- When possible, do not store your knife in its sheath. Leather absorbs moisture which is obviously bad for any knife but especially non-stainless blades. Carry your knife in its sheath and store it out of the sheath wrapped in a soft cloth or zippered knife bag if possible. If your sheath gets wet in the field and the knife MUST be carried in it for safety, coat the entire knife with any type of mild CLEAN oil, i.e. cooking oil, WD40, etc. Clean and dry your knife at the first chance you get. Allow the sheath to dry naturally – do not heat it. There is one exception to that rule in the paragraph below.
- Leather sheaths – Your sheath was made specifically for your knife here in Colorado where we have a very dry climate. For working knives, I try to make them very snug when leaving here for the following reason. If you live in a humid area or the weather is very humid when you use your knife, you may notice that the sheath will feel looser as a result of the moisture in the air. If necessary, i.e. you are in the field hunting – remove your knife from its sheath; uniformly “flatten” the sheath against a flat surface (your thigh will work in a pinch); replace the knife and you should find it fitting better. If it becomes a constant problem, possibly because you live near water where humidity is always present – here is the solution. Clean and oil your knife well. Place the knife in its sheath. Using your dryers accessory shelf (used for drying tennis shoes, etc.) place your knife in its sheath in your dryer on the perforated platform. Run your dryer on low heat – that is LOW heat for about thirty minutes. This should shrink the leather a tiny bit enough to make your knife fit to your liking. If you do not have the accessory shelf DO NOT TUMBLE YOUR KNIFE in the dryer (ask me why I put this in hereJ). Prepare your knife as mentioned before and using a hair dryer on low heat about 8 inches from the sheath, move it back and forth until the knife inside feels warm to the touch. This should also fix the problem. Only do this for fitting the sheath. Do not do this if the knife fits well but you got the sheath wet. Again, let it dry naturally as you do not need any further shrinking. Lastly, if you purchased a collector type of knife (one not necessarily meant for true field work) then the sheath may have been made to fit not quite as snug. This will help prevent dust and dirt that may get inside from scratching the finish on such a knife.
- If your sheath is made from Concealex or Kydex, simply wiping it down with a damp cloth should maintain it. Spraying a tiny bit of WD40 inside the sheath once in a while will help keep moisture out which are harmful to high carbon blades. The Kydex itself or dirt inside can scratch your blade even if the sheath was made specifically for the knife. This can occur when the user puts the knife in it at an odd angle or if dirt and grit are allowed inside the sheath. Blowing it out with compressed air after being out in the field is advised.
- If your blades finish begins to darken (Damascus) you may lightly rub it with 1200, 1500*(preferable) or WORN 600 grit sandpaper on a flat backing such as a block of wood. This will remove the oxidation while polishing the “high spots” that contain nickel giving it back its original shine. Do not do this without the hard backing or you will shine up the carbon steel (low spots) and remove the pattern created by the acid etching.
- Use a quality mild polish on the entire knife a couple of times a year. I recommend “Renaissance Wax” from the U.K. It is available on the Internet. It is pricey but well worth it to keep your investment in top shape. Be careful using even this on the Damascus blades. Its fine to go over it gently without rubbing too hard but you can affect the contrast of the etching. It’s still better to use the wax on the handle and WD40 on the blade. For non-Damascus blades, you may use it on the entire knife.
- Sharpening – I recommend using a local professional knife sharpening service, or learning how to do it yourself. I do offer free sharpening (with postage paid both directions) but the increased risk of something happening to it during shipping is great considering that the USPS will fight claims especially when it’s not part of a sales transaction. Please notify me via email prior to sending your knife for sharpening.
- Any questions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org . I will get back to you within 24 hours.
My knives are warranted for my working lifetime to be free from defects in materials and workmanship. The only exceptions are as follows…
- Ivories – any type of ivory or tooth (ancient or modern) is vulnerable to attack by moisture and humidity. Stabilized or not, ivory is one of those natural materials whose characteristics over time cannot be predicted. This is especially true for knives used in the field.
- If something occurs as a result of the way the knife was made, (workmanship) contact me immediately and I will make it right.
- Obvious misuse will not be covered. Unless specifically designed to do so, my knives are not meant to be used in or under water. They may be washed and dried but that is a different matter. They are not a pry bar. Edges and tips are hardened for a reason and they will not normally withstand prying apart the joints of a large animal like an elk (ask me why I put this in here) or a similar task – there are tools specifically made for that – like bone saws. Knives are cutting tools – I think we can all agree on that. I will be happy to work with you but it will be my determination once the knife is returned to me postage paid. I will do what I can to repair it but I will send you an estimate prior to the repair before any work is done.
Thank you for supporting Custom Knife Makers and especially
CJ Custom Knives