The Detroit Post
Tuesday, 19 October, 2021

Best Rust Inhibitor For Knives

Earl Hamilton
• Wednesday, 02 December, 2020
• 13 min read

Over the years I've owned enough steel to know that some of the best blades are made from highly water-sensitive materials. Pretty much any high-carbon steel and many alloys are subject to some if not a lot of rust when exposed to fresh or salt water.

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Seeps into all crevices, under handles and into all parts of a steel item. This product protects the best I've found for salt water, hand oil, and overall moisture.

Find it at Target, Walmart, Fred Meyer in the sporting goods sections. It protects about 1/4 as well in that its great while it lasts but as it wears off or sits for a time it becomes less and less effective.

You need to apply it about every week or so for items in use and about 4x per year for display or storage. It does not dry and maintains an oily coating until it eventually evaporates over time.

Sells for about 9 dollars a bottle depending on the size. This wax based product is great when you can get at every part of the steel you want to protect.

And it leaves behind a blindingly bright polished and lightly coated surface that lasts a long time. Mild smell, it will make your hands BLACK so use a terrycloth towel.

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They are NOT rust presenters they are for lubrication of nuts and bolts) All other types of coatings, oils, waxes, and such have fairly big drawbacks in either price, availability, longevity, application, smell, or toxicity.

I hope this helps, I know I've been much happier with my non-rusted steel than with constantly having to re-apply or take special precautions when using or re-apply the product every day just to get it to work. It also has plenty of lubrication qualities (high viscosity index).

Sticky like grease, fine for food and smells great. Renaissance Wax can be warmed a bit and it'll run into tight spots.

Sticky like grease, fine for food and smells great. Renaissance Wax can be warmed a bit and it'll run into tight spots.

LOL, if you like the smell of sheep and your protected surface sticky. Lol On highly polished blades it's good to have protectants which don't run off.

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Natural sheep's fat can be eaten, but maybe you don't use your knives for food or clean them with alcohol before every use? It must not remain wet or sticky (I realize that CLP does, but I don't use that except for when I wipe it dry for display stuff, or for just before I used something...) 3.

Anything organic will spoil, except maybe honey... Plus, where the heck do you even get lanolin? (Availability thing) You're correct I don't eat off any of my knives or use them for food prep...

I guess I'll be washing the lube off whatever I've got that I need to prep food with in the future... MMM... something to think about. Otherwise, lint and dust and Smuts accumulate and collect moisture.

I started using this because it was the only thing that prevented rust on anchors, chain, cleats and other non-stainless hardware that hung off my boat into salt water. But the engineer who introduced me to it was a shooting buddy, and we found it was also great black powder solvent and cleaned weapons very well.

When used lightly it leaves very little film and does not collect dust. It is also like bore butter in that if a barrel has been cleaned with it and wiped dry it collects little powder residue unlike regular gun oils.

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Lol I didn't notice this was posted in throwing knives Rust converters can be a brilliant way to breathe new life into your metallic items and prevent further corrosion damage.

While they’re brilliant at cleaning up surfaces and stopping corrosion, they will not bring the material back if something is rusted through. If you want to protect the surface from future rust, you will need to apply an additional coat of paint or topcoat to keep moisture and oxygen out.

Inhibitors, such as Rust Bullet Automotive, on the other hand, turn a rusty surface into a printable one, while at the same time sealing the damage away and preventing any further corrosion from happening. Removers will etch into the surface and clean the object to the bare metal, and are more of an honorable mention in this article.

As this treatment removes material from the object, it’s not useful for deeply rusted surfaces as you may just end up being left with nothing. Smooth surfaces require less product than rough, bumpy ones, but the amount of rust present will also play a role.

As rust converters are normally water-based, they tend to be runny just like water which can be frustrating if you’re working on vertical surfaces or the underside of your car. While you don’t need to worry much about a drip here or there, you should dispose of large quantities of the converter appropriately according to your local laws.

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As the substances are harsh, wearing gloves is highly advised to avoid dermatitis and skin damage. Also working in well-ventilated areas is important to protect your respiratory system, and to avoid the accumulation of corrosive vapors that are produced during the drying time.

Why we like it: Convenient and effective, containing phosphoric acid, it’s the best option for badly rusted items. The strong formulation comes in a quart sprayer bottle but is also available by the gallon if you have a lot of rust to convert.

One quart will cover 81 square feet of smooth surface, but you may need a couple of coats depending on how bad the rust is. Depending on conditions, the conversion from oxide to phosphate will result in a black or chalky white surface that is ready to paint.

Why we like it: Although more expensive, this is a highly efficient formula that is perfect if you have a lot of rusty items to refresh. The Rust Converter Ultra comes in a one-gallon bottle that will cover 500 square feet of smooth, nonporous surface.

The main ingredient is tannin acid at around 6% by weight, which is a good amount to make the treatment effective. Tannin acid converts rust by reacting with iron oxides to form a stable, blue-black surface.

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The formula contains a proprietary polymer that acts as a primer for the treated surface, so you can further protect the object with minimal effort. The rust converter doesn’t require thinning and can be applied with a brush, roller, or pump sprayer.

After 10 minutes from the application, the rust will start turning black, but the full conversion takes around 24 hours to finish, so patience is required. The brush or roller should be cleaned with soap and water, and the product should be stored in a cool dry place to avoid degradation and prolong shelf life.

