Safe use of the Knife - a by no means comprehensive safety list for using a knife!
Before use, make sure the knife is fit for the purpose. Check for any damage and repair, if necessary, or just go out and buy a new one.
Alcohol and knives don’t mix! Ice and alcohol do, though.
Look after your knife – keep it clean and sharp. Just like yourself on a Saturday night.
A sharp knife is an efficient knife and a bit more useful than a blunt one.
Resheath the knife when not in use – don’t leave it lying around. Like a lot of things in life, it is safer when it’s wearing protection.
If you need to ‘safe’ your knife for a few moments then it can be stowed under the armpit, edge facing down. Take care when withdrawing the knife though. There are better ways to shave your ‘pits.
Never lend your knife to anyone. It can be a sure-fired recipe to see a grown man cry.
Before using your knife have your First Aid kit to hand as accidents do happen. Have a practice opening it one handed just to see how awkward it is.
Plan ahead. Work out where all the bits are going to go like the blade, cut bits of wood, fingers…
Make sure your ‘blood zone’ is clear of obstructions and other people. Using your sheathed knife describe an arc all around you with your arm fully extended. This is to ensure any ‘travel through’ from a slipped blade will not hit anything or anyone causing an unexpected trip to the nice doctors and nurses at the local A&E.
Always cut away from yourself. Avoid working between your legs as a slip could result in cutting the femoral artery which can really ruin your day. Also make sure no other bits of your body are in the path of the blade should it do something unexpected.
Passing a knife safely – hold the knife in a forehand grip, allow it to rotate between thumb and forefinger until the spine of the blade is resting on the web of skin between thumb and fingers, thus offering the handle to the lucky person who is going to look at your knife (see above) but not use it.
Stop using the knife if the light is really poor or it is dark – it’s pretty important to see what you are doing clearly.
Never attempt to catch a falling blade (unless you are a ninja) because if you have kept it sharp then your fingers may have extra ventilation.
Don’t throw your knife at anything or at/to anyone! Bad karma, dudes!
Stabbing your knife into the ground or into wood is a great way to damage the knife, yourself or someone else. All of which are considered bad form.