Caring For Your Knife
Before it leaves our shop, the cutting edge of every Randall Made™ knife is carefully honed by hand, ready to use for its intended purpose. However, the bevel and edge of a knife designed for cutting skin and flesh are much different from those used to hack bone or other hard materials.
Using a fine hunting knife for an axe will naturally damage its cutting edge. And pounding, prying, or throwing a knife not designed for these purposes is likely to damage it.
We strongly suggest that if you’ll use your knife for a specific heavy-duty purpose, let us know when you order so we can shape the blade and bevel accordingly.
To protect your knife, it should be cleaned and thoroughly dried after use. If it will be stored for some time, coat it with a protective and leave it out of the sheath. Many owners of Randall Made™ knives say they successfully care for them by exhibiting them on their wall or desk.
Carving knives require the same care as hunting knives. It is not advisable to immerse them in water with regular tableware. Wiping and drying the blade is generally sufficient. All carbon steel blades will become stained in cutting meat because of acids in the meat; this discoloration will not harm the blade.
If through lack of care rust appears on the blade, remove it before pitting begins by using a fine grip emery cloth or steel wool and oil. Never throw a knife unless you’re an expert and know you
won’t make a poor throw that harms the knife. If the urge to throw a knife is overpowering, it is advisable to obtain our Model 9 Pro Thrower.
You cannot cut bone, nails, bolts or pierce metal with a cutting edge and point designed for meat, despite some advertising to the contrary. We have done extensive tests and find such feats cannot be performed unless the design of the cutting edge and point is altered.
On leather handles, use a light liquid leather conditioner to keep the leather from drying out. Use metal polish on the hilt and butt. For the sheath, use a light liquid leather conditioner. We do NOT advise using oil because it will soften the leather and keep the sheath flexible, making it difficult to sheathe the knife. To darken the sheath, use dark polish or dye.
All knives require sharpening occasionally after use. We recommend that the blade be kept well honed at all times, for a sharp knife is safer to use than a dull one.
Anatomy of a Knife
Each Randall Made™ knife is ground carefully by hand, and a section of knife blade when it leaves the grinder looks something like Figure 1. The edge placed on the knife by the grinder, however, is useless for ordinary work. It is too fine and would break down easily. It may be strengthened by beveling the edge slightly on each side, as shown in Figure 2. (Bevels are exaggerated in the drawing to make them visible.) The beveled edge, produced with a hone, serves two purposes: It stiffens and sharpens the edge.
To keep your knife sharp use the following procedures:
We recommend using two hones, one with a medium or coarse grit on which to start the honing process and the other with a fine grit for finishing.
First, put a few drops of kerosene, machine oil or saliva on the hone and lay the blade diagonally upon it, as in Figure 3.
Now raise the side of the blade to an angle of about 20 degrees with the surface of the hone, as in Figure 4. Keeping the edge of the blade to the hone and the side of the blade away from it at the 20 degree angle, sweep the edge across the hone, holding the diagonal position and sharpening from hilt to point in one stroke, as shown in Figure 5.
Turn the blade over and repeat the operation, alternating one stroke at a time on each side. Use even, sweeping strokes and lessen the pressure as the edge is restored.
It is essential to keep the side of the blade at the same angle to the surface of the hone–on both sides of the blade–because if it varies you won’t get a good edge.
Remove any “wire edges” by giving the blade a few light, final sweeps across the hone on each side with the blade held at a high angle of about 60 degrees.
On an extremely dull blade with a thickened edge, place the blade flat on a coarse hone and restore the original blade bevels (Figure 1); then attain the final cutting edge (Figure 2) with a fine-grit hone.
Bear In Mind: Edge-holding ability and keenness of edge do not exactly go hand in hand, but there can be a happy medium. The finer (thinner) the V towards the cutting edge, the less the edge-holding ability of the steel. If you expect to do heavy-duty cutting, have this V thicker than that for cutting flesh, skin, etc.
Please remember that a coarser hone removes more metal, shortening the life of the knife. For the same reason, we don’t advise using power equipment to sharpen your knife.