Multitool.org

Tool Talk => The Mod Squad => Topic started by: J-sews on May 20, 2007, 01:39:32 PM

Title: Multitool TLC
Post by: J-sews on May 20, 2007, 01:39:32 PM
Multitools are tough, but so is the way we use them. Despite being better than ever, even the best tool needs a little TLC now and then. NeitherExtreme started this thread looking for input on what everyone does to keep their multi in tip-top shape. We'll make the thread a sticky and keep it here at the top of the Mod Squad forum for reference.

If you've got anything to share - be it on cleaning, maintaining, or reconditioning your multitool, then by all means add it here!

Thanks!    :multi:
Title: Multi-Tool TLC
Post by: NeitherExtreme on May 30, 2007, 11:10:51 PM
Simple thread, just currious to here how you all take care of your tools.  :)
So, how do you clean, lube, and rustproof your tools? How do you sharpen the blades? What else do you do to keep your tools in tip-top shape? Also, what have you tried that didn't work or you don't do anymore?

If a tool is dirty/rusty, I clean it with WD-40. I also use toothpicks and q-tips. A great cleaning tool I've been using recently came with my electric shaver- it just a two sided brush with stiff plastic bristles and it works great in tight spots!
To lube and prevent rust, I've been using normal 3-in-1 on a lot of my tools and miltec on the more expensive ones. I think I'm about to ditch the Miltec- it works ok, but seems gritty sometimes and I'm not seeing any good reason to spend $9 a bottle instead of using my trusy 3-in-1.
I sharpen with a sharpmaker I've had for a while now, but I still feel like I'm learning with it everytime I use it. It's done great for everything but the tips. They're still giving me problems, but I'm getting better.  ;)
Title: Re: Multi-Tool TLC
Post by: Grant Lamontagne on May 30, 2007, 11:31:11 PM
Here's a "Care and Feeding" article I wrote for SOSAKOnline:

http://www.sosakonline.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=127&Itemid=35

It's written for SAKs, but it's the same process for multitools.

Def
Title: Re: Multi-Tool TLC
Post by: Anthony on May 31, 2007, 12:33:52 AM
Using floss around those extremely tight spaces around the pivot of the pliers really clean out the black gunk that builds up there.

I use 3-in-1 oil also every other week or two on my daily multitools, depending on how hard I use them.  And the old toothpick and Qtip come in handy :multi:
Title: Re: Multi-Tool TLC
Post by: hawkchucker on May 31, 2007, 01:12:07 AM
I actually abuse my tools and have to Maintain them quite often. I use brake cleaner to drive all the gunk out, and then oil with Marvels mystery oil. If there is rust or really stubborn stuff I have been known to run them through the parts cleaner at work and give them a thorough douche to get all the crap out. To sharpen I use the Smith diamond pen. It is a great little gismo that does serr and strait blades with ease.
Title: Re: Multi-Tool TLC
Post by: J-sews on May 31, 2007, 04:53:09 AM
I'm do pretty much the same as you guys with the WD40, Rem-Oil instead of 3-in-1 oil, toothpick and Q-tips. Never tried that floss idea, I'll have to give it a whirl next time.

The foreign substance that I despise the most in my multitool though is sand! Gritty, grindy, sand. Even one grain between the pivots gives me  the heebie-jeebies.   :(

I keep a small aerosol can of compressed air at my workbench to blow out my tools when needed. They sell the stuff rather cheaply at most office supply stores.
Title: Re: Multi-Tool TLC
Post by: NeitherExtreme on May 31, 2007, 05:03:55 AM
x2 on the sand. I hate that stuff! I once got some sand in my KF4, and it got up in between the aluminum scales and the steel liners. If I squeezed the handles I could hear the "scrape scrape" of the sand.  :twak: It eventually all worked its way out though. I also think I'll give that floss idea a try.
Title: Re: Multi-Tool TLC
Post by: knife-man on May 31, 2007, 06:56:47 PM
I wash them once in a blue moon then cover them with dub dee and leave the excess to drip off.

