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Jackknife Safety

A jackknife is an important tool for camping. It is a safe tool when handled carefully. Follow these tips.

"Circle of Safety"

Each person handling a knife should maintain a "circle of safety" around themselves in which no other person may enter. To determine the "circle of safety", the person extends their arms from their sides and rotates in a circle. Anyone entering this circle will require the user to close their knife immediately.

"Opening the Jackknife"

With the blade facing up, put your thumbnail in the slot of the blade. Keep your fingers away from the cutting edge. Pull the blade out all the way.

"Using the Jackknife"

Hold the handle with your whole hand. Always cut away from you. Keep at least an arm's length away from anyone else. Cut slowly so the knife won't slip.

"Closing the Jackknife"

With the blade facing up, slowly close the blade with both hands.

"Passing the Jackknife"

If you are going to pass the jackknife to another person, close it first. Always say "Thank You" when you have received a knife. This is the signal that you are holding the knife safely.

"Cleaning the Jackknife"

Always wipe clean and dry your knife after using. To clean, hold the cloth at the back of the blade, away from the cutting edge. Wipe carefully across the whole blade. Oil the hinge with machine oil. Never clean the blade by rubbing it is dirt or sand. This dulls the blade and makes the knife hard to open and close.

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