Ontario RAT Model 1 Folder

Folding Knife Company


The KnifeCenter offers an incredible selection of knives for every taste and purpose. All of the knives need proper care if you want them to perform to their full potential.

Modern knife steel is very high quality material, but all metal will corrode through time. Occasionally oil the joints and springs of a pocket knife with a drop or two of oil. This will assure easier opening and closing and will prevent rust and lessen wear. Wipe the blades now and then with an oil-moistened cloth to prevent rust- especially if you live in a damp climate or close to the ocean. If your blade should get wet, dry it thoroughly. If your knife comes into contact with salt water or any substance you are not certain about, you should rinse it immediately with tap water, dry it and apply a light coat of oil.

Do not store knives in their sheaths. The leather collects moisture and creates pits on the blade.

Check the locking notch of lockbacks regularly to ensure that it will work properly. Keep all sand and grit out of the knife. Keep the mechanisms clean. Remember to never rely on a folding knife to be permanently locked in position.

Do not use the cutting blade as a can opener, chisel, pry bar, screwdriver or for any heavy work for which your knife was not designed. Also, don't use the back of your knife as a hammer. It may break the springs, handles or pin.

Handles made of wood can be occasionally rubbed with furniture polish or oil. Brass can be polished with household brass polish.

Remember to keep your knife sharpened - a dull blade can be more dangerous than a properly maintained one.

(Thanks to Dexter Ewing)

Every responsible and caring knife owner (that describes all of us!) needs to know the basics regarding the proper care of their edged tools. A well-maintained knife will serve as one's companion indefinitely. The term "knife care" encompasses more than just knowing how to put a razor sharp edge on your blades. For information on sharpening, please refer to KnifeCenter's Knife Care page. In this article I will address certain pertinent factors involved with knife care. Combining these tips and recommendations with the existing information on sharpening will allow you to keep all your knives in top working condition.

Blades: Rust Not!

Perhaps the worst enemy of any knife is rust. Do not be fooled, even though the manufacturer or maker uses stainless steel. Given the correct conditions, even stainless steel can rust. If one lives and/or works in a marine environment, please pay close attention. Since the air in places like coastal regions has a higher than normal moisture content, with some salt mixed in, it is important to keep the surface of the blade lightly coated with a film of oil. The oil will prevent the salt-tinged moist air from coming into contact with the blade steel. Any household grade lubricating oil will suffice. A particular brand that I use is 3-In-One. It is available at your local hardware stores or home centers. 3-In-One is also good for lubricating folding knives, but before you do so I suggest you read my upcoming section on Folding Knife Lubrication. This particular oil does not have an odor, unlike WD-40. Do not get me wrong. WD-40 is great for this purpose, but I prefer not to use it because the odor may come off on your hand as you handle the knife. If the knife were to come in direct contact with salt water, wash it off as soon as possible with tap water and apply the coating of oil.

A word of advise for owners of the wildly popular Benchmade CQC7 - the bead blasted models are susceptible to rust. The type of rust that affects this finish is what I term as surface rust. It does not eat into the steel of the blade at all. I have experienced this first hand, as my CQC7 970S was carried clipped to my waistband for several days during sweltering summer heat and humidity. The perspiration condensed on the blade and dried. What was left behind was light brown rust dots. Immediately upon noticing this, I got out my can of 3-In-One oil and applied a few drops to the affected area and rubbed lightly with a cloth. The rust was easily removed and has not come back since.

Folding Knife Lubrication: A Pivot-al Issue

Another good use for oil in maintaining your knives - as pivot lubrication. Again, 3-In-One oil is good to use for this purpose. A few drops into the pivot area would suffice.

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