Pocket knives are an invaluable tool to have at all times, but they can literally be a double edge-sword in some cases. We all have been warned about running with scissors and the same applies to an exposed pocket knife blade.

It is never too early to learn about proper knife-wielding rules and laws.That is why we have assembled a complete pocket knife safety and law guide so you can legally and safely use your pocket knife when you need it most.

It Is All Fun and Games

Cutting Apple With Knife

While pocket knives can be visually striking and fun to look at, they should not be handled like a toy.

Pocket knives are powerful and sharp tools - you should always approach one with self-awareness and caution.

Knife injuries can occur at any moment, so it is important to learn proper knife handling techniques to avoid getting hurt.

Always respect these safety rules and laws to avoid any serious injury.

Know Your Laws

Laws regarding pocket knives can vary by jurisdiction based on the type of mechanism and blade length. For example, some carry laws prohibit the concealment of knives over limiting blade length.

Generally, most pocket knives are legal. However, they may be prohibited in certain areas such as schools, government buildings, and planes. Always check your state and local laws to confirm these restrictions.

Open Away From Your Face

Pocket knives with a spring-assisted opening mechanism should be opened with the blade facing away from your face.

When opening your pocket knife, you may intuitively look down into the knife as you are doing it, which can put you at a greater risk of cutting yourself.

If you are opening a traditional Swiss army pocket knife, use both hands, one to securely grip both sides and the other to pull out your tool.

Watch Your Fingers When Closing

Man Folding Pocket Knife

When closing your knife, do not let your guard down. Injury can also occur if you are not aware of the position of the blade.

Make sure your fingers are not between the blade and the knife handle. Keeping your fingers away will prevent pinching or cutting when closing.

Cut Away From Your Body

Whittling With a Knife

As a rule of thumb, always establish a safety circle and cut away from your body.

Use your dominant hand so you have better control of your tool. Ensure you have a firm grip on the handle. In addition, keep an eye on your fingers and the blade to avoid getting cut.

If you have to pass your knife to someone, it is best if it is closed and in its sheath. But, if that is not possible, always hand the knife with the sharp end pointed down so they can grab it by the handle.

Establish a Safety Circle

Establishing a safety circle is your responsibility to protect yourself and those around you. A safety circle, also known as a blood circle, refers to the area within your extended arm and your blade.

When establishing your blood circle, always do so with the blade in the closed position. Extend your arms with the closed pocket knife in front of you. Draw a circle while rotating your body and check your overhead clearance, too. If you can touch someone else, it is not safe.

If someone enters this space, keep the knife closed and tucked away.

Know Your Knife

Pocket knives vary in size, shape, color, pattern, and function. Some are more able to handle tougher jobs while others may be meant for everyday general use.

It is important to determine the type of jobs your pocket knives are built for. Using them for a job they are not able to handle can cause breakage or injury.

Keep a Sharp Knife

Sharpening Pocket Knife

It may sound counter-intuitive, but keeping your pocket knife blade sharp is one of the most important safety tips we can give you. OSHA reports that dull blades are the main reason for workplace injuries related to knives.

Here is why:

When using a dull knife blade, you have to exert additional pressure and force to cut through the material. A job that could easily be done with an extra sharp blade now requires more pressure and increases your risk of injury.

If you are forcing the blade down, the knife can slip from your hand and hurt yourself or someone around you. Sharpen your blade regularly to make your job easier and keep yourself safe.

Use Personal Protective Equipment

While most people will not require any cut-resistant gloves to use a pocket knife, they can be a helpful tool if you want to be extra safe. They can help a Cub Scout learn proper pocket knife safety rules to earn their whittling chip.

Store and Maintain Your Pocket Knives

Cutting Lime With a Pocket Knife

After you are done with your tool, do not just toss it into any old drawer and call it a day. It is important to take care of your pocket knife so it always has its original function and luster.

When storing your pocket knife in a case, make sure that the blade is closed. In addition, make sure you keep your blade clean. A knife that has accumulated dirt and other debris can affect the function of your blade and is a safety risk.

With every use, inspect your tool to determine if it is in proper working order.

Check for cracks, chips, or a dull blade. Check to make sure if any screws need to be tightened or replaced or if any hinges need to be oiled. If you see any irregularity, fix it right away.

Keep Your Knife Dry

Keeping your knife dry may seem like more of a maintenance tip, but it can also increase your risk of injury.

When a pocket knife is wet for an excessive period of time, it can build up rust. If you do not get rid of the rust, your rusted pocket knife can break more easily than one that is not.

Safe Handling for Longevity

In addition, handling a wet pocket knife is a recipe for disaster. It can cause your knife to slip from your hand and injury you or someone around you.

Safe handling of these tools does more than keep you safe. Handling knives with respect and care helps you maintain them in their original condition for longer. With proper care and maintenance, you can pass them down for generations.

For more safety tips, pocket knife products, and accessories visit William Henry.