The dreaded group project! You always hated them because you might get assigned to that one guy. You know the one. The guy who never did any of the work. You could never count on him when you needed him. You don’t want your OTF knife to be that guy. You want to have a knife that always performs for you. The key to make sure your blade always performs for you is to build a solid OTF knife cleaning routine.
Once you pick your OTF knife, start thinking through how you will regularly care for your knife. Build a set of regular habits early so you can enjoy your knife for years to come.
To help you come up with a great care plan, here are 10 knife cleaning mistakes you want to avoid.
1. Putting It Off
You can have all the right intentions, but if you put off regular knife cleaning, you will regret it. Too many knives get ruined because of lack of maintenance.
The best part of an OTF knife is the ease of use. You can use it for so many convenient things.
The problem with convenience is the tendency to put off taking care of your knife. You use it and it just works, however the time will come when it won’t.
If you set up a simple care routine for your OTF knife, it will give you consistent outstanding performance with every use.
Many aspects of your maintenance plan can be simple. Find the easy things to do and focus on making those a routine. You don’t want to ignore the simple parts of care or the maintenance will grow more complicated later.
2. Not Having a Home
You should have a place where your knife always lives. When you keep your knife in the same place, you avoid the wasted time searching for your knife when you need it.
Having a cover as a home for your OTF knife is a great way of protecting it from dust and water. This is true if you keep your knife out in the garage or with your gear when you are camping.
If you plan to carry your knife with you most of the time, consider using a carrying case to protect it from getting scratched up. Keys and change can scratch it, plus you don’t want your knife scratching your phone.
As a knife carrier, you want to be informed about your state’s knife laws. Many states have different laws about carrying knives based on the size of the blade and style of the knife.
3. Not Wiping the Blade
The simple things really matter and wiping your blade is an easy way to care for your OTF knife. You want to make sure to wipe the blade whenever you use it to do something wet or sticky.
If you are at a campsite and you use your knife to cut up deer sausage for your stew, take the time to wipe the blade before you close it. This is simple, but forgetting to do this will cause your blade to deteriorate and the action will be affected.
Having an old rag handy when you plan to use your knife can do wonders for keeping it clean. A simple two second wipe is one of the best maintenance tips around.
4. Not Keeping the Blade Sharp
Regular sharpening and honing of the blade will make it a more useful tool and help maintain the blade. This will help your knife do all of the jobs you want quickly and easily with less fuss.
Sharp blades glide through whatever you need to cut. This helps keep the blade from getting stuck in something or something sticking to it.
When you have a sharp blade, your work will be easier and your cuts will be cleaner.
They key to regular sharpening is making it as simple and easy as possible. Keep the equipment you need available and you will use it more often.
5. Focusing Only on the Blade
The blade is an important part of your OTF knife, but you have to also care for all the other parts of your knife or the blade will be useless.
If you have a great blade but it never pops out when you need it, what use is it to you? You also don’t want a blade that won’t go back inside because of parts within the knife that are broken.
All the parts of your OTF knife have to work together efficiently for it to be useful for you. Make sure your maintenance habits include all of the knife and not just the blade.
6. OTF Knife Breakdown Ignorance
Soldiers have to learn how to break down their guns in the field, so they are ready for anything and their guns are in top shape.
You should know how to break down your knife and keep all the parts clean and usable. Learning how to break down your OTF knife also helps you know how all the parts work together.
The more knowledge you have of your OTF knife and how it operates, the more confidence you will have as a knife owner.
Breaking down your knife also gives you the ability to make simple repairs when they are needed.
7. OTF Knife Cleaning Tools
Having the right tools is essential for cleaning your OTF knife. Make sure you have the knife cleaning tools like screwdrivers, lubricants and all the other items you need for routine cleaning.
Not being able to find your tools for knife cleaning can be a frustrating situation and will likely cause you to skip cleaning.
Keeping your knife cleaning tools together, will help save time when you clean your knife. You can have a specific drawer you put them in or keep them in a ziplock bag, so they are ready at all times.
If all your tools are together, it will also be easier to grab your tools for an extended trip where you will use your knife often.
8. Not Having a Spot
All the parts of your OTF knife are important and you don’t want to lose one by cleaning it in just any spot.
Have a clutter free spot where parts are less likely to get lost. The springs and inner workings of your knife are too important to lose.
Using a towel to put all of your parts on can be a great idea for your regular knife cleaning. This will keep your parts from sliding or rolling off. The towel will also help keep your lubricant from dripping on your space.
Having a main spot for your knife cleaning also helps you to build up a regular habit. When you see the spot, you will think about your knife’s maintenance.
9. Loading the Lubricant
When it comes to lubricating your blade, you want to start the process by thinking about what type of lubricant you will use.
If you plan to use your knife around food, you want to make sure to use a food safe lubricant. This will protect you and your knife. More is always better at a Brazilian Steakhouse, but not when it comes to the lubricant for your knife.
You may have a tendency to load up the lubricant because you think it will “protect” the blade, but it can have a negative effect. Too much lubricant will build up inside the base of the knife. This build up can hurt the overall function of the knife.
Using thin layers of lubricant is better for the blade, and better for the inside of your OTF knife.
10. Not Using Your OTF Knife
You have decided to buy a great OTF knife, but you end up throwing it in a drawer and forgetting about it.
What’s the point? OTF knives are made to be used and not just left in a drawer. Spend some time using your knife and getting used to how it handles.
Keep the knife handy so you can use it for many different things. Having it accessible will make it a tool you turn too often.
Regularly using your knife will help you get used to the action and feel of the knife in all kinds of situations. The benefit of regular use comes when you know how your knife feels. If something doesn’t feel right, you will know instantly.
This will help you be able to tell if your knife needs some maintenance or a repair.
A Partner You Can Count On
You can’t help who your partners were in your group project at school, but you can have a say in how your knife acts as a partner. An OTF knife can be a great partner around the house, on a camping trip, hunting, and as a self-defense weapon.
Our passion is making the best knives possible and educating everyone on how to care and use their knife properly. Check out our incredible selection of OTF knives and great educational articles.