Photos BRK 3V Rust/Patina - Is this normal?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by temujen, Nov 19, 2019.

  1. temujen


    Jan 8, 2019
    Before I explain my situation, I just want to say that I’ve read several other threads with similar issues, and I don’t want this to devolve into a bashing thread. I’m starting this thread to ask your collective opinion, and see what the community thinks.

    I received a brand-new Mini Aurora in 3V from KSF yesterday. It was immaculate out of the box, especially the blade. That being said, I noticed some small stains had appeared on it after using it to cut cardboard, then slicing up a portobello mushroom, and then washing it with warm water and some basic dish soap. After the box and mushroom cutting, the knife sat for roughly five minutes before I was able to wash it. After washing, I dried the knife off, and noticed some small spots (appear to be rust) on one side, and a small splotch of patina on the other side. This is my first 3V knife, but from everything I've read and have heard, 3V shouldn't behave that way, at least that quickly. As a matter of fact, in a Dutch Bushcraft Knives video, he left his BRK 3V blade out in the rain for an hour, and it didn’t appear to have caused any spotting. I tried to rub the apparent rust spots off with my finger, then my shirt, and then my nail, but they’re still there. I've been able to rub off surface rust on my ESEE's in 1095 before so that is a bit odd.

    I've attached some photos for reference – the outdoor photo is right after unboxing, and the indoor pictures are post-use and cleaning. I love the knife, but this very quick reaction to moisture is a bit disconcerting. If you're wondering, those horizontal scratches are from the sheath.

    I reached out to KSF last night, and received a prompt response this morning mentioning that apparently it is possible for 3V to rust/patina that quickly, and that if I wanted, I could contact Bark River directly to see if any other customers have had similar issues. I’ve reached out to BRK and am waiting to hear what they have to say.

    Curious to hear your thoughts.



  2. Twinsdad

    Twinsdad Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 13, 2015
    My 3v squadleader 2 has some spots like that but it was used a hell of a lot longer and harder then what you described.
    temujen likes this.
  3. trevitrace

    trevitrace Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 21, 2013
    Seems unlike 3v in my experience.
    ScooterG and temujen like this.
  4. blades&wrenches

    blades&wrenches Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 11, 2014
    I have not had 3V stain that easily.
    ScooterG, temujen and chiral.grolim like this.
  5. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    If you've got a problem with it, send it back to Bark River. I know where this whole thread is going and I'm not going there.
    SharpKnives9, superpog and temujen like this.
  6. shqxk


    Mar 26, 2012
    The rule of thumb when buying a Barker River is always aim for A2 steel. Because by buying others steel, there are still chance it would end up being A2...
  7. craytab

    craytab Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 26, 2012
    3v I have and have had does/did not act like that, even from brkt.
    ScooterG, Deinos and temujen like this.
  8. Alberta Ed

    Alberta Ed

    Jun 29, 1999
    3V is a tool steel with not enough chromium to make it stainless, so some staining could be expected -- possibly the surface grind might have some impact. I wouldn't worry about it. Actually, I like patina.
    buckfynn and temujen like this.
  9. craytab

    craytab Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 26, 2012
    I would worry about it as brkt has a reputation of mixing up steels. If you pay more for a premium steel you should get that steel.
  10. JJ_Colt45

    JJ_Colt45 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 11, 2014
    all D3 is not created equal ... some will rust quite easily while others have been tweaked slightly and are very resistant ...

    if you do some research on D3 from various brands and makers you'll see some slight differences.
    temujen likes this.
  11. 353

    353 Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 20, 2015
    In my experience with 3V that is not normal.

