How to Center the Blade on a Folding Knife

A perfectly centered blade in your folding knife isn't just aesthetically pleasing, it also ensures smooth operation and optimal performance. But sometimes, even the best knives can develop a slight misalignment. Don't fret! Centering the blade is often achievable with a few simple steps, though it's important to approach the task with caution and proper knowledge.

Before you begin:

  • Identify the problem: Ensure the blade is truly off-center and not simply exhibiting slight play, which is normal for some knives.
  • Gather your tools: You'll need a small, appropriately sized screwdriver or torx bit driver (often Torx or Allen) and quality torx bits such as wiha. The Knafs Bit Driver is great for this!
  • Know your limitations: If you're uncomfortable working on the knife yourself, it's best to seek help from a knife retailer or manufacturer.

Centering the blade:

  1. Loosen the pivot and body screws: Locate the pivot screw, which is typically found at the base of the blade where it meets the handle. Use the appropriate screwdriver to loosen it slightly, but not completely. Do the same for all body screws.
  2. Adjust the scales: With all screws loose, gently slide the handle scales in opposite direction to each other to achieve center alignment. You may need to hold the scales further than you'd like the end result while you tighten the screws.
  3. Test and refine: Once you've made a slight adjustment, open and close the knife and check the centering again. If it's still off, repeat steps 1 and 2, making even smaller adjustments each time.
  4. Adjust the pivot screw: Once the blade is centered, carefully adjust the pivot screw to ensure the blade opens and closes freely without side-to-side blade play. Too tight and the blade won't open or close freely. Too loose and the blade with have side-to-side movement.

Additional tips:

  • Take your time: Rushing the process can lead to over-adjusting and potentially damaging the knife.
  • Use the right tools: The wrong screwdriver can strip the screw head, rendering it unusable.
  • Be mindful of the lock: Adjusting the blade can sometimes affect the lock's engagement. Ensure the lock functions properly after centering the blade.
  • For complex knives: If your knife has multiple screws or intricate mechanisms, it's best to consult a professional for assistance.

Remember: While centering the blade is often a straightforward process, it requires careful handling and attention to detail. If you're unsure about any step, or if your knife is valuable or delicate, err on the side of caution and seek professional help.

By following these steps and exercising caution, you can restore your folding knife's blade to its centered glory, ensuring smooth operation and continued enjoyment.


Here's a video which shows two methods for centering a blade. The second method they show is what we use and is detailed above.

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