Toothpicks and Q-tip's indeed  ::)   :D.
Title: Re: Multi-Tool TLC
Post by: Grant Lamontagne on June 01, 2007, 03:26:57 AM
Sand is nasty stuff.  Few things send shivers up my spine like that grinding sound of solid grit in a SAK or multi.  That's why I almost never take a SAK to the beach.  If anything breaks there, well then that's just too bad!

Regular grit is terrible too, but sand is the bane of my tool existence.  I almost long for poorly made tools when dealing with sand as the giant gaps allow for easier cleaning!

Def
Title: Re: Multi-Tool TLC
Post by: Anthony on June 01, 2007, 03:35:33 AM
Sand is nasty stuff.  Few things send shivers up my spine like that grinding sound of solid grit in a SAK or multi.  That's why I almost never take a SAK to the beach.  If anything breaks there, well then that's just too bad!

Regular grit is terrible too, but sand is the bane of my tool existence.  I almost long for poorly made tools when dealing with sand as the giant gaps allow for easier cleaning!

Def

Or carry a SOG when around sand...breaks down in two minutes. :multi:


I dropped a SAK in some dirt a few weeks ago while digging (it was in my front pocket)...GRIT!  I gave it a good wash and it came out fine.  Good thing the soil was kind of moist...it really didn't sneak between the impliments.
Title: Re: Multi-Tool TLC
Post by: Grant Lamontagne on June 01, 2007, 03:44:34 AM
In my former life as a home brewing supply store manager I used to have access to a nice little pressurized water jet that I found to be very good for cleaning SAKs.  It was a great little model that was adapted form a dental water drill, and it would clean anything.  I am going to have to see if I can find another one one of these days...

Def
Title: Re: Multi-Tool TLC
Post by: NeitherExtreme on June 01, 2007, 04:18:59 AM
Toothpicks and Q-tip's indeed  ::)   :D.

Uh oh, sounds like a normal person walked in on this conversation.  :D If I heard that some guy at work cleaned his normal tools that way, I'd think he was a little off his rocker, but here I am doing the same thing!   :P  Now I want to go see if I can find my old water jet I had in junior high for my braces!  :grin:
Title: Re: Multi-Tool TLC
Post by: Grant Lamontagne on June 01, 2007, 04:24:22 AM
I actually use Q Tips as well, although now I'm a little embarrassed to admit it!

Does it help if I say that I use a multi to squish the heads so they fit down inside the channels of a SAK?

Def
Title: Re: Multi-Tool TLC
Post by: damota on June 01, 2007, 07:13:27 PM
I actually use Q Tips as well, although now I'm a little embarrassed to admit it!

Does it help if I say that I use a multi to squish the heads so they fit down inside the channels of a SAK?

Def

No  ;)

Dave
Title: Re: Multi-Tool TLC
Post by: knife-man on June 01, 2007, 10:10:18 PM
OK so I admit it .. they go ion the bath me once a month .. whether they (or I ) need's it or not  ::).

Then I cover then in dub dee .
Title: Re: Multi-Tool TLC
Post by: Dunc on June 02, 2007, 11:28:16 AM
I also use the little stiff brush you get with electric razors . Also I find Bluetack ( the stuff you use to put up posters ) , just push it in the the hard to reach areas and when you pull it out the crap sticks to it . A good wash with washing up liquid , a rinse then a hair dryer and a little oil ( like 3-in-1 ) but not too much . Compressed air is good too .

Dunc
Title: Re: Multi-Tool TLC
Post by: damota on June 02, 2007, 03:01:57 PM
Flush the tool under the tap full on, dry it (and myself) with kitchen roll. When dry a large dollop of 3 in 1 oil (or Bisley gun oil) on the edge of the blades were they fit on the axles another on the center of the plier/cutter head, wiggle them about to spread it down into the jionts, then wipe all the excess off. Tried using liquid paraffin but too gungy so I am back to 3 in 1. Every now ad again I poke some oil into the inside of the pouch and spread it as best I can to try and stop any moisture build up. The water shifts all the muck out if any is sticking I will douse it with boiling water from the kettle and straight under the jet of cold water again, no tools needed and only takes about 5 minutes per tool.
Works for me and I use Gerbers.

