The Do’s & Don’ts of Knives by Blade Magazine’s Steve Shackleford

The do’s and don’ts of knives are many. Knowing them will make your knife experience much more rewarding and satisfying. Here are but a few:

DO use a sharpener to touch up the edge of your knife after each use or at the end of each day of use.

DON’T use your knife as a pry bar (unless it has a pry tip and is designed for such use).

DO rinse off and dry your non-stainless carbon steel knife after each extended use or at the  end of day of each use (it’s probably not a bad idea to do the same no matter what the blade material is).

DON’T store your knife in a leather sheath for extended periods.

DO cut away from other people/your body when cutting rope, cardboard boxes open, etc.

DON’T show off flipping your folding knife open and closed at knife shows in crowds of people or around any area crowded with people, for that matter.

DO ask a maker’s permission to pick up a knife from his table at a knife show.

DON’T open more than one blade at a time on a multi-blade folder (it puts unnecessary pressure on the backsprings; besides, it’s a good way to get accidentally cut).

DO carry a knife whenever possible where it is legal to do so (and when the knife meets local legal requirements).

DON’T pull out a loupe/magnifying glass to closely inspect a new custom or handmade knife at a knife show (it’s just not considered good form; besides, unless you’re legally blind, if you can’t see what’s right or wrong with a knife with the naked eye, then it’s not worth worrying about).

DO attend as many knife shows as you can and view knives up close and personal and meet the makers who build them.

DON’T interrupt a conversation between a maker and someone he or she is talking to at his or her table at a knife show. It’s rude.

DO read as much as you can about knives, their history and their makers.

DON’T take everything you read about knives as gospel. Always look for at least one additional opinion on the subject.

For the latest on knives, stay honed at (

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Published in: on September 13, 2013 at 6:40 am  Leave a Comment  
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