Spyderco Sharpmaker

Gear Patrol: Cleaning and Maintaining a Pocketknife

Pocket knives, like quality leather boots and cast iron pans, possess inherent longevity. That goes for cheap knives too — even a $15 folder purchased at a hardware store can become a multi-generational hand-me-down, but only if it’s properly cared for. Neglect a blade for too long, and it’ll be vulnerable to rust, and possibly fail when needed most.

Luckily, pocket knife care and maintenance is simple. Ryan Coulter of the James Brand sums up the methodology best: “Keep it sharp, keep it clean, keep it lubed, keep it tight.” Here’s how to do all four.

Like many Gear Patrol posts, it is a link farm, but I am familiar with many of the products within, such as the WorkSharp and the Aegis EDCi lube. And the Spyderco Sharpmaker is both my go-to recommendation and the go-to sharpener for 90% of my sharpening needs. I have owned mine since 1999. It is the featured image for this post. The diamond stones are replacements for worn out original composite rods, and one of the two ceramics is a replacement for one I broke. But there is no denying from the photo, that I have used it a lot.