Knives are a man’s best friend
One of the key tools that accompany people from the beginning of time is a cutting device. First, it was just a sharp piece of rock. Since the moment people started making knives from iron, they’ve been with us in an almost unchanged form. We use it every day to prepare food, open boxes, cut strings, repair home equipment. In the past, they were used to perform religious rituals. We can all admit – knives are important. We can say that among all tools, the knife is a real friend of man. And every friendship requires involvement. A well-maintained knife will not only last for ages but also will not let you down in the most important moments.
Rust is your worst enemy!
The most common and dangerous threat to your blade is rust. Bear in mind that a knife made from stainless steel exposed to certain conditions will still be prone to develop rust.
But what exactly is “rust”? Rust is oxidized iron. It is a product of the chemical reaction of iron and oxygen that is in the air or in the water. Oxygen is dissolved in water – which is the reason why fish can breathe ? If the water contains salt, it speeds up the process of corrosion – salt acts as a catalyst for reactions.
The best way to prevent corrosion would be to cut off the supply of oxygen and water. You might be wondering how to do this, since it’s just everywhere!
Because we cannot do anything about the air and water, we must do something with our knife.
We have to coat our knife in a film of oil. The oil prevents the salt-tinged moist from air coming into direct contact with our blade. Any household lubricating oil will be enough. You can apply this thin film of oil by dipping some kind of cloth in it and rubbing the blade. Gently wipe off the excess. We do not want to make oily stains, but to create a thin film on the steel. It’s best to do it every time after using your knife!
A good thing to also keep in mind is to avoid storing the knife in a sheath made of leather or fabric as it can collect moisture.
Protecting the knife handle
Our blade is now safe now but it is not the end. A knife is not just the cutting, steel edge but the handle is just as important. It can be made from any kind of material; leather, wood or plastic are the most common.
If your knife has a plastic handle, you are lucky because it does not degrade and is resistant to water and air. Just do not forget to clean it from time to time to get rid of dirt.
Leather and wood need more attention. They are organic materials and contain some part of oils and water. The moment it dries off, it becomes hard and fragile. A leaf is a good example for visualization – when fresh, it is flexible and won`t easily break into pieces, but a dry leaf will crumble even at the slightest touch. To prevent this, you can occasionally wipe the handle with furniture polish or oil.
In case you have a folding knife, remember to lubricate the pivot and clean it regularly.
Using the knife.
The main purpose of the knife is cutting. Try to avoid using the cutting blade as a pry bar, can opener, chisel, screwdriver or any other hard work that your knife was not designed to do. Imagine the structure of steel as a crystal. It is strong and hard but it has its limits and can snap in half when used incorrectly. It can shatter into many pieces that can hurt you badly. No one wants these kinds of adventures while camping.
The next important thing is to keep your knife sharp at all times. A dull cutting edge can be more dangerous than a sharp one. If you forget to sharpen your knife, it can slip and land on your soft skin. This will lead to a deep, bleeding cut.
A knife can be your good friend that you can rely on. Always remember to keep it dry, oiled, clean and sharp, so it is flawless and ready for use every time. Let us know in the comments section if you were aware how important everyday basic care of the knife is ?
Do you want to know more about the proper way of sharpening the knife? Follow us on Facebook and stay tuned for our future posts on Basecamp Emalco.