The Cutting Edge

The official blog of Knife Depot

Category: How To (page 1 of 2)

How to Master the Art of Butterfly Knife Tricks in a Few Easy Steps

Knives have been used as weapons and tools for thousands of years and are some of the oldest that human society has ever seen. Not all knives were created equal, though.

Originally known as the ‘Balisong,’ the butterfly knife is a Filipino tool that was originally designed for both self-defense and basic utility. Today, though, they’re a popular choice among collectors due to the number of tricks you can perform.

While these may seem impossible at first, they’re entirely doable with enough practice. 

Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about butterfly knife tricks.

Before You Begin…

It’s likely that you’re going to fail tricks numerous times while learning them. Unfortunately, failing with a butterfly knife doesn’t always mean dropping the blade or performing the trick slowly/incorrectly.

It’s relatively easy (and common) for beginners to fold the blade onto their hand or finger. Depending on the sharpness of the blade, this could either be a minor knick or a trip to the emergency room.

So, consider taping the edges of your knife in order to dull the surface while you’re practicing. Alternatively, there are butterfly knives designed with safety in mind that you can use to practice with.

Once you’ve decided which safety precaution is right for you, you’re ready to move onto learning a few basic tricks.

Flip Opening

This is likely the first trick you’ll attempt to learn (as you should since it allows you to open the knife!) Although the end result of a flip opening is holding the knife stationary in your hand, the actual process is often mesmerizing for onlookers.

To begin, hold the closed knife in your dominant hand. Your grip should be loose, and your focus should be on the handle that the back of the blade points to.

Swing the knife open until the other handle touches the back of your hand. It should look like an arcing motion. Then, rotate the handle so that the blade is pointing the same direction as your thumb.

Complete the same motion again (which is similar to casting a fishing line in reverse). Afterward, ‘cast’ the knife forward and it should be fully open. Then, place your thumb around both handles to secure your grip.

This will likely seem confusing at first. But, you can practice each segment of the move in slow motion until you master the basics.

Flip Closing

As the name implies, this is the same concept as flipping the knife open (but in reverse).

Once you’ve mastered the open flip technique, you’ll have an understanding of how to perform this one. It’s important, though, to remember to keep your palms open wide enough to hold both handles when you flip it closed.

Otherwise, you’ll run the risk of injuring your fingers when you begin to perform the trick with a sharp-bladed butterfly knife.

Aerial

This will likely come as a big jump from a conventional flip open. The good news is, though, is that mastering a flip open/close will familiarize you with the mechanics of your knife. This will allow you to manipulate it at a more proficient level.

To begin, hold the opposite handle as you would for a flip open. This is the same handle that would let the blade cut you if it closed on you.

Point the knife straight outward so that the knife could open on its own if you let go due to gravity. This is where the move gets complicated.

Perform an upward motion with your wrist as you drop the second handle (the one that is currently holding the knife closed) and let go of the knife. the leverage and momentum of the swinging handle will cause the knife to rotate in midair.

After a full rotation, you can catch the knife in its open position.

Not only is this move far flashier than a flip open, but it’s also much quicker to perform. 

Pinwheel

This knife move is notorious for being portrayed in media. If you’ve ever seen a film where an antagonist brandishes a butterfly knife before combat, you’ve more than likely seen a pinwheel performed.

The backhand variant of the pinwheel, in particular, is rather intimidating, so it makes sense as to why they would write this action into a movie.

For the sake of simplicity, though, we’ll focus on the forehand pinwheel.

Hold the knife as you would if you were beginning to perform an aerial. Let the knife open on its own, but don’t let go.

With an upward flick of the wrist, use the momentum to swing the open handle over to the back of the handle you’re holding. As you do this, point your thumb and index finger outward so that the handles can touch freely.

Now, perform the same motion again. The thing to watch out for here, though, is that the sharp side of the blade will be flipping toward your hand. So, it’s imperative that you ensure your fingers aren’t in the way.

Over time, you’ll be able to perform this movement quickly and repeatedly (which is what makes it appear so intimidating).  

Learning Butterfly Knife Tricks Can Seem Intimidating

It may seem hard to get started and learn what you need to know for these tricks, but it doesn’t have to be.

With the above information about butterfly knife tricks in mind, you’ll be well on your way to mastering the basics and moving on toward advanced techniques.

Want to learn more about how we can help? Feel free to get in touch with us today to see what we can do.

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The Complete Guide on How to Sharpen a Knife and Not Damage the Blade

Collecting knives is a hobby that millions of people participate in. When your knives see frequent use, though, they’ll begin to dull over time. This is true even for the average kitchen knife.

