Why Your Blade Won’t Hold An Edge

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A lot of people who use knives on a regular basis tend to run into a problem. The edge, after a while, does not hold. The question then comes about, understandably, regarding why their knife won’t hold an edge.

The answer to this can be both obvious and complicated. The reason for this ultimately comes down to quite a few different factors with around 3 being prime among them. Knives are, of course, not meant to last forever.

If this was the case, then knife companies would basically be out of business at this point. They need you to keep buying. Perhaps they’ll want you to buy a specific outdoor knife or categorize survival, tactical, and camping knives differently. When in reality, they can pretty much be the same thing.

Then you have to add in the fixed blade vs folding blades. It’s a lot, so naturally, we are here to help explain some of the reasons behind your biggest questions. When it comes to the issue regarding the edge of your knife, here are the top reasons why it won’t hold.

Material Its Made From

blade steel

The steel your knife is made from eventually has an expiration point. This means it will eventually no longer work at the rate it needs to. You can even attempt to sharpen it to some great success many times. Eventually, it just can’t work.

Basically, the materials you’re using are going to start becoming dull much faster the cheaper your knife cost. Plain and simple, the average $5 pocket knife is going to last maybe a year maximum. Meanwhile, the $400 hunting knife you bought could last 5 years or longer before there is a need to do a serious sharpen.

The same goes for kitchen knives. If you invest in some random Wal-Mart kitchen knives, they will cost $20 but work like that cost that. Meanwhile, an average Cutcu brand knife is pretty expensive but rarely goes dull on you.

The reason for this is that the materials used as well as any sort of Lifetime Guarantees offered are going to raise the cost of the knife. For example, your random hunting knife could be made with AUS-8 Steel. This is not bad steel but also not the best either.

It’s more likely to sharpen with a wire edge and go dull on you than blade steel such as M390. This happens to be a premium steel type but there are other less expensive options that are better than AUS-8 Steel too. This is why you have to consider the material you’re using.

Carbon Steel, popular among outdoor knives, are also going to do well against corrosion. Yet eventually they won’t be capable of stopping this and that will affect your edge too.

Stainless Steel is the best kitchen knife type as they clean easily and that can be a great way to keep your knife from going dull. They also often come with sharpeners to use on the regular. In any case, kitchen knives that are using good cutting boards and not trying to cut through a bone on the regular will hold their edge for a while if the knives are good.

Yet even the best quality Stainless Steel has limits. This is why preventing problems is great to do. Cleaning them regularly, sanitizing them when you do, can be essential.

What You’re Using Your Knife For

knife cutting wood

Probably the most common knife that has to be replaced the most is the Everyday Carry Knife. The reason being, EDC knives are typically used for pretty much everything. People even take them into the outdoors even if they are not cleared for a lot of outdoor activity.

At this point, not only are you using a knife in an area it was never made to perform in, but you’re exposing the blade to things it is not capable of fighting off. Now, you’re hurting the materials on top of developing a problem with the edge of the knife.

Why is this an issue? Well, you might be able to sharpen a knife if the edge is bad but if the blade itself is pretty beat up, there is not much sharpening that can save it.

On top of this, people might use knives that are cleared for certain activity….but end up using it too much. Likely the most common area this is seen in would be in the creative community. For example, some might do a lot of woodworking such as making furniture on your own or whittling knickknacks.

This is a respectable thing to do, but the more its done, the more use the blade will go through. Even if you have a good premium blade, it’s clear a blade can only handle so much. So the reason the knife will not hold an edge is because you’re using it all the time.

Clearly, the more you use it the more likely it is going to have trouble. Especially if what you use it for is deep cuts, like what you’d see in the woodworking community.

You Don’t Know How To Sharpen Your Knife

knife on whetstone

We do not mean this in any sort of derogatory way. However, if you remove some of the other stuff such as the materials and what you use your knife for….usually the only thing left remaining is possible user-error when sharpening.

You might have found a good sharpening tool online and bought it only to see it did not help for long. It is more likely than not that the sharpening tool you have is not effective for your specific knife or you just did not know how to use it.

There are people who professionally sharpen knives all the time. Some even make a literal specialty to make knives razor sharp. This is the type of person you should take your knife to for sharpening. Perhaps even watch them as they do it to see how.

Some have various sharpeners while others might have some industrial options. Regardless of what they use, you’ll get a knife so sharp it could split a hair in half, down the middle. They have done this for a long time and, naturally, know far more about how to get a sharp edge than most of us.

The cost for this is usually pretty affordable, so it’s well worth doing it. We’d especially advise this is you need to use your knife for everyday activities and especially your job. There is nothing wrong with admitting you have a problem or simply are not as good at something as someone else. Especially when it comes to how to properly sharpen a knife.

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