Jul 6, 2018292 views

How do you clean your daily beaters?

Relatively new to the world of pocket knives and was wondering how to you clean your daily beater (which will likely get the most use/abuse of your collection)? Pocket lint, dust, glue residue (if you use it to open boxes/packages), etc. I know most steels have a minimum of rust resistance, but wonder how does one clean knives w/o damaging the blade or the other mechanisms in the knife? TIA!

assuming you mean by beater an inexpensive stainless steel folding knife with a simple lock that one uses for dirty, hard wear jobs? not my thing any more, but i do have some concrete advice if it's yours: step one: disassemble your knife step two: reassemble it with teflon washers step 3: you're good to go: wash it under a faucet, dunk it in water. so long as you can give it a good shake and let it air dry a while it'll be fine. realistically by the time you corrode the steel or other metal with soap and water... you will long have moved onto another beater knife. That's how beater knives work. you get the consumer rush of buying a new knife much more often than you do if you try and buy tools built for a lifetime, and use them accordingly. the downside is you need to take care of your knife as much as your knife takes care of you, which somewhat defeats the purpose of using a tool in the first place.
Hose it down, dry it then sprat it down with Remoil.
I use Remington gun cleaner/oil. After I clean the lint and gunk off with a qtip and an old dishrag. Then I use nano oil as needed on all moving parts. It doesn’t attract dirt and dust like conventional oils. If you you your edc to cut food the products need to be different. For a knife used for food prep I recommend washing it then coating it with mineral oil.
I pull them out of the mixer and place them in hot soapy water. What? Oh! You mean the cheap knives. It really depends upon what has been beaten on. I try to use an appropriate solvent. Mineral spirits for gooey organic stuff and most adhesives. I recently got some Flitz that does a very good job. If they are really filthy, I will take them apart, clean, and lube them in addition to tending to the blade.
Wiha makes a nice set
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https://www.wihatools.com/torx-tools/bit-sets I have the all torx version of this. I quite like it.
Thx madAK88
Where can I find a good set of T bits for disassembly?
Alcohol and compressed air.
Alcohol, GooGone, or acetone for goop. Compressed air works well to blow them out when lung power is insufficient. If it is stainless, soap and water works. (Dry and lube it afterwards.) I very recently got some Flitz. I have taken a couple of mine apart and done the whole blade, then BlueLubed the moving parts. (Thumbup) Check out YouTube. Take what sounds good and try it. You will eventually find your groove.
Late to the party, but I came to MD today to ask the same question.
For cleaning off the sticky gunk from cutting packing tape, I've been using odorless mineral spirits. It's not really odorless but it's less volatile than the usual stuff. I still make sure the ventilation is good when I use it.
For lubricating and rust prevention I've been using M-Pro7 gun oil.
Typically, unless the knife is fairly cheap or just plain steel, and depending on whether or not it's a cooking/eating utensil, I will use Ballistol or wd40. Both have great cleaning uses for both the metal AND g10 on knives. It isn't corrosive and is water soluble. It is quick and easy to apply and keeps blades lubricated for a long time.
Plain old wd40 works great. With the straw nozzle easily gets the inside. Then cloth rags or q tips to wipe off any excess.
Depends on what the issue was. WD40 is great, like duct tape is great, but it’s a lot better at filling voids, loosening corrosion and displacing water based gunk in a messy knife works than it is as a long term lube for a clean well machined folding knife. Was never intended for either purpose but people can make it work, also like duct tape. Compared to a good gun, reel or knife oil, the issue is it requires frequent reapplication a lot more often to get the pivot action where you want it. Good to have both, and use each as appropriate.
My "beater" is a Victorinox Rambler. I occasionally wipe down the blade with whatever solvent is necessary to get whatever goo is on the blade off, usually adhesive goo, so turpentine, limonene, or mineral spirits. For more general cleaning, isopropanol. My EDC knives are the Rambler, a small Buck Diamondback fixed blade for cutting baguettes and food on the go, and a vintage Gerber AirFrame 154CM for serious need. The Rambler is what gets used for opening packages, or any other task in situations where pulling out the AirFrame (3.875" blade, still NYC legal) might frighten silly people. The Buck gets cleaned with soap and water and/or isopropanol after eating. The AirFrame doesn't get dirty, really.
I normally don't deep clean my knives unless they're super goopy or just covered in something. It's usually just a q-tip and a toothpick while I'm sitting on the couch and an occasional dose of Hoppes No. 9 when I'm cleaning my guns. I do give them a decent wipe down when I sit down to sharpen more than one knife
I got an alternative for No. 9 if you are interested. Probably too thin for guns, but it works miracles on both bearings and washers.
I may check that out. I hear a lot of recommendations for Daiwa Reel oil too: https://www.amazon.com/Daiwa-Oiler-64110100-Needle-Dispenser/dp/B005112BDW
Realistically, my M-Pro7 gun oil supply probably won't run out anytime this decade.
Wow! Some great cleaning systems here. I generally don't disassemble unless it is seriously gummed up. I use food grade mineral oil -> isopropyl alcohol -> water and cycle through again if things are still looking gummy. I'll use a combination of cotton swabs, sharpened bamboo sticks, paper towels, and or microfiber cloths depending on what needs cleaning.
