Caring for your knives
Every hunting season around Christmas I think some about knife care. Rifle season is over and my gun is oiled cleaned and put away till next season. My hunting cloths same thing cleaned up and put away. Then there is that little pack with all the misc stuff that is useful during hunting season. Next year I am likely to find some packs of crackers, random hard candy. Perhaps some wrappers from things I ate during deer season....oh and a knife or two. Yep I know I should clean that out too and take care of all the stuff in there but for whatever reason it seems to get put in the closet and forgotten till next season. So with that in mind here are the things I try to do with my knives when I am cleaning my Rifle.
(Well when I remember to open the pack).
Knives like guns are made of metal, wood plastic, etc. So in no particular order here is what I should always do to make sure my knife lasts a life time:
1. Clean them off. Soap and warm water, wipe them down good especially if you used them during the season. It is very important not to soak them in hot water or leave them soaking overnight. Some knives can be damaged this way and get water in places you wont get out causing rust. IF hnadles are epoxied on the hot water can cause them to come loose or come off. Once wiped down make sure you dry them off completely.
2. A dull knife is a dangerous knife. Sharpen your knife. It may need to be sharpened on a stone but in a lot of cases you just need to strop your knife. This can be done as easy as using the back of a leather belt or using a stropping compound on a piece of leather.
3. Ok time to oil that knife. Just like your rifle. Wipe it down with some kind of oil. Lots of options out there I have used cleanzoil for years because I have it. I am sure if you clean your guns you have some kind of oil around. Same with your wood handles wipe them down and oil them if needed or use a paste wax to keep them nice. Bear in mind carbon steel gets a patina with age, this isn't a bad thing as long as no rust formed. Stainless steel while stainless should still be oiled too
4. Storage. This is a big one and I am guilty of it too. If you knife is in a leather sheath you should store it out of the sheath. The reason is the leather can hold moisture and cause rust on your knife. Also leather due to the tanning process can have chemicals or ph differences that cause issues. For a lot of us your hunting knife only sees the light of day once a year so storage is important. Its not a bad idea to check your knives a few times a year to make sure they are ok.
Folding knives are the same thing but you should clean the inside with a q tip, I have used alcohol lightly on the end of it to clean with cause it evaporates quick and helps get gunk out. Make sure you put a few drops of oil in all the joints. Any where it moves should get oiled.
GENREAL KNIFE CARE:
Things I have encountered making knives and watching folks over the years. Knives are not: Screw Drivers, Pry Bars or shovels. They are also not hatchets or axes.
One last thing you can buy very inexpensive knives but rarely are they worth it. Treat yourself and buy a good factory or custom. Take care of it and it will likely out last you.
Anyone got any other knife care tips lets hear them