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How to choose and maintain a folding knife for beginners

I want a knife that can be easily used outdoors such as camping, mountain climbing, and fishing. The first thing I would like to recommend to such people is the folding knife. It is not bulky because it can be folded, and if you have one, you can use it for cooking, cutting twigs and ropes, etc. It is useful for various purposes. There are several types of folding knives, so many people may be wondering what kind of knife to choose. Therefore, in this article, we will explain in detail how to choose folding knives and recommended products. If you are looking for a convenient folding knife that can be used in the outdoor scene, please refer to it.


Features of folding knives

Foldable so you can carry it safely

There are quite a lot of opportunities to use a knife outdoors, such as cooking at a camp or cutting twigs for a bonfire. Unlike kitchen knives at home, outdoor knives are designed to be carried around, so it is convenient to use a compact knife that is not bulky even if you put it in your bag. The most portable outdoor knife is the folding knife. When the blade part is folded, it is about half the length of a normal knife and fits comfortably in the palm of your hand. It also has the advantage of being safe to carry because it completely folds the sharp parts.


Lightweight and easy to handle with one hand

Another advantage of folding knives is that they are light and easy to handle. The length of the folding knife is a little short because the blade needs to fit inside the handle. It is lighter than a knife such as a sheath knife that has a blade and handles integrated and is easy to handle with one hand. Some have a mechanism that makes it easy to open with one touch by making holes or protrusions at the base of the blade. It's easy to use when you want to use a little knife, such as cutting a rope or opening a bag. It can be said that it is a knife with a strong meaning as status because it is cool and can be opened and closed quickly.


How to use the folding knife

You can cook any small ingredients

Since the blade length is short, I am not good at cutting large ingredients such as chunks of meat, pumpkin, and watermelon, but I can cook any small ingredients such as those used in camping. The sharpness is also excellent, so you can use it in various ways such as cutting vegetables and fruits, and handling meat and fish. It is also convenient for ikejime the fish caught during mountain stream fishing on the spot. The blade is thicker than a kitchen knife, so it's easier to cut by moving the blade edge. Since moving parts are prone to rust, it is necessary to thoroughly remove water and dirt after use.


It is also possible to cut ropes and twigs

When using a knife outdoors, you may want to use it somewhat roughly, such as tearing a rope or batoning a twig for firewood. Although the folding knife is small in size, the blade has some strength, so it can be used hard such as tearing, breaking, and hitting. It's not as tough as a sheath knife because of its complicated structure, but if you're in a camp with a certain amount of environment, you'll be able to use it well. If you apply too strong an impact, the joint may break, so if you use it for making feather sticks for bonfires or for batoning, please hit it with a light force.


How to choose a folding knife


Choose by blade material

Made of stainless steel that does not rust easily and is easy to clean

Stainless steel is a material that is made by adding chrome to steel to prevent it from rusting. The sharpness is slightly inferior to other materials, but it is hard to rust and has strength, so there is little blade spillage and there is no need for frequent maintenance. Since it is resistant to heat, it can be used with confidence even at the beach where it is often exposed to sunlight and saltwater. Even if it is inferior in sharpness, it is a standard material that is often used for kitchen knives, so you will not feel any inconvenience. The price is relatively reasonable and it is a recommended steel material for beginners.


Made of carbon steel that is sharp and can cut wood

Carbon steel is a type of steel called carbon steel, which is a steel material made by adding carbon to iron and forging it. Since it contains a lot of carbon, it is hard and exhibits outstanding sharpness. It will also be easy to use for cutting wood. It has excellent wear resistance, can maintain sharpness for a long time, and is a material that is easy to sharpen. It is easy to rust, so wipe off the water immediately after use and sharpen it regularly. If anything, it can be said that it is for people who want to enjoy the outdoors in earnest. Although the price will be slightly higher, H-1 steel and molybdenum steel, which have both hardness and rust resistance by adjusting the number of ingredients, have also been developed.


Made of ceramic that is not easily damaged even when used outdoors

Ceramic knives with white blades are not made of metal, so they do not rust when exposed to water and are not easily affected by acids and alkalis. Even if you cut citrus fruits such as lemons and mandarins, the blade will not be damaged easily, and even if you are exposed to saltwater outdoors, you can just wash it with fresh water. It's a perfect material for outdoor knives. It's the hardest material next to diamond, so it has excellent sharpness, and because it's light, it's easy for women and children to handle. There are many reasonably priced knives, so it is recommended for those who are looking for a folding knife that is easy to buy at a good cost performance.


