remedy? rusting rescue knife

I have a Bearclaw knife on my PFD – perfect for me in every way except that it’s rusting. I love the small size, blunt tip, finger hole at the root of the blade to give me a good grip, curved serrated blade. It’s there for one thing only – to cut through lines in case of entanglement. It’s stainless steel, it cost me almost $40, but it’s rusting! I am now taking the knife out of the sheath after each time I have rolling and rescue practice – trying to let it dry thoroughly and the sheath also. I rubbed a little machine oil on it to try to prevent rust. Just bits of rust here and there but I don’t want them to spread to the serrations on the blade.

Questions: How should I remove the small spots of rust? Emeryboard? Sandpaper? I have scraped a little off with my thumbnail but not all will come off.

Anything else I can do to prevent further rust?

I know there have been about a thousand knife threads on this forum. I tend to ignore them because I don’t want a big honking knife that costs $200. And I thought I had found the perfect knife for me. Guess not – not the greatest steel in this thing.

G in NC

As divers did to their knives for years
before titanium knives came on the market - always keep a light layer of silicone spray on your knife. Or better yet, get a titanium knife. Prices have plunged as more and more titanium knives have been released on the market. They are lighter, stronger, and don’t rust. Try

two good ideas in one post!
Thanks, RM. I’ll get silicone spray and I’ll look at that web site. Didn’t know titanium knife prices had come down. G

Try Steel Wool For Cleaning
Also cleanser (Scouring powder) for polishing.

Got tired of finding rusted out knives in my PFD and got a titaniun one. Even the dive knives rusted

years of destroying many “stainless” steel dive/paddle knives, I’ve given up and bought an NRS titanium pilot knife also comes in the shorter co-pilot version No more rust issues.

Thanks to all for the info I wanted
Didn’t know NRS was offering the Pilot knife in titanium. It’s pricy but has a rope-cutting hook and a blunt tip. And you’ve gotta love a bottle cap lifter in the handle!

Meanwhile, I’ll be applying some steel wool to my Bearclaw, followed by some silicone spray.

Thank you all very much.

No Si on my knife
Be very careful not getting the silicon the handle. You will want a good grip. I have a gun oil with Teflon in it that I would use if I had the same problem. It does a good job of medium term storage on blued barrels. No rust. The brand name is Break Free.

Point taken re . . .
keeping handle silicon free. Thanks.


lots of options…
Been a diver many years and a simple fresh water rinse and wipedown with light oil works fine. I like WD-40…“Water Dispersant”…you can hose down your knife with it, let is soak a while, and much of the rust will wipe off. Mist WD-40 and wipe down, blot with paper towel every few weeks will keep it from rusting. Of course titanium and the newer stainless steels are ultimate answer but I prefer cheap knives for water use. Cheap doesn’t mean inferior. Fancy knives will always find their way in the drink and you’ll never loose a cheap one. :wink:

Some steels hold up better than others and I’ve had a little rust show up on PDF knives plenty of times…as long as the knife works, I’m good.

had the same issue w/ a new knife
and was pretty upset. Bought a product on EBay called Tuf-Cloth. about $6 and it’s a lil’ piece of miracle. non- oily(truly is…just as they say)No rust since cleaning up the knife and rubbing with this lil’ miracle fabric 1 x. about a thousand uses come to mind for this product. so worth it! good luck. Oil and silicone can stain other gear…that’s what i like about this product, no worries.

Thirstyturtle hit nail on the head
Tuf Cloth is a great product, and I have been using Slip 2000 because I always have some around as well.

Titanium is not stronger than steel in a knife application, as one poster asserted. It also won’t hold an edge as well. Ti came online as a knife material for two groups: people who need a non-conductive knife, and people who don’t take proper care of their knives (cheap dive knives, etc).

Let it rust.
and clean it once in awhile. I use some 300 grit wet sand paper rub some sunscreen on it and back it goes for another 3 months. (why sunscreen - because that’s what I have on me.) The only thing I use it for is opening power bars etc.

Spyderco Salt series
are excellent unless you feel you must have a fixed blade. Mine’s always in my pfd pocket. Not a speck of rust in years of immersions.

“Silicon” is no problem, “silicone” is
The former is sand, the latter is a lubricant.

Do you really need a knife or…
…would a rescue hook work just as well? For sea kayaking, a knife on your PFD is more of a liability than an asset, IME. That’s why I switched to a Benchmade rescue hook years ago. They have apparently discontinued the Model 6H20 that I have:

…but their Model 7H20 should work fine for kayaking.

Make sure you get the “H20” model, as it’s made with steel that won’t rust. After years of carrying mine, the most I’ve seen is a bit of surface staining that comes off easily. The edge is unaffected.

that’s what i
have a Benchmade…rusted bad 1 x being exposed to even lake water. cleaned up and used the Tuf-cloth and whammo awesome!

Thanks, brain cramp moment…

I have to correct you

– Last Updated: Aug-13-10 4:25 PM EST –

"Titanium is not stronger than steel in a knife application, as one poster asserted."

Titanium alloys do have a higher strength-to-weight ratio than virtually all other metals. While you would have to have thicker cross-section titanium knife to have the same strength as a steel knife, that titanium knife would still be considerably lighter than the thinner steel knife. As a diver, I can tell you that a lighter knife makes for a lot more pleasant dive when it is strapped to your calf. It also makes for more enjoyable paddling when the pockets of your PFD are already filled with pencil flares, a GPS, snack bars, maybe a VHS radio, to be able to cut down on weight by going titanium over steel.

"It also won't hold an edge as well."

Yes, and that is an issue for something like a kitchen knife, that gets used every day, not so much for a paddling knife or a dive knife that is there "just in case". You're not using it all the time, so you're not wearing the edge down fast. If edge were the most important quality for a dive or paddling knife to have, we'd all use carbon steel knives, because they have far better edgeability than stainless. Corrosion-resistance is more critical than edge-retention, and stainless, while better than carbon, is still vastly inferior to titanium.

"Ti came online as a knife material for[...]people who don't take proper care of their knives (cheap dive knives, etc)."

Give me a break. Before I got a titanium dive knife, I would spray my ss Tusa (not a low-quality knife) dive knife with silicone in the morning before a dive, and still find rust spots on it in the afternoon. The silicone doesn't nec. get sprayed on perfectly evenly every time, and can get rubbed off when you insert the knife into the sheath. It isn't about people not caring for knives properly. It's about the corrosive nature of seawater making serious demands on our equipment. Stainless used to be the best thing we had to combat that on our knives, but now we have titanium alloys, which are much better. If you want to stick with stainless and do the extra work to maintain a piece of equipment that doesn't get used very much, I have no problem with that, but there is no need to disparage those who have come to appreciate the benefits of titanium.

Similarly, a lot of divers have switched
from dive knives to “sea snips” - basically EMTs’ shears. I have a pair in my BC, on a tether, and find they cut through monofilament, and even braided line a lot faster than a knife.