Polishing Blades Question

Jun 20, 2002

First time I have posted in this part of the forum. So greetings to you all!
I am not a knife maker but have a question you blade gurus might be able to help me with.

I have a couple of knives which are badly scratched, (mostly from poor sharpening and general abuse)

I was wondering what is the best way to repolish the blade to a nice surface finish.

I dont have any fancy equipment. Is it possible to return the finish of these knives to a near factory appearance ?

The steel of one is is 440C RC 59/60 ish. It was just a plain polished finish.
(not satin)

The other is 440A RC 56-7. Again just plain finish.

Many Thanks

Common sandpaper can fix that right up for you. Check the auto part store since they'll likely have a better selection of higher grits. Start at about the same grit as the scratches you want to remove, and sand in one direction. Once the only scratches you can see are the straight lines from your sanding, jump up approximately 200 grits and sand in the cross direction to your last sanding. Once you sand out your old scraches and see only new ones in the new direction, jump up grits again another 200 and repeat.

If your knives are flat ground, you can put your sandpaper onto a piece of glass or something else very flat and hard. If they're hollow ground it will be more difficult, you'll either have to get a dowel or something the same radius as the hollow grind, with which you can get a finish as good or better then the factory, or else use your fingers as soft backing which won't look as good but probably still better then the scratched surfact you're trying to fix. If they're convex (probably not for a factory knife, but who knows) do it similer to the glass, but instead use a mousepad or thick leather so it will conform to the curved surface.

For a nice hand rubbed finish you can stop as early as 400 or so, or go all the way as high as 2000 if you like for a mirror finish, or anything inbetween. A buffer would be of help for getting a good mirror polish, but I don't know if you have one.

Good luck.
I have polished out a load of blades by hand. If you have one of those Workmate type tables thats all you need. I get a sheet of paper (going from 400 to 2000) wrap it over a 4x2 then trap the lot in the Workmate. (so the paper doesent slip) Keeping it nice and flat with long even strokes you can dress up a pretty skanky blade in half an hour or so.

Once you get to 1000 grit or so I just use the heel of my hand to back the paper and finally finger tips, then use an automotive rubbing compound if you really want a mirror finish.