Proper Care of a Folding Knife
The knife, which was cared for according to all the rules, will serve its owner for many years. Many do not understand this and do not look after their “tool” at all. The concept of “care” includes: cleaning, proper usage and storage, sharpening of the blade and the use of such an important attribute as a knife lubricant during storage.
Cleaning and lubrication of the knife
The newly acquired custom knife pleases everyone with its mirror shine and purity. Over time, these qualities disappear if the cutting tool is not properly cared for. When to start caring for a new knife is a question that worries many. No matter how strange it may sound – right answer is right after buying it!
Cleaning and lubrication includes all the work related to the removal of dirt and old protective or lubricating composition. As you know, all knives are divided into two main types:
- With fixed blade
- Folding or pocket.
With fixed ones, everything is very simple. Caring for them does not require much time and there are only two ways:
- After contact with an aggressive environment (sea water, onion, solvent, lemon, dirt). The knife is quickly washed with ordinary warm water and wiped dry.
- From time to time (the frequency depends on the intensity of use), the blade of the knife and its junction with the handle is wiped with a cloth oiled with a small amount of special composition.
Custom pocket knife, in view of a more complex mechanism, requires special attention. From the store to the owner, it arrives already lubricated and ready to use. But it is worth considering that it uses oil not for regular maintenance, but conservation oil – for transportation and long-term storage. It copes with its preservation task perfectly, but the active use of a folding mechanism is beyond its strength: such a lubricant accumulates several times more dust and dirt, compared to “everyday”.
The main difference from the care of a fixed knife is that in addition to the blade, the moving mechanism must be cleaned and lubricated. The main mistake in this case is usually excessive use of lubricant, in fact, it needs quite a bit. In order not to overdo it, it is better to use ear sticks and toothpicks. A large amount of the composition will not affect the speed and smoothness of opening the folding knife, but it will accumulate more dust and in the future it will be more difficult to clean.
What to use for lubrication of a knife
The leader among lubricants for knife mechanisms is gun oil. It is easy to find, and as often happens, the owners of cutting tools have firearms, which means that such a composition should be in abundance. The handles can also be treated with gun oil, especially before long-term storage (for winter season).
Castor oil is actively used among the owners of folding knives. But it should be borne in mind that it has a rather thick consistency, as a result of which it accumulates a lot of dirt and requires constant replacement.
One of the high–quality and expensive, elite options is camellia oil lubrication. It is relatively rarely used due to its high cost, but Japanese masters consider it one of the best.
Another point is the removal of corrosion from the blade. The method of cleaning will depend on the severity of the situation. They are conditionally divided into three types:
- Pitting corrosion, which is small points of rust on the blade. In terms of severity, this damage is the most harmless. It will be removed with a regular pencil grater or an unnecessary toothbrush with tripled bristles, which is soaked in auto-polishes with fine abrasives.
- Caverns are already more noticeable damage. It is removed in two stages: first, the work is carried out with a scratch polish, then the final finishing takes place by polishing with an abrasive with fine grains.
- Heavy corrosion is removed by removing the entire top layer with fine-grained sandpaper or a steel brush. After complete cleaning, the blade is immediately polished. Polishing is, in fact, a reduction of the surface that is in contact with the medium; less contact means less oxidation and damage. If this is not done, then corrosion will appear again on the “removed” areas, and with a vengeance.
Rules for the care of handle materials
The handle is such an important part of the knife, as is the blade. Modern handles are made of a variety of materials: wood, plastic, metal, bone, etc. The care of the handle is completely uncomplicated and completely depends on the raw materials of manufacture. It is possible to distinguish such simple rules:
- Wooden handles are periodically cleaned and oiled.
- Handles made of bone or horn are only washed and cleaned, but it’s better to try to prevent their contact with oils, since organic materials darken with such contact.
- Handles made of various polymers (for example elastron) can and should be cleaned with non-aggressive liquid dishwashing detergents.
- Bolsters, finials, guards, beads on the strap and other metal elements are polished using special compositions.
Taking care of your knife is not so difficult, but be sure – it will prolong its life and save your money.