Safe Use of Knives

Taking a knife out of its sheath is the first lesson we teach anyone. Pulling a knife recklessly from its sheath can result in ends of fingers getting cut. Keep your fingers and hand away from the blade. Grip the sheath firmly at the bottom and pull the handle of the knife upwards. We do not want to grip the sheath near the top where the blade can easily slice along your hand or fingers when first pulling out the blade.

Once your knife is out, make sure to keep arm’s length from other people. Be aware of your surroundings and be aware of anyone else who may be using a knife in your immediate area.

Awareness of yourself and others is vital to maintain a safe working environment. Be aware of your own body. Always think about where the knife is going to go after you have made your cut. Are there any limbs in the way? i.e. once you cut through your material are you likely to follow through and stab yourself in the leg?

All your bodies major arteries are on the inside of your limbs, your legs and arms for example. Therefore, we always cut on the outside of our body/limbs in a safe and comfortable position.

If you are sitting down and choosing to cut or carve in between your legs, always remember to try to lean forwards with your elbows on your knees, this puts your body and arm position in a safe place that would make it pretty difficult to slip and cut an artery on the inside of your leg.

Cutting away from the body is always the safest, but there are methods in which you will learn where you can safely cut toward the body.

Try to get out of the habit of walking around with a knife in your hand. Don’t lay it on the ground or put it on a log for someone to sit on. Put it back in its sheath.

If you need to pass a knife to someone else. Hold the knife using the forehand grip. Tilt the blade backwards so the handle is being passed forward first, and the back of the blade is resting upon the top of your hand. This ensures the person receiving the knife doesn’t get poked with the sharp end, and if they snatch or pull the knife away from you too quickly your hand will not get sliced from the blade either.

Author: Paul

Paul has had an interest in the outdoors since he was a young kid. Walking, tracking and exploring the wilderness around him, from disused overgrown railway lines to the vast wilderness of the UK national parks. Over the last few years Paul has honed his skills into specific areas of bushcraft and survival. He is an expert in map reading, shelter building and knots, traps and fishing.


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