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Help: Remove Rust from Knife
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Michael Haubert
(SoCalMike) - F

Locale: So Cal
Help: Remove Rust from Knife on 10/01/2011 08:18:11 MDT Print View

My Mora knife has some rust on the tip. I’ve used a toothbrush + baking powder + water to scrub some of it off, but there is some more to remove. Any recommendations for removing the rest of rust? Any help is appreciated.

SoCal Mike

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Help: Remove Rust from Knife on 10/01/2011 08:21:30 MDT Print View

Sharpening stone.

Terry Trimble
(socal-nomad) - F

Locale: North San Diego county
Help: Remove Rust from Knife on 10/01/2011 08:28:31 MDT Print View

I have found steel wool works great at removing rust use it all the time. Or ultra fine sand paper for metal so it does not leave scratches.

Chris C
(cvcass) - MLife

Locale: State of Jefferson
steel wool on 10/01/2011 08:36:11 MDT Print View

I second the steel wool, but use some WD-40 as well. It will clean the rust off quickly and give it a nice shine.

Ken Strayer
(TheRambler) - F
Re:"Help: Remove Rust from Knife" on 10/01/2011 09:41:02 MDT Print View

Depending on how bad the rusting is I usually clean knives with one of the following methods.

WD-40 and a brass bristle wire brush
WD-40 and fine sandpaper
honing oil and whetstone

If the rust is only on the cutting surface then just sharpen it with a whetstone etc. If its on the blade itself use some sort of penetrating oil like WD-40 and steel wool or a wire brush to clean it off.

Make sure to always keep a light coat of oil on your blade to prevent rusting.

Antti Peltola
(anttipeltola) - F
Re: Help: Remove Rust from Knife on 10/01/2011 10:04:53 MDT Print View

Here the Mora is so cheap that I would first go with a sharpening stone, then likely to go buy another one if I wasn't happy with the result :-o

A Mora blade is laminated, and the good part is only a fraction in the middle - so sharpening stone shortens the lifespan anyway. That's why you want to keep the rust out in the first place by giving the knife sometimes a treatment with some oil, preferably something that could be eaten as at least I use my puukko to cut food items too.

Michael Haubert
(SoCalMike) - F

Locale: So Cal
Thanks so much! on 10/01/2011 11:05:16 MDT Print View

I appreciate the quick and helpful responses. Thank you so much.


Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: Help: Remove Rust from Knife on 10/01/2011 11:05:26 MDT Print View

I found a Buck pocket knife once when backpacking. It had sat on the ground, open for years and was quite rusty. Back home I soaked it in kerosene for a couple weeks then cleaned it up with steel wool. The stainless blades all cleaned up but the springs were visibly pitted and still look a bit rusty, but the rust never progressed further.

I don't know Moras, if it's carbon rather than stainless, it may be a permanent mark because grinding it down could remove too much material. In that case, it gives the knife character :-)



Elliott Wolin
(ewolin) - MLife

Locale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
RE: Help: Remove Rust from Knife on 10/01/2011 17:07:53 MDT Print View

Phosphoric acid converts rust to something that can be scrubbed off, don't know if it stains. It is found in Naval Jelly, and I've heard also in Coca-Cola (mixed results reported on the web using Coca-Cola to remove rust).

John Nausieda
(Meander) - MLife

Locale: PNW
"Help: Remove Rust from Knife" on 10/01/2011 18:03:25 MDT Print View

Bartender's Friend sold in Hardware and Food stores temporarily cleans up rust in a stained sink. But the real question is what you are using the knife for. Tetanus is no joke if you are cutting food or flesh. You might be able to stabilize the rust with a reactive product like rust-no-more by Rustoleum goes by many names now. . I don't like using steel wool for clean-up as it rusts. Brass wool or 3M abrasives which are synthetic work well.In the case of shovels, etc. I sand with a belt sander and an orbital and then paint. But people who dig every day like a nursery crew don't paint until winter. Digging shines the blade every day in fall.

Steofan The Apostate
(simaulius) - F

Locale: Bohemian Alps
Removing rust from steel on 10/01/2011 19:30:02 MDT Print View

Rubbing with lemon juice will take the rust right off. You might need to use a green scratchy pad if the blade is pitted, but don't use steel wool. Sharpen the blade and be sure to use honing oil.

Electrolysis on 10/01/2011 19:40:13 MDT Print View

hands down, the way to remove rust is electrolysis. Remove only the rust , and not the base metal. This is how you restore antiques, etc.

