Maintaining carbon steel knife

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massa

Tenderfoot
Feb 1, 2021
54
11
52
Wales
Hi guys,
A Question! what’s the better stuff I can use to keep the rust in bay on carbon steel blades?
I got carbon steel blade machete I used it to clear the garden, I did clean it and dry it out after used but now showing some signs of rust?
Any advice ?
Cheers
 

C_Claycomb

Mod
Mod
Oct 6, 2003
6,494
1,456
Bedfordshire
While Renaissance Wax is fine stuff for looking after fine knives, it is expensive and not very effective for garden tools that see wear. It is just wax, has no corrosion inhibitors, an important feature is how thin a coating it leaves on fine art pieces. There are cheaper waxes of the same ilk and other waxes that are stickier and contain corrosion inhibitors.

Machetes are cheaply made and have a rough finish that is naturally prone to some corrosion. Its more a matter of management rather than all out prevention. Look after the tool, and look after any spots that manage to slip by, and don't worry about it too much :) For carbon steel garden tools the routine my family uses is cheap and simple. After use wash them, dry them (if it is cold and difficult to dry them, you can use WD40 to displace moisture) then wipe down with 3in1 oil and put away oily.

When I want anti-corrosion wax, I use this stuff.
Use it on iron and steel machines in the work shop, and on garden tools.



Cheaper versions of monocrystalline wax.

Chris
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
4,758
4,033
Mid Wales
I was getting fed up with all the 'specialist' products I had on the shelves in the workshop/garage so I made a determined effort to use products for more than one application. My go-to product where I want a wax finish/residue on metal (i.e. heavier than just oiled) is motor bike chain wax in a spray formula 'cos I've got some for the bike anyway. You can get 500ml can for around £4.50 and it lasts a long time.

Having said that, there's a difference between oxide patina and corrosion pitting on carbon steel tools; the former looks good in my opinion :) - a gentle rub with fine wire wool with oil is a good finish on tools.
 
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Davey569

Native
Jun 18, 2008
1,185
82
Off the beaten track
I find this product very good. Originally intended for maintaining the mechanisms on clockwork parts, it smells of oranges and is very good. It’s similar to axe wax found in the US.

 

British Red

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Dec 30, 2005
25,671
597
Mercia
I was getting fed up with all the 'specialist' products I had on the shelves in the workshop/garage.

Me too. I have a "few" tools and needed a no fuss way of keeping them fairly rust free. I use cheap (poundland type) petroleum jelly. I keep a BIG tub in the workshop with an old cotton rag in the 1 kilo pot (cost just a few quid). Axes, saws, billhooks etc get a wipe over with "Vaseline" on the blade after use. I apply a thicker coat on tools that are used infrequently. It works well for me and lasts a very long time

Axes by British Red, on Flickr
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,983
1,849
McBride, BC
Fine tools, like shotguns, I use a flannel cloth with drips of low viscosity gun oils from Hoppe's, Outer's, Beretta and others.
The capital cost of my wood carving tools must be substantial by now.
Flannel rag with 3-in-1 sewing machine oil has worked for decades.

Pruning tools live in buckets in the house ( dry). Other garden tools like shovels, etc get stored in the shed.

I'll guess that so many of you live with far higher humidity than I experience.
You must use something more effective than my shallow lick and a promise.
 

MrEd

Full Member
Feb 18, 2010
1,838
703
Surrey/Sussex
www.thetimechamber.co.uk
A thumbs up for vaseline, this was the method Wilkinson Sword advised to keep their swords pristine.

inuse a small metal tin of Vaseline, small smear on the metal parts before putting away keeps them clean, I also don’t long term store knives in their leather sheaths either.

garden tool is a wipe with a greasy rag and not worry tbh
 

Van-Wild

Full Member
Feb 17, 2018
785
620
42
UK
Me too. I have a "few" tools and needed a no fuss way of keeping them fairly rust free. I use cheap (poundland type) petroleum jelly. I keep a BIG tub in the workshop with an old cotton rag in the 1 kilo pot (cost just a few quid). Axes, saws, billhooks etc get a wipe over with "Vaseline" on the blade after use. I apply a thicker coat on tools that are used infrequently. It works well for me and lasts a very long time

Axes by British Red, on Flickr
I have used vaseline many times to protect my parang in the jungle. It works a treat.

Sent from my SM-G970F using Tapatalk
 

Kadushu

Full Member
Jul 29, 2014
130
82
Kent
I started using silicone oil because it's recommended for air rifles (it doesn't perish the seals) and use it on everything now. It's food safe too so I don't need to remember what I've used on which knife.
 

Billy-o

Native
Apr 19, 2018
1,679
748
Canada
Fold up a bit of kitchen roll, drip some baby oil on it or 3in1 or mineral oil. Wipe down machete. Put the bit of paper towel in a jar or a yoghurt pot or whatever in the garage/toolshed for later use. It won't dry out. If it does, add a bit more oil. For longer life, use a bit of old t-shirt or microfibre cloth.
 

MrEd

Full Member
Feb 18, 2010
1,838
703
Surrey/Sussex
www.thetimechamber.co.uk
Fold up a bit of kitchen roll, drip some baby oil on it or 3in1 or mineral oil. Wipe down machete. Put the bit of paper towel in a jar or a yoghurt pot or whatever in the garage/toolshed for later use. It won't dry out. If it does, add a bit more oil. For longer life, use a bit of old t-shirt or microfibre cloth.

i have an old hair cream pot that I rolled up a rag into and soaked in gun oil. Works well as a knife wipe
 

Kav

Member
Mar 28, 2021
46
46
67
California
The ultimate maintenance tool is use ( like we all have time) A tool used comes under more scrutiny and care. People forget, or never heard a 'stainless steel' tool is resistant to corrosion but no less vulnerable given time, inattention or accident. Many people like to 'pickle' the blade by impaling some innocent potato. This gives a case colored hue duplicating the patina on well used food knives
and a measure of protection. Some cultures are fanatics about it. Japanese sushi chefs are constantly wiping their Yanagiris on a wet towel and keeping a razor sharp and bright finish. ANY discoloring is considered a 'dirty knife' and a mark of shame and incompetence.
 

MartiniDave

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Aug 29, 2003
2,329
102
59
Cambridgeshire
I started using silicone oil because it's recommended for air rifles (it doesn't perish the seals) and use it on everything now. It's food safe too so I don't need to remember what I've used on which knife.
Silicone oil is good on the external surfaces of air rifle, but is not suitable for pivot points or moving parts. In fact the use of silicone oil would invalidate the warranty of Theoben rifles.
 

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