How to Care for Your Handmade Knife

How to Care for Your Handmade Knife

A Comprehensive Guide on Caring for Your Handmade Tactical Knife

Caring for a handmade tactical knife is not just about maintaining its sharpness but also ensuring its longevity, reliability and efficiency. Unlike mass-produced knives, tactical knives are often designed with unique features that require a higher level of care and maintenance. Therefore, understanding how to care for your tactical knife is a necessity for anyone. This guide provides detailed insights that will help you ensure that your tactical knife remains in optimum condition for longer.


A handmade tactical knife is a dependable tool and an investment that can serve you for many years—if properly taken care-of. But, taking care of these knives goes beyond keeping them razor sharp; it includes cleaning, storage, and handling. Whether it's a rugged fixed-blade knife or a compact folding knife, every tactical knife needs regular care and maintenance to preserve its functionality and aesthetics. So, let's dive in and learn how you can effectively care for your handmade tactical knife.

Understanding Your Tactical Knife

The first step in taking care of your handmade tactical knife is understanding it correctly. Handmade tactical knives are typically made of high-grade steel and durable handle materials, which require specific maintenance routines to prevent rust, corrosion, and wear. Moreover, depending on whether your tactical knife is a folding type or a fixed blade type, the care procedure will slightly vary.

Handmade tactical knives are designed for extreme conditions and can withstand a lot more wear and tear than your average household knife. But, this doesn’t mean they are indestructible or maintenance-free. Just like any other tool, the life and efficiency of a handmade tactical knife significantly depend on how well you take care of it.

Maintaining Blade Sharpness

The primary function of any knife is to cut, and a dull blade defeats this purpose. Therefore, keeping your tactical knife sharp is one of the fundamental aspects of knife care. Remember that a sharpened knife is not only more efficient but also safer to use, as it requires less force to cut, reducing the risk of accidental slips.

Sharpening a handmade tactical knife requires precision and focus. Always use a high-quality knife sharpener and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. When sharpening, maintain the same angle throughout to ensure an even cut. It’s important to note that excessive sharpening may wear down the knife blade faster, so it’s advisable to sharpen your tactical knife only when necessary.

Regular Cleaning

Just like any other tool, your handmade tactical knife needs regular cleaning to keep it in good condition. Dirt, dust, and grime can accumulate on the blade and handle over time, possibly causing the knife to corrode or rust, thereby compromising its functionality.

Cleaning your tactical knife is not a complicated process. All you need is a soft cloth, mild soap, warm water, and a little time. Firstly, carefully wipe the blade with a damp cloth, then apply some mild soap and carefully clean the blade. Make sure to clean the handle as well. Rinse the knife under warm water and dry it thoroughly to prevent rust. For folding tactical knives, make sure to clean the pivot area, as dust and grime can accumulate there, affecting the knife's opening and closing mechanism.

It is important to apply a light oil coating to prevent rust. Especially after exposing carbon steel to water. Not so important for stainless. Mineral oil is recommended if you want a food safe option, and any gun oil if not.  Oil is also necessary for the maintenance of your TKell Knives G10 grips. The G10 grips will get dry and chalky after cleaning and will need to be oiled. Typically the oils on your hands keep the G10s looking good but, if stored or if you’ve cleaned them, they’ll need a touch up. Other than that, they are good to go.

Proper Storage

Where and how you store your handmade tactical knife can greatly affect its lifespan and functionality. Incorrect storage can lead to rust, dulling, and other damages. The best place to store your knife is in a dry, cool location. Avoid humid and damp places as they can cause rust. Also, avoid putting your knife in contact with other metals, as this can damage the edge.

If you have a folding tactical knife, it should always be stored in the closed position to protect the blade. For fixed blade knives, always keep them in their sheaths when not in use. Never store your knives in leather sheaths for extended periods because leather can absorb moisture and cause the blade to rust. It’s best to use sheaths made from synthetic materials.

Handle Care

The handle is an essential part of your handmade tactical knife that requires adequate care. Most tactical knife handles are made from hardwearing materials like G10, Micarta, or carbon fiber. These materials can withstand tough conditions but still need regular cleaning. When cleaning the handle, avoid using harsh chemicals or rough scrubbing pads as these can damage the finish. Instead, use a soft cloth and mild soap.

Besides cleaning, it’s also crucial to check the handle for any damage regularly. Look out for any cracks or looseness. If you notice any damage, seek professional help immediately. Don't attempt to repair it yourself because this can lead to further damage.


Taking care of your handmade tactical knife is crucial for maintaining its efficiency, aesthetics, and longevity. Remember, your knife is an investment, and the way you take care of it will determine how long it serves you. From proper cleaning to regular sharpening, correct storage, and handle care, every step counts towards preserving the durability and functionality of your knife.

Understanding the importance of regular maintenance can make all the difference in the lifespan of your knife. By following this guide, you'll be able to keep your handmade tactical knife in the best condition for years to come. Remember, a well-cared-for knife is not only a reliable tool but also a reflection of the owner. So, take great care of your handmade tactical knife, and it will serve you well in all your adventures.

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