Eventually, the blade won’t cut like it used to, and you’ll need to sharpen it back to its former glory. Interestingly enough, not every knife collector knows how to sharpen a knife.

Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Let’s take a look at everything you need to know.

Why Do I Need to Sharpen My Knives?

If you use your knives on a regular basis, it only makes sense to keep them as sharp as possible. As you may expect, this will allow you to make sure they cut cleanly as they’re intended to.

A sharper knife will allow you to cut more precisely, which gives it far more utility over one that’s dulled over time. Interestingly enough, though, a shaper knife is actually safer than a blunt knife.

A dull knife can still cut, but it requires much more force to do so. A single slip or misstep could easily lead to injury with the amount of force behind the blade.

How Can I Tell If A Knife Needs to Be Sharpened?

Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to tell if your blade has become too dull. You can test it through three simple methods:

  1. It can’t easily slice through a sheet of paper
  2. It can cleanly cut through a tomato and smashes it instead
  3. It can’t cut through the outer skin of an onion

If it fails any of these tests, it’s likely time for you to look into sharpening your knife’s blade.

How Can I Sharpen My Knife?

Although the process can seem intimidating to complete on your own, it’s a relatively simple process that doesn’t take too much preparation.

In general, there are three ways you can go about this process:

  1. Using a whetstone
  2. Using an electric sharpener
  3. Using a manual sharpener

Let’s explore each one in-depth in order to get a better understanding.

Sharpening With a Whetstone

Before you use a whetstone, you’ll need to figure out the ideal sharpening angle for your blade. You can check your manufacturer’s website for more details, as this may vary from knife to knife.

In general, though, you’ll likely need to sharpen at a 20-degree angle.

To begin, completely submerge the stone in water for approximately 5 to 10 minutes. This should be enough time for any air bubbles to disappear.

Then, place the stone on a flat surface with its coarse side facing the ceiling. Afterward, place the blade on the stone at the correct sharpening angle. Make sure, though, that the blade is facing away from you.

With one hand on the knife’s handle and your other hand on the flat surface of the knife, apply a small amount of pressure and slowly drag the knife across the stone. Be sure to maintain the angle of the blade.

Eventually, a small bit of metal will begin to form over the edge of the entire blade. At this point, repeat the sharpening process on the other side of the knife.

Afterward, flip the whetstone over and fully sharpen both sides again to complete the process.

Sharpening With a Manual Sharpener

Manual sharpeners have two slots you’ll need to focus on: coarse and fine.

Beginning with the coarse slot, slowly pull the entire knife through while exerting an even amount of pressure. Four to six pulls should be enough, but older/damaged blades may require more.

Afterward, pull two or three times through the fine slow in order to finish the process. To test if your blade is sharp enough, use one of the three aforementioned methods (the sheet of paper is often the most convenient).

Sharpening With an Electric Sharpener

This process is highly similar to manual sharpening, but the result is often better for those who are inexperienced.

As with a manual sharpener, you’ll want to pull the blade through the coarse slot four to six times. But, you’ll want to alternate sides with each pull.

Afterward, repeat the same process with the fine grit slot on the electric sharpener.

If the blade isn’t quite as sharp as you’d like, repeat the above steps for half as many pulls in order to finish up.

How Can I Sharpen a Serrated Knife?

It may seem complicated at first to sharpen a knife with so many edges, but the process is almost the same.

It’s not recommended to use a whetstone. But, a manual or electric sharpener are both viable options. Make sure, though, that you only use the ‘fine’ slot on either one to ensure the blade isn’t damaged.

How Often Should I Do It?

In general, you’ll likely only need to sharpen your knives every 6 to 12 months. With heavy use, though, you may find that your blades dull quicker than this.

To keep your knife as sharp as possible between full sharpenings, use the fine slot on a manual or electric sharpener after every use or two.

Understanding How to Sharpen a Knife Can Seem Difficult

But it doesn’t have to be.

With the above information about how to sharpen a knife in mind, you’ll be well on your way to keeping your blades in the best condition possible.

Want to learn more about how we can help? Feel free to get in touch with us today to see what we can do.

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Cut Like a Chef: Effective Methods to Improve Your Knife Skills

Prepping and cooking food at home is the top way to save more money and eat healthier. Yet, this doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on chef-inspired meals. 

To cook like a culinary master, it’s essential to learn how to use kitchen knives. Certain techniques make it faster, easier, and more efficient to prep food.  

So, ready to learn how to cut, chop, slice, and dice like a chef? Read on to learn more about how to master your knife skills. 

Choose the Right Knife for the Job

It’s key to know the difference between your knife types. A kitchen knife set includes pieces for almost every job in the kitchen. 

