We all crave the perfect knife. It fits our hand perfectly, with a blade crafted from the perfect steel - it has been sharpened to hair-whittling perfection, and HOPEFULLY the blade is perfectly centered between the handle scales!
Unfortunately, even some of the best knife manufacturers still struggle to center knife blades between scales on every knife that comes off the assembly line.
Off-centered blades primarily result from slight blade warping due to internal stresses developed during heat treatment and tempering. Occasionally blades close off-center due to warped liners or handle scales.
Here's what a poorly centered blade looks like:
Fortunately, in some cases an off centered blade can be fixed with a quick partial disassembly and tweaking.
Our method works best on pocketknives with composite scales (G-10, Carbon Fiber, Micarta, etc.) We've had less luck centering blades in titanium-hadled knives.
Let's get started!
What you'll need:
First you will want to loosen each of the screws holding the knife together. Start by slightly loosening the pivot screws, followed by each screw holding the body of the knife together.
Don't remove any screws fully, just loosen them a turn or two.
Now fold a small piece of notebook paper in half 4-6 times to create a small wedge-shaped shim we can cram into the space between the blade and handles to counteract the off-centeredness of the blade.
Ideally this should be a very tight fit, and you should be dramatically pinning the blade tip to the side opposite where it was originally.
Next comes the slightly tricky part of this method. Using all the strength you have in one of your hands, put a bit of flex into the entire body of the knife, again in the direction that would tend to counter the off-centeredness of the blade point. A millimeter or two will do - just give it whatever you've got!
While you have the knife body flexed slightly, and using the table to assist you, begin tightening body screws firmly. We really want to lock-in the flex we've put into the knife body, so tighten each body screw firmly (without damaging it). Adding a small drop of threadlocker to each screw helps it hold over the long term.
Once all the body screws are tightened down securely, remove the paper wedge and carefully adjust the pivot screw to allow the blade to close smoothly without side-to-side play.
Adding high quality Knife Pivot Lube really helps get things moving smoothly while also maintaining a wiggle-free pivot.
Assuming things went well, your knife's point should be closer to the center after this adjustment!