Cleaning off rust

Apr 11, 2004
Hey y'all,

I've been in the city too long. What grade of sandpaper would you use to clean rust off a khukuri? I've got a WWII that I used to clear some brush several months ago, and forgot to wipe it off before I sheathed it.

Any follow up treatments to the sandpaper?

If it was me, I'd use 0000 steel wool and oil. This will leave a satin finish, which makes a good user.

If you want to go back to mirror, look HERE

LR, how bad is the rust? You may not have to resort to sandpaper, since steel wool and the green ScotchBrite pads will take light rust off just fine, especially with a little WD40 as lubricant. They WILL take a mirror finish down to satin, though. So if you want the shine back, you're talking about a buffing wheel.

The rust isnt that bad. Steel wool and WD40, I've got around the house.
I'll give it a shot.
...and as long as you're not going to have a mirror finish, you might want to think about going ahead and etching it with a vinegar soak, mustard paste, or whatever.

Maybe first you should just leave it satin. After a while, maybe a few weeks or months, etch it to see how you like that. And then after a while, buff it back to mirror finish. Then after a while...
1500 worked well for me although steel wool is better like they said

Also I have a little bitty buffer wheel that fits on a drill I keep on a drill press and it will take minor rust right off and leave it shiny :D
I recently used Flitz polish to clean some light corrosion off of my Siru. Cleaned a couple of spots and then I did a quick polish of the whole blade, which wasn't necessary. The Flitz cleans and shines it a little but it didn't change the original finish much so I think of it as a good alternative to refinishing the whole thing with sandpaper if you are short on time.
Thanks for all the good suggestions!

Cleaning and sharpening your knives is one of the best simple pleasures in life!
Again with the satin finish,
Liquid (pump type) Lava hand soap works (pumice).
Many people have this on hand.

Bon Ami & SoftScrub cleansers
are calcium carbonate ["whiting", chalk].
----Don't---- use any 'Bleach' version.
Some CaCO3 is chemically precipitated,
and so is pure & non-abrasive to steel.
Any CaCO3 (Bon Ami definately)
which is powdered sedimentary rock (limestone/chalk)
contains some silica,
and can be abrasive;
Especially if used with harder applicator
or great vigor / pressure.

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