Multi-tools & knifes: How to clean, sharpen and oil your favourite outdoor toolCompact, agile and ready to take with your next adventure, multi-tools are an outdoor enthusiast's best friend. These hardy and versatile tools are as useful indoors or at home as they are while you are backpacking or camping in the middle of nowhere.
At their heart, pocket-friendly multi-tools and knives are a survival essential: and offer multiple tools and gadgets which can be used to solve numerous problems or tasks you may encounter. For most multi-tools, their most basic component is often a versatile knife or precision cutting tool. We’ve put together a short guide on the best way to use your multi-tool and care for it correctly, as well as some safety tips and top product picks.
1. How to clean & care for your multi-tool or knife.
Important: Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions or product information regarding the correct way to clean your gadget. Generally, do not put your multi-tool or knife in a dishwasher when cleaning it.
Although this is a common mistake, it is advised to avoid any types of dishwashing for your knives and multi-tools, as the detergents used can cause your knife to cease up. It is also not great for the casing around many multi-tool products.
Likewise, bleach is also not recommended, as it is too harsh and may cause scratches to the blade and hinges which will eventually make them more prone to jamming.
Avoid sandpaper or rust remover. Similar to using bleach, these products can always cause more damage to your product in the long run and it is recommended to avoid these rough, harsh materials on the small and intricate designs used with multi-tools.
Before you start cleaning your multi-tool
First, make sure it does not have any electronic, battery, or USB components on it. If it does, first remove them before you begin cleaning it.
Then, start by removing any free-standing parts of your multi-tool, such as the toothpick, pens, and needles. You can give these separate components a quick rinse under hot water to remove any excess dirt.
You now use your toothpick tool, or a similar small tool you have lying around, to scrape off as much of the grime or mess that will usually accumulate around the joins and hinges of your tool.
You do not have to clean all the grime away - just try to clean as much of the surface dirt or material as you can.
How to clean the rest of your multi-tool
You will most likely only need to use a small amount of hot water and a drop or two of dishwashing liquid - however, it is always recommended to check the product information regarding the correct cleaning detergents to be used.
Submerge your tool in the warm water and then open and close the blades or different tools several times until they can move freely.
If you used any soap or detergent, run it under the warm water sufficiently until you are confident you have removed any excess soap or grime from the tool.
Once the cleaning is done, dry them off with a soft rag and let them dry off fully in a warm, dry place, out of direct sunlight. You are then ready to sharpen your knife and apply oil if necessary.
2. Sharpening your knife or multi-tool
It is recommended that you always sharpen your knife or tools before applying any oil.
There are plenty of different techniques, tools, and materials that are used for knife sharpening - and finding the best one to use will be a matter of personal preference, what you have access to, and what is suggested to use with your specific multi-tool product
For most common multi-tools it is recommended that you resharpen your blade using a whetstone at an angle of 15°- 20°. This will result in a cutting angle of 30°- 40°. If resharpening on a grinding wheel, always cool with plenty of water to avoid excessive temperatures.
You can also use these same angles with portable knife-sharpening tools - which can be very handy when you are outdoors, or mid-adventure, and need to quickly sharpen your knife.
Here are some of our top multi-tool and knife sharpening products to help keep your tools perfectly sharp when you need them.
The QuadSharp Pocket Sharpener is the smallest, portable, versatile knife sharpener to maintain your knives in the field to the exact angle you set with your Lansky Kit. The carbide V-groove sharpens in 3 to 4 strokes. The built-in ceramic polishing bench stone allows this pocket sharpener to be used as a fully functional, stand-alone sharpening solution. Freehand polish your newly sharpened edge on the built-in ceramic bench stone or effective to sharpening serrations with its tapering.
