An out-the-front (OTF) knife is more difficult to clean than fixed blades. Also known as auto and automatic knives, these knives have some hard-to-reach parts, which will require the use of screwdrivers and other precision tools.
OTF knife care may seem difficult at first, but you can master the dismantling and reassembly process with practice. In this blog, we delve into a 5 step guide to effectively maintain your OTF knife.
OTF Knife Maintenance
Like other knives, your OTF blades will need regular cleaning and maintenance. These fun-to-use knives deploy rather quickly.
And the parts necessary for their automatic mechanism are where you need to focus your attention. These parts usually take a toll when people carelessly deploy and retract their automatic knives.
Here is the step-by-step guide on how to clean your OTF knife.
Let’s start with some of the items you will need for cleaning OTF knife systems:
- Towel or rag
- 2 mm metric or 5/64th standard bit
- We will be using the Böker Manufaktur Solingen tool kit Allen key in this process.
- We also recommend using a light lubricant, such as WD40. However, we would also recommend using Hoppe’s 14.9 ML BOTTLE LUBRICATING OIL gun oil.
The first step in OTF knife maintenance is to deploy the knife on a surface. Now, it should be evident at this point, but we do not mean you should deploy the knife into any part of your body – just so we are clear. We recommend that you release the blade into a piece of cardboard.
Alternatively, you can use the case your knife came with. Remember that you should not deploy your blade against anything of value.
The sharp edge can destroy or damage your property. The spring system in these knives produces a strong thrusting force. You shouldn’t deploy it on anyone or anything that can feel pain. It will leave a mark, as shown in the picture.
Deploying the knife into a surface will activate the safety creating a loose blade. However, the blade will slide in and out of the handle without resistance if done correctly.
The next step in cleaning OTF knife sets is to unscrew the six screws that hold the knife together and remove the top part of the handle. Please see the picture below. You will need a precision screwdriver to remove those tiny screws.
Now we’re moving on to the tricky part of the process to clean your OTF knife – disassembly. To disassemble the knife, you need to remove the spring plate. Please see the photo below:
Carefully remove the spring from the plate. Be wary of the parts you’re holding since you can still accidentally cut yourself during this process.
To remove the blade, remove the pin located at the bottom of the knife.
The next step in OTF knife care is the actual cleaning process. Go through each part of the knife and its components using your preferred oil and a towel or rag. As mentioned earlier, we use WD40 or gun oil for cleaning.
However, you can use any lubricant for cleaning available to you. Don’t use any vegetable oil for OTF knife maintenance. This type of oil isn’t very stable, and it will turn rancid over time. Keep in mind that if the lubricant is too thick, it will restrict the blade and keep the knife from firing correctly.
A Quick Tip: If you can’t tell which lubricant is better, take the knife apart and re-clean it without any added oil. After a few uses, disassemble the knife again and use a different oil. Check how well the blade deploys with each type of oil you use.
Reassemble your knife the same way you took it apart.
Once the knife has been put back together, it’s time to reap the rewards of your maintenance efforts. Whether you want to test your OTF knife out on your next camping trip or your next fishing or hunting venture, there’s plenty of ways to see your OTF knife in action.
If you have any other questions, have a look at our YouTube video. Are you looking for the best OTF knives or do you need more information about their maintenance? Call us today or fill out this form, and we’ll get back to you ASAP.