10 Tips For Knife Safety

This article is a part of GearJunkie’s “Day of the Knife” project, which includes content about knives as well as giveaways and a reader-submission contest for a chance to win $5k in gear! Go to the site here for more info and to sign up for a chance to win.


This post is not quite a “10 Commandants of the knife,” but you get the picture. Here are 10 do’s and do-not’s any knife owner should respect and follow. We especially like tip No. 4, shaving off arm hairs for show included in this particular caveat!

#1 – Full Attention to the Blade!
When working with a knife, give the job and knife 100% of your attention. Don’t allow distractions!

#2 – Sharp Knives are Safe Knives
Always keep your knife sharp — dull knives require more force to cut and are more likely to slip.

#3 – Keep ‘em Clean
On folding knives, always keep the lock and inside of the handle free of debris and dirt. Foreign objects can affect the lock’s integrity.

#4 – Anatomy Off Limits!
Don’t check the sharpness of a knife with any of your body parts.

#5 – Cut Away, Never Toward
Always cut away from yourself whether using, sharpening or cleaning your knife.

#6 – Not a Pry Bar!
Don’t use a knife for unintended purposes (it’s not a screwdriver, hammer, ice pick or pry bar!).

#7 – Dishwasher Safe?
Do not wash your camping knife in a dishwasher.

#8 – You Are not a Ninja
Do not throw any knife unless it is designed to be thrown. Even then, beware of “springback” from a bad throw.

#9 – Let it Fall. . .
Never try to catch a falling knife, no matter how instinctive it is. Just move out of the way.

#10 – Right Tool for the Job
Learn how to use the different types of knives safely and don’t be tempted to cheat. Use the right tool for the job.

—Jeff Freeman is Knife Innovation Manager at Gerber.

Posted by Dan - 07/12/2012 12:53 PM

They are all good points although I especially agree with number 6 and 10. It’s important to use knives for their intended purpose. I recommend a small one piece multi-tool (like the Gerber Shard) if you want something small, cheap, and with great prying and screw driving capabilities. And I wouldn’t put ANY knives in the dishwasher, including chef’s knives and pocket knives.

A little common sense and respect goes a long way imo, but these are lessons you can never hear too many times.

Dan @ BladeReviews

Posted by Traci Martin - 07/12/2012 01:47 PM

Good tips. I do tend to break #4 though… Ha Ha.

Posted by David A Bennett - 07/12/2012 02:08 PM

I uses my gerber everyday in teaching mey wife and daughter how to survive but I alway teach safty first. Safty is the most important in survival.

Posted by Kim H - 07/12/2012 02:17 PM

Great tips. When I was in the Air Force I cant tell you how many times we had to replace the gerbers kept in the toolboxes, mechanics just couldnt help themselves from using the blades as pry bars or screwdrivers and would constantly snap the blade tips off.

Posted by Max - 07/13/2012 11:00 PM

I’d add one more – if handing someone a knife, always hold the back non-edge side of the blade and pass it handle first.

Posted by Bruce - 07/24/2012 01:47 PM

Agreed…I alway let the knife fall and make sure the family jewels are nowhere near the blade!

Posted by DIP - 07/24/2012 01:51 PM

Great post….thanks.

Posted by beginner - 08/02/2012 05:42 PM

Why cant I wash a camping knife/multitool in the dishwasher?

Posted by deanna wynn - 10/23/2012 01:18 AM

These safety tips are really important. Every home should consider these tips in order to avoid accidents. Thanks for posting this article!

Posted by Gorilla - 12/31/2013 01:11 PM

I think these tips are really useful

Posted by Dave - 01/07/2014 11:28 AM

Great knife safety list! It’s amazing how many people don’t take knife safety seriously. I always take these safety precautions, especially when I’m out in the wilderness with my best survival knife, and I’ve never had a knife accident yet. Even taking the utmost care though, I almost have!

Great article.

Add Comment

  1. Add link by using "LinkText":http://google.com