How to Remove Rust From a Pocket Knife

How to Remove Rust From a Pocket Knife
The old saying goes that if you take care of your tools, your tools will take care of you. A pocket knife is a trusty tool and can certainly help take care of you especially in a survival or emergency situation. You should practice regular maintenance on the knife so it will be ready when needed. However, should rust develop on the knife, it is important that it be addressed as soon as possible to prevent permanent damage.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Light all purpose oil
  • Clean rag
  • Metal polish wadding
Step 1
Wipe down the entire surface of the knife. Use a clean rag and a quality all purpose oil that is not too heavy. Heavy oils may accumulate on the knife and gum the working parts.
Step 2
Apply a liberal amount of oil to any rust spots on the handle or blade and then rub firmly with the rag. Many light rust deposits will be wiped away with this method.
Step 3
Apply oil to heavier rust spots and set the knife aside for 12 to 24 hours. This allows the oil to penetrate the rust without being disturbed. After a day, rub the spot using a rag and firm pressure to remove the rust.
Step 4
Remove the heaviest rust spots with metal polishing wadding. Pull a quarter size piece of wadding from the container and rub the rust spot. Avoid swirling the wadding on the blade or metal part. Wipe the wadding across the metal surface in the direction of the blade or handle. Wipe down the area with oil to remove the metal polish from the wadding.
Step 5
Wipe down all metal parts of the knife with oil. Apply a thin coating of oil to the surface to help displace any moisture and act as a barrier. This is especially important if the knife will be stored for any length of time.

Tips & Warnings

There are several different knife-specific oils on the market, all of which would be a good choice for rust removal. All purpose light oils are also readily available and will typically work well.

Article Written By Keith Dooley

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

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