Accessory Review: Rusty’s Rags Ultimate Knife Care Kit

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Rusty’s Rags Ultimate Knife Care Kit has been a surprisingly versatile and welcome addition to my gear.

I love my carbon steel Mora Bushcraft, but it has a tendency to get corrosion spots if I don’t wipe the blade down after fishing. It gets splashed and dunked, used for lunch prep, and even put back in the sheath with sap and bark traces on the blade. I have been looking for an easy way to deal with the issue.   

Enter Rusty’s Rags Ultimate Knife Care Kit. The kit contains a merino wool pad that is impregnated with a proprietary silicon solution, a flannel cloth, and a 3ml vial of the silicon to rewet the pad as needed. 

I followed the directions to clean my Cold Steel Macinac Hunter. It hadn’t seen hard use, it simply had been knocking around the console of the truck for a while and used on an ad hoc basis when my EDC was not burly enough. So it had assorted fingerprints, smudges, and schmutz on the blade.

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Rusty’s Knife Care Kit polished my Cold Steel Mackinac Hunter to a fine luster.

The silicon solution and the wool pads gentle abrasion easily loosened the schmutz and cleaned the blade. I used the chamois cloth to wipe the excess and polish the blade to a nice luster. From a cosmetic point of view, Rusty’s kit passes with flying colors.

Testing:

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To test Rusty’s kit, I started by cleaning my old Marshalltown trowel.

To test the effectiveness of the kit at protecting steel, I hit my old Marshalltown archaeology trowel with the sander.  I cleaned the surface of the trowel then masked off the control (untreated) side with tape.

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I masked off the untreated control side (right) and treated the left with the impregnated wool pad.

I gently wiped the excess oil off, and left the trowel out on a stump overnight.

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The “test area”

After one humid night outside, I didn’t notice much in the way of corrosion on either the treated or control sides of the trowel. There might have been a slight hint of oxidation in the stamped lettering of “Marshalltown”. But on the whole the trowel was largely unscathed from the first night.

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There was little sign of corrosion from the first night outdoors.

I decided to up the ante for the second night. I dunked the trowel in water and gave it 2 hard, downward shakes to try to shed the water. This is where I first noticed the Rusty’s treatment have an effect. The water beaded off the treated side more effectively, and the shakes shed almost all of the water. There were a couple of beads that tenaciously clung to the control side.

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Uh-Oh. While the treated side shed all the water, the control side did not.

After another night on the stump, that large bead left its mark.

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The bead of water translated to corrosion overnight.

By sheer coincidence, the forecast called for rain the 3rd night. By a greater coincidence, the professional “weather-guessers” turned out to be right and rain it did. The silicon solution is not meant to be a semi-permanent immersion protectant nor defy the laws of physics. There was plenty of rust to on both sides, but without objectively quantifying it, there seems to be a bit of a lower intensity on the treated side. The “rust clusters” seem larger and more established on the untreated side.

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Is it just me or does the corrosion seem worse on the control side?

My guess is that it took a couple of hours of being rained on before the treatment was scoured off. So the control side had a head start on the treated side of the trowel when it came to rusting. The difference is somewhat subtle, but I don’t think it is entirely observer bias.

“Real World” Use:

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The kit has found its way into my guide bag as a resident item. Probably the strongest endorsement I can give.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I have had corrosion issues on my carbon-steel Mora Bushcraft. I decided to start cleaning the Bushcraft on a regular basis using the kit. The water beading effect of the silicon solution noted in testing is desirable given that my knife faces frequent dunks and splashes when hanging from my waist. I had observed in the past that I would begin to get spotting on the blade by the end of particularly hot and humid days.

So for this whole spring, I have wiped the knife off with the wool pad and flannel cloth at the end of a day on the water. The residual oil left behind has indeed beaded the water and seems to have largely solved the corrosion issue on my Mora.

“Off-Label” Use:

There is another use I have found for the kit. Silicon is the primary ingredient in most fly line cleaners. In the past I have squirted some cleaner on a bandanna, and pulled the line through the cloth to clean and restore floatation. The gentle abrasion of the wool pad does an even better job than a bandanna, and Rusty’s solution performs every bit as well as products labeled as fly line cleaner. Given that I have limited space in my gear bag, it is always nice when I can multipurpose an item.

Lastly, I would love to see a “Rusty’s Super XXL” version where the wool pad, the vial of solution, and the flannel cloth would all be about 4x bigger. I would love to have the ability to use this on my table saw’s large flat table to protect against moisture. There are many products that are purpose designed for that application but one common one Boeshield (designed by Boeing for aviation use), is really expensive. And again, I like multi-purpose items in my shop and gear.

Conclusion:

First, I would like to thank the folks at Rusty’s Rags for sending me the kit to review. I know it has been forever and a day since they sent the kit and this review is far from timely. This was partially due to my receiving the kit at the end of last year, and I felt that for me to give it a fair evaluation, I needed to actually use test it in my “day-job”. I have done so this spring.

I like the kit. It works for its appointed purpose, and has shown itself useful beyond that. At 19.99, on the Rusty’s Rags Website, it is appropriately priced, though I wish the vial of silicon solution were larger. That being said, I still have plenty after all I have used the kit thus far.

Perhaps the greatest endorsement I can give the product is that it has found itself a place in my guide bag. With space at a premium, I depend on the tools I bring to the river to perform reliably and items that fall short of my standards are quickly replaced. I don’t believe that the Rusty’s Rags Ultimate Knife Care Kit will be going anywhere anytime soon.

 

 

 

comments

  1. Tom in Oregon says:

    I like it.
    I’ve got filet knives in my boat, camper and truck that always seem to get rust no matter what. Along with some folders in the cars that always seem to end up in the bottom of the console.
    The stains on my Criswell fixed blade will stay there though. They are combinations of warthog blood, ironwood, (from making campfires), and African tiger fish blood.
    Good memories.

  2. Steve says:

    I usually wipe my knife down with Remoil, no rust spots.

  3. I_Like_Pie says:

    I have found that just having a silicone cloth in my tackle box prevents rust to a certain degree. Not sure why from a scientific standpoint – from a vapor deposit or from possible humidity absorption, or just because it is there I use it more.

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Accessory Review: Rusty’s Rags Ultimate Knife Care Kit

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