A few knife types include bread, steak, paring, and fillet. Boning knives, carving knives, and butcher knives are other styles a chef should own. You should hone your chef knife skills for each of these knife types. 

Yet, there is one knife style that is king when it comes to prep work. A chef’s knife is a multi-functional knife that is used for more than one task in the kitchen. It’s ideal for chopping, slicing, dicing, and mincing foods like meat and vegetables.

Chef Knives

This style of knife has a pointed tip with a longer blade design with a slight curve. The blade’s tip allows a chef to create a rocking technique as they cut. This is ideal for the quick chopping of fresh herbs, garlic, and onions.

The design allows you to keep the tip of the knife touching the cutting board as you chop. Chef’s knives are a bit heavier, which makes it easy to cut and score meat.   

Santoku Japanese Chef Knives

A Santoku knife is ideal for creating fine clean cuts at a fast speed. It lets you master knife techniques for cutting seafood, meat, vegetables, and fruits.

The knife has a flatter and wider blade design and is lighter than a chef’s knife. Its tip is down more towards the end of the blade.

Santoku knives help remove food from the cutting board into your cooking pan. Some of these knives also have depressions on the blade called a “Granton edge.” This works to create less friction to stop food from sticking to the knife as you cut.  

Keep Your Blades Sharp

Any knife guide for better care will tell you to always keep your blades in top condition. Sharp blades make it easier and more efficient when chopping food. A dull blade will lead to a much longer food prep process and can also be unsafe.  

Experts recommend sharpening your knife every few months. You have a few different knife sharpener options to consider for this. You can use a manual knife sharpener tool or an electric knife sharpener.  

Chef’s knives may call for more sharpening sessions. They are often made from softer steel than Santoku knives. 

Proper kitchen cutlery storage options are also important when caring for your knives. You can use a knife block to protect the blades when not in use. This also keeps your kitchen environment safer. 

Magnetic knife strips, knife bags, and sheaths are other options. When cleaning your knives, hand-wash them with mild soap and hot water.  

Hold the Knife in a Comfortable Position

Proper knife cutting techniques also include learning how to hold a knife. This is key for having confidence in the kitchen. 

Be sure to use the right grip when handling your knife. The hold should not be too firm and should fit comfortably in your hand. This allows you to perfect your cutting method and be as quick and safe as possible. 

It’s best to use your index finger and thumb to grip the handle of the blade. Hold the handle up higher with your two fingers touching the base of the blade. The rest of your hand then holds onto the actual knife handle.  

Holding the knife at elbow-height will also give you better control. When holding food to be cut, be careful of the way you keep your hand.

Use a claw-like grip to hold food as you cut with the knife in your other hand. This keeps your fingers out of the way of the knife’s blade.  

Use Consistent Cuts 

Certain knife cuts call for different techniques to prepare food. It always helps to cut round food in half, like onions and potatoes. This gives you a flat surface to work with making it easier and safer to cut. 

A slicing technique involves long thin pieces. Position the knife’s tip on the cutting board at an angle. Then move the food toward the blade as you bring the knife down in a repetitive chopping or sawing motion. 

Chopping is less consistent than other cutting methods. The chunks are made a bit larger and more bite-sized.    

Dicing can be done in large, medium, or small pieces. Yet, the key is to keep the food cuts as consistent in size as possible. Aim for cubes about a quarter-inch in size.  

When mincing, you want to cut the food up as fine as possible. It’s most often used for garlic, ginger, and onion. 

Preparing food julienne means making matchstick-sized cuts. These should be about an eighth of an inch thick. 

For brunoise style, you dice foods that have first been cut julienne-style. The result is small cubes about an eighth of an inch in size.   

The chiffonade technique is most often used for greens and herbs. It cuts them into thin ribbons for a salad or garnishes.  

Perfecting Your Knife Skills With the Right Set of Tools

These knife skills will teach you to be a master chef in no time. The right tools, techniques, and knife care are key when learning to prep food like a professional. 

A quality chef’s knife is one of the main tools to have in your kitchen. Browse the full collection of chef’s knives to find one that suits your cooking style. 

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How to Stop Losing Your Swiss Army Knife

 

The other day, I wrote about the welcomed news that Victorinox is adding a clip to a new folding knife called the Hunter Pro M. It doesn’t mean the iconic maker of Swiss Army Knives will add them to their multitools, but it could be a sign of the future.

Unfortunately, we’re still stuck in a world where losing a Swiss Army Knife is all too common for many people. I always find them on the seat of my car or in couch cushions.

Here are some solutions for keeping a Swiss Army Knife from getting lost.

