We're hoping none of you want that. So when you clean with water, grab a towel and dry like your life depends on it.
We suggest you minimize the amount of contact that the water has with where the handle and blade meet. Simply because once water gets between the cracks it can be difficult to dry, thus leading to rust and ruining your knife. Nobody wants a rusty tang.
Cleaning your knife with soap can also be an effective and non-expensive option. However, some soaps can be harmful to certain types of blades. We suggest high fighting grease soaps like Dawn be used on severely dirt encrusted blades. If the blade in question is just a little dirty, a quick rinse, dry, and oiling will do just fine. No soap needed.
Chemicals (like Bleach, Vinegar, Baking Soda, etc.):
We don't recommend that you wash your blades with any of these chemicals. Mainly because certain types of metals react to each of these compounds differently, and reactions involved with these usually result in negative outcomes (aka, ruining your knife, your clothes, your skin, etc.).
However, if you have found a cheap knife that's completely rust covered and you just want to see if you can clean it up any we recommend a vinegar bath, followed by a baking soda toothbrush scrub (make sure the knife is washed thoroughly with water after the vinegar bath or you will get a not so nice reaction going).
Toothbrushes are great cleaning tools for knives with tough rust and/or serrated blades. We tried this technique on a really rusted, somewhat old MORA knife and it worked wonders. But like we said, only use these abrasive chemicals on knives you aren't overly attached to or extensively financially involved with.
Finally, you can use things like cleaning cloths, sponges, towels, polishing cloths, polishing paste, chamois, etc. to dry, clean, and polish your knife till it's sparkling. Those can be found HERE.
Tip #3: Handle Your Knife With Respect
We know it may be tempting to use your knife as something other than a knife, especially if it's a task that can be done quickly without you having to go get another tool; such as using the butt of the handle as a hammer or using the blade to remove nails, but.....PLEASE don't do it. Your knife has a specific purpose, and using it for something other than that purpose can cause damage to your knife and more importantly...you.
Warping, chipping, cracking, even breaking can all happen to a knife that's been misused. So use your knife like the tool it was made to be, and don't play with it (unless for a good reason).
Tip #4: Keep Your Knife Sharp & Honed
Keeping your knife sharp and honed helps to maintain it's cutting ability. Letting your knife get dull and continually using it in this state can cause damage to the blade.
One can use a variety of sharpeners to maintain the cutting edge of his or hers knife blade, though the types of stones, rods, and/or grit count of these depends upon the type of blade steel and the type of blade edge your knife has.
I.e; Serrated blades must be sharpened & honed differently than plain edge blades..
We sell a large selection of hand held & bench sharpeners, stones, honing steels, honing rods, and much more. See HERE.
Tip #5: Keep Your Knife Oiled/Lubed
Finally, depending upon the type of blade steel your knife has, one can be sure that keeping a knife blade oiled is extremely important to maintaining a sharp, "well-oiled" machine. Now, there have been many discussions on how often you should oil your knife and if you should oil in shifts.
Yes, one can oil/lube a knife multiple times. We have seen this done several ways, but the must basic and easiest is the two step.
First, you oil your knife.
There are in fact many different kinds of blade and knife assembly oils out on the market today. HERE are some that we carry that are relatively inexpensive.
Once your knife is oiled it is then washed off with water, and dried. Then, BIG TWIST, the blade is oiled again. Finally, it is washed with water and dried for a second, but final time. An oiled blade is a happy blade.
No matter the style or technique of oiling the main purpose is to prevent the blade steel from becoming rusted.
Regardless of all these tips; understanding that your knife, even if the manufacturer promises a long and happy life, isn't meant to last forever. Your knife is going to have stains, discoloration, marks/scratches, etc., eventually. However, you can make sure that you get as much use out of your tool as possible by cleaning it regularly with the correct products/chemicals, by sharpening it properly and as often as needed, and by using it as it was meant to be used.
If you have any additional questions about the management for you knife, contact the manufacturer. We have supplied a list of contact information for almost all of the brands we carry. If you want to see that list CLICK HERE.
(Atlantic Knife is not responsible for any damage or loss of limb resulting from ANY of the following tips supplied here.)