Select by the shape of the cutting edge

A versatile flat grind with excellent sharpness and durability

It is a shape often used for small knives and is used for many folding knives. The flat grind is shaped like an inverted triangle with a slender cross-section. It was named Flat Grind because it has a straight, flat shape that does not bulge or curl like other types. Think of strength and sharpness just in the middle of other types. You can play an active part in all rounds from delicate movements such as cooking to intense usage. Recommended for those looking for a knife that is easy to use in any situation.


Hollow grind that is sharp and ideal for cooking and dismantling beasts

Hollow grind specializes in sharpness. Since the side of the blade is scraped off, it has no thickness and exhibits sharp sharpness. It has the excellent cutting ability and its sharpness lasts for a long time even if it is sharpened, so it can be said that it is an easy-to-use shape as a fishing knife or a hunting knife. Hollow glide is used in many knives because it is easy to make by simply pressing it against a rotating round whetstone. Recommended for those who want to cook with a knife that is as sharp as a kitchen knife. It is inferior in strength to other types and must be handled with care.


Convex grind is very durable and can be chopped wood

Convex grind has the best strength. Contrary to the hollow grind, the side of the blade is bulging, and it is also called a Yamaguchi blade because it is a shape often used for hatchets and axes. Since it emphasizes durability rather than sharpness, it is not suitable for detailed work, but it has excellent cutting power. You can use it with confidence even for work that puts a burden on the knife, such as cutting a tree or cutting a branch. The blade is relatively soft and is made to be hard to break even if a strong impact is applied. It's heavy and difficult to sharpen, so it's more of a knife for advanced users. The blade has a long life, so if you sharpen it again, you can use it carefully for a long time.


Choose by locking method

Lockback type that is highly safe and recommended for beginners

The lock method has been used for folding knives for a long time. When the blade is opened, the locking bar inside the handle fits into the lock groove of the blade to secure the blade. There is an unlock button on the backside of the handle, so when folding it, hold down the unlock button with one hand and fold it with the other hand. It can be said that it is a difficult type to handle with one hand. Since the release button is far away, it is safe with few malfunctions and is recommended for beginners. The structure of the knife is a little complicated, and the price-setting is higher than the liner lock type.


Relatively cheap and light liner lock type

The most major lock method is the liner lock type. When you open the blade, the iron plate inside the handle, called the liner, moves toward the center and prevents the knife from closing due to the force of tension. If the lock is shallow, it may close, so you need to make sure that it is locked securely. When closing, push the liner by hand and fold it. You may feel scared at first because the liner is just close to the blade, but as you get used to it, you will be able to handle it with one hand. It is popular because it is reasonably priced and light.


How to care for folding knives

After use, wash away dirt, dry, and apply rust preventive oil.

Folding pocket knives tend to rust the gaps between parts, which can make it difficult to open and close in some cases. Especially, knives made of steel are prone to red rust if left with moisture, so be careful about maintenance. After use, remove dust and dirt, and then wash with a neutral detergent. Rust is less likely to occur if rinsed with hot water of 60  C or higher. After rinsing, wipe off the water with a dry cloth, dry it, and apply maintenance oil to the finish. If you are using it as a knife to cut food, we recommend camellia oil or salad oil, which has a low oxidative odor.


When the sharpness decreases, sharpen while keeping the angle of the blade constant.

Knives used outdoors are durable, but if they are used for a long time, the cutting edge will wear and the sharpness will decrease. If you feel that the sharpness has deteriorated, use a whetstone to sharpen it regularly. There are two types of whetstones: the Japanese style, which is used by wetting it with water, and the Western-style, which uses oil called oil stone. Set the knife on the grindstone and sharpen it for about 20 to 25 strokes. If you change the angle, it will be dull, so try not to move the wrist holding the handle as much as possible. In the case of ceramic materials, it is not possible to grind with a normal whetstone, so you need to have a contractor re-grind or prepare a sharpener for ceramics.



A stainless steel folding knife that is easy to clean is recommended

Folding knives are often used outside and are more prone to getting dirty than regular knives, so they need to be cleaned regularly. For beginners and those who find it difficult to maintain, a stainless steel knife that does not rust easily is the easiest to use. Since the blade is hard to spill, it also has the advantage of being hard to be damaged even if an impact is applied. If you want to be sharp and light, you can consider carbon steel and ceramics. This time, we introduced folding knives with popular brand names. Find a folding knife that suits your purpose and enjoy your outdoor life.



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