Please, help us prevent you getting ripped off because someone got their account compromised by reusing their email & password. Read the new best practices for using the Exchange FAQ page.

How to get Rust off of damascus ?!?!

Apr 22, 2004
Hello everyone...just had a question....Like an idiot I have a Jerry Fisk Damascus knife that was left in its sheath...noticed some rust spots on the blade...any idea how to remove it? I haven't tried anything yet. TIA.

here is a pic:

OUCH! If I owned it, I would probably send it to the maker and ask him to try and fix it up for me, even if he wanted to charge me for it.
On a cheap/user knife, you could try 000 steel wool and oil, or Flitz, but both would reduce the contrast of the etch, on a damascus Fisk, I'd follow RWS' advice and have Jerry do it, but of course, Jerry is a busy guy, it may take a while. An alternative would be to send it to a high-end maker who isnt quite as busy. You could at least try some oil and a stiff nylon toothbrush first, cant hurt, might do OK.
I'm with berettaman - I wouldn't go with anything more abrasive than Flitz, and if that doesn't pan out, you know who to call.

I feel your pain - that is a stunning bowie.

I was reading in the "for sale" forum that you paid six grand for this one. Wow!
It needs to get fixed no doubt.

Here's a whole pic.
Renaissance or any paste wax rubbed in briskly and wiped or buffed with a clean cloth will usualy remove surface rust, it's worth a try.
Man that is an expensive Fisk Bowie. :eek:

Don Hanson lll
I would try Flitz with an old wool sock. If that didn't work, I'd send it to Jerry.
I have recently discovered the "wonder" polish for my damascus. ........

They are cheap, work well and you can get them at Wal-mart.........

I even polish ivory and pearl to a mirror shine with them.....

They are "Trim" brand Natural Buffing System finger nail boards. A package costs one dollar, has three boards of progressively finer grits, and will take off surface rust in a few swipes.

The nice thing about a finger buff is they don't effect the dark background on deep etched damascus like a polishing paste will. Use a light touch and it will remove the rust from the high spots, then oil the blade and rub with a cloth to remove the rust from the background areas. From my experience, the background rust blends right in with the oxides from the etch....since it is an oxide itself.

I would get in touch with Jerry first, but if you want to try the nail buffs, I can assure you if you use a light touch they won't wash out the contast on the steel.

Hope this helps
most Surface rust like that usually buff's off with a white compound ,if you don't have a friendly maker close by who will do that for you , i would try Flitz and a toothbrush to apply ,if all else fail's i agree with Danbo/ Roger and the guy's send it back to Jerry im sure he would take care of it .
a Word of Advise use EEZOX on that blade as soon as the rust get's removed . im not trying to know everything here ,ive had this same thing happen to several knives before . i use to use Renwax but still got rust , i thought id try something diffrent , so i did i will never send a blade out that has not been coated by this stuff . it is really that good .

Take care i hope all work's out well :)
Bailey's got it right - flitz and other polishes are going to wash out the contrast in the damascus and you'll have to etch it all over again.

Give the nail buffs a try, I say. I'm sure going to try it. Thanks for the excellent tip Bailey.

After you've got it done - use some Briwax to keep the rust away. Lasts longer than the rest.
Actually Daniel, I believe I got it right first. :) People make the mistake of thinking Flitz isn't abrasive, it most certainly is, just less so than other polishes, and I can tell you from personal experience, Flitz will reduce the contrast, and, if you go further, you can give that blade a nice mirror polish too. :) Jerry might have a stroke if you do, but, Flitz will do it if you keep at it. Flitz contains a mild abrasive, but it's still abrasive.

I would try some oil and a stiff nylon toothbrush before all else, it can't abrade, and it may get some of the rust off.

Funny about Bailey's suggestion, I suppose thats what he TELLS the guy at his local beauty supply, when we all know the truth. :) Actually, I have used something very similar for touching up steels for a while, very close to what Bailey suggested, but, my wife, who is the buyer for a large wholesale beauty supply, one day brought home these disposable nail files, which have 3 levels of grit on them, a dark gray part, which is pretty coarse, maybe 200, a white part, which is about 600, and the other side is a lighter gray, which is very fine, maybe 1000 or so, the neat thing about these is, each file has all 3 grits on them, makes it very easy and convienient. Plus, as Bailey said, theyre pretty cheap, especially if you know somebody. :)
When you get right down to it Ari, why should I polish all those knife handles so well and not enjoy that shine for myself. Besides, my nails don't look right if they are dull when holding one of the glossy ivory handled folders I carry. :p
A piece of wood and some oil is the right way to remove rust from a rifle, might work for your knife. Wood is too soft to do much to steel, while rust is a lot softer than steel.
'Kroil' aka creeping oil, does a great job of getting 'under' the rust, oxidation, fouling, whatever........it's advertised to penetrate to molecular level and have a capillary action to boot.

Once this is allowed to soak, a very gentle application of 00000 steel wool soaked in the Kroil or bronze wool, stiff plastic bristles, etc., but the key word is 'gentle'....;)
sunfishman said:
Renaissance or any paste wax rubbed in briskly and wiped or buffed with a clean cloth will usualy remove surface rust......

I've found that it depends on the etchant........ I waxed a knife etched with ferric chloride and the Renassiance Wax took the 'dark' off, the contrasting 'colors' ended up on my cloth! :eek: :(
i would let Jerry do the Best for you. He is a Good knifemaker. i tell all my customers that i well help they all i Can.
I am a small fry in the big world of colletors and only own one damascus blade which I use often, but than its not $6k. Ocassionally it rusts. Small spots you can take off with anything softer than steel; one of those wood dowels that lady's use in manicures and nail polishing works well. However, when I used flitz, it takes off the rust and a good part of the blade color and contrast. However, as I use the knife over time, it oxidizes by itself and the color differences came back. You can't use flitz w/o changing the appearance of the blade. For me that's part of the fun of damascus. Occassionally, I'll gently surfact polish the blade just to watch it change colors over time.
Pinoy....I agree with you 100% about eezox, I love the stuff for cleaning gun bores and all metal that needs protection, never found nothing that can beat it!!