INFORMATIONAL RESOURCE (From Buck Knives)


Buying the Right Knife          

1. How will you use it?
     Everyday: Are you opening boxes or cutting twine?
     Outdoor (Backpacking/Climbing/Hiking/Camping): Does your activity involve using rope?
     Hunting/Fishing: Are you field dressing game or cleaning/filleting fish?
     Tactical/Survival: Do you need a heavy-duty knife that won't fail?
     Limited Edition/Custom: Are you a collector?

2. What features are important to you?
     Fixed-blade: Always ready for use and dependable.
     Folding knife: Compact, safer to carry; improved dependability with locking blade.
     One-handed opening: Has a thumb stud, blade hole or other feature to facilitate one-hand use. Some models are
one-hand opening and one-hand closing as well.
     Gutting/skinning blade: For field dressing game.
     Thick Blade: For heavy-duty tasks.
     Light weight: Use of composite or other materials to minimize weight.
     Saw edge: For cutting wood or bone.
     Sharpness: Stays sharp and is easy to sharpen.

3. What is it made of and why?
A good handle should feel solid and well constructed when you hold it. We suggest you consider a handle style and
material that meets your needs and suits your preference.
     An ergonomic design provides comfort.
     A rubber or textured handle provides a sure grip in wet conditions.
     A wooden handle adds beauty to the knife.
     Plastic/composite handles are durable under extreme conditions.


How To Sharpen          

General Knife Sharpening Instructions
Sharpening a knife is sometimes perceived as the most difficult knife care task; and it probably is. Modern stainless steel is
very hard and, when sharpened properly, will hold a good edge for a very long time. When sharpening a knife you must
have a high quality sharpener that features a rough stock removal surface (preferably diamond abrasive) and a finishing
surface of hard stone or ceramic abrasive. The diamond and ceramic materials will cut away the steel on the blade's cutting
surface easily as these materials are harder than steel. A hard stone will also perform this task, but the stone is only slightly
harder than the steel and so this requires more effort on your part.
Most times, simply using a kitchen steel on your cutlery will be sufficient. See instructions below.
Remember, Keep your knife sharpened -- a dull blade can be more dangerous than a properly maintained one.

Sharpening with a Steel
When a knife is used, the edge eventually becomes dull. The edge will turn either to the left or right side depending on how
you hold your knife when cutting. Quality knives with high carbon/molybdenum/vanadium alloy have elasticity and can easily
be re-aligned by a sharpening steel. Do not use a diamond-coated steel or a pull-through manual or electric sharpening
device for maintaining the edge. These devices will destroy your turned edge. They can be used to sharpen, but not for
maintanance.
Place the knife blade against the tip of the sharpening steel at an angle of approximately 20 degrees. Pull the knife down
and across the steel, describing a slight arc. Repeat this action on the back of the steel to sharpen the other side of the
blade. Repeat steps 2 and 3 five to ten times, alternating the left and right side of the blade. It is very important to maintain
the angle of 20 degrees and to run the full length of the cutting edge along the steel from the hilt to the tip of the knife.
Speed of movement plays no part in this process.


Sharpening with a Stone
When grinding your knife on a stone, it may be useful to use a three-way oil stone, Fine-Medium-Coarse. Use the stone only
when your edge does not re-align with a steel. That means your edge has dulled from constant use or steeling. Make sure
you use the exact angle at 30 to 40 strokes before your new edge is formed. Use more strokes if needed. The angle used it
determined by how sharp you want the knife. The smaller the angle the sharper the edge. However be aware that the
sharper the edge the sooner it will fade, and need to be re-sharpened. If it is too difficult for you to maintain the correct
angle, throughout your re-grinding procedure, take your knife to a reputable knife grinding service in your area.

Sharpening a Straight Razor
You can learn to sharpen any razor on a stone, and if you have experience, or use the right sharpening system you will get
very good results. The principle of grinding any knife is restoring the gross shape of a blade according to it's grind-type ;
this is mostly done with machines such as grinding wheels. Grinding does not sharpen a knife. The principle of honing is to
create a good cutting edge angle and the blade part directly adjacent to it, the relief. The relief is created by honing with a
secondary angle on a stone until a burr appears, and subsequently create the primary angle (this is the cutting angle, which
is somewhat greater than the secondary angle, but both under 25 degrees) to remove the burr. The
relief/secondary/primary angle principle makes the blade more resistant for less than delicate use.

