How to Clean a Pocket Knife


Cleaning your pocketknife should be done regularly to keep it in good working order. Maybe you picked one up at a flea market or you found an old knife that grandpa had placed in his tackle box. An old toothbrush, gun oil and some elbow grease is all that is needed to bring that knife back into shape.

Things You'll Need

  • Old toothbrush
  • Gun oil
  • Steel wool
  • Soft clothe
  • Open the blades to the full open position. Take the toothbrush and use it to brush into the deep blade recess to remove all debris build up that can accumulate in the blade pocket.

  • Liberally apply the gun oil to the blades of the knife, the pivot point of the blade and handle and inside the recess pocket. Allow the oil to soak in for 10 to 15 minutes.

  • Replace one of the blades into the recess pocket and work the exposed blade with the toothbrush. If the blade is severely rust-pitted, use steel wool to work the blade in short strokes to remove the rust. Reapply the gun oil to keep the metal wet with oil.

  • Perform the same cleaning on the other blade until the surface begins to come back to a shiny metallic luster.

  • Oil the entire pocketknife again and rub down with the soft cloth. Try to remove as much oil as possible from the handle and the blades.

  • Apply one drop of the gun oil to the pivot point where the blade meets the handle. This will keep the joint working smoothly.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the pocketknife is severely rusted where it will not open, do not force the blade as it may break at the pin joint. Place the knife in a sealed plastic baggie and thoroughly soak the blade and pivot area with the gun oil. Allow the knife to sit until the blade can be opened by hand.

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