Cleaning Your Hunting Knives

Cleaning however, can deter the process. There is a common misconception that stainless-steel refers to “rust-proof”, when in fact it actually means “rust-resistant” making it vulnerable to rust if improperly maintained.

Because every good outdoorsman knows the significance of being prepared for just about anything, daily upkeep of hunting knives is important for this task. Good maintenance can be done by thoroughly cleaning the blade and handle after every use. A quick clean immediately after every use out in the field, makes cleaning at home much easier, however it should not replace a good thorough clean. Washing and drying your hunting knife thoroughly after every use is a simple preventative step that goes a long way.


Whether you use your hunting knife for food or gaming purposes, proper care of it is imperative, in order to extend the life and preserve the effectiveness of your knife. It should not be treated as a simple piece of equipment, but rather an asset since they greatly contribute to your hunting experience, and can be costly as well. This means that cleaning and oiling of your knife should be done regularly so it works more effective and it is long-lasting.

Dull edges and a fading shine to your hunting knife, as well as rust build-up, are obvious signs that your knife requires some servicing. If your knife is not up to par when out on expeditions, it will certainly make the trip tougher than it should be. The cleanliness and maintenance of your knife depends on learning essential techniques that will save time and money. However, a rusty blade decreases the value and efficiency of your knife, nevertheless simple preventative measures can avert this from occurring.

Preventative Measures

Preventative measures against rust can be carried out by the use of oil after washing your knife with water. This preserves the life of the blade and allows it to function properly.

  • Commercial cleaners – usually work as lubricants and protectors against rust. These also decrease the chances of accidental cutting and increases the life of your knife.
  • All-in-one or multifunctional products can make cleaning easier as there is no risk in ruining your handle while cleaning your blade – two birds with one stone!
  • Additionally, many use the same type of oil utilized for their guns, which can be cost effective and convenient.
  • Cleaning your blade with oil can be done by initially washing the knife with water, and cleaning it from any blood, dirt or debris. Be sure not to get water in-between the handle and the blade, to avoid rusting that may be hard to control.
  • Next, a small amount of oil, enough to cover the blade, but not much to allow dirt and dust to stick to the blade should be carefully applied with the use of a clean cloth. This process should be repeated at least twice after every use to ensure effectiveness. Ensure that the handle is properly cleaned, dried and oiled as well.

Type of Knife

Depending on the type of hunting knife you possess, small details is an important part of cleaning. Do not overlook any small crevices that may collect dirt or debris which can develop grime and mould. Wetting the corner of your rag to clean these tight spots is an effective way to get a nice clean. Small details also include fingerprints. Our fingerprints contain an acid which contain salts. When accumulated, these fingerprints can develop into rust. Be sure to properly clean and oil fingerprints away, as well as any crevices that you may find on the blade of your knife.

If your hands are wet with water dry them before touching the knife with your hands as water serves as a rust contaminant and it will penetrate the metal. Remember to dry your knife after you have washed it and cleansed it before oiling. Slightly oil it so when it is time use it you may not find it annoying when you grasp in your hand.


Whatever may be the true purpose of your hunting knife, you will find that when neglected, it can become your worst enemy; this then proves to become more of a burden rather than an aid. For this reason, proper maintenance of your precious hunting knife is imperative to the longevity and productivity of your knife.

Maintaining Your Hunting Knife