Get a Suspension Clip

The best and most inexpensive remedy to the problem of Swiss Army Knives slipping out of pockets while sitting down is a suspension clip. Not only are these types of clips cheap but they’re also nonpermanent solutions that won’t mess up your knife.

My recommendation is the KeySmart Pocket Clip.

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How to Thoroughly Clean Your Pocket Knife

I love cleaning around the house. Maybe that makes me a bit odd, but it provides much needed time to unwind, zone out, reflect on your life, or listen to great knife podcasts.

What’s even better than cleaning the house is cleaning a pocket knife.

But how do you actually do a good job cleaning a knife?

I made sure not to clean my Spyderco Tenacious (which I use constantly around the house) for a while so I could write this post for you.

To Disassemble a Knife or Not

The first thing you have to consider is whether to fully disassemble the knife or simply clean the blade and take care of the pivot from the outside.

Here are some thoughts on that. If you want to do a thorough job or you haven’t cleaned the inside for a while, you should take the whole thing apart. Depending on the knife, it won’t take up too much time and gets the knife back to tip-top condition.

However, if you’ve cleaned the inside recently or feel only the blade is dirty, you can skip the disassembly.

Cleaning the Blade

There are many different ways to go about cleaning a blade. Most knife enthusiasts have their own recipes or preferences.

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How to Tell If You Have a Real Damascus Steel Blade

The knife world is plagued with fakes and frauds.

People on eBay are trying to pass off $400 Sebenzas as real and sellers on Amazon are unknowingly selling fake CRKT and SOGs to unsuspecting customers.

Because of all the tricksterism plaguing the knife community, I often get asked whether a knife is real or fake. While I recently wrote a guide on how to spot a counterfeit knife, it didn’t address another popular question — is my Damascus knife a fake?

Damascus knives are becoming more popular and more prevalent from the most popular knife brands like Spyderco (with the Endura and others) to lesser known brands like BucknBear.

What makes people even more confused about the legitimacy of Damascus steel is the vast price differences. Could a $50 knife with Damascus steel be real when you see other Damascus blades topping the $500 mark?

Let’s dig deeper.

What is Damascus?

Before determining whether your Damascus is fake or real, we should first define what Damascus actually is.

Damascus is that wavy pattern in steel that looks exotic and downright gorgeous.

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How to Remove a Stripped Screw

If you use your knives at all, disassembly is a necessity for cleaning and maintenance. Even if you’re just switching your pocket clip from a tip-down to tip-up carry, you’ll sometimes run into a major problem: stripped screws.

So what are you to do if that screw is stuck or stripped inside your knife?

Here are a few solutions, which are not mutually exclusive.

Buy Quality Torx Bits

First, stop what you’re doing and make sure you have quality bits. Using low-quality bits is a recipe for stripped screws and won’t do much in removing the screw from the knife.

Cheaper bits use softer metal that can bend and ultimately strip the screw you’re trying to get out. Your best bet is to spend a little extra money on something more reliable. Wiha is always dependable, and I’ve heard good things about Wera tools too.

Heat the Screw with a Soldering Iron

This is the first thing you should do after getting quality bits. In fact, this is something you should probably do to any screw on your knife even before it’s stripped.

The reason? Loctite.

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How to Remove Rust From the Blade of Your Knife

Whether you’ve found a knife in one of your old toolboxes or accidentally left your favorite knife outside in the rain, chances are you have encountered a nasty case of rust.

Many old timers considered rust the sign of a knife’s quality, but a rusted knife is also dangerous, useless, and downright ugly.

We originally wrote this post way back in December 2011, but we thought it’d be a good idea to do update it with some better information, videos, and recommendations.

What is Rust?

If you only want to some methods for removing rust, skip these next two sections, but it will be helpful to learn more about why your blade is rusting.

First, let’s tackle the nature of rust.

Rust is the common name for a compound called iron oxide — that reddish-orange flaky stuff you see peppered on some metal. This forms when iron and oxygen react to moisture. It doesn’t even have to be water exactly, it could just be the presence of water in the air.

Here’s a more scientific explanation from How Stuff Works:

Iron (or steel) rusting is an example of corrosion — an electrochemical process involving an anode (a piece of metal that readily gives up electrons), an electrolyte (a liquid that helps electrons move) and a cathode (a piece of metal that readily accepts electrons). When a piece of metal corrodes, the electrolyte helps provide oxygen to the anode. As oxygen combines with the metal, electrons are liberated. When they flow through the electrolyte to the cathode, the metal of the anode disappears, swept away by the electrical flow or converted into metal cations in a form such as rust.

Why Do Knives Rust?

Here are the ingredients for rust: iron, water, and air.

