How to Use a Pocket Knife

How to Use a Pocket Knife
The pocket knife is a valuable survival tool. You're likely to encounter two different types of knife. One will be just a simple folding blade that fits into your pocket. The other, much like the familiar Swiss Army Knife, will have a number of different blades or other attachments, like can openers or screw drivers, that fold in and out of the knife's body.


Difficulty: Moderate

Step 1
Locate the small indentation on one side of the folded pocket knife's blade or other attachment.
Step 2
Place the thumbnail of one hand in the indentation and pinch the blade between that thumb and the forefinger of the same hand. Grasp the body of the pocket knife with your other hand.
Step 3
Pull the blade--or other attachment--slowly out of the pocket knife's body. Pull it all the way out until it is in line with the main body of the pocket knife, at which point it should lock in place. In a few cases you may only have to pull a non-blade attachment, like a screwdriver, out to a 90-degree angle before it locks.
Step 4
Use the pocket knife as you would wield any knife, screwdriver, file or whatever attachment you happen to be using. Remember that there is a pivoting joint between the blade and the knife body and treat it accordingly. Avoid using the knife as a lever or otherwise applying torque to the pivot joint.
Step 5
Release the lock on the blade or attachment and fold the blade or attachment back into the body of the knife, making sure not to let the fingers of either hand get between the blade and its seating in the knife. On most knives you will need to press the knife blade gently to one side to release the lock. Other less common ways of releasing a blade lock include pressing down on a tiny switch or lever in the body of the knife, then folding the blade in; or pinching the flat of the blade between your fingers and pressing gently in toward the body of the knife before folding it closed.

Tips & Warnings

Always treat a pocket knife with caution--its sharp, cutting edge can do serious damage. Keep everyone at least an arm's length away from you to avoid accidental injuries from curious onlookers.

Article Written By Marie Mulrooney

Marie Mulrooney has written professionally since 2001. Her diverse background includes numerous outdoor pursuits, personal training and linguistics. She studied mathematics and contributes regularly to various online publications. Mulrooney's print publication credits include national magazines, poetry awards and long-lived columns about local outdoor adventures.

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