How to Properly Care For Your Sailing Knife – Maintenance & Safety

One of the most important tools on your boat is your sailing knife. You never know when you may need to use it to get you out of a tight spot. It is therefore vital that you keep it in perfect condition. It is also important that you know how to use it. On this page I want to give you a few tips for both of these.

Proper care and conditioning ensures a working and sharp knife when you need it most!

Proper care and conditioning ensures a working and sharp knife when you need it most!

Knife Maintenance

Salt water is incredibly corrosive. Your knife is likely to get exposed to a lot of it whilst sailing. If you do not clean it off then the knife will become damaged over time. After every single use you should wash it thoroughly with fresh water. Make sure that the pivot and locking mechanism is cleaned well. These places can seize up quite quickly if they are not.

Once the knife has been cleaned off you need to make sure that it is completely dry. A soft cloth is all that you need here. At this point it is also important that you take the opportunity to apply a protective layer on the knife. This will help displace any water (and thus ensure that the knife stays in perfect condition), as well as protect against rust. There are a couple of different protective solutions on the market. Perhaps the most popular though is either Militech 1 Metal Conditioner or Sentry Solutions Marine Tuf-cloth. Both will help protect your knife against corrosion.

Finally, you need to ensure that your knife remains sharp. A dull knife will not help at all on a boat. You should pick up a sharpening kit. You should be able to pick one up from almost all good hardware stores. You may want to use ceramic sticks however these are not quite as effective on ‘dull’ knives. They are made more for those who are trying to keep their knife ‘topped up’ in terms of sharpness.

Using Your Knife Safely

It is important that you learn how to use the knife properly before you head out onto a boat. This means learning how to operate it with just one hand. At the start this can be quite difficult. However, I am sure that you will get the hang of it. There are plenty of guides online for teaching you how to do this so it should not be too difficult. It is important that you nail it though as you never know when it may save your life.

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