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.

Knife repair company

There are many businesses, custom knifemakers and shops that offer knife repairs for reasonable prices. If your knife isn’t covered by the factory warranty or the original knifemaker is nowhere to be found, these places are great alternatives. Just know that some repairs will cost a pretty penny. Repair shops near you can be found with a quick search.

Fix it yourself

If all else fails, fixing the knife yourself is the next best thing because it usually won’t cost you much. Your ability to repair something will depend on the damage, but the Internet is a place where you can find tutorials on pretty much any fix you’ll need to make.