If you want to buy a new pocket knife and do not want one that is the same as everyone else, then one option is to buy a personalized pocket knife. Although this is still a practical option that you can use for various tasks, the design will suit your tastes perfectly and stand out from those owned by others. Here is an overview of what personalized pocket knives are, how you can customize them, and where you can buy a personalized pocket knife. [Read more…]
When choosing kitchen knives, the main choice of blade material is carbon steel or stainless steel. There are pros and cons to each to each of these materials. One of the biggest downfalls of carbon steel knives is that they are prone to developing rust spots and this is something that does not happen if you opt for stainless steel knives. However, this does not mean that you should dismiss carbon steel knives as an option as they have many plus points. They are often sharper, retain their edge for longer, and are easier to sharpen. You should not allow the potential of rust formation deter you from choosing carbon steel knives as this is something you can prevent and remedy. Here are some tips for avoiding and treating rust formation on your carbon steel kitchen knives. [Read more…]
There may come a time when you need to travel with knives. There are lots of reasons why people may do this and if they do, it is important that they do so safely and within any travel regulations that may apply. By doing so, they will increase their safety and avoid breaking the law. Here is an overview of how to travel safely with knives, the options you have for carrying knives, and the regulations that are in place for traveling within, into, or out of the United States.
Why Would You Travel with Knives?
There are a surprisingly large number of reasons why people would want or need to travel with knives and these will differ from one person to the next. Just some of the reasons why a person may travel with knives include:
- Work– People who work in professions that use knives, such as chefs or some tradesmen, may need to travel with knives for professional purposes.
- Vacation– If you are enjoying a self-catering holiday, then you may wish to take your own set of knives with you for food preparation while you are away. Similarly, if you are going on a camping trip, you may wish to take knives for both food preparation and for other tasks around camp.
- Leisure and hobbies– You may travel with knives to enjoy leisure activities, such as cooking schools or competitions, outdoors activities, or many other hobbies and activities in your leisure time.
Options for Carrying Knives While Traveling
It is important to pack your knives correctly and safely, regardless of how you are traveling. There are many accessories that you can buy to achieve this. The following are some of the options for safely carrying your knives while traveling.
- Knife roll– Usually canvas or leather, you can lie these flat to pack your knives into the different sized pockets and then roll and secure. A knife will cover the sharp blades and keep the knives together without them touching, These are a compact option that you can put in your luggage and some have carry-handles to carry them separately.
- Knife bag-Similar to a knife roll, these generally have compartments inside the bag to accommodate knives of different sizes. They differ from knife rolls in that they are not as compact and are a separate piece of luggage rather than an item you would pack within your luggage. These are ideal for short day trips when you are traveling for an activity for which you will need knives but very little else.
- Toolbox– If you are traveling by car, then a toolbox is another solution. However, these are too heavy and bulky to take if you are traveling by air.
- Protective sheaths– The upside of these is that most knives sold individually come with protective sheaths, so you won’t have the extra expense. This is a good option if you are only carrying one or two individual knives. If you have a full knife set, a sheath will cover the blade, but they are not a good solution for keeping your knives together.
Things to Consider When Deciding How to Carry Knives While Traveling
When deciding which is your best option when carrying knives to travel, there are many factors you should consider when making your choice. Think about the following:
- Capacity– Think about how many knives you are carrying and the length of the knives.
- Design– There are many different styles and colors available. Which you choose is down to personal preference.
- Materials– Different materials are used for different styles of knife protectors and carriers. It is worth noting that the materials will impact on the price you pay. You should opt for something that is easy to clean and is sturdy enough that the blade will not pierce the material.
- Price– The price of knife carriers varies and depends on the style, the size, and the materials. You do not want to spend more on the knife carrier than you have spent on the contents.
Flight Regulations Relating to Traveling with Knives
Knives are sharp and potentially dangerous tools. Therefore, there are regulations in place regarding traveling by air with knives. These are intended to protect you, anyone else you are traveling with, other passengers, and staff working on your chosen mode of transport. These regulations vary from one country or region to the next, so it is essential that you check regulations before embarking on your journey. The following regulations apply to travel within, into, or out of the United States.
- You cannot take a knife in your hand luggage on board a plane. The exceptions to this rule are round-tipped butter knives and plastic knives.
- The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) of the United States will allow people to carry knives in their checked bags.
- You cannot pass through a TSA checkpoint with a pocket knife on your person. You must put it in a checked bag or leave it behind.