Dave
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: J-sews on June 12, 2007, 05:26:34 AM
Okay, sounds like we've got several good suggestions about cleaning out the crud.

How about rust? What works best for getting rid of the little spots and speckles? 
(SwissTool users, please bite your tongues!)  ;)
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: Dunc on June 12, 2007, 05:37:43 AM
On my Leathermans I used wire wool and WD-40 .

Dunc
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: damota on June 12, 2007, 01:22:21 PM
Okay, sounds like we've got several good suggestions about cleaning out the crud.

How about rust? What works best for getting rid of the little spots and speckles? 
(SwissTool users, please bite your tongues!)  ;)

What's rust?   >:D
Is that what you get when you send a LM back for repair?   >:D
Serious= Dunc has it right but I have also heard that if metal is badly rusted leave it in the freezer overnight. When it has a nice frost on the surface rub with wire wool. Never had to use it myself but apparently it lifts the rust to make it easier to polish away.

Dave
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: NeitherExtreme on June 13, 2007, 02:26:58 AM
WD-40 and a good wipe are all I've ever needed to get rid of rust... but I've never had a severely rusted tool. I'd be curious to here tips on this as well, especially how to get rust out of hard to clean areas where it can go untouched.
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: Sparkey on June 13, 2007, 03:19:32 PM
I swear by WD-40...although my pop uses some slick 50 brand spray lubricant that will free up any seized joint you'll come across..I used some on my supertool after some exceptionally dirty and dusty jobs..I used it with some paper towels and worked all the joints and it seems to stay in the joints longer than WD. I think this is because it has a higher viscosity than WD-40, and I think WD displaces water better. I also like to use a can of compressed air to blow dust and grime out of the nooks and crannies. ;)
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: NeitherExtreme on June 14, 2007, 01:55:56 AM
Just had a funny picture run through my head. I know some people with access to an air compressor use them to clean out their tools. I don't have any to use, and I was thinking about where I could go to use one. I remebered that they have compressors at gas stations to fill tires, and then I just pictured myself standing in a parking lot outside a gas station using the compressor to clean multi-tools...  :D Truly absurd! What won't I think of next.
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: J-sews on June 14, 2007, 04:21:52 AM
 :D


Seriously, these aerosol cans of compressed air are cheap, available at most office supply stores. They work great too.
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: I'm Still Bison on June 14, 2007, 04:31:56 AM
Does anybody do anything special to prep a multi for long term storage? I've got some duplicates,and Ebay  birds that I want to store properly.
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: damota on June 14, 2007, 10:43:13 AM
Never had to do it with a multi (I get rid of the ones I do not use (3 sons)). If I store anything of a similar make up (small and metalic) though I clean and oil the item but instead of wiping off the oil I wrap the still oily item in a Tuff cloth then store in a cardboard box.

Dave
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: J-sews on June 14, 2007, 01:00:20 PM
Much as I like WD, it seems a little thin for long term protection. I use a heavier weight gun oil or 3-in-1 oil, rubbed completely over all surfaces, if the item is to be stored for a long time.
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: NeitherExtreme on June 14, 2007, 11:48:07 PM
I was recently away from most of my tools for about 6 months  :( They stayed in a tool box in a basement. All I did was spray them with WD-40 since I was in a hurry, and it worked out OK. No serrious rusting or anything, but there were a few tiny spots here and there that I think might have appeared over that time. If I did it again I'd probably use a heavier oil.
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: J-sews on June 17, 2007, 07:56:15 PM
How about a MAJOR reconditioning job, like Spoonrobot did here: http://forum.multitool.org/index.php/topic,1056.0.html

Anybody else ever have to bring a tool back from the dead like that?
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: damota on June 17, 2007, 08:48:06 PM
Bob I think Spoonrobots post (5th one down on the second page) of doing that job should be repeated in this thread Bob, could you not make it happen.

