EDC Maintenance Manners

EDC Maintenance Manners

Posted by Sam Flaherty on

Did you know that astronauts carry knives in space? Yep, it's true! Each astronaut aboard the International Space Station has a specially made Everyday Carry(EDC) knife that comes in handy for different tasks. This goes to show just how vital knives are, even beyond Earth's atmosphere.

Having a reliable EDC knife can simplify life. They are handy for everyday tasks like opening boxes, cutting ropes, and even prepping food. 

To keep your EDC knife in top shape, it's essential to keep it clean and sharp. Dirt and rust can damage the blade, and a dull edge makes cutting tough.

Regularly clean and sharpen your knife to ensure it stays in excellent condition and is ready to use whenever you need it.

This simple care routine keeps your knife looking sharp, making it dependable for all your daily needs.

Honouring Your Pocket Knife through Cleaning

Taking care of your pocket knife creates a strong connection between you and your trusty tool. Consider it a time to get to know every part of it, like the ridges, screws, and blade, to make sure it stays in great shape and works well.

As you carefully wipe away dirt and grime, you acknowledge its significance in your daily life and have a chance to appreciate the craftsmanship.

Elements vs. Edge

Pocket knives face foes in the form of nature's elements. Rain, sweat, and humidity wage war on your trusty blade, threatening rust and corrosion. To safeguard your tool, identify these environmental adversaries. Rainy days leave your knife vulnerable to rust, while sweat from your hands can speed up the corrosion process. Combat these threats by wiping your knife dry after use, especially if it gets wet.

Shield your knife by keeping it dry and clean. After use, wipe it down with a dry cloth to banish moisture. A thin layer of oil keeps rust at bay—apply it sparingly to the blade and moving parts. Opt for dry lubricants in humid climates—they repel moisture and pristine your blade. 

Steps for General Cleaning

You don't need a fancy toolkit to keep your pocket knife shining. Just gather some everyday items:

  • Old toothbrush
  • Cotton swab
  • Dish soap
  • Water
  • Paper towel

Proper Techniques for Routine Cleaning and Maintenance

Cleaning your knife doesn't have to be a chore. Follow these simple steps:

  1. Wipe Down: After each use, quickly wipe your knife with a dry cloth or paper towel to remove any dirt or grime.
  2. Scrub Away: Use an old toothbrush to gently scrub away any stubborn dirt or residue.
  3. Wash and Rinse: If your knife needs a deeper cleaning, wash it with warm, soapy water and rinse thoroughly.
  4. Dry Completely: Make sure your knife is completely dry before storing it to prevent rust.
  5. Lubricate: Apply a thin coat of oil to the blade and moving parts to keep everything running smoothly.

Deep Cleaning for Stubborn Grime

When your knife's looking more gunky than glossy, it's time for some serious scrubbing. Here's how to tackle that stubborn dirt and grime.

  • Got dirt that just won't budge? Try a toothbrush with a bit of elbow grease. A drop of oil on the brush can work wonders for extra stubborn spots.
  • If your knife's feeling stiff or sticky, it might need a deep clean. Scrub inside the handle and around the pivot to keep things moving smoothly.

Tackling Persistent Residues

When grime puts up a fight, rubbing alcohol works magic. Just a dab on a cotton swab or rag can tackle sticky messes like tree sap. But remember, after the battle, always rinse your knife. Alcohol may evaporate fast, but it's best not to leave any residue behind.

Once clean, dry your knife to avoid moisture lingering in corners and crevices. 


There's more than one way to sharpen that blade. Each method has its pros and cons. Some are quick but might not give you the sharpest edge. Others take a bit more time but leave you with a razor-sharp blade. Let's weigh the options.

Sharpening with Precision Stones

When sharpening your pocket knife, the type of stone you use matters more than you might think. Each sharpening stone has its unique qualities that affect the outcome of your blade's edge. 

Whetstones, diamond stones, and ceramic stones are some common options you'll encounter. Whetstones are like all-arounders; they are easy to use and offer a range of grits for different levels of sharpening.

Diamond stones are tough cookies that are super durable and great for getting a quick edge.

Then there are ceramic stones, which are a bit trickier to handle but will give you a sharpness that lasts.

Step-by-Step Guide

Now, let's talk about how to get that edge sharp enough to shave with using a whetstone. 

First off, soak that stone if it's the kind that needs soaking. Then, hold your knife at the right angle – usually around 15 to 20 degrees – and start with the coarse side of the stone. Swipe the blade across the stone, keeping that angle consistent, about 10 times on each side.

Once you've got a decent edge going, flip the stone over to the finer side. Repeat the process, this time with fewer strokes, until your blade cuts through paper like nothing. And there you have it, a knife so sharp you'll be looking for excuses to use it.

Refining the Edge with a Honing Rod

Ever wonder what that long metal stick in your knife block is for? That's your honing rod, like a magic wand for keeping your knives sharp. See, as you use your knives, the edges can get a bit misaligned, making them dull. That's where the honing rod swoops in to save the day.

Using a honing rod is easy. Hold it firmly in one hand and your knife in the other. Angle your knife blade about 15 to 20 degrees against the rod. Then, gently glide the blade down the rod, from heel to tip, in a smooth motion. Repeat on the other side, and there you have it! 

Pitfalls of Pull-Through

Pull-through sharpeners seem handy at first glance, promising a quick fix for dull blades, but they come with their fair share of downsides. 

  1. Blunted Blades: Ironically, these sharpeners can dull your knife over time. How? The sharpener's edge wears down with use, leading to a rounded tool that rounds out your knife edges instead of sharpening them.
  2. No Edge Control: Pull-through sharpeners treat your blade in a one-size-fits-all manner, ignoring individual edge angles. This lack of customization can result in inconsistent sharpness and potential damage.
  3. Apex Abrasion: As your blade meets the sharpener, the apex—the very point of your cutting edge—gets shaved off. This can leave you with a semi-sharp edge, far from the precision you desire.

Tips for Preserving Knife Sharpness over Time

  1. Sharpen Smart: Don't wait until your blade is as dull as a butter knife. Regular touch-ups keep your edge sharp without excessive material removal.
  2. Know Your Knife: Different knives have different needs. Understand your blade's material and usage patterns to tailor your maintenance routine accordingly.

Find the sweet spot between sharpening too often and not. Assess your knife's usage and adjust your sharpening frequency accordingly for optimal results.

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