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Maintenance Tips for Fixed Blade Knives

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A fixed blade knife, like the handsome Chaves Knives Redemption 2, refers to knives that are generally carried in a sheath since the blade is full tang, meaning it extends into the handle to offer a stronger form of knife.

Fixed blade knives are typically sought out for hunting or military use and will give their user a lifetime of quality with proper care and maintenance. Here are a few tips you can use to ensure that your knife has a long and healthy life.

Proper Storage

Knife sheaths are incredibly useful and will help protect your knife out in the field. However, when not in use, the oils and moisture that gather in leather sheaths can be damaging to the fine steel of a modern knife, causing damage to the blade. If left in a nylon sheath over an extended period, the fabric will begin to eat away at the fine edge of your knife.

Always store your knife out of its sheath to avoid this unnecessary form of damage. Think of the sheath as a portable carrier that you only need when you are ready to get moving.

Along the same vein, make sure your knife is stored in a dry area. Even the most expensive stainless steel will begin to rust if it is kept in a damp environment for too long. If you live in a more humid or coastal region where few “dry” places exist thanks to the air quality, invest in some lubricating oils to coat the blade and prevent salt and moisture from affecting it.

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Keep a Fine Edge

Most modern blades are made of quality steel and will keep their edge, but this does not mean you should grow lax on the matter. A sharp knife is a healthy knife, and to keep your tool operating at its prime for years to come, it is necessary to hone its edge on a regular basis.

It is also important to keep in mind that honing and sharpening a knife are different methods of care. While sharpening a blade removes minute layers of steel from the edge, honing ensures the blade remains healthy and fine. Honing can — and should — be done frequently; sharpening should be performed intermittently.

However, when you are ready to sharpen your blade, it is important to use the right tools. The Spyderco Tri-Angle Sharpmaker C204 comes with two fine- and two medium-grit triangular ceramic stones that are slim and easy to manipulate. This is an all-purpose sharpener that is useful for all forms of sharp-edged objects (including scissors) and sports a pair of brass rods that protect your hands during sharpening.

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Cleaning a Knife

If you are wondering if it is time to clean your knife, the answer is an emphatic yes. A knife does not need to be covered in gore from a recent hunting trip to need cleaning; any time you handle a fixed blade knife, you need to ensure it is cleaned afterward. The human hand is full of myriad harmful oils and sweat that can worm their way into a blade’s steel and deteriorate it from the inside out.

Start with soap and water, taking care to scrub the blade thoroughly clean of any lingering oils, dirt, salt or other forms of grime. Once the blade is clean, use a smooth cloth like a microfiber cloth that will prevent scratching to dry the knife completely.

If your knife has large stains that are stubbornly resisting the soap and water, reach for a homemade mixture of vinegar and salt to scrub them away. When you’re done, rinse the blade with soap and water again to remove the salt and, again, dry completely.

But it’s not enough to clean the blade: Don’t forget about your sheath! If a sheath is full of dirt and debris, no amount of cleaning will protect it once you place it into that incubator. Nylon sheaths can be cleaned with regular soap and water, but leather sheaths may need additional care. Pay attention to the needs of your knife and its parts to ensure a long life.

If you invest your time and money into a high-quality knife, you want that investment to pay off over time. Proper care and maintenance will ensure your fixed blade knife will last for a very long time. Maintaining sharpness, cleanliness and lubrication and adhering to proper storage techniques are the keys to providing the high level of care your fixed blade investment deserves.

Check out our comprehensive selection of high-quality knives to begin your long-term relationship.