Hunting knives are a crucial implement in the age-old pursuit of hunting. Man discovered the significance of sharp tools for hunting and preparing game during the Stone Age; to this day, advancements in the tool are now showing signs of slowing down.
However, while its structure had been honed and upgraded to suit the shifting needs of man, the concept of the tool remains the same. The blade’s sharp edge is employed to set up the hunted game following a successful hunt.
Now that you have your own set of useful, quality hunting knives, it is essential that you take care of them. It does not matter what hunting knife brands you own or whether you bought a really good budget model or one of those more expensive types; you have to take good care of your tools. Here are some tips you have to remember for longer-lasting knives.
1. Keep in mind that specialty knives are meant for specific purposes only,meaning you will only use them for the tasks that they were designed to perform.Whether they are meant for dressing game, skinning game, or cutting twigs and branches, a skinning knife should only be used for skinning game, not for cutting tree branches.
2. Clean the knife after every use. This is important: clean not only the blade but the handle and the shaft as well. To clean the knife, use running water and do not soak the knife. Dry the knife completely following a wash since lingering moisture can cause rusting and corrosion on the blade.
If you are out of doors and do not have a clean rag on hand to wipe the knife, you can also make use of a dry leaf. Knives that are made with carbon steel can be cleaned with water and baking soda. As for stainless steel knives, you can clean them with dish soap and water. Try to keep yourself from touching the stainless steel knife, since the oils that are left behind from your fingerprint can stain the knife and may lead to rusting.
Also, it is not advisable to clean knives in an automatic dishwasher. The detergent in said appliances includes harsh materials and salts that can cause rusting on the blade.
3. Lubricate the knife regularly to avoid friction. Using oil on the blade will keep it from corroding and will act as a protective coating on the blade. In case you own a folding knife, it is recommended that you oil its joints and moving components. You can make use of oil that can be used on weapons or you can simply make do with household oil. However, remember that several oils can leave an odd aftertaste in the game meat – thus the use of food-grade mineral base oil is recommended.
Be cautious of lubing the handle, since this will make it slippery. A wooden handle can be greased with linseed oil. Rubber ones and other synthetic materials do not require oiling, though. Leather ones can be treated with mink oil, and this oil will also work well with sheaths.
Remember to use just a tiny amount of oil, nothing extra. Meanwhile, stag or bone handles feature crevices which can harbor dirt, so they should be cleaned with water and soap.
4. If the blade of the knife is losing its sharpness or shine, have it serviced if you do not know how to hone it properly. Take the blade to a professional and have them do the procedure themselves. There are also services who allow sending the blade by mail; you can get them back as soon as the sharpening procedure is performed by the company.
5. Make sure to store the knife in an environment free from humidity and guarantee that the knife is left dry at all times. Do not leave it exposed to damp. The leather sheath makes for a good knife storage out of doors, but make sure that you do not leave the knife there for a longer period of time.
The chemicals that are employed to create the sheath can cause harm on the blade, thus you need an acid-free environment to keep your knife. Wrap your knife with acid-free paper, then keep it in a plastic bag containing desiccants to further impede mold growth and keep the item dry.