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Cleaning mini multi tools
July 6, 2011 10:53 AM   Subscribe

I have a couple of mini knives/multi-tools (1 Leatherman and 1 Gerber). I like both of them a lot, but they are getting kind of old (1 is 13 years old and the other is about 4 years old). I am looking for a way to clear them properly so that some of the minor rust spots are gone and get rid of all of the "stuff" that has accumulated in the knife over the years. However, where they are so small, I am finding this difficult. Any tips/suggestions as to go about doing this?
posted by dbirchum to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Toothbrush and toothpaste?
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:59 AM on July 6, 2011


Compressed air is great for getting rid of the "stuff." So are pipe cleaners.

And to brighten up the metal, use very fine wet/dry automotive sandpaper (1000 or 2000 grit).
posted by bricoleur at 11:02 AM on July 6, 2011


The special dental floss they make for braces is great for cleaning around the hinges.
posted by phunniemee at 11:16 AM on July 6, 2011


Take them to a jewelery store and ask them to put them in the ultrasonic jewelry bath. Offer to pay them a couple bucks. This is very quick and easy, and will get rid of gunk in the finest joints.
posted by cosmicbandito at 11:26 AM on July 6, 2011


WD-40 is a wonderful multi-use cleaner and lubrication, along with the other suggestion for pipe cleaners.
posted by rich at 11:40 AM on July 6, 2011


I boil my Leatherman "juice" in dishwasher detergent.

I bought mine used, so it came without a box or product description, and as I picked it up I thought to myself "man, I don't know who this Lea Therman is, but she has designed a great knife!"
posted by jamjam at 12:19 PM on July 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Seconding the ultrasonic cleaner. Great for getting the gunk out of hard to reach spots, and also SCIENCE!
posted by Dr Dracator at 1:26 PM on July 6, 2011


Send them back to the manufacturer for overhaul.

Benchmade cleans and sharpen their knives for five bucks and Leatherman will do it for free: http://www.leatherman.com/support/faq#faq4
posted by wenestvedt at 1:33 PM on July 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I would have said to soak in methyl ethyl ketone if they're the all-metal type tools. Then re-lubricate. MEK + working the parts back and forth will pretty much clean anything metal-tool-like.
posted by zengargoyle at 1:34 PM on July 6, 2011


I've been able to remove small rust spots off stainless using Barkeeper's Friend. I use it damp and rub if with my finger in the same direction of the the grinding. More stubborn rust might need Scotch Brite pads. Oddly enough, mirror polished stainless, like you see on a Swiss Army Knife, doesn't seem to rust ever.
posted by 2N2222 at 5:39 PM on July 6, 2011


I usually use compressed air followed by WD40. I spray both sides of the knife, leave it on a paper towel for a minute or two, and then clean it with another towel and some q-tips. The pipe cleaners and/or ultrasonic bath sound like an even better idea, though!
posted by vorfeed at 6:53 PM on July 6, 2011


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