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How to Spot a Counterfeit Knife

This week is International Fraud Awareness Week.

The global effort to raise awareness and minimize the incidence of fraud is wide reaching. Although you may not think fraud affects you so much, fraud reaches every facet of society — whether it’s fraudulent products, fraudulent charities, and those scams we see peppered in every comments section.

While many think knives are safe from fraud, there’s a huge industry of fraud surrounding knives, and it’s important to be aware.

We’ve written about how to spot counterfeits before in an old post, but I thought we’d update with some additional information and tips.

Signs of a Counterfeit Knife

Let’s take a look at a few telltale signs that you may have bought a counterfeit knife. One of these alone isn’t necessarily evidence but can be an indication.

Sign #1: Deals that are too good to be true.

People always mention this as a surefire sign of a counterfeit knife — which is a knife with all the branding of an original but from a different source. If a deal is too good to be true, it probably is.

It may be tempting to see a $150 knife sold for $50 and think, that’s a deal I can’t pass up! Unfortunately, no one is going to sell a knife for that cheap if it’s the real deal.

#fakesebenza #lol #copy not that bad hopefully own a real one one day

A post shared by Ace Tpa (@ace_tpa) on

When it gets harder is when people sell the $150 knife for $120. Although the discount isn’t as steep, it is a discount, especially if people claim it’s new or out of the box.

Sign #2: You bought from a disreputable vendor.

eBay

Don’t take this the wrong way, but eBay is a cesspool of criminals and con artists looking to make a quick buck off of you. While it’s possible to find good deals on eBay, the auction site has a poor reputation as a hotbed for counterfeits in the knife community.

Well-done ESEE-3 fake

Even buying knives at or near the original price is not indication that it’s legitimate. Even seeing the images on the site may not be reliable, since they could have taken a picture of the real thing and then send the fake.

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How to Keep a Knife Clip From Tearing Up Your Pocket

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To many, it’s a badge of honor. To some, it’s a nuisance. To others, it’s not even a problem.

Pocket knives have been known to accentuate outfits, but they’ve also been known to destroy clothing.

Yes, I’m talking about that old problem in which a knife’s clip shreds the top of your pocket.

In case you haven’t seen this phenomenon, CRKT posted this image to their Instagram page a few weeks back:

#KnifeProblems

A photo posted by Columbia River Knife and Tool (@crkt_knives) on

Sure, the picture is all in good fun, but anyone who carries a knife on a regular basis will know that over time, a clip may ruin a pants pocket.

If you’ve encountered this problem or want to avoid this problem, here are some things you can do.

Bend the clip

One reason a pocket may become destroyed is due to the fact that the clip is way too tight. Certain manufacturers make clips pretty tight to make it a little more difficult for others to slip it out of your pocket without you knowing.

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How to Get Tape Residue Off Your Knife Blade

We’ve entered the bizarre and convenient era of online buying. Thanks to companies like Amazon and Knife Depot, I get packages sent to my doorstep almost every day. Whether by a preprogramming from childhood or a general excitement, I simply can’t wait to tear open the box to see my new prize, even if it’s just a nonstick cake pan.

In my rush to open the box, my knife is what takes the most abuse. Whether because I’m impatient (or my wife is doing the opening), my knives always end up with a pile of tape gunk that doesn’t come off in warm water.

So what’s a man to do?

We’ve got that answer for you below.

Method 1: WD-40

WD-40 with Swiss Army Knife
Even though tape residue seems to be embedded on a blade, it’s actually fairly easy to remove. You have a number of options to take them off, but we’ll show you two different ways to remove the residue and the pros/cons. The first method we’re going with is the WD-40 way.

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How to Protect Your Knife From the Heat

July was the hottest recorded month in U.S. history, and with climate change seemingly past the point of no return, it will likely only get hotter.

For knife enthusiasts out there, excessive heat has always been an enemy of temperamental steels. So, to help you take care of your knife in the heat, here are some great ways to protect your knife from warping.

Avoid direct sunlight

This one is definitely common sense, but it’s absolutely vital to never leave your knife in direct sunlight. While most steels will not be damaged due to exposure from the sun, many handle materials will lose their shape and strength.

Keep knives out of cars

Temperatures inside sealed vehicles in direct sunlight can soar upwards of 135 degrees, so always take your knives out of your car. A great way to remember to do this is to put your knives inside a toolbox and simply take it out and put it in your garage when you’re parked for the day.

Keep special handle materials indoors on hot days

Whether you have a custom knife with an ivory handle or a standard factory knife with a wood handle, it’s important to keep your knives with sensitive handle materials indoors. Even exposure to the sun for a few hours while you’re using it could dry out some handle material.

