Take care of your knife and it will take care of you, or so the saying goes.
Some of you reading this may carry a folding utility knife day in and day out as a part of your EDC gear.
EDC gear takes it on the chin, is as often abused as used, and rarely if ever (except among conscientious owners) receives its fair share of maintenance.
So let’s talk a bit about what you can do to keep your folding utility knife sharp (figuratively as well as literally).
Wash and Dry After Use and Before Storage
You might not be around a faucet every time you whip out your knife, but you should at least never put it away for long-term storage without rinsing it off and drying it.
If you carry it every day, at the end of the day, give it a quick rinse under water and thoroughly dry it. This will wash away lint and debris that’s become stuck in the scales and around the pivot, which can cause abrasive damage over time.
For those of you that work in coastal areas, it will also wash away salt deposits which would cause corrosion if left in place.
Keep the Scales and Pivot Tight
Loose scales and wobbly pivot mechanisms are magnets for dirt, lint, dust, sand, and other debris. Every time you open and close your knife with a little of these in the action, you’re wearing it away.
Instead of letting that happen, give the scale fasteners and pivot screws a quick ⅛ turn every once in a while, to keep them tight and keep debris from accumulating under them.
Use Compressed Air to Blow Out the Action Periodically and Apply Oil Sparingly
For some knife owners, it seems like the catchall solution to any sort of problem is just to squirt some oil in the action.
This is actually counterproductive, because like loose scales and pivots, an oily action will attract fuzz and dirt and will quickly become gummed up.
Instead, use compressed air to blow out the action. This will dislodge the bulk of dirt and dust, keeping your action clear. Then, apply a drop or two (but no more) of oil to the action to keep it limber.
Then, apply some oil to the blade and other exposed parts, especially if your knife features a blade and hardware that are not made from stainless steel.
Keep Your Cutting Tools Sharp
Finally, keep the knife blade sharp. The sharper the cutting edge, the less you will exert yourself when cutting, which will help prevent slips and accidents.
Either keep a pocket stone handy, or if your knife is the type that has a blade lock and quick change mechanism, keep some high-quality extra blades around.
Need a New Folding Utility Knife for the Collection?
A folding utility knife can be indispensable both to everyday living and home improvement, from opening boxes to cutting carpeting.
If you need a utility knife – either a folding model or a heavy-duty version with a fixed blade – visit White Mountain Knives. They carry one of the industry’s largest selections, offer rock-bottom prices, and even offer free shipping in the U.S