Folders: If at all possible I take the knife apart. Then dust the parts, coat them in an oil or lubricant, wipe off the excess, and put it together again. I often use a keyboard duster spray to clean out even more dust.
For fixed blades, my usual carry, I use a little oil or isopropyl alcohol and a dustless rag. Clean the blade then move to the handle area where I clean between the blade and the handle with a cutip. Depending on the handle material, usually a wipe down is sufficient.
Hope this helps!
I use ISO also, i keep i small travel shampoo style squirt bottle next to my glasses wipe stash. I work in a factory so I need to properly clean my glasses as soon as i sit down, then I give my knife a once-over if i have any cares left in me.
It's great stuff. Works wonders on all kinds of blades. I even use it to de-ice my car windows in the winter.
Food grade knife oil (I love Citadel Black, you can find it on Amazon) paper towels, Q-tips and compressed air is all I need.
Lots of people suggesting acetone, which definitely works, but is usually overkill (with the exception of a few really nasty adhesives and the like). I just use ~70% isopropyl alcohol. Generally that should be pretty harmless, and it works well on sticky stuff. Other than that, I just run my knives under the tap after use every once and a while.
Doing full tear downs becomes more important for knives on bearings. For stuff on washers it isn't usually that necessary, but bearings will eventually collect crap and stop running smoothly. I just yank the knife apart and wipe everything down with isopropyl alcohol. Haven't had any issues with that so far.
Don't be afraid of disassembling liner, frame, or compression locks. 95% of them are incredibly simple to disassemble. Just make sure you do it on a surface that wont bounce screws across the room when you drop one.
I got a silicone mat for taking apart knives because I almost lost a pivot screw in my keyboard and/or rug: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0746M6WM6
The little compartments are great for keeping the screws separate.
I am lucky enough to have a solvent tank and compressed air at work. If I need to do a general cleaning I wash it out in the tank, blow it dry with the air, and apply oil after. I rarely do complete tear downs. You might want to look into purchasing contact cleaner that is rated for electrical use. It works very good and should not damage any non metal components.
I do an alcohol wipe-down pretty regularly, especially before and after I use it for food.
A full tear-down and clean-up I would say once a year? All my knives are beaters, so the wear is divided among 5-ish knives, but I don't go deer hunting or whatever with my folders. If it was my gardening knives, then every single time haha.
items to get for folder cleaning: -a GOOD set of drivers to disassemble (do not go cheap on these) -a lighter (in case the factory has really tight threadlocker, melt it by holding it next to the screw) -blue or purple loctite (so you can threadlock yourself, you only need the pivot unless the body screws are messed up) -cotton balls -isopropyl alcohol - remove and disinfects the blade (general purpose) -acetone - this will pretty much remove everything (deep cleaning, so to speak) -oil - re-lubricate the pivot and wipe down the blade, if you get alchol or acetone in the pivot, it'll eat up the oil and add friction to your knife (i use mineral oil, not the best choice since it is really a really light oil, but it is food safe) -compressed air - optional, to blow out all the lint if you dont want to fully disassemble your knife
if you go to the dollar store, visit the womens beauty products, and you can get an assortment of cotton makeup applier. You get cotton swabs, balls, wipes, etc.
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Heat. I touch a screw with a soldering iron or something along those lines. Not worth it to me scuffing or marring my lovely g10
Using acetone is fine as long as you're careful to only get it on the metal. For things like tape residue or tree sap on a blade, just apply careful using a q-tip or a cotton ball. If there's so much crap on your blade that you can't do that without touching the handle, then it's time for a tear down cleaning
(and i think omniseed was talking about cleaning threadlocker off screws that have already been removed)
Depending on the design of your knife, you have different options. Time permitting, and if you are comfortable with disassembly, taking the knife apart and cleaning / lubricating it is ideal before reassembling it. Most knives are simple to disassemble. Just use good bits and be careful. There are tons of videos and lots of information available online for you to look at.
If disassembly is not an option, If it is a flow-through design (you can look through the knife from the back of the handle scales) then you can blow some compressed air through there, or even a bit of mild detergent and water with a q-tip or whatever, followed by compressed air. Make sure to thoroughly blow / dry it out and ideally follow up with some oil in the pivot area and on the detent ball.
If you have a knife that is a closed design (the handle scales meet In the back), it can be a bit more difficult but is still possible. Just be sure to dry the knife out the best you can before oiling it.
Good luck and happy maintaining!
What this guy said.
And pure acetone (found cheap in small bottles as nail polish remover, look for "100% acetone" on the label) is good for tape residue. Just wipe carefully with a cotton ball. Avoid getting it down in the pivot or on the handle