Mistakes happen all the time where motions are involved and where knife handling takes place; a lot of mistakes do happen, and sometimes they end in injuries. In the right hands, a quality knife is a tool that can be used for a lot of work, and in clumsy hands, it is a walking band breathing danger. So how exactly do you handle knives safely in the wild?
We are going to look at knife mistakes that people make indoors and outdoors, how they impact the health of the knives and the safety of the users and how they can be avoided in the long run. If you are a frequent knife user, then stick around to the end to learn a thing or two about keeping things safe.
There are many types of knives and each of them is designed for a specific purpose. You have filleting knives, butchering knives, skinning knives. All these are handled differently due to their sizes and design. Therefore, to stop any injuries from happening, ensure you study how each knife is handled. Going in blind just because you know how knives work will not end well for you.
A majority of knives require the user to hold the blade in a secure style where the thumb and the index finger apply pressure on the different sides of the blade while the palm applies pressure from above with the other fingers out of the way.
All types of knives require proper storage if you are to get the best out of them. The time they stay idle exposes them more to the elements that may act on the blade in various ways, including rusting and surface oxidation. To limit these effects, ensure that the knife is stored properly after every use.
For hunting knives, you have the sheaths and foldable handles that can protect the blades from the elements. For other common knives, you can use storage blocks which will not only make them safe and give them a very aesthetic appearance when they are arranged in a neat fashion.
Using Damaged Knives
You are more likely to injure yourself when using damaged knives than when you are using a properly sharpened knife. Dull or chipped knives tend to slip from the hand all the time, and you could end up cutting yourself as you will be forced to apply a lot of pressure just to get the blade to work.
The moment you realize a knife is damaged, either discard it and get a new one or if you can get it repaired, do so as soon as you can. Do regular checks on all the knives you keep using daily and rotate their use so that you avoid using the same one all the time.
Using Wrong Counters
Better known as chopping boards, counters are the materials that you use as support when cutting down things. They are most common in the kitchen but also used when outdoors, and they can be made using all types of materials, from wood to plastic or maven metal. The type of counter you choose to go with will have a direct effect on the blades of the knives you use on them.
A counter made of hard material will destroy the cutting edges of the blade and turn them blunt with visible chips. For this reason, you should avoid any type of counter that is made of glass, porcelain, marble, granite, or metal. Stick to normal wood counters, and you can alternate them with plastic counters or positing a piece of wood under the item you are cutting when outdoors which have less impact on the knife blades.
Forgetting to Sharpen the Blade
The safest blade is a sharpened one as you will exert less pressure, and you will be more alert when using it, and this minimizes the risk of cutting yourself in the process. Before using a knife, check the edge to ensure it is sharp enough to handle what you are about to use the knife for.
This is the point where investing in a whetstone for your hunting and camping knives is important. It is recommended that you sharpen the knife after use just before you store them so that you wake up to a fresh set that’s ready to use the next time you make a trip out camping.
Using the Wrong Knife
You can’t use a butchering knife to chop garlic or a long camping knife to skin a rabbit. They will do the job, but since they are not designed for those roles, they will make a great mess out of it. Every type of knife is suited for a specific function, and repurposing it for another will increase the chances of injury or inflict damage to the knife. You can’t use a skinning knife to cut huge chunks of meat, and you can’t use a pen knife to cut tree branches to set up a tent. Invest in several knives to increase your range.
Leaving Blades Wet
Most knife blades are constructed using stainless steel at least, and that stops them from rusting, but that doesn’t completely mean they are safe. When the blade is exposed to moisture for too long, there are bound to be problems that range from the blade surface losing its shine and rust setting to some extent. Every time you clean knives, make sure they are well dried before storage or sheathing. You can wipe them with a dry towel properly to ensure you get rid of any moisture.
Ignoring your Fingertips
Being careful when using a knife is part of handling the knife right. A well-sharpened knife can cut through your fingers cleanly, and that would turn into a serious medical condition. Every time you are using knives, whether you are in the wild or indoors, you have to make sure no part of your body is exposed in any way. If you are in the wild camping or hunting, for instance, have the awareness of where the blade is going and where your fingertips are to avoid putting them in the cutting path. Every time you bring the blade down, make sure you have a good view of the entire counter.
Not Cleaning them Properly
Knives tend to get a bit of what they are cutting stuck on their blades and the handles and if they are not cleaned in time or properly, these materials get caked in. That is bad for the knife. When out hunting, for example, you may use a knife to skin an animal, and if you let that blood to solidify on the draft, the blade may lose its shine and even develop bluntness. Every time you use a knife, clean it immediately with enough water to get rid of any foreign materials.
Forgetting to Oil Them
Outdoor knives go through a lot since they are used for just about anything when people are out there camping. Some use them to whittle down wood for tens, some for hunting, some for skinning and chopping up wood and some even use them to hold meat over the fire. All these take a huge toll on the knife and maintenance will be needed. This comes in the form of knife ils that one can use after cleaning them to protect the blade from rusting or discoloration. A serious knife owner must have some knife oil stored somewhere for this work.
Storing Knives with Other Metallic Items
This is a problem that is common among knife owners. Some people make the mistake of storing knives alongside other metallic objects without placing them in a sheath, and there are a number of problems with this. The first one, you are likely to get your hands cut every time you try to get your hand inside the bag or storage unit, and the knives are likely to get blunted by the constant rubbing against the metallic items everytime you move.
Handling knives the right way is the difference between getting in the best of harm or getting the best out of them. Understanding how each knife is designed and the work it is meant for is very important, and every user must pay attention to that. To understand more about knives and how to better take care of them, then check Shieldon(pocket knife manufacturer) and browse through all available information.