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Knives / Shears / Cutters
Knives are a useful accessory to have at hand whilst diving. Depending on the type of dive you enjoy part taking in, you may use a dive knife for escaping snags or recovering objects from the depths.
Dive Knife: We think smaller is better! We are not in the camp that prefers large knives strapped to our shins. We believe they present an entanglement issue, and also are too far from our hands if we happen to get in a tight situation. As a result, we recommend a small knife in a sheath on the waist. This puts the handle right where your hands tend to be while diving. We also prefer titanium, for its durability and corrosion resistance.
Line Cutters: Sometimes a line cutter is simply a better dive tool in an emergency. Line cutters with two cutting edges tend to be easier to use. Some divers prefer mounting the line cutter in a sheath on the waist, others on a compass or computer strap on the wrist, or even tucked in a pocket.
EMT Shears: There are times when being able to apply pressure to the cutting surfaces with the multiplier of a fulcrum just plain comes in handy. Thus many divers like to have a set of EMT Shears, or similar.
Tech Tip: StainLESS does not mean StainPROOF
A common misconception among divers is that stainless steel does not corrode at all. There are various types of stainless steel, each with different corrosion properties, that make a specific grade more or less suited to a particular application. Because there is no perfect stainless steel, the selection of the grade is often a compromise between corrosion resistance and malleability. Stainless grades selected because they hold a sharp cutting edge will corrode relatively fast compared to other grades. The most corrosion resistant grades are not usually a good choice for bolt snaps and hand tools because depending on the use application they may not offer the best wear resistance or may be too brittle.
StainLESS does not mean StainPROOF and all diving products made of stainless steel must receive some basic care to help minimise corrosion. Rinse any stainless steel components in dive equipment with fresh water after diving or when otherwise in contact with salt water, allow them to dry and do not store them in damp or moist environments. Make sure any storage sheath or pouch is also rinsed and allowed to dry before returning the stainless item to the pouch. When rinsing bolt snaps, be sure to work the bolt action several times to eject any saltwater trapped in the slider and spring mechanism. In particular, avoid storing stainless steel near or in contact with other metals having strongly dissimilar electropotentials, especially aluminum, such that moisture can induce galvanic corrosion. In cases of galvanic corrosion where the stainless item is in close proximity to some types of metals, rust or other colour stains will electrolytically transfer to the surface of the stainless item.
An invisible film forms on the surface of stainless steel when it's in contact with oxygen. This allows it to withstand damage from corrosives including many acids, bases, and detergents, as well as salt water. However, depending on envirionmental conditions you may notice some surface 'stains' that can form on various stainless items. In general these are cosmetic in nature and we recommend you allow the cosmetic stains to remain when practical. Using an abrasive is more likely to remove the invisible corrosion resistant film that forms on stainless, allowing corrosion to spread and ultimately making the corrosion worse.