Preserving the integrity and performance of your classic slip joint folding knife involves more than simply using it with care. Like any precision instrument, it requires regular maintenance and cleaning to keep it in optimal shape. This comprehensive guide takes you through the necessary steps to ensure your knife always functions smoothly, and its RWL34 stainless steel blade remains sharp and rust-free.
Understanding Your Folding Knife
Before diving into the maintenance aspect, let's first explore the components that make up your classic slip joint folding knife. This knife, manufactured by Arno Bernard Knives, is a modern version of the time-honored slip joint mechanism, reminiscent of your first pocket knife.
The Rinkhals model features an RWL34 stainless steel blade that's renowned for its versatility and sharpness. Its nail nick offers easy opening, while the thumb notch provides comfort during use. The mirror finish on the blade echoes the aesthetics of vintage knives like your old Buck®, Western®, or Case®.
The knife's lightweight design is the result of a Titanium frame, pocket clip, collar, and screws, resulting in a total weight of just 2.3 ounces. The hand-sewn leather slip protects the knife in your pocket, and the matching bead attached to the leather lanyard ensures easy access.
Recognizing the Slip Joint Mechanism
The slip joint mechanism of your folding knife is an innovative feature that sets it apart from other knives. Unlike most slip joint knives that have continuous tension throughout their entire range, this knife features a "safety" when it's about halfway open. This causes the blade to be under very little tension, making it easy to move your fingers out of the way before the tension builds again and assists in closing or opening the knife.
Unlike many slip joint mechanisms in folding knives that are pinned and can't be disassembled, our Rinkhals model offers you the freedom to break it down. All you need is a tungsten pin of the same size as the lanyard hole. This allows you to strip down the knife, clean it thoroughly, and put it back together with ease. If you're in need of such a tungsten pin and understand its usage, we suggest reaching out to your supplier for assistance. We're also working tirelessly to make this pin readily available for our clients who wish to maintain their knives in the best possible condition.
Identifying the Components of Your Knife
A classic slip joint folding knife like the Rinkhals from Arno Bernard Knives has several key components:
- Blade: This 2.8" RWL34 stainless steel blade is durable and resistant to corrosion.
- Nail Nick: The nail nick allows for easy opening of the knife.
- Titanium Frame: The Titanium frame provides a lightweight yet robust structure for the knife.
- Handle Inlay: The 2.8" handle inlay offers a comfortable grip during use.
Cleaning Your Folding Knife
Regular cleaning is an essential aspect of maintaining your folding knife. Over time, dust, lint, and other debris can accumulate, especially in the area where the blade rests when closed. Here are the steps for cleaning your knife:
- Wipe Down: Start by wiping down the blade and handle with a soft cloth or sponge. Avoid leaving moisture on or in crevices to prevent rust formation.
- Cleaning the Blade Rest Area: Use a cotton swab or cloth to remove any debris from the area where the blade rests while closed.
- Chemical Solvents: For thorough cleaning, consider using chemical solvents like acetone or alcohol. However, be careful as some solvents may damage certain knife handles. Always rinse your knife with water and dry it thoroughly after using solvents.
Lubricating Your Knife
An essential part of knife maintenance is lubrication. Proper lubrication ensures smooth opening and closing and prevents rust. Apply a few drops of pivot lube to the pivot area of each blade and work them open and shut several times. Then, remove any excess lubricant with a cotton swab.
Sharpening Your Knife
Keeping your knife sharp is crucial for optimal performance. Although the RWL34 stainless steel blade holds a sharp edge for a long time, regular sharpening will ensure it stays in top shape. Use a knife sharpening system like the Edge Pro Apex or Spyderco Sharpmaker for best results. Remember to always sharpen away from your body for safety.
Storing Your Knife
Proper storage is crucial to prevent rust and damage. Always store your knife in a cool, dry place. If your knife comes with a sheath, avoid storing the knife in it for long periods as the sheath can trap moisture and cause rust.
Maintaining the Titanium Frame and Handle Inlay
The Titanium frame and handle inlay of your folding knife also require regular maintenance. Periodically, clean the Titanium parts to keep them looking new. For handle inlays made of wood or other porous materials, consider using a light coat of wax to prevent moisture and debris from seeping into any cracks.
Professional Knife Care Services
If you are uncomfortable performing these maintenance tasks or if your knife needs major repairs, consider seeking help from professional knife care services. They will have the necessary tools and expertise to properly clean, lubricate, and sharpen your knife.
A classic slip joint folding knife like the Rinkhals from Arno Bernard Knives is a valuable tool that, with proper care and maintenance, can serve you well for many years. Regular cleaning, lubricating, sharpening, and proper storage are key to maintaining your knife's performance and longevity. Whether you're a seasoned knife enthusiast or new to the world of folding knives, these maintenance tips will ensure that your knife stays in top condition, ready for whatever tasks come its way.