Best way to pack a knife for shipping

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Aug 28, 2009
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I will be shipping out my giveaway knife to Texas on Monday and was wondering what is the best way to package it for shipping. I just finished the sheath on Friday and fear that the leather may still be a little wet by Monday. Being that the blade is O-1, I don't want the winner to get a rusty knife. I am sure that everything will be dry by the time it gets to him for use, it just that the humidity and rain is slowing the drying process so I planned on shipping the knife not in the sheath, but it is sharp and I don't want it cutting through anything.

Any recommendations? should I stick the blade in one of my failed attempts at a sheath for shipping with the good sheath on the side? Cork the edge and tip with a liberal application of stretch wrap, with the humidity here right now would that trap moisture and cause rust too? Right now I am leaning towards using the rough sheath with the good one on the side, not like I will be using it for anything other then a reminder of how I don't want my sheaths to look:eek:

Thanks for the advice
George
 

Nathan the Machinist

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The blade should be oiled, regardless. A thin film will do. If it is a full tang, be sure to wipe a little on it too. I like a corrosion inhibitor oil made by CRC, but gun oil or even WD40 will be okay.

I wouldn't ship a sheath that wasn't 100% dry or it might get misshapen on the trip. Or it might get moldy.

Normally I wouldn't suggest using a "junk" sheath in that manner because you should never ship out poor work, even if it is just for packaging. This being a "give away", well... *shrug*

I usually use a $5 USPS flat rate box and packing bubbles. And I insure it. If it was a high dollar knife I would probably use more packing material, a larger box and ship it UPS insured.

If it is a very thin, freaky sharp kind of blade I'll put blue (easy release) masking tape on the edge to prevent the possibility of any incidental rubbing against the sheath. Folks like it when that kind of knife "tree tops" when they get it.

If you have any moisture concerns, I think you should wait.
 
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First I would not ship the knife until your sure the sheath is dry, and that the whole "package" is ready to use.

When I ship, I use 4" PVC pipe. I ensure the knife is waxed/oiled well, place the knife in the sheath (the sheath is completely dried) and then roll everything up in bubble wrap until I have to force it into the PVC pipe. (You can purchase 10' length of thin walled 4" PVC pipe as most home improvement/hardware stores for about $12.) I cut the PVC pipe about 6-8" longer than needed, force the bubble wrapped knife/sheath into the pipe until it's centered, then tightly wad newspaper to fill the 3-4" of blank space at each end of the pipe.
I close up the ends with double layers of duct tape. (at one time I cut and put wooden plugs in each end, with small screws) but customers had a hard time getting into their package(s). :)

I am totally against using cardboard mailing boxes. This is mainly because I used to use them, and no matter what I did, too often the knife got damaged during shipping. Since going to the PVC for shipping, I've not had any issue. I generally ship via Priority Mail, with delivery confirmation and insurance, unless the customer specifies another method. For overseas, the only option I offer is USPS Priority Mail International.
 
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Mar 28, 2007
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Hi Unky_Gumbi
I have shipped MANY knives and have settled on the following process.
I put coat the blade in a protective coat such as gun oil, and wrap the whole knife in a soft paper towel to protect it from the packing and sheath. I make a simple folded cardboard sleeve that is long enough to butt up against the paper towel padded hilt and extends a little past the point and the edge is oriented toward the fold in the folded sleeve. The sleeve is taped closed on the open side and to the knife to prevent it form sliding off. The sheath is also wrapped in pappier towel to protect it, as mentioned by Nathan is you wet form only ship a completely dry sheath. The pair is then rolled in bubble wrap wrap to as to fit tightly onto a stiff shipping tub that is a little longer than the bubble wrapped sheath and knife to allow some packing in both ends. A card board disk is cut for each end of the tube and secured with tape. The tube can purchased and cut to length from shipping suppliers such as U-line and others. While discussing this question with ED Caffery he told me he uses PVC pipe to ship his knives. I hope this helps, Good luck.

