So you’ve found yourself a new EDC knife that you really like. Maybe you shelled out a premium for this folding pocket knife and got yourself a Buck or a Zero Tolerance knife or even a Spyderco.
Protect that investment with the proper knife know-how, and keep rust away, with these suggestions.
All Steels Rust, It’s Just a Matter of How Easily
First things first, any steel will rust. It’s just a matter of how easily. All steel contains iron, which oxidizes when combined with oxygen.
Some steels contain other compounds like nitrogen and chromium which resist oxidation, but all steels, even stainless steel blades, will rust.
Take 1095, for instance. Breathe on it and sheath it and when you draw it again it’ll be all bloomed over with rust. That’s a bit harder with 420HC or S30V, but even these will rust.
So here are the basic things you need to know.
The Main Enemy: Water
The main culprit of corrosion on steel is water, whether it has to do with direct contact with water or contact with humid air.
Bear in mind also that using your knife – to clean game or prepare food, for instance – will get it wet.
Always wash your knife and thoroughly dry it before storing it, and be sure never to store it wet or even damp, as it will rust.
Beware Salt Air
If you live in a coastal area, store your knives somewhere cool, dry, and preferably, sealed off from the air.
Even if you store your knives in a seemingly dry area, salt air will work wonders on steel, and not the good kind of wonders.
Moreover, any knife that contacts saltwater must be rinsed, thoroughly dried, and oiled before storing, regardless of the conditions under which it is stored.
Oiling with Modesty
Before you store your knives, but after you dry them, it may make sense for you to oil the blade and components.
Oiling a folding pocket knife will help create a barrier between the steel and environmental moisture that will help protect the steel against corrosion.
Just be sure you don’t use too much oil as oil is a magnet for dirt and debris that can get into the knife’s pivot or lock and ruin these mechanisms.
Storing It Separately from the Sheath
For those of you that carry your folding pocket knife in a leather sheath or holster, you should only keep it stored in there when it’s actually on your belt.
That is, don’t store it in a leather holster for a prolonged period of time. Leather can trap moisture against the surface of the pocket knife and it will accelerate corrosion
So basically just store the knife next to, rather than in, its holster. It’s a small price to pay for proper knife care.
Time for a New Folding Pocket Knife?
Looking for a new folding pocket knife to add to your everyday carry (EDC) rotation?
Check out White Mountain Knives via the previous link. They carry a wide range of pocket knives with locking blades from the top brands, including but not limited to Cold Steel, Case, Rough Ryder, Buck, Gerber, ZT, Kershaw, OKC, ESEE, Spyderco, Benchmade, and many others.
Plus they offer great prices and free shipping in the United States.