It’s January and the weather’s pretty rubbish so I thought I’d write about my new pocket knife and maintenance kit. Over the winter, while the weather’s been cold and wet, I’ve taken the opportunity to get some new kit together. I plan on using this kit over the coming year as I go out hiking, camping, foraging and cooking outside again. So far I’ve put together an outdoor cooking kit and I also plan on getting some more gear together ready for the foraging and camping. This post’s about my new pocket knife and a small maintenance kit I’ve put together to keep the knife in great condition. If you do a lot of outdoor activities it may be something you’d like to consider carrying when out on your own adventures.
Why do I want a pocket knife?
I decided to get myself a pocket knife because it’s a really useful tool to have with me when I’m out and about. It serves so many purposes and could be considered an essential item depending on what sort of activities I’m engaged in at the time. For example, when I’m out foraging for wild edibles and cooking them on my outdoor cooking kit a knife is useful for preparing firewood, cutting specimens from plants, cutting up ingredients, etc. If I’m out camping or fishing the knife will be useful for cutting cord or fishing lines. It will also be useful in certain first aid situations and many other activities. A single tool with uncountable uses.
It should be noted I will be abiding by the laws relevant to knives (see below).
I thought carefully about what I’ll be using the knife for. It has to be robust and capable of handling the more heavy tasks such as preparing firewood for my Bushbox LF stove. It has to be compact and legal to carry with me on all types of activities.
What pocket knife did I go for?
As a result I decided a folding pocket knife would be best rather than the fixed blade bushcraft knives available. However, it has to be a pocket knife that can stand up to the task. I spent some time looking at various options and eventually settled on the Lansky World Legal Pocket Knife. It has some pretty good reviews on YouTube and Amazon, which is encouraging. I love Swiss Army Knives and some of the lighter pocket knives but I need something a bit beefier and the Lansky seems to fit the bill.
The Lansky World Legal is a folding slip joint pocket knife that certainly looks like it can handle the heavier work. I guess time will tell on that one!
You can see the detailed specs for this knife here.
Is it legal to carry a knife in the UK?
It’s my understanding that in the UK it’s illegal to carry a knife with a blade length of 3 inches or more and with either a fixed blade or a locking mechanism (in respect of folding knives). It’s also illegal to carry a knife with the intention of using it as a weapon, whether in self-defence or not.
One of the things I like about the Lansky World Legal is the fact it has a 2.75 inch blade (legal) and no locking mechanism (legal). Actually, it is a slip joint knife which means there is no lock preventing the blade from folding back down into the body. This means extra care needs to be taken when using the knife. That said, it takes quite a bit of effort to fold the blade and there is a stopping mechanism which stops it slamming shut like a guillotine on your fingers!
In terms of intention, I will only be taking this knife out with me when I’m doing a relevant activity. I don’t intend using this for self-defence or otherwise. I won’t be carrying it as an everyday item (pub, shops, work, etc.) it is purely a tool to be used on specific outdoor activities.
I’ve had feedback from people indicating that the Police would still frown on this knife. Who can blame them with knife crime the way it is in this country. I think the key is to make sure you have a legitimate reason for carrying the knife (i.e. only when on specific activities) and that you behave within the spirit of the law.
You can find out more about UK knife law here.
How much did the pocket knife cost?
The blade has now arrived and I’m very happy with it. It turned up sharp and in good working order. It will be interesting to see how it holds up on all the activities I have planned for this year. I will report back to you later in the year with my verdict! I would be keen to hear from you if you’ve got a pocket knife, what it is and how well it performs so feel free to drop me a message.
Maintaining my pocket knife
I think it’s very important to carefully use and maintain your tools. This way they’ll last a very long time and shouldn’t fail when out in the field. A well looked after knife is also a lot safer to use. As a result, I have also put together a knife maintenance kit to allow me to do just that. The kit will probably evolve over time as I learn more about knife maintenance (I am a newbie) and what works for me and what doesn’t.
The kit as it currently stands is made up of the following:
This little pouch is just the right size to hold the knife (when packed away) and all of the maintenance gear in this list. This was cheap and cost just £8.60.
I picked this stone because it is very compact and perfect for a kit of this size. My knife is small and so the size of this stone shouldn’t be an issue. If I was getting a bigger knife, such as a bushcraft knife, I would probably have gone for the DC4 or something else. I will be using this to keep the edge of my blade sharp. This cost just £13.07.
I made this leather strop with a thin bit of wood and an old belt. I will be using it at the end of the sharpening process as the final stage to finish it off.
I got the blue compound which is strangely called smurf poo! I’ve seen it being used on a number of YouTube channels I follow (including MCQ Bushcraft, one of my favourites). When stropping the blade I will put this on the leather strop first. It’s an abrasive and will help remove the finer particles of metal and help to polish the blade to a mirror finish. This cost just £4.85.
I bought this oil so I can periodically oil the joint in the knife to ensure it keeps working well. Also, the oil can be used to coat the blade and create a waterproof barrier which prevents rust. I bought this oil in a needle point applicator so I can get the oil into the deeper parts of the knife with precision. This cost just £5.65.
I added an old rag to the kit so I can wipe the blade clean or dry it if it gets wet.
Flat Head Screwdriver and Hex Keys
I picked this little screwdriver and the hex keys up from the local pound shop. It’s in the kit so I can take the knife apart for cleaning. This cost me £2.00.
This is used to put some ink on the blade edge so when I’m using the stone or the strop I can see if I’m getting the angle right. If I’m getting the angle right the ink comes off. This Sharpie cost me £3.81.
How much did this pocket knive maintenance kit cost?
So, all together this maintenance kit cost me just £37.98 and the knife itself £22.71 and these should hopefully last me many years out in the field.
In summary, I decided to add a pocket knife to my outdoor kit because it is a useful tool with multiple applications for the activities I have planned. I needed a knife, and after carefully considering my requirements I settled on the Lansky World Legal. I believe maintaining this knife will ensure I get the most out of it.
I’ll report back to you on how I get on with the knife and also how I get on with maintaining it. I’m new to this so I’ve got lots to learn about how to properly look after my knife and how to use it safely, but I thought I’d share this with you in case you decide you need a knife for your own outdoor activities.
If you have any questions feel free to leave a message and I’ll respond as soon as I can.