Dave
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: J-sews on June 17, 2007, 09:07:22 PM
Bob I think Spoonrobots post (5th one down on the second page) of doing that job should be repeated in this thread Bob, could you not make it happen.

Dave

Good idea Dave. Here is a reprint of Spoonrobot's Total Tool Makeover:

...Anyway, after a week that was way too long with too little sleep and not enough money I finally settled down this morning and decided my plan of attack. Since the tool only cost me a dollar I decided to go the cheap route and use only what I had one hand. Starting as small as possible I set up a cleaning station with a green scrubbie pad, some fast orange hand cleaner left over from my alternator replacement, some bleach and some hot hot water. I added the bleach due to the fact that while showing my coworkers the tool and soliciting advice from them one of them remarked that it was indeed covered in rust but there may have been a large amount of dried blood in there also. He came to this conclusion after smelling the tool and scraping some flakes off. Being no forensic expert I figured the bleach would take care of any nonsense left on the tool.

The green scrubbie and fast orange actually took most of the surface rust off and after a thorough cleaning I put the wire wheel on my dremel and cleaned up the really stubborn parts. After everything was clean I checked the function and found the wire cutters were boogered up so much it was seizing the plier heads when closed so I ground down the sides of the cutters to flat and fixed that problem. The awl was pretty trashed too so I polished it and reground the edge, function back to 100%. After all this the only other glaring problem was the twisted small flathead screwdriver, again I ground the edge back to usefulness and began reassembling.

supratentorial- thanks for the excellent picture of the washer placement. Somehow I either lost one washer or there were only two to begin with but I ended up installing two of them correctly and leaving out the one that went between the handle and the large flathead. I haven't really noticed any problems with this arrangement.

After totally reassembling the I checked everything for function, tightened and oiled the pivots and sat outside with a contemplative cigarette while studying my cleaning skills. Overall I am very happy with how this came out, thanks for everyone who chimed in with a comment. I figure I took this tool pretty close to brand new function, the everything that it supposed to be tight is tight and everything that should be loose is loose. No more bali-song-like handles for me!

It really is a pretty good testament to the staying power of a good multi-tool. Essentially junked prior to this at maybe 30% functionality, I invested less than 2 hours in creating a fully functional tool. Awesome!  :grin:

The good stuff:

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v12/spoonman/P4100279.jpg)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v12/spoonman/P4100278.jpg)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v12/spoonman/P4100277.jpg)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v12/spoonman/P4100276.jpg)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v12/spoonman/P4100275.jpg)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v12/spoonman/P4100274.jpg)

Take a look at that last picture. Notice the two holes in the pivot of the pliers and the general damage to the circumference? What's up with that?

The holes go fairly deep into the pivot, how in the world could two holes appear there? Is this a pattern of rust? This side of the tool did appear to be lying in some liquid because most of the outside corrosion was on this side. How odd.

This as a very satisfying project, I carried the tool today and have a real appreciation of it. I did some things I have been putting off doing because I didn't want to walk all the way back to the toolbox when I am reminded of the problem:
+Tightened the doorknob screws to both employee and customer bathrooms.
+Filed down the sharp edges of both our ticket holders (the edges were probably sharper than our knives and continually gave me and the Sous Chef annoying cuts).
+Adjusted and fixed the magnetic sensor on the door of our dishwasher.
+Offered to cut any piece of metal anyone wanted because *I* had a metal saw and no one else did.  :D
+Cut a small nail sticking out of the wall when no one was looking because no one actually wanted me to cut anything.
+Measured everything; my hair is 3.6 inches long, this mint leaf is .75 inches wide, your steak is 7.8cm thick, you spilled some sauce and made a puddle 17.3cm wide, eventually the head Chef told me to go measure how close I was to getting fired if I kept it up.