    It should not rust, even if you leave water on it over night.
    temujen likes this.
  12. DJC72

    DJC72 Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 1, 2014
    I’ve never had that type of experience with 3V. Especially with a satin finish.
    temujen likes this.
  13. chiral.grolim

    chiral.grolim Universal Kydex Sheath Extension Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 2, 2008
    The 3V I've handled (not including BRKT) never behaved that way.
    HT protocol and surface finish have a large impact on corrosion resistance in 3V, but if this is how BRKT 3V behaves then you are better suited spending your money elsewhere. However, it may not be that bad. They may have simply mislabeled the knife and should be willing to send you a new one, and THAT 3V-labeled knife may behave differently *shrug*
    temujen likes this.
  14. temujen


    Jan 8, 2019
    I genuinely appreciate all the responses, it sounds like any concern I have should be justified. To reiterate, I received my knife just yesterday, and these spots developed within minutes of being exposed to moisture, not hours, or overnight.

    Waiting to hear what the response from Bark River is. To be honest, i'm not even sure what I would ideally like for their response to be. Either way, I'll follow-up here.
  15. Richard338

    Richard338 Gold Member Gold Member

    May 3, 2005
    I tried to darken a 3V blade with oxpho blue (cold bluing). It wouldn't touch it even after several minutes. An A2 blade turned nearly black in seconds...
    CPM3V, TheEdge01 and temujen like this.
  16. Worldwatcher

    Worldwatcher Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 19, 2015
    I agree with the others. Not normal at all. I have 3 knives in 3v from 3 different makes and none have done that. I also had a 3v brk that I never used due to similar stories and sold it, so I cant say how theirs performed. But my 3 I have used for many things and the most I have gotten is some small spotting on the sharpened edge that easily rubbed off. Good luck but I would send it back. As others have said they had issues with it being labeled wrong. Check out cedric and ada on youtube as he received a mislabeled knife. You paid a premium for the 3v and deserve to get it.
  17. rxavage


    Aug 16, 2014
    The 3v I have from survive knives has blotched from blood. It can rust and stain.
    Tundraman likes this.
  18. ScooterG

    ScooterG You mean Ireland? Yeah, it’s mine. Gold Member

    Mar 15, 2016
    3.5 year old knife that I believe to be 3V. Has a patina but nothing like what the OP is seeing.
    Carothers Delta 3V and the 3V in a Demko AD-10 doesn’t even patina like this one.
    PNWhovian, temujen and Deinos like this.
  19. The Mastiff

    The Mastiff

    Apr 21, 2006
    To look at pictures and say " that shouldn't do that " isn't really helpful or accurate. It is possible to see rust like that in 3V knives in that time frame. Not all that common but certainly possible. An example would be if the knife owner wiped the blade off with an old cloth from the garage that had steel/iron powder on the cloth. In certain places the water can cause that sort of thing in short time.

    I'm not saying these are the causes. I'm saying there are too many variables involved to look at a picture and diagnose it at a glance. I have 50 years of knife use, knife selling, knife making and refurbishing and for sure I can't do it with any honesty.

    I know about Bark River and their reputation and own several and have had knives made by the owner going back to when he was making Marbles knives before BRK was a thing so I don't need to be updated on that. I just don't think scaring newer knife owners is a helpful proposition for any of us or our hobby. If he thinks he has an issue with the knife then he should reach out just like he did.

    Anyways, yes, it very well could be 3V with nothing wrong with it. On the other hand it might be a fake planted by space aliens for their nefarious purposes. At this point we just can't tell.

    I'd give it a paste wax . That should clean off the corrosion and seal the steel. It looks really good too.

    temujen and Alberta Ed like this.
  20. shqxk


    Mar 26, 2012
    Actually heat treat plays the biggest role when it come to corrosion resistance.

    For most high alloy steel including CPM-3V, using higher hardening temperature will dissolve more Cr carbide = more free Cr = higher corrosion resistance.

    And using higher tempering tempering will do the opposite as it will tied up new Cr carbide.

    If the company use 1000F tempering, the corrosion resistance will be much lower compare to 350-400F tempering while the HRC hardness might be exactly the same.
    buckfynn and temujen like this.

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