how to polish a knife blade
Among the basic maintenance tasks for a knife , polishing is of the first order, since use causes wear, scratches or sometimes even the appearance of stains or rust on our knives.
No matter how deteriorated it may seem to us, a quality metal knife can always be polished and restored to its luster, sometimes in an incredible way, with a specific treatment in each case. The most common, for this reason being the most recurring, is to wonder how to polish a kitchen knife , but the methods that we are going to explain are valid for any type of knife.
Before starting, perhaps the first thing to make clear is that polishing and sharpening knives are very different things , although we know that some confuse the terms.
How to polish a rusty knife
We wanted to show the possibilities when it comes to polishing a knife starting with an extreme case, so that it is clear that practically any knife that is unpolished or very damaged in appearance, as long as the metal is worth it, can be recovered.
As we see, even in the extreme of having to polish a rusty knife to the point of looking completely orange, rough and without any shine, the procedure begins with:
- Soak rusty metal in white vinegar for 48 hours . It will be less time if there is not so much rust (we will see it in another video below).
- Wash, and scrape with a metal bristle brush . In this way, we will be able to remove the thickest layer of oxide, and the rest of the polishing of the knife can be done by hand, with sandpaper, or more comfortably with an electric sander.
The rest of the process of grinding, sharpening and integral regeneration of the knife is a pleasure to see for anyone who considers himself a lover of knives, but it is irrelevant and we can skip it if we do not want to spend more time than necessary.
How to polish a carbon steel knife
One of the most frequent queries that we have come across is the one that refers to polishing carbon steel knives , since this is a type of metal that is very susceptible to rust (a price that must be paid for its high quality cut).
Well, in this area we opted for a very simple system that our friend from Quercus in the Woods explains perfectly in this video, It is a very practical and effective method to polish carbon steel knives by hand with something so simple as vinegar and aluminum foil.
As explained in the video, this homemade method for polishing carbon steel knives consists of the following:
- Fill with vinegar and let stand for 5 minutes.
- Remove the vinegar with a cotton ball , and repeat the operation a couple of times.
- Make a ball with aluminum foil , and pass the ball dipped in vinegar on both sides of the sheet repeatedly, as if we were sanding it.
At first we will see that the orange vinegar comes out, due to the detachment of the most superficial oxide remains, and in the second phase the vinegar will take on a grayish color, due to the detachment of the patina and the reaction of the aluminum itself with the vinegar .
- Finally, we will wrap the sheet in a napkin completely soaked in hot vinegar , and leave it for 30 minutes and then clean it well with a cloth or piece of cotton. In this way, we will achieve a patina that will help the carbon steel to prevent rust.
If we prefer, we can simplify the process of polishing carbon steel knives or razors, carrying out the polishing with the aluminum foil ball after a process of exposure to vinegar for 30 minutes as described in the last step, and repeating this same step. at the end without polishing
How to polish a knife with sandpaper
Obviously, the use of electrical or even industrial tools is the easiest way to polish knives and leave them like new, but most of you arrive here wondering how to polish a kitchen knife by hand, or hunting knives, or razors. that you take to the field, once these, due to use, have lost part of their luster.
Well, on how to polish a scratched knife by hand and at home, we always recommend the simplest and most effective method. If there is no rust, we will not need to use vinegar, so we will go directly to sanding, operating.
polishing knives by hand
- Add a small amount of oil or silicone to the face of the knife blade on which we are going to work, and spread.
- Place 100-grit sandpaper around the outline of a wooden rectangle, and buff the knife by hand.
- Repeat this operation going to consecutively finer sandpapers , until finishing with a 1200 grit, and working on both sides of the sheet.
In this way, in the end we will obtain a polished knife blade with the appearance of a mirror, and after a manual process that will not take more than an hour. Of course, we must buy if we do not have a good set of sandpaper of different grains, something essential for anyone who considers polishing knives by hand, the old-fashioned way, with care.
If you are wondering how to polish artisan knives , keep in mind that these do not require, a priori, any different treatment from the rest, except for avoiding exposing the handle wood to vinegar to prevent it from losing its shine, in case you have to. act on rust.