Thursday, August 5, 2010

Knife Care, Repair & Maintenance

Time, temperature, light, moisture, oxidants, handling and mishap are all factors which will eventually compromise your knife's condition. In order to ensure that your knife delivers flawless performance and that its factory condition and beauty are maintained, please use the following knife care and maintenance tips to ensure optimum performance levels.


  • Kitchen knives should not be allowed to languish at the bottom of a sink full of water and dirty dishes. Surface textures are destroyed in these conditions.
  • Automatic dishwashers are not kind to knives. The temperatures reached in these machines are too high and run the risk of drawing down the temper of the steel.
  • If the handle material is of an organic nature such as wood, bone, ivory, horn, pearl, etc, its life is severely abbreviated by immersion in hot soapy water.
  • Oil the blade before resheathing. Not to do so runs the risk of introducing dirt or grit inside the scabbard.
  • It is important to close a folding knife slowly and carefully, since snapping it shut will force the blade to hit the internal parts, thus dulling the edge.

Knife Sharpening

Always keep your knife blade sharp. A dull knife requires additional force to use and is potentially more dangerous to use than a sharp one. There are a variety of products available when it comes to sharpening your knife. Some of the knife sharpening products on the market today make it virtually impossible to "mess up" and will always put the right edge on your blade. Never sharpen your knife on a power-grinding wheel as this can burn the temper out of the blade and weaken its integrity.

Test for edge-sharpness and edge-uniformity by slicing ordinary newspaper pages. Hold one edge, slice slowly away from you, and move the blade from hilt to tip. A really sharp blade will 'whisper' through the page. A duller blade will sound harsher, as you can hear the fibers tear. Using the newsprint test, you will very easily detect any blade nicks or uneven edge sections.


  • If you get rust on your knife an S.O.S. pad and some alcohol will usually take the rust right off.
  • Use Flitz Metal Polish. Everyone that uses it will swear by it's effectiveness.
  • Clean stainless steel blades in dishwashing liquid and warm water, not hot! Rinse well and allow to thoroughly air dry.
  • Carbon steel blades should be cleaned in warm water and baking soda, rinsed well, dried and oiled immediately. Clove oil, magnolia, and camellia are excellent for the preservation of all metallic and many organic materials. Olive oil is fine for most kitchen knives as it is close to hand and quite serviceable.
  • Cleaning kits. Usually includes, hammer, clove oil, a box of absorbent cloth and a special cleaning paper.


Kitchen knife blocks are an excellent way to store such using pieces in the kitchen and indeed elsewhere. The block will prevents damage to finish by abrasion and edges will not dull as a result of their coming in contact with one another.

Utility knives are best stored in a sheath during carry, to protect both the knife and the wearer. Otherwise when not being worn, they should be stored out of the sheath as some sheath materials are PH acidic, leading to eventual damage.

Long Term Storage

Prior to long term storage of your important or collectible knives, put on a pair of white cotton gloves. Blades and handles should be cleaned carefully, oiled and wrapped in a soft cloth. Archival materials used by the photo industry may be applicable in this regard because most paper becomes acidic with time so only archival quality paper should be used. Cool, dry and dark places are the ideal environment for storage.

Storage and display containers should be made of P.H. neutral materials. Oak which reacts with ferrous metals, and other acidic or resinous woods, should be avoided.

A simple storage container can be constructed of large diameter PVC drainpipe capped at each end. Glued or screwed endcaps can be used. You may also want to consider incorporating intake and exhaust valves suitable for flooding with inert gas.

Diving and Marine Knives

Sea knives live a hard life with the triple hazards of sun, salt and water to contend with. Regular cleaning and oiling after use will ensure many good years of service if it is not lost over the side in the interim. A lanyard attached to the thong hole will reduce the risk of such a mishap and ensure your knife is always close at hand in an emergency. Bilges and scuppers are concentration points for corrosive salts and other chemicals. Keep your knife and any other equipment out of them.

Hunting Knives

After the hunt clean your knife as soon as possible. Blood and body fluids, especially digestive juices, have a corrosive effect on steel. And remember its better to sharpen a stick as a digging tool than to dig that hole with your knife.

Other User Tips

After putting a mirror finish on a blade, you usually don't want to see fingerprints on it. Instead of using oil or what have you to protect the blade, rub on a light coat of Rain-X, the liquid you put on your windshield to make the water run off. Buff it right back off, and you have a protective coating that resists fingerprints, rust, and it keeps what you are cutting from sticking to the blade.

Spray knife hinges with WD-40, liquid wrench, or other lubricant, then open and close knife 10-15 times to work in oil. This will protect your knife parts from rust, corrosion, and damage resulting from parts scraping each other. It will also make it easier to open and close, as well as extend its life.

All Comments are Welcome and Appreciated.



  1. Good post. Thanke you for information!

  2. Wow, those are some great tips. Some of them I never have even heard before.

  3. Childhood diabetes, fishing organizations,

    Thanks for the comments. I appreciate all comments and questions.

  4. So great, Brother. It has enlarged me. What I've known before, now has been added.

  5. Tips in brilliant explanation. It is clear for me to understand it. But I should learned more and more. It is so needed.

  6. Maintenance is more difficult than the others, right? It will represent the owner's care to their ownership. Knife has high values highlighted from any sides includes arts.

  7. Some good points here. Knife upkeep can be a pain, but it's worth it.

  8. Phenomenal post, I have a collection of old knives and have needed to clean them up but didn't want to ruin them. Thank you!

  9. Some good points here. Knife upkeep can be a pain, but it's worth it.

  10. Phenomenal post, I have a collection of old knives and have needed to clean them up but didn't want to ruin them. Thank you!

  11. I got lots of new information, very interesting.