Flitz is Making my Blades Cloudy

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by Sharperthansticks, Mar 6, 2019.

  1. Sharperthansticks

    Sharperthansticks Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 19, 2017
    I'm pretty particular about my things, so if I use my knife and it gets a scratch on its face, I'll often want to try to remove that scratch through some sort of polishing action. I've tried a Dremel, a soft polishing head, and Flitz, but while this removes the scratch, this also leaves the face of the blade cloudy. Any advice? Should I be using a different compound? A slower speed? A different technique, altogether? After my latest cloudy blade face, I'm getting frustrated and could use some good advice.
  2. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 6, 2000
    Dremels should not be used to polish anything larger than a wedding ring. There is not enough surface contact area to achieve a decent polish.
    You can try blending the spots in by hand polishing a larger area with the Flitz.
    kreisler, jpm2 and SOLEIL like this.
  3. Ace Rimmer

    Ace Rimmer

    Jul 4, 2017
    I've had success polishing blades on my strop. Just lay the blade flat rate than stropping the edge. Also, you can get Lapping Microfinishing Film from Amazon that does a good job. Look for 60,000 grit (0.3 micron) and also try 14,000 grit (1 micron).
  4. CableGirl


    Aug 19, 2018
    Ease back on the compound (flitz) and use a lighter touch. Production bench jewelers have been using their flex shaft (dremel like, sort of) devices to polish stuff like this for eons, it will work. Might try using brushes instead of a small buff to see if it works better for final polish. If you're using a small buff Id guess its pretty glazed up with swarf and compound, find a way to fluff up the glaze and use a lighter touch.

    When I polish stainless Ill throttle up the flex for the final run and use a lighter touch and even calculated path, top to bottom.

    Sidenote: A larger buff will work better but the small ones can work with practice. Also, trying a different compound even a 2 stage with Tripoli first then rouge with compound specific buffs may work to your advantage.
  5. Sharperthansticks

    Sharperthansticks Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 19, 2017
    Thanks for the advice, people. I'd been using a flex shaft with the dremel, and these little fluffy heads.

    @Bill DeShivs , I polished the entirely of the flat of one side of a Ferrum Forge Falcon Wing, so I'm not sure how to do this. Besides, the whole area is cloudy; not just one spot.

    @Ace Rimmer , I use a WorkSharp to sharpen my knives, so I don't have a strop outside of that setup. Can you recommend one? (The large number of options is a bit daunting.)

    @CableGirl , I read your response a few times but am having trouble pulling useful advice out of it to try. Should I use a brush attachment instead of the dremel? (If so, what polishing compound, if any, should be used with the brush?) Should I try finding the same thing I'm using now for the flexshaft attachment, but find a bigger version? (I'm not sure where to find this, but I could try) Is the problem not with the polisher head but instead with the compound, where I should have used something else besides Flitz?

    Thanks, everyone.
  6. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 6, 2000
    Just put some Flitz on a cloth and polish the area by hand. If you had a dirty buff, you could have scratched the surface-which might entail re polishing the surface.
    Cable girl- please realize that most of these guys will use a Dremel at full speed and pressure. They do not have the finesse of a jeweler (or even know what finesse is.)
    GABaus and 3fifty7 like this.
  7. Svashtar


    Dec 28, 2003
    Try Simichrome polish instead. I seem to get a brighter final fish with that. Flitz is great, but slightly more abrasive I think. For the finest final polish I use micromesh polishing cloths used in sculpting. The highest grit is marked "12000", but I'd say that equates to about a 2000 or perhaps 2500 grit. It's a rubberized cloth with an abrasive backing, and I've used the highest 8000 and 12000 marked cloths to get scratches out of watch faces and glass. For power, you can get a very bright finish with fine blue craytex bits on a dremel or Foredom tool, just using red rouge, but I'd try hand polishing first.
    Sharperthansticks likes this.
  8. Ace Rimmer

    Ace Rimmer

    Jul 4, 2017
    Sorry, I can't. Mine is just a homemade affair that I put together from a scrap of leather and a scrap of hardwood plywood.
  9. Just curious, what is the blade steel? Some steels with a lot of hard carbide content, such as D2 or S30V, won't polish as easily with run-of-the-mill compounds. And even more so, on a soft backing or substrate, such as a cotton buff.

    If the carbide content isn't an issue, other means can still work faster to a polish, such as using stick-type buffing compounds of aluminum oxide on a hard-backed denim, linen or canvas substrate.
    Danketch likes this.
  10. drail


    Feb 23, 2008
    If you don't stop Flitzing you'll go blind........ That's why your blades look cloudy. It may be too late for you...... Seriously though, as Bill said - do this by hand - no Dremel. I have seen far more things ruined with a Dremel than you could ever imagine. A Dremel merely allows you to make the same mistake over and over again 40,000 times per second.

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