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How to Display Your Knife Collections

So, you just bought a highly collectible KA-BAR at an auction and you’re eager to show it off. While you could probably carry the knife and pull it out when it casually comes up in conversation, it’s not the safest thing to do with a collectible knife. Fortunately, there are a variety of display options for knives.

Whether you’re interested in displaying a collection of knives you have stored under your bed or have one knife you want to put on your mantle, here are some tips for how to display your collection of knives.

Arrange your knife collection

The first thing you should do is gather all your knives together and organize them. Some will be the knives you use as your EDC and others will be knives strictly for display. Consider excluding your EDC so you don’t have to keep disturbing the collection. Once you have the knives you want to display, organize them. This is a matter of preference, but some of the ways to organize knives are by brand, year, size or style.

Choose your display case

There are a number of display cases out there specifically designed to showcase your knife collection. For example, there are presentation boxes, shadow boxes and other types of display cases. Again, the type you select is all a matter of preference. It also depends on how many knives you’re planning on putting in it. Some presentation boxes only have enough room for a single knife.

Lock ’em up

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How to Care For Knives with Wooden Handles

Whether you have a custom knife with a handle made from desert ironwood or a set store-bought steak knives, caring for knives with wooden handles requires more care than steel handles.

Since wood is a natural material, it’s susceptible to rotting, splintering and other issues if not taken care of properly. There are also two major types of wooden handles you should pay attention to: those that are stabilized and those that are not.

Stabilized wooden handles have all of the pores, holes and extra space filled in with resin to make the wood waterproof and generally less likely to warp. The knives that haven’t been treated can swell and crack with exposure to too much water. However, knives that aren’t stabilized tend to retain more of the natural wood feel and look.

Despite the differences, here are some tips you should remember when caring for knives with wooden handles.

Do not put the knife in a dishwasher

Putting a knife with a wooden handle—even if it’s a steak knife—in the dishwasher is a death sentence. Exposing the knife to so much abuse, moisture and temperature changes will cause the knife to shrink and/or swell, meaning your knife will get blemishes and other unpleasant traits.

Do not soak the knife

If there’s grime stuck on a knife, don’t even consider soaking it in water. Wooden handles can become water damaged.

Avoid prolonged exposure to direct sunlight

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How to identify an old knife

So, you picked up an awesome knife for $3 at a yard sale or your grandfather gave you his favorite blade and now you’re curious about what type of knife it is and what it’s worth. If you’re looking for an easy way to identify what type of knife you have, here are good places to start.

Find any identifying marks or symbols

The first, and most obvious, place to start is with the knife itself. Look for any sort of symbols, initials or identifying marks. Certain symbols or scratches in the handle or steel of the blade are usually calling cards of certain knifemakers or brands. Sometimes a simple Google search on whatever is on the knife is enough to identify the brand or maker.

Narrow down any possibilities by analyzing the construction

If there aren’t any intentional identifiers on the blade, it’s still possible to narrow down the possibilities of where, when and who it came from by simply looking at the qualities of the knife. For example, if you have a knife with a specific type of lock, you can usually narrow the date it was manufactured with a little research. You could also narrow down where it was made by looking at its style and influence.

Post your picture on websites

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How to make a spear from a survival knife and channel your inner Fred Flintstone

We’ve all been there before: lost in the deep recesses of the woods, with nothing more than a trusty survival knife and an insatiable desire to build a badass spear.  Whether you’re looking to pick up a new survival skill or simply channel your inner Fred Flintstone and impress some friends, spears are not only handy, they’re also downright cool.

Here’s the blow-by-blow on how you can build a spear from a survival knife.  Check out our tips and let us know what you think.

Find a good stick

First, you’ll need to look for a sapling or a stick that’s approximately five feet long.  It’s crucial that your stick is strong, so spend a few moments slashing and waving it around to ensure it’s comfortable and durable.  If you think you found a winner, then chose the flatter side of the stick for the back and the other for the point.

Cut and Shave

Now that you’ve got your wood, hold it downwards at a 45° angle and place your knife approximately 4 inches from the back of the stick. Proceed to shave the stick down at a 45° angle and rotate the stick in your hand so that all edges are sharp and even.  Continue this process until the stick forms a sharp point.

Harden in Fire

Now, you want to place your spear point over the hot coals of fire, rotating it for a few minutes.  This will dry out the wood, making your spear sharper.

Create the Shelf

Find another sapling between 3 and 5 feet.  You will need to cut off the ends to ensure that the stick is flat.  Press your knife on the stick with the whole blade point over the edge and make a mark on on the stick where the blade handle ends with your knife.

