You hold your brand-new, shiny survival knife in your hands. You’re impressed with the design and quality materials that went into your masterpiece. Understandably, you want to keep your knife in great shape for a long time.
Even the best survival or rescue knives in the world will eventually fail to do their job if not taken care of properly, though. If you take care of your knife, it will take care of you when you need it most. Just how do you do that? Here are five tips for survival-knife care to get you started.
The best way to clean your knife is by gentle scrubbing with soap and water. You’ll want to
avoid harsh cleaners or rough scrubbing pads as they can cause damage. Also, avoid placing your knife in the dishwasher. This is one of the most harmful things you could do to your knife because of harsh cleaning agents and high temperatures.
Be sure to thoroughly dry your knife after cleaning. This will prevent rust. Your knife
will also last longer if you refrain from touching the blade more than you must. Acids from oils in the skin can break down the blade of a knife over time.
Regular sharpening is necessary if you want your knife to perform well. Not only will usability suffer if you don’t but a knife is never more dangerous than when it’s dull. Your greatest enemy when away from civilization is an injury. Imagine gashing yourself with a dull knife while in the middle of nowhere. That’s a survivalist’s worst nightmare.
Always keep your knife sharp to avoid such mishaps. There are two ways that you can do this. Either you can sharpen the knife yourself or hire a professional. If you’re new to knife sharpening, you may feel better about hiring a professional.
Another option is to purchase a sharpening stone and honing oil and practice. No, don’t let
your survival knife be the first knife you try sharpening! Sharpen older kitchen, hunting, filet or pocket knives first. Then you’ll gain the confidence you need.
Oil Your Knife
If you consistently oil your survival knife such as the CRKT Hoodwork, it will decrease friction. This will also help to prevent rust from forming on your blade. Just about any household or honing oil will work. Stay away from motor oil, though. You’ll get plenty of miles out of just a little oil, so don’t lay it on too heavy.
Avoid oiling handles made of plastic or canvas such as with the TOPS Lite Trekker Survival knife. These handles don’t require oil and this makes them slippery which could be dangerous were they to slip from your hand. You can use linseed oil on wooden handles to treat them. Mink oil works great to treat sheaths and leather handles.
Survival knives became popular in World War II when US pilots used them in case they were shot down in enemy territory. The knife was there for building a shelter, obtaining food and self-defense in case of emergency. There were more common instruments to use when it came to opening cans, prying and needing an impromptu screwdriver while back on base.
Your survival knife could save your life or at least make an extended time out in the wild
more manageable. The best way to keep your survival knife in perfect shape is to use it only when essential and to find other tools to use around the house for everyday tasks.
One of the greatest enemies when it comes to survival-knife storage is humidity which can
lead to corrosion and rust. The chemicals in sheaths can also damage the blade of your knife if stored long-term that way. For prolonged storage, remove your knife from its sheath. Then wrap it in paper and place it in a water-proof container.
American Made survival knives could truly save your life. For maximum durability, a full-tang survival knife is typically the best choice. With a little attention to care, your new survival knife should last you a lifetime or longer.