The Cutting Edge | Everyday Knife Safety Tips

knife safety tips1

My buddy Craig Caudill knows a thing or two about knives and today he'd like to share some of his everyday knife safety tips with us:

It doesn’t matter if you camping, practicing bushcraft skills, or actually in a survival situation.  Injuring yourself by accident can be both a devastating situation and a huge morale killer. In our classes at Nature Reliance School, we are constantly teaching the message that if you can avoid a situation where you need to use survival skills you are better off than you would have been if you had to put them into use. One of the many ways we can help ourselves in any situation is to utilize a knife safely.

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Knife Safety Tips

Using a knife safely starts with how you retrieve it.  In this article and video (which goes into visual detail) we want to focus our attention on fixed-blade knives and not pocket knives.  Sheaths are made for a reason and that is to make your knife safe and accessible when needed.  Retrieving and replacing it in the sheath are the typically the first situation where one can easily get cut without due diligence on the knife.

The simple thing to keep in mind when utilizing a knife is that there are two parts of it that are dangerous: the long edge and the point.  The goal is to never have either of those two things facing any portion of your body or others.

There are a few basics rules you should adhere to make sure knife usage is safe for you and those around you. 1. Make sure that every knife you use is sharp.  A dull knife is dangerous and nearly forces the one holding it to improperly use it.

Pocket Knife Safety

Make sure your knife is adequately sharp for the task

2. Never point a knife or its edge toward yourself or anyone you do not want to harm.  This cannot be said enough.  There are several common tasks that you can use a knife for that we demonstrate how to safely do in the video.

Knife Safety Rules

Always point the knife away from yourself and others

3. Always keep the material you are working on directly in front of you and know who may walk from behind you and next to you.   Utilizing a knife safely becomes unsafe when an unsuspecting person walks nearby.

Survival Skills | Knife Safety

Keep the material you're working on directly in front of you at all times

4. Never move your knife in an erratic manner and always be mindful of the arc in which it would cut if your target is missed.  This is never more true than when you are using a larger cutting tool such as a machete.

Basic Safety Rules for Knives

Never move your knife in an erratic manner

5.  If you happen to drop a knife for whatever reason, NEVER try to catch it.  Simply let it fall.  By trying to catch it you run the risk of catching the blade or accidently hitting it towards someone else.   6.  You should never leave your knife laying around.  If it is not in use, sheath it. Those are some very basic rules to live by to use a knife safely.  In the following video we go into great detail on how to use a knife in some common camping, bushcraft, and/or survival uses.

Always keep your knife sheathed when not in use

Always keep your knife sheathed when not in use

Those are some very basic rules to live by to use a knife safely.  In the following video we go into great detail on how to use a knife in some common camping, bushcraft, and/or survival uses.

Craig's Knife Safety Tips

Want to know more? Check out these related articles:

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on September 16, 2015, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

11 Responses to :
The Cutting Edge | Everyday Knife Safety Tips

  1. chris brewer says:

    ALL i have is a phone how do i get a knife

  2. Matt says:

    Great breakdown for someone unfamiliar with knife safety. It seems like common sense but some people just don’t know without being told. Nice writeup.

  3. Great Grey says:

    On thing that can reduce the injure to your feet when you drop something is to rock back on to your heels. It will reduce the force of impact not having your foot flat against the floor. It will start slowing as soon as hits your foot and by the time your foot hits the floor it can have slowed it down enough to only have a sore foot instead of a SORE foot. With a knife it can be the difference between an uninjured foot and a cut foot and shoe with a hole in it.

  4. Mick J says:

    NEVER try to catch it. Yep…I learned that one the hard way. Just honed to Razor Sharp…I went to rehang on wall…slipped….yea, I tried to catch it. Blood…everywhere…you know the rest.

  5. oliver brown says:

    Excellent blog and a must read for someone who uses knife daily( means everybody). Safe use of knife has been always ignored but this blog will help to motivate all . Almost same safety tips is to be followed by a pocket knife user like how to use it safely while cutting something but it has a advantage of being more safer than the fixed knife. you can go for a pocket knife instead, if you find yourself lazy enough to follow these safety tips.

  6. arizona says:

    yeah, you tell any old timer who does any whittling not to cut towards themselves and they’ll look at you like you’re drunk. yes you CAN safely cut towards yourself, if you follow one simple rule: NEVER USE MORE PRESSURE THAN YOU CAN INSTANTLY STOP. oh and the use of stop cuts is something else good to remember. people who come off with this “never cut toward yourself” have obviously never done any carving.

    the rest i can TOTALLY agree on.

  7. tan hung says:

    Very Nice tips. They are useful for daily life.

  8. My wife and I recently moved to a new home, and we have a bunch of leftover cardboard boxes that we aren’t sure what to do with. We were thinking it would be a good idea to use a corrugated knife to cut the cardboard into smaller pieces for recycling. We appreciate the tip you shared on how it is important to never point a blade in your direction.

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