Sword Knife and Armor Maintenance

Steel is an alloy that consists of two main elements namely iron and carbon with carbon content ranging from 0.2% to 2.1%. Steel used for the manufacture of swords and knives often contain carbon. Carbon is the main hardening element in steel and steel with higher carbon content can be made harder and stronger however it also less ductile (flexible). There may be other elements added to the steel alloy such as chromium, vanadium, manganese and tungsten. These are added to achieve different properties of the steel.

Every steel alloy is susceptible to corrosion and this includes high carbon steel alloy which the majority of our swords are made of. Swords knives and armor exposed to water and moist air will eventually rust. Rust is described as iron oxide that forms on the surface of iron or steel due to reaction of iron and oxygen. Given sufficient time any iron mass will eventually corrode and convert entirely to rust. It is therefore very important to protect your swords knives and armor from exposure to water and moist air. If you see any rust spots forming, you should remove them as soon as possible. Don’t wait as rusting only get worse. If you clean the steel right away you can restore the original condition of the blade or armor. Remove rust by first brushing off any spots with a wire brush and then cleaning the area with cloth and commercial rust removal product. Once you are happy with the appearance of your sword/knife or armor, you should coat it with an anti-rust wax or oil. Apply the anti-rust wax/oil every per manufacturers instruction, usually every few months to maintain the rust inhibiting barrier.

Also, never store a sword in a leather scabbard as it tends to collect moisture and also contains leather tannins that are corrosive to metal. It is possible to store the sword in the sheath providing that the sheath is well oiled inside; however, it is advised to check the sword from time to time. Leather scabbards should be kept dry and occasionally treated with all purpose leather cleaner and conditioner.

Brass fittings may be cleaned with any metal cleaning and conditioning oil or paste that doesn’t contain any abrasives. Any brass parts, polished to a high shine will eventually dull and lost its luster when exposed to air. This is normal and the shine is easy to restore by polishing the brass with a metal cleaning paste and cloth. Wooden spacers and handles may be treated with light coat of lemon oil. This will also remove the matted appearance and give the wood more shine and prevent from cracking.

Tip: SC Johnson’s Paste Wax makes a great inexpensive final coating that provides lasting beauty and protection for all wood surfaces, metal, leather, plastic, cork, and vinyl. In our extensive testing at Knights Edge, we have found that it works great protecting the steel, brass, wood and leather on swords knives and armor! SC Johnson Paste Wax is available at most hardware stores for under $10 in 1 pound cans. Just follow these simple steps.

  1. Clean surface of heavy dirt and sticky spots.
  2. Apply a thin, even coat of wax.
  3. Allow to dry to a haze, then buff with soft cloth.

Enjoy your swords!

Sword & Armor Care Wax