Knife Safety: A knife can be a thing of beauty but ALSO dangerous.
A knife can be a thing of beauty but also dangerous. We are often attracted to the combination of beauty and danger and whilst I love a well made knife we do have to consider the safety factors for all our protection and security.
For those of us that use knives everyday these points may seem obvious but nevertheless these points are valid and need to be embedded in your mindset. If the situation cannot be avoided then it needs to be taken into consideration in your application of the knife.
- Always ensure a Sharp Knife. A dull knife requires more force, which can lead to slipping and accidents.
- Choose the Right Knife for the job. Use a Serrated Edge for rope for example. If you are applying considerable pressure a well made Full-Tang knife should take the force. A machete is too thick for some cutting jobs. A pocket knife blade can be too thin.
- Try to use a Clean Knife. Oil, mud, water can affect your correct grip. Choose a knife with scales designed to grip that is comfortable but firm in the hand. Use an entire fist grip.
- When in the bush or garden select a proper cutting surface. Not you or anything that can move. Bushcraft techniques like the Chest Lever Grip or Ankle Lever Grip work well and ensure all blade and cutting force is directed away from the body. With these techniques you move the wood not the blade.
- Store and Carry Your Knives Correctly. Use a good sheath to protect the blade and you in bags and pockets.
- Know the Proper Cutting Techniques. Always cut away from your body and consider cutting a solitary task.
- Pay Attention to What You're Cutting. Anticipate how it cuts and at what point you are going to cut through.