Knife Care Tips - The Sharpen Center

The following tips have been submitted by our customers and are not verified by the KnifeCenter. No guarantee is made by the KnifeCenter as to the effectiveness of these suggestions and they are published here for your information only.


This is a tip for your knife care section. I make knives, and after putting a mirror finish on a blade, I hate to see fingerprints on it. Instead of using oil or what have you to protect the blade, rub on a light coat of Rain-X, the liquid you put on your windshield to make the water run off. Buff it right back off, and you have a protective coating that resists fingerprints, rust, and it keeps what you are cutting from sticking to the blade.


Many knife enthusiasts prefer blades of high carbon content. These alloys have small grain size and will temper to a high Rockwell index of about R60. They take a superior edge - and stay sharp longer than the high-chromium alloys. But high-carbon alloy blades tarnish quickly. Here's how to keep these blades shiny without hard-rubbing or using abrasives to remove tarnish.

Go to the hardware store and look for tarnish-removing chemicals with OXALIC ACID as the active ingredient (Tarnite is one commercial brand name). Just wipe it on and wipe it off. Several cycles will remove tarnish from even heavily-stained blades. A 9-ounce container is probably a lifetime supply.


If you get rust on your knife a S.O.S. pad and some alcohol will take the rust right off.


Knife tip: Spray knife hinges with WD-40, liquid wrench, or other lubricant, then open and close knife 10-15 times to work in oil. This will protect your knife parts from rust, corrosion, and damage resulting from parts scraping each other. It will also make it easier to open and close, as well as extend its life. VERY WORTHWHILE!!!


It is important to close a folding knife slowly and carefully, since snapping it shut will force the blade to hit the internal parts, thus dulling the edge.


Here is something for you: Most diving knives are of 420 stainless steel. But a few are 440c,which rust in the ocean easily, just a few hours! I am a SCUBA diver-I use one of my 440c diving knife for SCUBA DIVING, but never get rust.

The secret is : WD-40 only! That's enough!This way: I put a thick layer of WD-40 on the blade each time after one dive trip(not just one dive), after I rinse the knife in the tape water thoroughly, and let it dry then just let the WD-40 dried up. You put the knife back to the sheath,that's all! never rust, because you seldom need a knife for diving, a diving knife is not a weapon, just a tool, especially for getting away tangling( seaweed, or fishing net, or something else.) so you keep the

WD-40 on the blade when you dive, that's enough for protection.I have used this way for many years. It works. You don't need anything more.

So it is the same for taking care of any your knife:WD-40, let it dry,that's all! Simple?


Some comments and suggestions about sharpening methods, tools and results from my own experience:

After trying many stones, I've settled on the excellent ceramic stones offered by Spyderco. I use two Spyderco stones:

1. A 'bench' stone of medium grit for shaping the edge, and;

2. A small 2-sided combination stone for final finish, lightly removing the wire-edge, and routine touch-ups.

After I've formed and finished the edge to my satisfaction, I use a couple of leather strops to put a really fine finished edge on the blade. My strops are belt-leather cemented (or stapled, etc.) to a wooden paddle or board. I impregnate the leather with light oil and make a soft abrasive strop by applying a grit compound. You can control the degree of abrasiveness by using various grit compounds (the most commonly available would be jeweler's red rouge). If you lack confidence in your ability to maintain a constant sharpening angel, I highly recommend the Lansky system. I's really difficult to screw up with this tool.

I test for edge-sharpness and edge-uniformity by slicing ordinary newspaper pages. Hold one edge, slice slowly away from you, and move the blade from hilt to tip. A really sharp blade will 'whisper' through the page. A duller blade will sound harsher, as you can hear the fibers tear. Using the newsprint test, you will very easily detect any blade nicks or uneven edge sections.

I'm intrigued about a dry honing (stropping) system that uses two stropping surfaces:

1. A smooth dry strop for final polish, and;
2. A rough dry strop that will hold abrasive powders. You control the abrasion by changing powder grit size. I'll try this system soon.

I hope this helps some knife enthusiast!

See Our Indexes:
Buy the Right Knife
Knife Locking Mechanisms and Blade Grinds
Knife Handle Materials
Knife Blade Materials
Knife Care Tips
Sharpening Instructions Page

© 1995-2014 by Howard Korn and KnifeCenter Inc. All rights reserved.

5201 Lad Land Dr, Fredericksburg, VA 22407 - 800.338.6799 (Phone Orders Welcome)