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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.

HERE ARE SOME SIMPLE TIPS TO CARING FOR YOUR POCKETKNIVES

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) dont 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 dont 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, dont 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

Original Source: http://www.articlecity.com/articles/recreation_and_sports/article_3586.shtml


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Connie asked In North Carolina is a fixed blade knife considered illegal? If not how long can it be?

I’m considering buying a fixed blade knife and adding it to my running pack for when I need it. It comes with a sheath and it will be visible to anyone who looks at me. So i am curious if the fixed blade knives are illegal in NC and if not then how long is the knife allowed to be.

And got the following answer:

It depends on where you are when you have it.

I don’t know about NC in specific and I apologize but I am not going to go specifically look it up.

I will tell you however that in general fixed blade knives are not illegal, but there tends to be a restriction on how long any knife you carry in public can be. In most places, this tends to be no longer than 3 inches, for both folding and fixed knives.

Keep in mind that any local or state entity can change it at any time. For example, the state may have one set of restrictions whereas a specific city in that state may have a different set of restrictions. Usually this happens when some kind of highly publicized crime or tragedy takes place, and the local government responds in a goal to try and appease the citizens. For instance, say a specific county had a brutal crime case which involved a man stabbing people with a fixed blade knife; it wouldn’t be unrealistic to expect that county to then pass a law making it illegal to carry any fixed blade knife there.

If you will be out in the woods, mostly isolated away from people then it doesn’t really matter. Technically if a park ranger or something saw it they could probably do something about it, but it is unlikely they would really care unless they are one of those Rambo officers who screws everyone based on every tiny infraction.

If you are going to be in a populated area where the knife will be visible, it would probably be safe to keep it at 3″ or smaller. Or you could just conceal the knife where people can’t see it and not even worry about it, unless you expect you will be committing a crime and will be involved with the police, who may charge you with some kind of weapons charge after finding the knife.

asked Where should i conceal my personall defense knife?

i like small fixed blades. But Should i keep a ballisong, actical sheath or well anything dependable.

And got the following answer:

Wherever you can legally conceal it that will allow you to get it out faster than your opponent.

Knife fighting is no joke. If you don’t know what you’re doing and your opponent does, you are going to get killed.

Lee asked What is the next best thing to a fixed blade?

I need a smaller knife than the one I have, but I don’t want to give up the strength of my fixed blade. I’m looking for some type of folding knife, and I’ve heard that balisongs have some strength to them. Does anybody know if this is true? Or if there is something better?

And got the following answer:

Balisongs have extremely secure blades, but they are often illegal to carry, or even own in some places. Your probably best to go for a strong lock knife. Remember though you get what you pay for, try not to go for cheap crap, they wont be as secure.

direbanana asked Are button lock knives illegal in California? and are there any age limitations on folding/fixed blade knives?

Hi, I’ve been trying to find some answers to these questions. It seems to me that switchblade knives that are 1.9inches or smaller are legal, but is a button lock knife considered a switch blade? Also, is there an age requirement for carrying a folding knife or fixed blade knife on your person? Thanks for the help.

And got the following answer:

No a button lock is not a switchblade. The button just releases the lock so that the blade can close, and the purpose of the lock is so the blade doesn’t accidentally shut on your fingers.

A “switchblade” under the California definition includes spring-loaded blades that are opened by pressing a button or slider-switch (this does not include so called “assisted openers” because they have no button), butterfly knives, and the extremely rare “gravity knife.” A gravity knife has a button lock that, when pressed, releases the blade from it’s CLOSED position so that it can be opened either gravity or the inertia of being swung.

California has no length limit on regular folding knives (except in certain cities like LA where you have to keep anything >3″ concealed), though fixed blades are generally considered illegal to carry concealed. Open carry is legal as long as you are out doing sporty type things like fishing or camping. But if your not doing those things at the time a policeman sees it, beware.

There is no age limit on knives. Indeed, most states do not have age limits. It’s the stores that make their own rules up on selling to minors. They do this for liability reasons, so that they will not be sued in a minor injures themselves or commits a crime.

One last caution: Never, ever tell any police officer anything you carry is for self-defense (unless it’s pepper spray), even if it’s the real reason you carry. They hate that for some reason. Make up a better reason if you carry anything, and may it believable.

Roger M asked What is the best fixed blade survival knife in your opinion?

