• Happy Hannukah, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year to all of you! Thanks for your continued support and I hope that your holiday season is a blessed one.

A tip for cleaning folders (let's hear yours!)...


Gold Member
Apr 6, 1999
...and for cleaning fixed-blades for that matter. We evolved to this topic at the Benchmade forum, and I thought I'd post here and find out how you guys and gals go about it.

Much to my wife's chagrin, I keep a toothbrush in the shower that I use to clean my folders, inside and out, while showering! I do it once or twice a month dependent upon the buildup of pocket schmeg. I simply dab some shampoo on the toothbrush and scrub the folders till a nice lather builds, and then I rinse and repeat as needed. I don't use my knife for eatin', so I don't scrub it with antibacterial soap but maybe every three months or so.

Works like a charm, and is time-effective too. How do you clean your knives?


What I find works quite well is just running it under the tap with really hot water. It is amazing how well that cleans out the gunk. The knife dries quickly also with the hot water evaporating off. I then put a drop of Rem Oil and everything is great. Boy, if my wife saw me in the bathroom cleaning my knife with her toothbrush!!
Yeah, it's a sight. The wife already knows I a freak though, so it's all good

Forgot to mention that I use Breakfree on the pivot and blade following it's "shower scrub."


[This message has been edited by Professor (edited 02-15-2001).]
Toothpicks and Q-tips. Wooden toothpicks are great for cleaning out behind the liner lock and for screw heads. The wood is much softer than the steel,etc. so it doesn't cause and damage. The Q-tips are good for cleaning the inside of the frame and around the pivot. Do yourself a favor and get a premium brand. The cheap swabs leave lint,which in turn has to be picked out with more toothpicks!

AKTI# A000150
NC Custom Knifemakers Guild member
NC Knife Knuts member
Knives in the shower?Not me,one of those rascals could slip and do damage to equipment.I prefer the toothbrush,q-tips,and a cloth with some WD-40 and 3 in 1 while sitting at my desk.
I have heard that hairdryers are good on knives after the shower

"Just me and my multi-tools."
For quick cleaning without a lot of dry time I use pipe cleaners soaked in alcohol for the inside--Q-tips for outside nooks and crannies.
I use the toothbrush and Q-tips as well, depending on the materials in the knife I will dry it with either a blow dryer or dip in water just before it starts to boil. It evaporates off real fast and works better than using a blow dryer in my opinion.

I was wondering how everyone cleans their knives with natural material such as wood. I have a BM 690 and am considering getting one of Elishewitz customs someday. Does CF have any bad effects from soaps or water. Right now I avoid getting detergents on CF and I just wipe it down with a silicone rag, seems to work good.

Avoid using Gun Scrubber as it will destroy
Pretty simple really. Assuming the knife doesnt have natural handles (stag, bone etc.) I just toss them in the dishwasher. I open the folders half way so everything is sure to be flushed out. Afterwards a drop of break-free on the pivot and its good as new.

Richard Todd - Digital knife photography
icq 61363141
My WebSite
Do your site a favor, get quality digital images!!!
New photos added!!!
The best way I've found to clean folders is with a water pic. That little high pressure jet blows all the crud out of those hard to reach areas. I use hot water and dry with a hair dryer. Then lube as needed. Give it try!!

Ray Carr
The wash and wear method would seem to be okay for liner locks but what would that method do to an Axis lock? Anyone tried it on one?
Warm, soapy water and a toothbrush also works for me. I like the Water-Pic idea. A good rinsing in clear water dry and than a wipe down with Tuf-Cloth and a bit of Tuf-Glide at the pivot.
The best way I have found for cleaning folders is to disassemble the knife and clean it that way. If I'm in a rush then I just fire up the air compressor in the garage
and blow all the debris out.

A Pat on the Back is only a few inches from a Kick in the Butt.
I'd like to pass on a Tip that I learned.... the HARD way.

Never, EVER use any type of Polish (Simichrome, Metal-Glo, etc) on metal that has been Anodized...... such as those beautiful EDC's or Apogee's by Darrell Ralph. No matter how gentle or non-abrasive the polish the Anodizing will be effected.

The best solutions to clean any Anodized Metal is Formula 409 or Wyndex - both these cleaners have a high Ammonia content and that (I think) is what allows them to clean so well.

Also, I recommend a coat of Renaissance Wax to protect any blade that you have taken the time to clean.
Here is how I clean my folders-
1. First I disassemble the knife
2. I clean off all the gunk build up by either scraping it off or by blasting it with Breakfree
3. Use a cloth covered toothpick to get the hard to reach areas
4. Next I take Militec and lube the outer liners around the pivot where the washers contact
5. Then I use more Militec on the washers and on the blade to "sandwich" the liners and washers with Militec
6. Next I use Breakfree to lube the areas around the screws on the liners and the spacer
7. Finally, I apply a coat of Breakfree to the scales (provided they have them) to prevent inner liner rusting
8. Reassemble

Sure, this takes a while, but it makes all my knives at least 50% smoother.


My collection
The easy way first...

1. Run folder under hot water tap for about 1 min (open the blade half way)
2. Let dry.
3. Use a pipe cleaner to get out any other gunk/rinse again as needed/or do both at same time.
4. Open and close knife several times and use a pipe cleaner/cotton bud to reach to hard to get to bits.
5. Let dry.
6. Spray PTFE dry grease into action/Tuf Glide and work action.
7.Let dry.

Or at stage 6, strip knife, clean all surfaces with a gun metal polish, clean all washers etc. Put thick white Teflon grease on all parts and spread about thinly. Put knife together with due care. When finished spray PTFE dry spay grease into area and let dry, work action a few times and leave over night.

The knife now aught to be slick and smooooth!

Works every time.

The only blades I do not take apart are my LCC D/A, Ka Bar folder and fixed blades!


"To strive to seek to find and not to yield"
Ranger motto

A few useful details on UK laws and some nice reviews!
Certified steel snob!
I do the Qtip method.

The Infamous ShadedDude
Web Design and Hosting

1. Take knife apart
2. Use toothbrush and dishwashing liquid to clean.
3. Rinse thoroughly with water.
4. Rinse again with water.
5. Rinse one more time with water.
6. Take a spray bottle full of rubbing alcohol and spray it everywhere (My way of eliminating ALL the water)
7. Shake excess rubbing alcohol out.
8. Leave it on a dry towel to thoroughly dry.
9. Properly lube with break-free, three-in-one oil, or what ever you prefer.
10. cry the next hour when you notice the first spec of dust on it!
So far I was just disassembling my knives to clean.
Since so many people seems to be rinsing them, I've tried to try that with my 710 HSSR. Anyway it was just about time fro the next cleaning.
I was rinsing it for approx. 5 minutes in really hot water, then used fan to dry it.
After that I've disassembled it to check the results. Basically it worked well. Knife internals were completely dry.
However, under the scales around the axis lock itself, i.e. between the scale and the liner where the lock stud moves, there was still was a dirt left.
May be I didn't rinse it properly?

Have Fun,
well i clean my rolex watch kinda like that - cept not in shower and use diluted dish soap - works great on that - tried it on a knife a minute ago and works great but ya need to blow dry it w/a hair dryer and oil it up a little - IMHO any way

have a good 1

All I do to my knives is wash them with a toothbrush and dish washing liquid. I let it dry and then put on some knife oil. This simple process works well for me.