Jim

Will.. while I was composing this Ed posted his advice as well:)
 
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pack it with newspaper, not the plasticy magazine paper, and the paper should obsorb allot of excess moister just my $.02
 
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Okay thanks for the advice, looks like I will be waiting to ship it out till I am sure that the sheath is dry. Even though it is a giveaway knife I still want the winner to get it in as good of shape as it is when it leaves. I have an abundance of shipping materials, bubble wrap, foam, and packing peanuts thanks to work and a good heavy over sized box to ship it in, 3" of extra space all around the knife once packed. We have a break in the rain so I guess I am out to take some pictures.
 
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Are you aware that shipping anywhere out of Canada requiers a declaration slip you get at the post office? Instead oy writing "hunting knife" or whatever "knife" it seems marking it simply "cutlery" works best. I you ever have a knife of any sort coming to you from ant country get it marked the same way for ease of receiving it. Frank
 
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Thanks Frank:thumbup: I was aware of that even though I have never shipped a knife any where. I lurk here more now then when I was first starting, so I have read many of the threads on shipping, but I just couldn't remember seeing any on how the knives were packaged before shipping. Its always nice to get a reminder though
 
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I disagree with shipping the knife in the sheath. In the case of severe trauma to the package, the knife can be driven through the end of the sheath cutting through the threads. If they are packed separately, this is much less likely to happen.

In the end, I don't think it's rocket science or anything.

Here are the essentials:

- Oil
- Putting a thick paper or cardboard sheath (perhaps with a layer of paper towel in between to prevent micro scratches) around the blade
- Separating the blade and the sheath and wrapping them individually
- LOTS of stiff packing material to prevent shifting inside the package

I actually don't like it when shippers OVER wrap the knife, especially when they use packing tape to secure bubble wrap around items. I've damaged and dropped LOTS of blades because the packing was too difficult to unwrap by hand. When you overwrap the blade, you can force someone into using a knife to get the padding off, and WHOOPS - they might just put a gouge into the handle or the sheath of the blade inside the wrap. What's the point? You might think you're doing the receiver a favor by wrapping the "egg" with eight layers of packing tape, when actually you are increasing the risk of a mis-hap.

These guys know how to pack economically and well:

Fiddleback uses heavy butcher paper and ties a twine bow around it. VERY WELL DONE. It protects, provides stiffness, and even looks good. It is EASY to take off and even put back on if necessary. Then it is packed with other packing materials and shipped in a box. NO Rattle. Perfect.

Matt Bailey also does a great job packing. His knives are never shaking in a loose package, the blade is always packed separately from the sheath, and he always puts the blade portion of the knife in a corrugated cardboard slip. Again, not too much, very inexpensive and perfectly done.
 
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Dec 25, 2004
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My way of packing is inspired by Japanese froshiki techniques. It is hard to explain, so here are the pics: (boxes are covered with japan or indian paper, filled with natural dyed wool, froshiki wrap is velvet)...

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Emre
 
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That is a beautiful way to package knife Emre, but I don't think the postal service would like it, no place to affix a shipping label:p Seriously though I understand that would be inside something else. I don't think my knives are at that level yet, but it is an inspiration for when they are
 
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Oct 12, 2004
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The way Ed described is the most trouble free way to ship a knife. But you need to place the pipe inside a box to avoid excess shipping charges with some carriers. A package that cannot sit on an conveyor without rolling around will double shipping charges and will increase your risk of damage.
If you use wooden plugs secured by screws drill a small hole in the end and instruct the customer to remove the screws from the perimeter and insert one in the hole to pull the plug out.

~Alden
 
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when i ship a knife i sold, i wrap the knife up in saran wrap sprayed with wd40 and coating the blade with it too. then i wrap it up in newspaper and tape it up. then i pack the knife in a box with plenty of paper around it protecting the whole knife making sure it wont rattle or move in the box. this method has worked for me quite well.
 
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