The Cutting Edge

The official blog of Knife Depot

Category: Knife Tips (page 1 of 2)

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 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 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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10 Everyday Objects You Can Use To Sharpen a Knife

Whether you’re out in the wilderness with only a few pieces of gear or can’t find a sharp knife to save your life, a sharpener isn’t always there when you need it the most. Fortunately, with a little quick thinking and ingenuity, you can use a variety of household tools to sharpen your knives.

Before we delve into things, we must make it clear what we’re talking about when we say sharpening. The general term for “sharpen” is to give something a keen edge. The knife term for “sharpen” is a bit more specific. It means making a knife sharp by actually removing metal from the blade to form an edge.

Not all of these objects will sharpen a knife in the truest sense of the word. Some of them will merely hone or strop the edge. While honing and stropping will indeed sharpen a knife by realigning an edge, it’s not what knife experts typically deem as sharpen.

With all that being said, here are 10 everyday items you can use to sharpen your knife.

Coffee Mug

2012-02-02 09.45.23

We’ll start off with something that actually sharpens a knife by removing material from the blade. Ceramic coffee cups are readily available in most houses. Simply turn the mug upside down, search for the raw part of the cup (which is the rougher part of the bottom that prevents the cup from sliding around), and run the knife across the mug until you get your desired edge.

If it’s working well, you’ll see some discoloration on the mug, which indicates the ceramic is removing steel and sharpening the blade.

Leather Belt

bridle-leather-belt

Although stropping does not technically sharpen a blade, it does make a blade keener by realigning the edge. A leather belt, which is something you might be wearing right now, is a quick and easy item for stropping a blade. In fact, many professionals use leather straps for stropping.

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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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What to Do if You Need a Knife Repaired

If you’re an ardent user of knives, the unfortunate reality is that your favorite knives will become damaged. Sometimes when it’s a cheap knife you bought online, it’s easier to buy another one. But if it was your dad’s knife or a really expensive custom-made knife, going through the trouble of repairing it seems reasonable. Take a look at these tips to figure out the process you should go through when trying to repair your knife.

Factory-made knife

The first step is to determine whether the knife is factory-made or custom-made. Knives that you buy from companies like Gerber, Cold Steel, Kershaw, etc. are factory-made. These are mass-produced knives that come in packaging. You should start by contacting the manufacturer to see whether they will repair the knife for you. If it’s a new knife, the chances are pretty good they’ll repair the knife at no cost, depending of course on the damage. As it gets older, the odds diminish. However, some manufacturers offer lifetime warranties on certain damages, so it’s a good idea to contact the manufacturer either way.

An important thing to remember is that when the knife breaks, don’t attempt to repair it by yourself because it could void any warranty. Once a factory-made knife needs repair, immediately contact the manufacturer.

Custom-made knife

If the knife was commissioned to be made with modifications or from an original design, it’s a custom-made knife. These types of knives are a bit more complicated because the cost of repairing could be astronomical—sometimes even more than the knife is worth. But you should first go back to the original knifemaker. If you’re not sure who originally designed it, take it to a local expert or ask on a knife forum. Sometimes a knifemaker will give a lifetime warranty—as long as they’re still alive. Once the knifemaker is gone, however, you will have to go to the next step.

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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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Why You Should Own a Ceramic Knife

Boker Plus Anti-Grav Folding Knife 3-1/4″ Ceramic Blade, Carbon Fiber Handles

When you imagine the blade of a knife, chances are you picture a solid piece of quality stainless steel. However, an old material is gaining popularity—especially in kitchen knives—as an alternative to steel: ceramic.

Most people associate ceramic with those old Chinese vases with intricate flower designs, but the material has evolved tremendously over the centuries into a hard, sharp and brutal nonmetallic solid.

Ceramic knives often get a bad rap from diehards because they’re considered dainty or weak, but that’s the farthest thing from the truth. If you’re considering picking up a ceramic knife, these are some things that will help nudge you in that direction.

Stays sharp for years

The most important aspect of a blade is its edge and how sharp it is. Whereas stainless steel knives tend to lose some of their keenness pretty quickly, ceramic knives keep a speciously sharp edge for much longer. Zircon is the key material in ceramic blades because it makes them significantly harder than steel. When the blade eventually loses its edge a bit, most ceramic knife manufacturers will sharpen the knife for free.

Lightweight

It’s crazy to think how something so light and thin can be so sharp and dangerous. It’s easy to not take a ceramic knife seriously because of its weight, but that’s what gives it an advantage over steel. With minimal weight, you won’t be burdened when doing mundane tasks like slicing cheese.

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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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