Easy to rig up a small container, anode, and battery charger with electrolyte to do it. Just read up on it.

A buddy of mine keeps a plastic 55 gal drum in his shop he always uses for taking rust of of things, makes them like new.

He received a few pieces of commercial metalworking equipment, including a Bridgeport Mill that had been in a flood , for free. Totally rusted up hunk of junks. He was able to completely restore and rebuild the equipment. These items cost many thousands of dollars even in used condition.

I dont know anything about using it on stainless items though, and use of a stainless electrode produces toxic solutions illegal to dump .

Edited by livingontheroad on 10/01/2011 19:47:00 MDT.

Terry Trimble
(socal-nomad) - F

Locale: North San Diego county
coca cola on 10/02/2011 10:58:08 MDT Print View

Not to go off topic but I had a uncle who liked Coca Cola and when they were changing old coca cola to the the new coca cola fiasco. He stockpiled old coca cola in his his den in a cupboard above his his mini bar.
About six month later he had brown liquid streak going down the dry wall from the cupboard behind the mini bar. He looked in the cupboard and one of the six packs the coca cola had eaten right through the cans and left just the bottoms stuck to the bottom of the cupboard.

I wonder if it was the Phosphoric acid had anything to do with coca cola eating through the aluminum cans?

Nick Larsen
(stingray4540) - F

Locale: South Bay
Don't worry about it on 10/02/2011 14:21:55 MDT Print View

To respond to another posters response... Not all moras are laminated. The op didn't mention what model he had, however I don't really think it matters in this instance.

OP: if the rust is on the edge, just sharpen the knife until you get past the rust. You may have to go to a coarse medium depending on how bad the pitting is.

If the rust is on any other part of the knife, who cares. You probably got it good enough with the brush and baking soda. Unless there is still a bunch of ORANGE rust present, don't worry about getting all the pitting out, or making it shiny, it's a cheap knife and it won't affect it's performance in the least.

Keep it sharp and use it. Who cares how pretty it looks, it's a tool not jewelry.

Edited by stingray4540 on 10/02/2011 14:25:51 MDT.

Javan Dempsey

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Re: Electrolysis on 10/02/2011 15:58:16 MDT Print View

Electrolysis is a great rust removal technique, but it's kind of a PITA to setup if you're not super handy.

An easier method, that is nearly as gentle, is plain "white vinegar". I use it daily to remove forge scale from the knives I make, which saves me money on grinder belts, and files.

Simply immerse the tool or whatever you're cleaning completely into white vinegar, and let sit for a few hours, or days, depending on the level of rust. Clean after removal with water and rag, dry completely, then oil. If left long enough, it'll leave a dull gray color to the top layer of the metal, which is a mild patina that will actually protect the metal. However, if the knife is a highly stain resistant steel (which will of course still rust in time), it will resist the acid completely, and maintain it's bright color.

However, for removing minor rust from a knife, I recommend using a Scotch Brite pad. It's easier and more effective than steel wool IMHO. In fact I use large belts for my grinder made out of the same material to put a satin finish on a blade.

Rub it in small circles over the entirety of the blade to give it a nice gentle sheen. The over the counter scotch brite type pads are non abrasive, and will only leave very light pattern scratches. Using a stone to remove rust can be very tricky on complex geometries, and can remove a lot of metal.

Edited by jdempsey on 10/02/2011 15:59:34 MDT.

Michael Haubert
(SoCalMike) - F

Locale: So Cal
Rusty Knife - Thanks, Everyone. on 10/02/2011 16:59:31 MDT Print View

I thank you all, again. The rust is in a very small area, near the tip of the blade but runs from the edge up. Sharpening it would probably take care of some of it. It's not very bad, not orange and nasty, pitted, or anything like that. This is very small stuff and just want to clean it up as best I can and learn from my mistake of letting it get rusty in the first place. It doesn't have to be very pretty, but it's like I teach my daughter: "If we take care of our equipment, our equipment will take care of us." The rust makes me feel like a hypocrite (and a bad daddy). I will give a few of these "cures" a try. Thanks again.

SoCal Mike

Charles Henry

Locale: Arizona and British Columbia
Re: Rusty Knife - Thanks, Everyone. on 10/03/2011 12:31:50 MDT Print View


Edited by Chuckie_Cheese on 10/03/2011 12:34:19 MDT.