“Never Used, Carried or Sharpened” – Right!

I’d ask you “If you ever” but I know the answer so I’ll frame it this way, “When you do…” receive a knife from eBay that does not meet the description of NUCS, and no resolution, what do you do? Then too, how many knives at a show do you pass on that are merely shop worn (carried by the seller form show to show – looked at from show to show but not really defying the rating issue of NUCS) but just looks like Paul Bunion Carried Used and Abused (CUA) it.

I can show you how to easily bring back the new in the knife without contradicting the rule of rehabilitation of vintage knives for representation as MINT not CUA.

It’s opportunity time. Likely either the photos on eBay were poor or you did not look hard enough, either way don’t panic you likely got the knife at a price commensurate with its condition. I said likely. At the shows, look closely… is this a shop worn knife or used? Either way, how bad is the wear? If it is not severe so for it as a negotiation tool but beware they have heard it before so they’ll likely win if you do not show that “Walk Away” face, or walk away and revisit before you leave. Likely they are in need of a sale now days more than you need the knife.

For the most part I recommend this for the rehabilitation of the late model knives as cosmetic rehab not counterfeiting the rating scale but simply both cleaning up your collection to “Minty” (a word I despise – a description left over for the gay knife collector IMHO) and to breathe life into that show deal you got and the disappointing eBay deal that is not worth the trouble of the resolution process through eBay to Pay Pal – except if you want the knife and the money – that is one of the major complaints lodged by sellers about the resolution process that in a large percentage of cases, the complaint receives the money back and the eBay merchant never sees the goods. I can attest to being a selling victim of that scam three times in my short eBay selling career.

Plus I keep my carry knife looking box-like new this way.

The tools:

· The double micro-fiber cloths - $5.00 for two Wal-Mart

· REMOIL liquid - $1.79 Liquid $4.89 small spray – liquid preferred – in fact, unless you have to do not do the spray (Wal-Mart)(By Remington Gun – all petroleum based, no synthetics to damage natural scales – Teflon impregnated but still a non-synthetic – residue works for you plus breaks down any past build up and continues to work for you easing the seizing – think about it)

· Mothers Billet – The top of the line corrosion and print remover used in moderation is the key. I try to teach may son that this is one of those rare cases you’ll hear your father say “less is better” but it is – available at some Wal-Marts but all corner auto parts stores have it in the wax section there where the cleaners are for the $1,000 aluminum rims you see on $1,000 cars - $15.00 but will clean 500 knives is used as aforementioned.

· Small Buffing Pad for hand drill and Metal Buffing Compound Hardware Store – This one might make you feel like you are on a scavenger hunt if you do not try the Ace Hardware first. 50/50 chance or less at bog box retailers and forget Wal-Mart but do not forget this item. Important item… Key Item.

Let’s make this simple and short…

1. Clean the knife with Mothers – use and applied first with your fingers not the cloths as the direction say – remember they are directions for cleaning rims not knives. Rub Mothers on scales, blades, springs and liners as well as rubbing thoroughly on bolsters – absolutely great for removing hairline or brush line and scratches.

2. Add a drop of REMOIL to tang hinges and rub REMOIL residue over the metal of the knife concentrating on bolters, liners and springs

3. Remove black oxidized residue off your fingers with separate cloth

4. Remove Mothers Billet and REMOIL from all parts of knife with microfiber cloth

5. Apply polishing compound (white usually – brown if in real bad condition) to rotating polish (small size now not the larger ones – or if you have a Drumel Tool their polish wheels are perfect – it is a control issue re: small v large) using a fast speed and applying enough pressure to get the compound to take to the brush. Then using a slow speed carefully and softly apply the buffing wheel to the troubled areas first, then the liners and springs and the liner on the closing side ending up by – still softly – buff off the scales and bolsters.

6. Re-apply Mothers Billet - sparingly again to knife rubbing with pressure to tang areas and bolsters but avoid scales now – you do not want mothers drying in the jigged areas and you do not want the black oxidized residue to stain the bone - if that happens after drying – buff scales lightly with buffing wheel to remove billet residue and spit shine those scales.

7. If this is a ET or Sunfish or Stiff GEC or Older Knife - a very little drop of REMOIL is a good idea – I have had nail breaking Toe’s become nearly assisted openers after two or three application of REMOIL and that Teflon gets in there and lubricates from the inside out.

8. Buff off the knife thoroughly with (always a clean one free from grit or grime but a little left over cleaner is no problem you can still buff it out) the double layer microfiber cloth

Touch up all you knives this way about once a year or so and in between just apply a little Mother Billet with the REMOIL and buff off with the Microfiber cloth. You will find after once or twice that there is a little Billet residue that remains and all that is necessary to put back that spot shine is a Microfiber buffing without the billet. Anytime is a good time to add a drop of REMOIL though especially if it’s a tough knife to open.

Now you have a fresh “Minty” collection.


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Tags: Care, Cleaning, KNife, Knife, Knives, eBay

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In Memoriam
Comment by Terry Ray on January 12, 2014 at 11:26

Nicely said, thanks for info

Comment by Billy Oneale on May 22, 2011 at 21:45
That sounds like some very good pointers, Frank. I tend to buy a lot of knives on ebay because I have gotten some very good deals. Some that I get have a minor problem or two, but usually not major. I have learned to study the pictures closely and buy from reputable knife sellers.
Comment by Wayne Whitted on May 22, 2011 at 19:43
Nice write up. I will give some of your pointers a try.
Comment by Jan Carter on May 17, 2011 at 16:48


Well thought out and well said.  Easy to follow and I certainly appreciate that.  Never tried the Mothers before but will be picking some up soon.  Thanks for the info

Comment by Chris Taylor (CTAYLORMAN) on June 17, 2010 at 22:43
Frank, I am glad I read this post about knife cleaning/restoring. I found it interesting because I was just at my local auto parts store and thought very seriously about buying a can of Mother Billet just for this purpose and chickened out for fear of doing something to my knives that shouldnt be done. I will definitely pickup a can now. Also I have heard so many different "stories" about whether to use a dremmel or not to use a dremmel. Some people I have spoken with swear by them and others tell me they will burn up the blade (which I am sure they will if you dont use them with care). I no longer feel guilty for using my dremmel for putting a shine on my knives. I dont try to totally restore a knife with it but I just use it basically how you described and it works wonders. Thanks again!

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