removing rust off of a knife any suggestions?

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Jun 12, 2008
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My dad gave me a knife a couple years ago that was in pretty terrible condition. (He found it while hiking and it is obvious it had been there a while.) Since i was into knives back then i just put it in a box of knives i had back then and while looking in that box earlier today i found. Unfortunately i never cleaned it or even used it so it is just as rusted it up as when he gave it to me. Any ideas how to get rust off a knife?

any help apreciated thank you.
 
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Mar 4, 2008
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Ive been told a firm rub down of oil mixed with baking soda works pretty well, and I cant vouch for this but a buddy of mine from the navy said that kool aid works well to. Hope this helps
 
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Ive been told a firm rub down of oil mixed with baking soda works pretty well, and I cant vouch for this but a buddy of mine from the navy said that kool aid works well to. Hope this helps

Careful with that. The lemon flavoured kool-aid is pretty acidic.
 
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I should clarify - citric acid alone has been known to remove rust and rust stains, but when mixed with water, it has been known to make it worse.

Try the dry powder on a small area first.
 

nephildevil

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i know my father once used sulfuric acid to remove the rust from a rusted knife, but i wouldnt trust that and look it up

can't you just buy rust removal paste or something in a DIY store?
 
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What type of steel is the knife made of and how badly pitted is it? I do not recommend any sort of acid as this can accelerate further rusting. Lots of elbow grease may be your best solution

I have an old English (thumbprint) bonehandled carver that I rescued from a garage getting demolished and the blade was very rusted. The flexible blade was too thin to grind off the damage. Got the worst of the rust off using fine diamond sharpener followed by a nylon pot scrubber and steel wool. Couldn't get rid of all the pitting but it still makes a great carving knife.
 

cbb

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Do they still make Naval Jelly? Used that many moons ago.

Maybe just use some metal polish and see where you go.
 
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1.) Naval (not navel!) Jelly works fine but don't get it on a nice natural material handle.

2.) Fine sandpaper along the existing grind marks.

3.) Steel wool and water, wipe down, air dry for a short time and oil.

4.) Coat the blade in Pig Bile, dance naked in a counter clockwise circle three times under a waning moon. It don't do crap for rust but it makes Wiccan girls very horny!
 
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000 steel wool and wd-40
or mineral oil and keep wiping
if its really bad you have to decide if the end reult is worth the effort...
if its gonna be a user or you are sentimental about it
then you can get more aggressive with the cleanup, i.s sanding, stripping etc.
wd40 or mineral oil wont give most scales a problem just dont soak it in it.
post pictures you'll get better advice if we can all see how bad it is
plus we're all knife guys and we likes the picts of knives even rusty ones :D
good luck
ivan
 
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I use Flitz, works great. I just put some on paper towel and rub away. It doesnt scratch up the blade like many of the suggested techniques--although it will take longer:)
 
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Oxalic acid (Barkeeper's Friend) removes rust better than anything else I've tried. Make a thick slurry and embed the knife in it. Be warned, though - once a blade has rusted, it will always keep trying to rust and you will always have to keep it well oiled.
 
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... Be warned, though - once a blade has rusted, it will always keep trying to rust and you will always have to keep it well oiled.

That's true unless you polish the blade to a mirror finish. Rust likes to grow from a tiny imperfection, such as a pit left by previous rust. Polishing the blade removes all (hopefully) the surface roughnress/imperfections. Follow the polish with a coat of oil...

JMH
 
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Spray with WD-40,let set a day,wipe off,repeat this several times.
For stubborn rust I use a Dremel tool with a BRASS brush,Works pretty well.Another is to use titanium pad.[you can get these where they sell gun blueing supplies].:thumbup:
 
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My dad gave me a knife a couple years ago that was in pretty terrible condition. (He found it while hiking and it is obvious it had been there a while.) Since i was into knives back then i just put it in a box of knives i had back then and while looking in that box earlier today i found. Unfortunately i never cleaned it or even used it so it is just as rusted it up as when he gave it to me. Any ideas how to get rust off a knife?

any help apreciated thank you.

Gun oil helps a lot with rust, put on a coating and then rub it off the oil with a cloth. Then...an eraser, an army trick of mine, it works wonders on rifle rust. Just like removing pencil marks.
 
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thanks for all the suggestion, i decided to use a file and coarse grain snadpaper (that is how bad the rust is) i also took the knife completely apart and sanded down all of the interior. It was a mess but after and hour or so of sanding it it looks pretty good and opens and closes smoothly now.

I would post pics but i am rusty when it comes to figuring out how to put my own picks on here.
 
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Another trick to clear the joint of a rusted folder is to drip in some naphtha (Zippo or Ronson lighter fluid) and work the blade back and forth over a paper towel. The naphtha lubes the joint but has such low 'film strength' that the rust rubs itself clean. (Rust itself is an abrasive.)
Repeat the 'drip and work' action until the fluid drains clean onto the towel. Shake and then blow dry and finally lube with your favorite oil.

This also works for rusted pliers, hedge clippers, etc.


JMH
 
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On my antique Moro Swords and knives I use white vinegar in a spray bottle and a strong plastic scrub brush. Works every time! You can also make a vinegar paste with table salt that also works very well. Just don't leave it on very long or the blade will turn black if there is a high carbon content. Rinse with water quickly and WD40 everything. Try it on a little hidden spot first to see if it works for you.

Matador-
 
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