Looking after your hunting knife is key to a long life span for even a budget hunting knife.
Typically your sheath will provide decent day to day protection, however if your storing your knife away out of season its important to remember to clean and dry your knife before wrapping in paper,
this will absorb any excess moisture in the air, place in a plastic bag and store. You could also add a package of desiccant to the bag if there is a lot of moisture in the air.
It is important to understand that cleaning your knife in the dishwasher is guaranteed to greatly reduce the lifespan of your hunting knife.
I usually clean with a very mild soap solution and minimal contact with water, dry completely, once dry i coat the blade in a very tin coat of oil, i personally use Birchwood Synthetic Gun Oil though even a standard mineral oil will do.
Stay away from any cleaner or cleanser with chlorine. If you must sanitize, you can use a very low dilution of bleach, then wash it off with soap right after you finish.
Sharping your hunting knife,
It’s important to keep your knife sharp. A sharp blade cuts easily,
To sharpen your hunting knife, you’ll need the following equipment:
- The hunting knife that needs to be sharpened
- Whetstone or Diamond Stone (or honing rod)
- Mineral oil (or any other lubricant)
A 13 to 16 degree angle is the ideal angle to achieve correct sharpness, its important to not deviate from this as it could result in an uneven edge.
Lubricate your sharpening stone
Place your stone in a container filled with enough water to cover and allow to soak for an hour, remove and coat in a thin layer of oil.
The cutting edge
Hold the knife at the angle mentioned above. Slowly rub the knife through the side with the rougher grit of the whetstone or honing rod. This will chip off larger pieces of the knife, making the sharpening process a lot quicker. After a while, you can sharpen the edge with the other side of the whetstone to ensure a finer finish.
When you’re done with one side of the knife, flip the knife and start sharpening the other side. Make sure that you’re maintaining a specific angle while sharpening. Keep on sharpening till you get a smooth finish.
Sharpening the serrated blades
The serrated blades are one of the main things that differentiate between your hunting knife and the common knife. These serrated blades can retain their sharpness longer than the cutting edges, but these can be harder to sharpen.
You must use a honing rod to sharpen the serrated blades. To start, you must place the honing rod in the hooks of the blades. By maintaining an angle, you must slowly rub the knife onto the rod. Keep on rubbing until you get a smooth finish.
Working with knives can cause injuries if you’re not careful enough. You must ensure that you know the following safety precautions:
- Wear safety cut-resistant gloves
- Place the sharpening stone away from your body
- Handle the knife with care, even if it lacks the sharpness
- Never let children sharpen the knife
- Sharpen the knife slowly and never rush