How to Clean a Custom Fixed Blade Knife

Jul 18th 2018


Knife Care 101: How to Clean A Custom Fixed Blade Knife

At Spartan Blades, we pride ourselves on offering our customers the  best custom and handcrafted knives available. We also offer a lifetime warranty that covers the finish, materials, and craftsmanship of all of our knives.

However, no knife is designed to stand up to improper care. If you’re the proud owner of a Spartan Blades custom knife or another handcrafted blade, you’ll want to ensure that you’re doing everything you can to keep it in the best possible shape. By cleaning your knife and caring for it properly, you’ll extend its life and ensure optimal performance for many years to come.

Below, we’ll take a quick look at what you can do to clean and properly maintain your fixed blade knife. Keep in mind that  custom folding knives have their own cleaning and care requirements in order to ensure the long term functioning of the folding mechanism.

Cleaning Your Fixed Blade Knife

Exercise caution when handling your knife for cleaning.

When cleaning a fixed blade knife, it’s important to take care not to use harsh, abrasive cleaners. The stainless steel surface of your knife’s blade may be coated with DLC (Diamond Like Coating), ZrN (Zirconium Nitride), or it may simply be an uncoated CPM (Crucible Particle Metallurgy) S35VN steel or something similar. In either case, using a harsh cleaner could either remove the finish or damage the steel of your knife, and we don’t recommend it.

Instead, simply use a mild soap and warm water to clean your fixed blade knife. Also, be sure that you use something soft and non-abrasive for this task, such as a cotton cloth or the non-abrasive side of a sponge. Using an abrasive scouring pad, steel wool, or any other highly abrasive material will likely scratch the coating (or the uncoated stainless steel finish) of your knife.

For sticky or gummy substances (such as tree sap, tar, and so on), first use a cloth with acetone to remove the residue in question. Wipe the knife clean, and then be sure to follow the instructions below for oiling to protect the finish.

Once your knife has been cleaned, be sure to dry it thoroughly.

Oiling Your Handcrafted Fixed Blade Knife

After washing and thoroughly drying your knife, it’s time to oil the blade. Applying oil to your blade will help to disperse any remaining water and seal the blade from moisture, which will help to eliminate both unsightly water spots and any potential for rust. Using a chamois cloth, apply a small amount of oil such as WD-40 to your blade. This will serve to both protect your blade and give it a clean, shiny appearance.

How to Properly Store a Custom Fixed Blade Knife

If you’re carrying your knife with you on a daily basis, you’ll likely have it in a sheath of some kind on your person. If you own knives that you don’t use regularly, though, it’s important to store them properly once they’ve been cleaned.

When storing your handcrafted or handmade fixed blade knife, be sure to place it in a low humidity environment of some kind. If your knife is in a case, drawer, or cabinet, placing a dessicant of some kind (such as a silicone gel pack) next to the knife will help to ensure that moisture doesn’t settle onto the blade. Generally speaking, we also recommend oiling your knife a couple of times per year if it’s in long term storage and isn’t seeing regular use.

If you take care of your custom knife, it will serve you well for years to come. Spartan Blades offers a wide range of  custom, handcrafted fixed blade knives: browse our selection here.