- If you have a knife at the checkpoint, it is classed as a prohibited item and not as an unlawful item. You will not get arrested; the officials will simply ask you to leave it behind or put it in a checked bag.
- Those who are traveling out of the United States to another country should check the regulations about traveling with knives at the destination to which they are traveling. These may differ to the regulation in the United States.
There are some occasions when you may need to carry knives with you when you travel. If this is something you are planning, it is essential that you pack your knives safely and securely so that there is no risk of a blade injury to you or to others. Therefore, you should think carefully about how you pack your knives to ensure that the blades and tips are not exposed, and carriers or sheaths are two of the best options for doing this. It is also important to check the regulations about traveling with knives in both your departure and destination points.
Keeping your knife blades sharp is important and there are different methods you can use to do this, depending on whether the blades are straight or serrated. If you have a serrated knife, the most commonly used method is to use a sharpening rod, although there are other ways to sharpen these knives. Here is a guide to sharpening serrated knives with a step-by-step guide for using a sharpening rod and an overview of the other options.
Why Do You Need to Sharpen Your Knives?
Sharpening is an essential part of knife maintenance for the following reasons:
- Performance- When your knife is sharp, it will cut cleaner slices quicker than when using a blunt knife.
- Safety- A blunt knife is potentially dangerous to use. In fact, a blunt knife is often more dangerous than a sharp knife as your knife is more likely to slip while slicing. Therefore, sharpening your knife increases your safety.
Why Is it More Difficult to Sharpen Serrated Knives?
There is a big difference between sharpening a straight-edged knife and a serrated knife. Sharpening a straight blade correctly can take practice, but it is a skill that most people can perfect. To sharpen a serrated edge is trickier as the angles are in the gullets of the serrated edge. Unlike a straight-edged knife that has just one angled blade edge, a serrated knife has multiples sections to sharpen. A further difficulty is that the gullets vary in size from one knife to the next. So, you need a tool that fits perfectly into the gullet and this is why a sharpening rod is an essential tool.
How to Sharpen Your Knife with a Sharpening Rod
A sharpening rod is the best tool for sharpening serrated knives. This is a metal rod with a rough surface that tapers at one end. As the diameter of the rod varies throughout its length, you can use it for serrations with various spacing. Here is how you can sharpen your serrated knives using a sharpening rod.
- The first step is to find the bevel edge. Most serrated knives have a single bevel edge, and this is angled in each gullet. You should only ever sharpen the beveled edge side of the knife.
- Next, you need to put the sharpening rod into the serrated grooves, which are known as gullets. Align the rod into a position where the diameter of the tapered sharpening rod fills the gullet completely.
- Stroking away from the blade, run the rod in short, smooth strokes through the gullet. Repeat this process for each serration in the knife.
- Once you have sharpened each gullet, turn the knife over to check the flat side of the blade for metal shavings called burrs. You can do this simply by running your finger along the flat side of the blade.
- Remove any burrs by either running the flat side over a whetstone or by rubbing with fine sandpaper.
- If your knife is only partially serrated and there is also a section of straight edge, then do not use the sharpening rod to sharpen this section of the knife. Instead, sharpen this section with a whetstone.
- Finally, give your knife one last wipe with a soft cloth to remove any debris.
For more tips on how to sharpen your knives, watch the following video:
Alternative Methods of Knife Sharpening
Although using a sharpening rod is probably the best method of sharpening your serrated knives, it is not the only method you can use. Some of the alternatives include:
- Electric sharpener- Some modern electric knife sharpeners have a section for sharpening serrated knives. The advantages of using these are that it is easy and convenient. Each electric sharpener differs, so it is important to thoroughly read the instructions first.
- Manufacturer sharpening- Some reputable knife brands give a warranty with their products that includes lifetime sharpening of serrated knives. The benefit of getting the manufacturer to sharpen the knives for you is that they understand the design of the knife and will have the best sharpening tools for your model. On the downside, it can cost you money to send off the knife and you will not have your knives while the manufacturer is fixing them.
- Professional sharpening services- A further option is to use a professional knife sharpening service. This means you will get your knives sharpened to an excellent standard. However, it will cost you money and this means it is only worthwhile if you have a good quality set of knives.
Keeping your knives sharp is important for them to work effectively and for safety reasons. Although it is trickier to sharpen a serrated knife than it is to sharpen a straight-edged knife, it is possible to do so. The best method of doing this yourself is to use a straightening rod, although there are several other ways to sharpen serrated knives.