Add the Knife

Split the stick in half lengthwise down to the point you made at the end of the knife handle.  From here, use a knife to cut off half of the stick to create the shelf.  Now, lay the knife in the shelf, with the handle on top and the blade sticking out the end of the stick.  Lastly, lash the knife with rope, cord, twine or any other material available and unleash your most primal scream.

Check out the video below for a cool visual tutorial?  Got a better version?  Let us know in the comment section below.

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How to Channel Your Inner Ninja

A ninja is the ultimate fighter. He is stealthier than a tiger hunting his prey. He can camouflage as though he is invisible. Most importantly, he can finish off his enemy with one fell swoop from his blade of choice.

If you’re reading this,  it’s unlikely you’re much of a ninja, but more likely you’re a big-time knife fan sitting on the couch.  No worries.  Here are a few ways you can channel your inner ninja.

Throwing Star
When the Samurai sword fails, a ninja has his handy throwing stars to rely upon.  Ninjas don’t use these as primary weapons. They are meant to distract the enemy, while a more dangerous weapon is used for fighting. These little guys aren’t just shaped like stars, and they are always concealed. So be careful – you may not know when you’ve encountered a throwing star until a sword is coming close behind!

Of course, you can use throwing  stars for recreation,  as tossing them into targets makes a great hobby.

Throwing Knife

Throwing knives are the less common version of a throwing star. Even though they have just two blades, instead of four, throwing knives are a badass way to get into top-flight ninja shape.  Buy a set of throwing stars and blow away onlookers at your next BBQ

Sword
The sword is the most important weapon a ninja can carry. The typical ninja sword used in movies and depicted in books is short and heavy – more of a blade than a sword. It is perfect for ninja combat. Historically, there is actually no proof that this standard ninja sword existed.  However, experts agree that it would look like this because ninjas would have carried an easier-to-wield version of the standard samurai sword and this modern image fits that need.

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How to fight effectively with a tactical knife

The post is part of our Rambo Knife promotion, in which we’re giving away a limited edition Rambo knife and more.  Check out our kick off post for details.

Knife fighting is a primal, dangerous and beneficial skill to have. Not only does it help you connect with your tactical knife in new ways, but it also gives you some respect. In this post, we’ll be looking at some of the very basics of tactical knife fighting. With our usual warning, we urge you to be safe and don’t try any of this around another person. So, if you’re interested in fighting effectively with a tactical knife, here are some of the basic elements.

1. Get to know your knife

The first step before you do anything should be to become familiar with your knife. Learn its weight, shape and texture before engaging in any training. By knowing your knife’s quirks and intricacies, it will never surprise you in a real fighting situation.

2. Learn the grips

How you hold your knife is probably the most important thing to know when learning knife fighting because without a firm grip, you could drop the knife and find yourself in deep trouble. Unfortunately, there is no one universal way you’re supposed to hold your knife, so that’s why it’s important to get to know your knife. Some knives feel more natural in certain grip positions.

The grips can be separated into three broad categories: forward grip, reverse grip and unusual knife grips. Within each of these categories are a number of variations, including the hammer, saber and Filipino grips. According to a booklet on U.S. Marine Corps knife fighting tactics, the hammer grip is preferred over all others because it enables a variety of tactics. For a detailed description of each grip, check out Jay Fisher’s site.

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Developing Kitchen Knife Skills: How to Cut a Chili Pepper

No longer are chili peppers limited to spicy Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes. The small, green peppers can be found in everything from steak marinades to mashed potatoes. If you don’t know how to handle them, you are keeping yourself from trying great new recipes. Plus, you miss out on an easy way to add some pizazz to basic dishes of your own.

If you have avoided hot peppers in the past, however, we understand. Knowing how much spice the peppers have can be intimidating if you don’t know how to cut them properly. To help you avoid burning your skin or mouth and to introduce you to the world of cutting chilies, we got back with Kathy Maister, who helped us out on the How to Slice an Onion post. Ms. Maister’s site StartCooking.com is a great resource for busy people who are just learning to cook.

Grab your paring knife

Remember when we told you that Ms. Maister had three knives she couldn’t live without? Those were her paring knife, serrated knife, and chef’s knife (she commented on the onion article emphasizing that these must be “sharp!”). If you were wondering why the tiny paring knife is a necessity for the kitchen, here is your answer. Cutting any small pepper is the perfect use for a paring knife. The short, pointed blade makes it easy to deftly cut and seed a pepper.

Be careful!

Peppers get their spiciness from oils that are primarily in the seeds and ribs. When you cut into a pepper, you run the risk of getting these oils on your hands. Because of this, many people wear kitchen gloves while handling peppers. Gloves are not necessary, but, if you choose not to wear them, be mindful of your hands. Try to avoid contact with the ribs or seeds and clean up well when you finish cutting.

