A well cared for knife can last a lifetime. Here are some product reviews and articles I have wrote on the subject of knife maintenance. More general information on knife care and maintenance can be found below.
- Smith's Pocket Pal PP1 Review
I suspect that the Smith's Pocket Pal has fallen into the shopping basket of many an unassuming knife collector. For starters, at under $10 the barrier to entry is low. And knife sharpening can be intimidating to some ... continue reading
- Wiha 75992 System 4 Precision Interchangeable Bit Set Review
When I was just starting out with collecting knives I was not super keen on spending money on knife maintenance stuff. I was into sharpeners and knife sharpening, but could never justify more than my Sharpmaker. This ... continue reading
- Work Sharp Blade Grinding Attachment Review
A while back, I wrote a review of the Work Sharp Ken Onion Edition electric sharpener. I was very impressed with the performance of WKSTS-KO, even after much reservation. What really drew my attention to the Ken Oni ... continue reading
- Work Sharp Ken Onion Edition (WSKTS-KO) Review
Anyone who knows me knows I am passionate about keeping my blades sharp. I am constantly looking for the best tools and techniques for putting a killer edge on a piece of steel and maintaining that edge. I have used ... continue reading
- Wicked Edge Field & Sport Review
If you are a knife enthusiast, then you know the importance of keeping your blade sharp; however, this is not always an easy task. Unless you are highly skilled at maintaining a consistent angle and have a good under ... continue reading
- Spyderco Sharpmaker Review
Last Updated: February 5, 2017 I occasionally get questions from readers about sharpening: what my "system" is, what products I recommend for sharpening, how I sharpen my knives, etc. While I wouldn't call myself ... continue reading
- 3 Easy Knife Sharpening Tips
In this post I'll be covering three easy tips to help you sharpen your knives. Lets face it, sharpening can be a challenge, especially if you are getting into freehand sharpening. These tips are great for the beginner ... continue reading
- 5 Knife Maintenance Tools That Every Knife Owner Needs
I recently received an excellent question from a reader. He was new to collecting knives, and had his eye on a very nice Benchmade as his first "real" pocket knife. He had some concerns though. He didn't know what ext ... continue reading
- Rusty's Rags Review
For many people, when it comes to cleaning your knife it often comes down to what is available at the time. Whether you are using Q-tips and WD-40, soap and a dish towel, or perhaps the shirt on your back and some spi ... continue reading
General Cleaning and Maintenance
First of all, the easiest way to ruin a blade is to use it for something besides it’s intended purpose. Don’t use the knife as a can opener, screw driver, chisel, hammer or any other tool besides a knife. Using a knife for any other reason than to cut things is the best way to void your warranty and ruin your blade.
Always clean your blades by hand after use. Never let your knives soak overnight or put them in the dishwasher. If you use your knife to prepare food always clean the blade after use (especially fruit). Rinse them off with water and use a little soap on the blade if you have to clean off stubborn grease (brush outward from the spine of the blade to the edge). Try not to get soap on the pivot points unless you plan on re-lubricating as the soap will strip away the oil.
Periodically clean your locks and oil the pivot. I use a drop or 2 of Tuff Glide on the pivot, and will rub a little on the blade in a pinch. I will sometimes clean a knife with soap and water (depending on the knife, obviously this may not be the best choice for an expensive custom knife). Just be sure to get the knife dry and oil it after.
Keep Your Knives Sharp
There are lots of different sharpeners on the market, and I have played around with a few of them. These days I mostly strop my knives to maintain an edge or I use a Spyderco SharpMaker if the edge needs to be touched up. I like to strop my EDC (Every Day Carry) blade regularly, but depending on the steel and the use this will vary.
I find that the trick to keeping a knife sharp is regular maintenance after use. If you regularly strop your knife (or lightly touch it up) then you will not need to worry so much about being an expert at sharpening.
Store your knives in a cool dry place. I recommend storing your fixed blade knives outside of the sheath (especially leather sheathes). The sheath can actually trap moisture and rust your blade or cause pitting so I don’t recommend the sheath for long term storage.
Also, it doesn’t hurt to keep your knives oiled for long term storage (in some climates, it will be a necessity). For big user fixed blades, I typically spray down the blade with WD-40 before storing (and I store my user choppers and machetes in the garage).
For EDC knives, you probably want to use a food safe oil (mineral oil, or a commercially sold knife oil that is advertised as food safe). There are a lot of good anti-corrosive oils on the market. I have used a couple and still like Rusty’s Rags for it’s simplicity and effectiveness.