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Pocket Knife Care Made Easy by Larry Clark

There are literally thousands of articles on the web that outline various methods of caring for your knives. In this article, I will break it down to the simplest terms ? using the KISS principle ?Keep It Simple Stupid? to describe how to ensure your favorite knife lasts you many years. The information in this article is valid for all types of pocketknives, and can be used to care for all knives.

Whether you have one pocketknife or a huge collection of quality knives, including the full range of pocketknives, folding knives, fixed blade knives and pulti-purpose tools, you must maintain and care for them or they will deteriorate. I remember once when I pulled my favorite knife out of the leather sheath for the first time in a year, it was all stained and the blade was covered with rust.

Maybe you just gave your son or daughter their first pocketknife and want to teach them how to care for it. No matter if you are a hunter, hiker, camper, or wilderness backpacker, you know that a quality pocketknife is a valuable tool and, if properly cared for it will last you may years.

There are many brands of pocketknives and just as many levels of quality with varying degrees of corrosion resistance ? suffice it to say knives made with lower quality metals will require somewhat more care to ensure they stay corrosion-free. BUT for the purposes of this article, the prudent level of care described below should keep any knife in good working order.


1. USE YOUR POCKETKNIFE PROPERLY ? Remember a knife is not a screwdriver and a screwdriver is not a knife: Use your knife properly, cut only stuff your knife was made to cut ? avoid cutting cardboard or paper and never use a cutting board made of glass, granite, or other hard substances. And, of course, (but many people ignore this one) don?t use your pocketknife as a screwdriver, chisel or a pry-bar.

2. STORING YOUR POCKETKNIFE ? When not in use wipe your pocketknife lightly with oil ( a good silicone spray lubricant can also be used) and store it in a dry place. NEVER store your knife in its sheath ? especially a leather sheath, as leather tends to hold moisture and can cause corrosion.

3. CLEANING AND OILING ? Many normal uses for your knife such as pealing citrus fruit, cleaning fish or skinning game can leave corrosive residues on your knife. After using your knife, always clean the entire knife with mild soapy water. Then dry it thoroughly and apply a liberal coating of clean oil before putting it into storage. Finally, if you don?t use the knife frequently, take it out 3-4 time a year to inspect it for corrosion, and apply a new coat of oil. These actions will ensure a long life for your knife.

4. SHARPENING ? Always keep your pocketknives sharp. A sharp knife is more efficient and easy to use. There are a number of different styles of knife sharpeners ? the three primary styles are sharpening stones, diamond sharpening sticks, and ceramic ?crock sticks.? All of these have their pros- and cons- but they all can sharpen knives effectively. When sharpening your pocketknife, I recommend you sharpen to the original angles of the blade. Just follow the instructions that came with the sharpener. Remember there is no need to grind the knife away – go slowly and check progress after every few strokes and stop when you have reached the desired sharpness. When done, don?t forget to wipe the blade clean and apply a light coat of oil or silicone protectant.

IN CONCLUSION ? Take good care of your pocketknives and they will last for many years.

? Keep your pocketknife clean and dry.

? Oil your knife frequently; especially pivot points and the blade.

? Keep your knife sharp; a sharp blade is safer than a dull one.

? When not in use, remove your knife from the sheath and store in a dry environment

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K S asked what company makes ridge runner knives?

I am trying to buy knives wholesale from companies that make their own knives.

And got the following answer:

I believe Gerber makes a Ridge Runner. You can check at their website to verify.

Jonathan asked is it possible to convert a normal pocket knife into a spring assisted knife?

i am a volunteer firefighter in training and its hard to open my firefighters knife (this knife ) with my gloves on, and i was wondering if i could take the spring from my gerber presto 3.0 ( ), which has a broken blade, and put the spring in my firefighters knife, would i be able to do this?

And got the following answer:

Yes, but it would require modification of the knife body and locking mechanism, and would cost more then the knife is worth. You’re better of just buying a new knife.

Also, you might consider a full tang knife. It’d solve the problems you have with folders and give you a much stronger, more useful knife for the same price as an automatic.