Consider mileage on a vehicle. Two identical cars are purchased at the same time. The first is driven hard and over 30,000 miles a year and given little to no maintenance. The second is driven only 5,000 miles a year and treated cautiously, a strict maintenance schedule is kept, and the owner routinely washes and waxes the vehicle before storing it in a garage. In 5 years, which car do you want to buy? Which one would you trust to get you or a loved one to the hospital?
Let’s take another example: a large outdoor knife may be capable of tolerating the abuse of batoning to split wood, but this is beyond its intended purpose. A knife is primarily a cutting tool. Use it as a cutting tool. The sharp edge will be easily damaged when used as a chisel or splitting wedge. You may find yourself in a situation where this becomes necessary but it should not be a common practice. If you are in the habit of pounding on your knife you are shortening its lifespan and greatly increasing the risk of a catastrophic failure- most likely at a time when you need it most. Think about it this way- that knife will tolerate a finite number of abuses- let’s say 10 camping trips worth of beatings. There is no way to tell exactly when it’s going to quit. On your 11th trip to your favorite wilderness locale, you end up in a real life or death situation. Because you’ve abused your knife all this time, it now breaks and leaves you with nothing. It isn’t the knife’s fault, the manufacturer’s fault, or the You Tuber you’ve watched. You abused your equipment to the point of failure- equipment you’ve been counting on to save your life. Being conservative with your equipment is important in assuring it will be ready to serve you when you need it, especially if it is supposed to be your “survival” gear.
In my experience, Everything works better when it’s clean. This goes for firearms, knives, vehicle components, dive gear- you name it. You’ve probably spent a good deal of your hard earned money on this stuff. Take care of it. Why destroy it and have to replace it? Be conservative with your gear to make sure it will be ready and fully functional when you need to use it.