- 17 Degree Angle - Fillet/Fine Slicing
- 20 Degree Angle - Skinning/Kitchen Cutlery
- 25 Degree Angle - Hunting/Outdoor Knives
- 30 Degree Angle - Heavy Duty Cutting/Chopping
- Sharpens Straight/Serrated Blades
- Ceramic BenchStone: Medium 800 Grit
- Sharpens Serrations w/Tapered Ceramic
The ultimate knife sharpening systems technology safe, easy, and convenient to use. The Lansky Sharpening System is designed to give your blade a professional, razor-sharp edge every time.
- Precision-engineered, multi-angle, flip-over knife clamp.
- Sharpening hones on color-coated, finger-grooved safety holders
- One guide rod for each honing stone
- Specially formulated honing oil
- Extra-long knife clamp screws
- Custom molded storage/carrying case to hold all system components
- Complete easy-to-follow multi-lingual instructions
Light and compact blade sharpening tool that is easy to pack and take with you while exploring outdoors. The Warthog Curve knife blade sharpener also has a comfortable design and very effective diamond rod finishes.
- 325 grit diamond rods
- constant 25-degree angle
Lansky's Quick Edge knife sharpener is designed to sharpen kitchen, work, or outdoor sporting knives in under 10 passes. DO NOT use heavy pressure, it will risk damaging your blade or the sharpener; not to mention for the safety of the user, as well.
- Tungsten carbide
- Carbide Pull-Thru style sharpening element
- Ergonomic plastic molded housing
- Finger guard and thumb rest
- Right or Left-handed use
3. How to oil your multi-tool or knife
After drying and sharpening your knife, you may want to also add some oil to ensure that all the parts are operating as smoothly as possible.
Oiling a knife can be messy, so make sure that you lay down newspaper before you begin and have a couple of spare rags or clothes available to help keep everything clean while working on your multi-tool.
Start with the blades all shut and put a few small drops of oil directly onto where each tool connects to the body or housing of the knife.
Next, place a small drop of oil between the blades and the casing - or where there are springs or other friction or contact points on the tool.
Once this is complete you can open all tools on your knife and place a tiny bit of oil directly into the space inside the tool where the separate components are housed.
Now open and close each individual tool and blade repeatedly to help let the oil reach inside the hinges.
If you feel and stiff or crunchy movements after opening and closing the tool about a dozen or more times, then you can apply a tiny bit more oil to the areas that are giving you resistance. Repeat the process of opening and closing the tool and applying small amounts of oil until it is moving freely once again.
If the tool continues to feel tight or seized up, you may need to go back to cleaning it again and use potentially using rubbing alcohol to remove the dirt or grime causing the friction.
Do not worry about getting oil over the knife, as you cannot damage most products by using too much oil.
Once you have oiled your multi-tool to a smooth and satisfactory state leave it to sit for at least half an hour before cleaning it with a clean, dry cloth.
9 simple safety tips for carving or whittling with a multi-tool or knife.
One of the best hobbies to take up while outdoors or camping is the art of whittling - which is to carve sculpture or tools out of natural wooden materials you can easily find on your adventures. Most multi-tool knives are perfectly designed for whittling small objects by hand, however, it is important to first know some general safety rules to do so without harming anyone.
1. Whenever you carve, make sure you are sitting down.
2. Always carve away from the body.
3. Make sure you are at least 1 arm's length away from anyone else when you are carving.
4. Only carve with a sharp and sturdy blade.
5. Only open one tool on your multi-tool at a time while carving.
6. Stow your knife away safely and securely when you are not using it.
7. Always close your knife or multi-tools before handing or passing it to someone else.
8. Don’t carve directly onto a living tree, branch, or other material.
9. A multi-tool knife is not a weapon, always use it cautiously.
5 Multi-Tool Product Picks that are ideal gifts for anyone
The Iconic Swiss Officer's knife forms the basis for the modern Super Tinker, an EDC pocket knife or ideal tool to throw in a survival or hiking backpack. A medium, compact Officer's Knife with fourteen functions, including useful scissors and a Phillips screwdriver.