Pros Can be used with a pump sprayer Milder than phosphoric acid formulations while just as effective Can cover a large surface area It works by reacting with the rust and oxidizing it further to magnetite (Fe 3 O 4), and iron gal late, which are stable complexes.

Although the primer itself isn’t pigmented, the treated rusty surface will turn black as magnetite is formed. Prepare the surface first by brushing off dirt and loose rust, and cleaning it with some rubbing alcohol.

While this isn’t the most dangerous formulation on this list, it’s still important to wear at least a pair of nitrite gloves while working with this rust converter. Just like Locate Rust Neutralizer, it has the potential to cause harm to the reproductive system and an unborn baby, so it’s best to keep the exposure to a minimum.

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Instead, this is a latex polymer formulation that will seal off the rust, preventing further corrosion, and will render a rusty surface printable. The tools should be cleaned with detergent and water immediately after used to avoid buildup which will be very difficult to remove.

The product relies on tannin acid to convert the rust into stable iron mandate. The tannin acid content is between 3 and 7% which is similar to Rust Converter Ultra’s formula with 6%, meaning it will do the job just as well but with a premium price tag.

The formula is methanol-based, which poses a toxicity risk as well as a potential carbon monoxide release if heated. To avoid toxic vapors and a possible explosion, keep the converter away from direct sunlight and heat sources.

Pros Super effective formula Easy to use A good primer for paint Quick to dry compared to most other converters Why we like it: Perfect if you need to treat mild surface rust on cookware, toys, or antiques, as the formula is non-toxic and safe.

Why we like it: This great inhibitor formula in the most comfortable sprayer out there makes the chore of rust treatment that much more bearable. It’s still a great alternative to a converter, as it will do just as good of a job at protecting the surface from further corrosion.

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When the label says that it “converts rust to a printable surface,” what it means is that it’s a good primer. This product doesn’t convert rust as signified by the lack of active ingredients in the formula that would react with iron oxides.

Although the instruction label suggests soap and water to clean the area to be treated, this can leave behind a residue that may impact the adhesion of the primer. The formulation in this rust reformer is full of flammable and harmful substances such as methanol, as evidenced by the solvent odor.

Why we like it: Not only is it an amazing rust inhibitor, but also it does a great job at providing you with a metallic silver finish that doesn't require any more paint. This product is a polyurethane coating, using a proprietary polymer that will adhere to the rust and bare metal alike, and provide you with a protected surface that resists corrosion.

The formulation of this primer contains aluminum, to not only provide the nice metallic finish but also to protect the surface from rust. It’s specifically created to treat the underside of vehicles as an all-in-one treatment, so you can get back on the road as quickly as possible.

The product can be applied with a brush, roller, or HPV spray equipment, such as Rebel Ultimate-750 Paint Sprayer, and it doesn’t require mixing prior to application. Before application, the surface will need to be clean and free from grease and oil to ensure the best performance of the treatment.

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How it works is not clear, though, as the manufacturer doesn’t list all the ingredients, even on their safety data sheets. The treated rust surface will turn black, which suggests a tannin derivative is present, which would make sense given the low pH of around 2.

This will provide for easy cleanup as the application tools can be cleaned with a bit of soap and water. As with any rust converter on this list, it is classed as a health hazard, and due caution in the form of PPE should be observed.

From assessing your situation through to application, this guide will help you choose the right rust converter and get the best results no matter which product you pick. However, this isn’t necessarily the ideal solution, particularly for deep rust as enough material can be removed to leave you with almost nothing.

Use a stiff bristle brush to remove loose rust and dirt from the surface. Use a degreased, isopropyl alcohol, or methylated spirits to clean the surface from dust, grease, and oil.

The point is to remove flakes and loose rust, not only to reduce the surface area needing to be treated but also to prevent rust from forming as flaked off bits will most likely reveal a rusty patch underneath that will then corrode again. Now here’s a little of background rust chemistry to help you with understanding the problem you’re trying to solve, so you can pick the best solution for your situation.

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They’re usually formulated with a primer to allow for a coat of paint that will help to prevent rust in the long term. Most converters are also highly acidic, with a pH below 4, so they will damage and corrode away things like plastics or rubber.

Tannic Acid, used as the active ingredient in products like FDC Rust Converter Ultra will convert rust into a stable complex of iron mandate which turns the surface a blue-black color. However, materials such as leather, paper, and fabrics can be stained and damaged if treated with tannin acid, so care should be taken to protect all non-ferrous surfaces.

It converts rust into a stable Fe 3 O 4 complex, also called magnetite, as well as creating a layer of iron gal late. The rust remains beneath but because oxygen and water can’t get through the inhibitor, corrosion is stopped and the surface is protected.

These products contain organic solvents that are not acidic like the converters but pose their own hazards for example in the form of causing dizziness or being highly flammable. They are the safest option as the removers don’t tend to use harsh acids or toxic hydrocarbons.

To find out all the specifications of a chemical such as a rust converter, look for safety data sheets (SDS) of the product on the manufacturer website. If applied thick, the dry time may be much longer, and it’s a waste of product as putting the rust converter on a stable surface will not act as any more preventive action.

Typically, this takes about 48 hours, but this may depend on the product, so read the package materials well before you move forward. Using expired rust converters can not only reduce their effectiveness but even damage the surface they’re applied to, so be sure to replace any out-of-date products.

Choosing an appropriate treatment and following safety guidelines will make the job of battling your rust faster, more efficient, and frustration-free.

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