What Not to Do to a Knife
Kevin Felts 12.06.16
What is one of the worst things that can be done to a knife, besides deliberate abuse? To put it away and forget about it.
Knives are made of steel, and steel rusts. Let un-oiled and forgotten, rust and corrosion will slowly develop. Left in a drawer for years, the rust may pit the blade or handle. Sheaths may develop mold.
My Forgotten Knife
Around 1983 or 1984 so I bought a Fairbairn Sykes commando dagger. I was a young man of 15 or 16 years old and wanted a military style knife. The local G.I. Surplus store happened to have a Fairbairn Sykes in stock, so I bought it.
I was so proud that knife that I showed it off to my friends, and it was taken on a couple of camping trips. While on the trips I realized a dagger was not suited for camp use. The pointed blade was pretty much useless for skinning and the thin blade was not suited for heavy use around the camp site.
The Fairbairn Sykes was retired and put in a dresser drawer. It was left there unused for year after year. The years slowly turned to decades. During that time I bought and tried our various other knives like the Gerber Big Rock or my first survival knife.
A few months ago I found the forgotten Fairbairn Sykes knife tucked away in the dresser drawer. The blade had developed spots of rust and the handle had corrosion on it.
After overcoming the shame of what has happened to my once valued knife, the next step is to clean it up. To start I am going to use a grinder with a wire wheel to buff the rust off and go from there.
Knives are like old friends, and rust is like time that has come between us. I have some memories of that knife and the camping trips we went on. It deserves better than to be tucked away on a drawer and forgotten about.
Some people may say so what, you do not use the knife away. This a matter of taking care of your property. Knives have been a source of pride for thousands of years. There is something about taking a nice looking knife out and showing it to your friends.
I have to get the rust off this Fairbairn Sykes and will post another article about it later. I just hope it can be restored to its former glory.