Cut the pepper in half

Cut the pepper in half with your paring knife. You can now see the whitish colored ribs inside the pepper.

Seed the pepper

By taking out the seeds and ribs, you are removing most of the pepper’s heat. There are two ways to go about seeding. When using a paring knife, hold the stem of a pepper half and slide the knife underneath the rib. Moving away from the stem end, slide the knife down the sides, popping out the rib and seeds. If any seeds are left behind, scrape them out with the blade’s backside. Ms. Maister says you could also seed the pepper with a spoon or melon baller – just scoop out the insides!

Slice the pepper lengthwise

Once you’ve seeded the pepper, you can chop it. Cut strips going lengthwise on the pepper half. Space the strips according to the size you want. If you are chopping, make larger spaces, but if you are mincing, the slices should be closer together.

Slice the pepper across

Now, slice the pepper in the opposite direction. Space your slices just as you did in the last step. Repeat with the other side. You should now be left with a chopped, diced or minced pepper that is ready to be tossed into your dish!

Clean up

The pepper’s oils can linger on your skin and underneath your fingernails for many hours. If you didn’t wear gloves, make sure you wash your hands with water AND soap after you finish handling the pepper. Even after a good scrubbing, Ms. Maister says you should avoid touching your mouth, nose or eyes just to be safe. The oils would hurt badly if they started to burn you here!

Know your peppers

Since so many hot peppers can be easily confused, it’s good to know what different ones look like and how spicy they are. Ms. Maister has a great list of peppers with their pictures and heat index on her site.

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Developing Culinary Knife Skills: How to Dice an Onion

There are a few basic skills that are necessities in the kitchen. If you’re a home cook in training, you’ll have to master these or always be faced with stumbling blocks when you cook. Don’t get too intimidated, though; many of these culinary steps have to do with cutting, dicing, or chopping staple ingredients. And if you’re a Knife Depot fan, it’s probably safe to assume you know a bit about knives. This means it shouldn’t take too much to make sure you’re comfortable putting away your Bowie knife and sharpening your kitchen knives.

To help you in this learning process, we reached out to Kathy Maister, the woman behind StartCooking.com. Her website is a wonderful guide for learning the basics of cooking and picking up some easy, tasty recipes. We asked Ms. Maister about one of the most basic skills: dicing onions. Diced onions are a regular part of recipes, but many people are unsure how to tackle the root veggie. Here are Ms. Maister’s tips on choosing the right knife for the job, dicing onions, and cleaning up after the job.

Choosing your knife

There are three knives Ms. Maister couldn’t live without: a chef’s knife, a serrated knife, and a paring knife. That said, she also recommends you dice the onion using whatever knife with which you feel the most comfortable. If you’re choosing from her trio of knives, the chef’s knife has the length and strength needed to help you get through a big onion. So as long as you aren’t worried to use the big knife, it’s a great choice!

Cut off the stem end

Take a look at your onion. There are obviously two ends: the root and the stem. To identify which is which, look for the stringy roots hanging out of the skin; that’s the root end. The stem end protrudes and is usually covered in skin. Cut about half an inch off the stem end.

Cut the onion in half

Stand the onion upright on its now-flat end. Cut it vertically in half from the root to the bottom.

Peel the onion

The uncertainty of how to hold an onion while cutting is what makes onion dicing a daunting task for so many people. On her website, Ms. Maister shares a really easy trick for using the onion’s skin as a holder. It changes the way you peel the onion, so read the steps first. However, if you don’t share in the conundrum of how to hold an onion, go ahead and peel it. With the cuts you have made, the skin should peel off easily. Frequently, the top layer of the onion will also come off – this is fine.

Make slices towards the root

Point the knife blade towards the root end and make vertical slices to within ½” of the root. Ms. Maister uses ¼” spaces between cuts for chopped onions as a size guideline. Since diced is the middle ground between chopped and minced, make your cuts only slightly less spaced out than ¼”.

Make horizontal slices

If you used Ms. Maister’s trick for making a holder out of the skin (like we did), this is when you’ll be holding it. Otherwise, hold the onion by the root end and make sure you keep your knuckles in to avoid nicking yourself with the knife. Now, cut parallel to the root, slicing all the way through the onion. Keep your slices spread out the same distance as you did in the last step.

Repeat and voila!

Repeat these steps with the other onion half. Because of the natural rings, you now have easily diced onions!

Washing your knives

Ms. Maister recommends that you wash your knives by hand. Use a soapy sponge and always keep the blade pointed away from you.

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