Sharpening Serrated Blades
First, obtain the correct sharpening tools to perform the task. Many of the sharpening kits on the market offer serration
hones as options. Second, have the proper technique to use.
Most factory ground serrations will have the same angle as the plain edge portion (assuming the blade is partially serrated),
which means in the neighborhood of 20 to 25 degrees.
Once everything is set up, you can begin the process. Using firm pressure, work the hone in a back-and-forth motion,
perpendicular to the cutting edge. Every so often, stop and feel for a raised burr on the backside of the blade. Only move
on to the next tooth when you see or feel a raised burr. Once you have completed sharpening the ground side of the blade,
flip the knife over.


Knife Care Tips         

Like most equipment, knives need a little care. Here are a few tips to help you get lasting service from your knife:
     Keep your knife dry -the entire knife, not just the blade.
     Keep your knife clean, particularly moving parts and locking device.
     Keep your knife oiled; especially pivot points and the blade.
     Keep your knife sharp. A sharp blade is safer than a dull one.
     Do not attempt self-repair. This voids the warranty and may create an unsafe condition.

Knife Care Instructions
Stainless steel blades and other components minimize (but do not eliminate) the weathering effects of liquids and oxidation.
Not all knives use stainless steel. Older knives, and some newer ones, use carbon steel that is more susceptible to effects
of the elements and may need more frequent care. Knife performance and longevity are enhanced by regular care:
Clean the entire knife regularly, including blade, pivot points and locking mechanism. If possible, clean it without immersing
into liquid (spray cleaners work well). If you immerse in liquid (water, soapy water, or solvents), dry thoroughly after cleaning,
then oil blade and moving parts. Regular cleaning and oiling should take care of sticky residue and light surface oxidation or
beginning rust formation commonly found on knives.
Discoloration of metal: Discolored metal has a blue/grey/black color, is a sign of oxidation, and precedes rust.
On non-stainless steel: Discoloration is common and can provide a barrier against oxidation. Regular cleaning will keep
discoloration from turning to rust.
On stainless steel: Stainless steel does not discolor easily. Discoloration should be regarded as rust waiting to happen and
should be cleaned immediately.
     - Rust: Rust has a reddish-brown color. Rust will eat pits into your blade and contaminate what you cut. Light rust can be
cleaned with oil. Heavier rust needs to be cleaned with more abrasive action, such as cleaner, polish, or plastic cleaning
pad.
     - Cleaning, polishing and lubricating help the performance, safety and longevity of your knife. Buck offers an assortment
of knife care products.
     - Store your knife in a dry place (out of the sheath). Lightly wipe the blade with clean oil 2-3 times a year to keep rust
from starting (more often if near water).

Cleaning
After using your knife, it is a good practice to clean and dry your knife (the entire knife, not just the blade). Even for blades
that are made with corrosion-resistant stainless steel, prolonged exposure to the elements can cause the steel's surface to
oxidize. Folding knives should be kept clean of debris, particularly the locking device on lock-blade knives.
For your convenience, the Knife Center provides superb knife care products including Sentry Solutions products. Metal Glo
Premium Polishing Paste is a formulation of aluminum oxide that is perfect for cleaning and polishing many metal surfaces.
As an alternative, chemical solvents such as Acetone, nail polish remover, MEK, alcohol or paint thinner may be used to
clean your blade. Use care with these solvents, as some, such as acetone, nail polish remover, white gas, or brake fluid may
damage some knife handles. Avoid harsh detergents that contain Chlorine (mostly powders, including some for washing
dishes and clothes), which can accelerate corrosion of the blade steel.
Avoid prolonged immersion in liquids (water, solvents, etc.). This can have a detrimental effect on not only the metal parts,
but handles made of wood or other porous materials as well. Before using your knife on food items, wipe clean with alcohol,
or wash with hot soapy water and rinse clean. Remember to re-clean and lubricate your knife after the food job is done.

Lubricating
Periodically, and always after cleaning, apply a small amount of lubricant to the working parts of the knife, particularly the
pivot points of a folding knife. Then apply a thin film of lubricant to the entire surface of the blade. This will help prevent
surface oxidation and corrosion from moisture.