How do you maintain a razor without disassembling it?
When it comes to maintaining and cleaning a knife, many people often think of disassembling it completely. That’s the most complete way to do it, but luckily it’s not always necessary and sometimes even impossible. For that reason, we have listed a couple of tips to maintain your razor without having to disassemble it.
When is maintenance necessary?
This question has an easy answer: always, unless you just finished cleaning your knife. It sounds silly, but it’s not as silly as you think. As soon as you put a razor in your pocket, she is faced with pocket lint. This material can get stuck inside the knife and, over time, disrupt the operation of your favorite companion. That is why it does not hurt to remove the lint between the handles to prevent it from ending up between the washers or the bearings.
It’s also immediately noticeable with normally smooth-running blades, such as ball-bearing-operated flippers with framelock or linerlock closures. After all, opening these knives will be much more difficult. Sometimes customers come to us with their knives saying they are broken, while nine times out of ten the problem can be fixed with just a minute of cleaning.
Why not just disassemble the knife?
It must be recognized that not all knives can be maintained without disassembling them. However, there are a couple of compelling arguments not to. The most obvious is that afterward you have to reassemble the knife. And that requires a little more craft than you might expect. You have to make sure that the knife is well centered and works smoothly. Centering the knife can take some time. It may be something that you don’t exactly feel like, and it’s easier with some knives than with others. Also, you have to wonder if those tiny blade screws can hold up if they are pulled out over and over again.
Other than that, we also take care of warranty issues. On some brands, the lifetime warranty expires immediately if the knife is disassembled. Even if you do everything right. And yes, they will be able to tell when you send it in for repair.
What does it take to clean a razor?
You need a couple of items to maintain your knife, even when you don’t disassemble it. We love to work with some cleaning alcohol, possibly some gasoline, a light rust oil and/or a good lubricating oil like Nano-Oil , kitchen towels, a couple of Q-tips and a piece of paper.
Let’s start with the sheet. Depending on the tasks for which the knife is used, remnants of masking tape are often found on the blade. Incredibly difficult to remove under the tap, but dissolves easily when you use a little bit of gasoline. Don’t forget to add a couple of drops of oil afterwards to prevent oxidation.
Tip: If you’re already busy cleaning your knife, why not sharpen it too? Especially when the knife is still relatively sharp, you can benefit from occasionally buffing the knife. Doing so will avoid maintenance for a while. We believe that this is part of the daily maintenance of your knife.
Remove lint from pockets
Now is the time to remove the clutter between the handle. With cotton swabs you can easily remove all dirt. Don’t think: “That dirt is on the end of the handle, how could it hurt?” And it is that experience has taught us that the dust will end up between the bearings or the washers.
Compressor or compressed air?
Do you happen to have a compressor or a can of compressed air? Perfect! Use it to remove dust or dirt from the frame.
Frame or linerlock cleaning
The lock is next. Since the method differs depending on the type of lock, we will start with the most common, framelock and linerlock. In terms of finish and main features they are incredibly similar.
When the knife is closed, it is held in place by the detent ball. This is a small ball bearing that is pushed into the closing bar. This little ball could sometimes drag some dirt. Do you notice that a framelock or linerlock knife doesn’t open and close as easily as it used to? This is often the result of dirt that has built up around this ball.
The check ball can be easily cleaned with the help of a cotton swab soaked in cleaning alcohol. You will be surprised how much dirt can come out of such a small ball. Especially because of the contrast with the white cotton swab.
But just cleaning the ball itself is not enough. After all, the ball will slide over the blade as it opens and closes. That retainer slot needs to be cleaned as well, although it’s a bit more difficult to reach. That’s where that piece of paper will come in handy. With an open razor, a piece of paper, perhaps folded, is passed through the frame and the sheet. Repeat this process a few times until the paper comes out clean. Although the detent ball runs along one side of the blade, it is best if it is done on both sides. This will allow you to easily remove a little extra dirt from the handle.
The blade ramp
The lock also deserves some attention. The end of the lockbar lock (where the detent ball is located) is difficult to clean without disassembling the knife. The blade ramp is a bit easier to reach. After all, it is the part of the blade that the locking bar rests against to keep the knife open. When you close the knife and look at the handle, you can immediately tell where the locking bar makes contact. You can clean the ramp of the blade with a cotton swab. Can you still spot the dirt that accumulates there? Take a toothpick and try to remove all the dirt.
Cleaning a backlock
Cleaning a backlock can remove dirt that has gotten stuck between the blade and the hilt, although it won’t have as much of an impact because the check ball is missing. It is more important that you clean the contact points of the lock. A backlock is simply a type of hammer that falls into a cutout on the back of the blade. Clean the cutout using a toothpick. If necessary, you can also use an alcohol swab.
Doing this often ensures that the lock works as it should. Because if the cutout is full of dirt, the closing hammer will not be able to fit inside. With it, the security of the lock is put at stake. As a result, it is very important to clean it.
For many other locks the same principles apply. The use of compressed air always helps. Removing dirt with toothpicks or cotton swabs is also great. Oil is not always necessary and sometimes even inadvisable. In all cases the following applies: use oil sparingly. Take it easy. After all, a lot of oil can attract a lot of dirt, something that you want to avoid.
It’s better to prevent than to cure!
All of these tips are great and in 90% of cases offer a solution to many razor problems. However, there is one piece of advice that beats them all: don’t let your knife get dirty. If you make sure that dirt can’t get caught on the knife, you’ll have a lot less to clean up. Do you know for sure that you are going to find a lot of sand and dust? Why not carry a fixed knife? Or store your razor in a place where it does not come into contact with dirt.