Here at Blade HQ, we get a fair amount of questions about OTF care and maintenance. True, OTFs can seem intimidating, but they’re really not too different from your everyday folding knife. Here are the basics of out the front knife care:
Oiling – Regularly oiling the blade is one of the best things you can do to lengthen your out the front knife’s life. Some recommend using a thinner, dry lubricant because it’s less likely to gum up than a thicker lube. We recommend Tuf-Glide or RemOil.
Cleaning – If you use the blade to cut anything that is remotely wet and/or sticky, make sure to wipe off the blade very well before retracting it. If you fail to do so, it will likely result in a blade that won’t fire.
If you want to clean out the inside of your knife, sometimes you can use a can of compressed air to blow out anything that’s trapped inside the OTF. Remember that dissembling your knife will void its warranty.
Blade Sharpening – It’s easier to maintain a blade than to let it go completely dull and re-sharpen it later. You can typically use any knife sharpening system or style to get the job done.
Storage – Out the front knives can be stored open or closed. People generally store OTFs open if they are going to have them on display at home. If you’re storing your OTF opened, keep the blade clean and oiled, and be mindful that some steels rust more than others.
If the blade falls off track…
OTFs are prone to falling off track. This can be remedied easily by manually pulling out the blade. There are two different ways you can do this:
1) Pinch the blade between your thumb and index finger and pull the blade out until it clicks into place. Then it should be back on track, and you can use the button to retract and fire the blade to your heart’s content.
2) Flick the knife and use the momentum of the blade to lock it into position.
A few of our favorites
If you’re looking to add an OTF to your collection, consider one of these options:
Any of these knives would be a great choice; they’ve got solid action and quality materials to offer. Plus, they’re a lot of fun to use.
Do you EDC an OTF? What’s your favorite out-the-front?
If you don’t have an OTF but want to maintain your other knives, check out our Pocket Knife Maintenance Guide.