Regardless of price what is the best fixed blade survival knife for general purpose woodland survival? Kabar, Kershaw, Benchmade, Gerber, Cold Steel, Ontario, Fallkniven, SOG, Busse…etc? What make and model in your opinion? I want a full tang design. Please don’t tell me a Rambo knife with compass and a hollow handle for holding fishing line and hooks. lol.

And got the following answer:

There is an endless debate what a survival knife should be, small utility blade or larger one that can take and dish out lots of punishment.

If you go with second definition, then Busse knives are probably on top of the list. Very tough, pretty much indestructible and unusually high wear resistance and edge holding for those types of knives.

I own (and owned) Busses, Cold Steels, Sogs, Benchmades and bunch of other fixed blades. The toughest are Busses for sure.
As for the Cold Steel tests I am very skeptical about those, because they void the warranty if you try to replicate the tests.

My vote for heavy duty blades goes to Busse or if you are on the budget then Swamp Rat knives(SRKW).

Busse reviews – http://zknives.com/knives/fixed/busse/index.shtml
SRKW review – http://zknives.com/knives/fixed/srkw/index.shtml

If you want something more exotic the kukris are also quite versatile and very tough use knives.
Kukris – http://zknives.com/knives/fixed/himp/index.shtml

Those are the knives that you can cut, chop and pry with.

For more utility type knives benchmade Nimravus is pretty good and not too expensive.
Fallkniven A1 is also quite tough knife from decent steel VG-10.

Cold Steel SRK was a good knife in older version of Carbon V steel. new ones are not as good unfortunately. Though, nowhere near to Busse or SRKW in heavy duty use.

All of those knives are full tang design.

More fixed blades here – http://zknives.com/knives/fixed/index.shtml

Joseph Micalizio asked Is it legal to carry a fixed blade knife in your backpack in CA ?

I’ve seen answers go both ways…I want to carry a small fixed blade knife in my backpack, and I want to know if that is considered illegal. I’ve read through knife law, and my main concern is if in a backpack counts as ‘on your person’

And got the following answer:

It counts as “on your person” if you are wearing the backpack, or even have it with you.

Lee asked What is the next best thing to a fixed blade?

I need a smaller knife than the one I have, but I don’t want to give up the strength of my fixed blade. I’m looking for some type of folding knife, and I’ve heard that balisongs have some strength to them. Does anybody know if this is true? Or if there is something better?

And got the following answer:

Balisongs have extremely secure blades, but they are often illegal to carry, or even own in some places. Your probably best to go for a strong lock knife. Remember though you get what you pay for, try not to go for cheap crap, they wont be as secure.

asked Where should i conceal my personall defense knife?

i like small fixed blades. But Should i keep a ballisong, actical sheath or well anything dependable.

And got the following answer:

Wherever you can legally conceal it that will allow you to get it out faster than your opponent.

Knife fighting is no joke. If you don’t know what you’re doing and your opponent does, you are going to get killed.

direbanana asked Are button lock knives illegal in California? and are there any age limitations on folding/fixed blade knives?

Hi, I’ve been trying to find some answers to these questions. It seems to me that switchblade knives that are 1.9inches or smaller are legal, but is a button lock knife considered a switch blade? Also, is there an age requirement for carrying a folding knife or fixed blade knife on your person? Thanks for the help.

And got the following answer:

No a button lock is not a switchblade. The button just releases the lock so that the blade can close, and the purpose of the lock is so the blade doesn’t accidentally shut on your fingers.

A “switchblade” under the California definition includes spring-loaded blades that are opened by pressing a button or slider-switch (this does not include so called “assisted openers” because they have no button), butterfly knives, and the extremely rare “gravity knife.” A gravity knife has a button lock that, when pressed, releases the blade from it’s CLOSED position so that it can be opened either gravity or the inertia of being swung.

California has no length limit on regular folding knives (except in certain cities like LA where you have to keep anything >3″ concealed), though fixed blades are generally considered illegal to carry concealed. Open carry is legal as long as you are out doing sporty type things like fishing or camping. But if your not doing those things at the time a policeman sees it, beware.

There is no age limit on knives. Indeed, most states do not have age limits. It’s the stores that make their own rules up on selling to minors. They do this for liability reasons, so that they will not be sued in a minor injures themselves or commits a crime.

One last caution: Never, ever tell any police officer anything you carry is for self-defense (unless it’s pepper spray), even if it’s the real reason you carry. They hate that for some reason. Make up a better reason if you carry anything, and may it believable.