As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you change the oil in your truck regularly, make sure there's plenty of air in the tires, and top off the fuel tank when the opportunity arises, it's much more likely to get you to your destination reliably than a vehicle that has been neglected. This is common sense, and the same logic applies to other important tools — routine maintenance is especially important for critical items that get used every single day.
That said, when was the last time you maintained that folding knife in your pocket? Most of us remember to periodically sharpen the edge at home with whetstones, diamond rods, or some other tool. But unless you're extremely diligent, months might pass between sharpenings, and the edge on that blade may become dull and ineffective. Microscopic chips and rolls on the edge can impede its performance, forcing you to work harder with each cut and open yourself to serious injuries.
Columbia River Knife & Tool (CRKT) recently introduced a new pocket tool that's designed specifically to keep your knife performing like new. The CRKT Knife Maintenance Tool can be carried on a keychain or in a pocket, and includes six helpful functions.
The Knife Maintenance Tool features a tungsten-carbide sharpener to grind away chips and larger blade defects, as well as a gentler ceramic honing edge that can remove microscopic burrs and fine-tune the edge. These will work well with CRKT knives, but the company says they're also “compatible with nearly every folding knife in existence”.
In addition to the sharpener and hone, the Knife Maintenance Tool has two fold-out bit drivers, which contain T6 and T8 Torx bits. These can be used to tighten the hardware on pocket clips, handle scales, thumb studs, and other folding knife parts. There's also a flathead screwdriver on the end that can double as a mini prybar or scraper, a bottle opener, and a keyring loop. The tool is flanked on each side with tough fiberglass-reinforced nylon scales emblazoned with the CRKT logo.
The CRKT Knife Maintenance Tool is available at an MSRP of $30. For more info on this item, go to CRKT.com.