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Rust on high carbon steel.

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by doormann, Nov 2, 2012.

  1. doormann

    doormann Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 30, 2006
    Hello fellow knife enthusiasts, i need some advice on how to remove rust from a hunting knife i won on ebay. the seller didn't mention anything about rust and i didn't think to ask. i am pleased with knife the blade still has the factory edge and the overall condition is excellent but i have to remove the little bit of rust along the cutting edge. can someone tell me what would be the best way to do that? is there a way i can restore the mirror finish myself? i can post pics if nessessary. thanks in advance, andy r.
  2. Curtis_Lowe


    Jan 8, 2012
    The rust is only on the edge? Is it chrome plated?

    If you have pics it's always a good idea to post em
  3. diced


    Sep 26, 2012
    steel wool, never dull metal polish, strop, buffer, use it for cutting stuff etc. as long as its surface rust it will come off pretty easily.
  4. If the rust is only along the edge, the easiest way to remove it is by sharpening, or stropping with some compound. If you don't currently have a strop, just some paper (printer paper, magazine, catalog, phone book, etc.) with a little polishing paste like Flitz/Simichrome will do fine, used the same way. Taking the edge to the strop is the first thing I'd do, if the edge only is affected.

    Edited to add:
    If the immediate concern is just to remove the rust, without worrying about edge sharpness right now, you could also use something like a brass-bristled brush with WD-40 to lightly scrub the rust away. Brushing directly on the edge may or may not dull it somewhat, but that can fixed later anyway.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2012
  5. Magnaminous_G


    Jul 13, 2011
    +1 to what Obsessed said. If the rust is on the edge, just sharpen it. If you're new to sharpening, then this is the perfect excuse to start! :D But if the rust is anywhere else, there's lots of things you can do. I personally prefer Wenol.
  6. Benuser


    Nov 19, 2010
    In addition only: is it - red-orange - active rust, or patina. Active rust has to be removed, patina is protective against active rust. Wash with a alkaline detergent - soap - and a lot of the hottest water. Patina will turn grey-black.
  7. doormann

    doormann Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 30, 2006
    thanks for the replies, i took some pics so you can see what i'm talking about.
  8. Bill DeShivs

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

    Jun 6, 2000
    That's not a job to do at home. You can scrub it with 0000 steel wool to remove the surface rust. If there is pitting, and I suspect there is, it will have to be ground out and re-polished. Some of those German knives were chrome plated. If that is the case then the steel wool scrub is about all you can do.
  9. Fanglekai


    Jan 7, 2007
    Try flitz
  10. Most of that looks more like patina and/or pitting left from previous rusting. The 'red' rust is what should be removed ASAP, if it's there. Polishing paste (Flitz/Simichrome) can do that, or scrubbing with WD-40 should also work. The 'black oxide' (patina) won't harm the steel, so it's up to you if you want to remove that or not. If there is pitting, the blade will need sanding/grinding to get rid of that. If the blade is chrome-plated, sanding or grinding will remove that, and expose the raw carbon steel underneath to more oxidation. If the knife is intended as a user, that might not be a big deal. If you're wanting to preserve the original look of the blade, then sanding may not be the best option.

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