- Stainless Steel Blade
- Cellidor Handle
- Length: 91mm
- Weight: 84g
- 15 Functions Include:
- 1. Large Blade
- 2. Small Blade
- 3. Can Opener
- 4. Screwdriver 3 mm
- 5. Bottle Opener
- 6. Wire Stripper
- 7. Screwdriver 6 mm
- 8. Reamer/ Punch/Sewing Awl
- 9. Phillips Screwdriver 1/2
- 10. Scissors
- 11. Multipurpose Hook
- 12. Toothpick
- 13. Tweezers
- 14. Key Ring
Leatherman has designed a tool for those who participate in activities away from civilization. The new Signal multi-tool comes equipped with vital survival tools like a ferrocerium fire starter and whistle. The Signal also comes complete with traditional In the all-new Signal, Leatherman's traditional functional tools pair with new preparedness features like a shaped diamond coated sharpener for maintaining your straight and serrated blade, fire-starting ferro rod, and an emergency whistle. Weather have you socked in at basecamp? Lightening your load on that day hike? No problem. Stay ready for the expected (and unexpected) no matter where you are with everything you need to stay Leatherman features like pliers, can opener, saw, awl, and removable pocket clip. In addition, it includes popular features like a hammer, replaceable wire cutters, diamond-coated file, and bit driver. From natural disasters to the unpredicted during outdoor events, Leatherman hopes to help people to feel prepared for the unexpected.
- 19 in 1 Multitool Includes:
- 1. Needlenose Pliers
- 2. Regular Pliers
- 3. Premium Replacement Wire Cutters
- 4. Premium Replacement Hard-wire Cutters
- 5, Wire Stripper
- 6. 420HC Combo Knife
- 7. Saw
- 8. Hammer
- 9. Awl with Thread Loop
- 10. Can Opener
- 11. Bottle Opener
- 12. 1/4" Hex Driver Bit
- 13. Bit Driver
- 14. 1/4"Box Wrench
- 15. Carabiner
- 16. 3/16" Box Wrench
- 17. Safety Whistle
- 18. Ferrocerium Rod
- 19. Diamond-coated Sharpener
- Weight 212.6g
- Closed Lenth 11.43cm
- Blade Lenth 6.93cm
- 25-year warranty
It all started with the Swiss Officer's Knife and more than a century later, the Swiss Army Knife is still an icon of sleek functionality. Each one is built to last a lifetime and in the Classic you'll find all the functionality you need for your everyday adventures in a package you'll want to keep with you always. It's the easiest lifetime commitment you'll ever make.
- Height: 9mm
- Weight: 21g
- 7 Tools:
- 1. Small Blade
- 2. Scissors
- 3. Nail File
- 4. Nail Cleaner
- 5. Key Ring
- 6. Toothpick
- 7. Tweezers
FIXR UTILITY Tool contains an impressive 20 tools in 1small and compact design that is easy to attach onto your bag or keys and take with you anywhere
- 1. Quick Release Clip
- 2. Bottle Opener
- 3. Nail Cleaner
- 4. Large Flat Screwdriver
- 5. Medium Flat Screwdriver
- 6. Small Flat Eyeglass Screwdriver
- 7. Medium Phillips Screwdriver
- 8. Small Phillips Screwdriver
- 9. 14mm Spanner/Wrench
- 10. 12mm Spanner/Wrench
- 11. 10mm Spanner/Wrench
- 12. 8mm Spanner/Wrench
- 13. 6mm Spanner/Wrench
- 14. Bicycle Spoke Wrench
- 15. Razor Sharp Cutting Blade
- 16. Wire Stripper
- 17. Measuring Ruler
- 18. Box Opener
- 19. Pry Bar
- 20. File
The True Utility Key Tool attaches to your keyring by simply wrapping around one of your keys, giving you 8 essential tools including a bottle opener, nail file, thread cutter, 3 screwdrivers, and sprung tweezers.
- Bottle opener
- Sunglass and spectacle screwdriver
- Medium screwdriver
- Large screwdriver
- Nail file
- Fingernail cleaner
- Size (L x W): 50mm x 20mm