I have a new love for this thing, it's small and unobtrusive but really packed with tools, something that most multi-makers are getting away from today with their bigger/better tools. I plan to add it to my work EDC since I stopped carrying a multi-tool at one of my jobs because weight was an issue.

Now all I need is a junked up PST-II!

(originally posted by Spoonrobot)
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: J-sews on June 17, 2007, 09:10:02 PM
Man-o-man, what an overhaul!

Anybody else got some useful tips for revitalizing a code blue multitool?
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: damota on June 17, 2007, 10:06:04 PM
I have admired that post since he first posted it. It goes to show that even a tool in the state that was in can be retrieved if you put some TLC into it. It also shows that a bit of surface rust is not the frightening thing some folks seem to have about it, that was in a very bad condition but it only had the 2 small pits when Spoonrobot had finished with it. With his care and attention it should now last for years.

Dave
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: Sea Monster on December 04, 2007, 09:45:17 AM
Been at this site less than a week and already seen half a dozen mentions of using WD-40 to care for tools.

I suppose I can't hold it against Americans to use an American product, but the real stuff, the good stuff, the stuff they (should of) used in 'nam is Inox.

http://www.inox-mx3.com/inox.htm

MX4 and MX5 are the Anti-Corrosion Champs of the lot.
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: Grant Lamontagne on December 04, 2007, 02:03:23 PM
I mentioned INOX in my Care and Feeding (http://www.sosakonline.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=127&Itemid=35) for SAKs, and while I do appreciate it, I have found little benefit for regular maintenance over regular mineral oil, available at any grocery or pharmaceutical store.  The penetrating compound that was added to the mineral oil to make it INOX is nice on older tools that are stiff due to corrosion or an accumulation of crap, but with mineral oil being so much more readily available (and cheaper!) I don't go through a lot of INOX.

I do like that it's food safe though- that's always a bonus point. 

Overall I try not to use oils for lubrication because of the increased amount of stickiness they create, and allow more nasty stuff to gather in moving joints.  If a lube is needed for everyday carry (as opposed to restoring mobility to an old/abused tool) then I usually opt for powdered graphite, available at any locksmith or hardware store simply because pocket lint, dust etc won't stick to it.

Def
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: NeitherExtreme on December 04, 2007, 09:52:41 PM
Hey Def, I just did a google on powdered graphite (I haven't used it before), and saw that one site claims that:

"Graphite powder, although it is an excellent dry lubricant, has been shown to be corrosive to aluminum when there is possibility of moisture being present."

Has anyone used this with any tools that have aluminum scales? And has it been "corrosive"?
Just wondering...

http://graflex.org/speed-graphic/lubricants.html
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: Grant Lamontagne on December 04, 2007, 11:59:47 PM
I can't say as I've ever noticed it, and I have used it on SAKs.  The liners of SAKs are aluminum and I've never had a problem, which is odd because there is so much moisture in the air here steels rust pretty quick.

Def
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: NeitherExtreme on December 05, 2007, 12:15:28 AM
I can't say as I've ever noticed it, and I have used it on SAKs.  The liners of SAKs are aluminum and I've never had a problem, which is odd because there is so much moisture in the air here steels rust pretty quick.

Def
Hmmmm.... Well, good to hear. :)
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: Grant Lamontagne on December 05, 2007, 12:19:32 AM
You have me curios now though- I think I may have to devise a devious experiment!

 >:D

Def
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: NeitherExtreme on December 05, 2007, 12:20:37 AM
You have me curios now though- I think I may have to devise a devious experiment!

 >:D

Def
You always were a wild one Def! What do you have in mind?
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: Grant Lamontagne on December 05, 2007, 02:03:58 AM
I dunno... thinking about graphite powder, a few aluminum rods I have, and maybe leaving them out on the deck for a month or so.  Some time lapse type shutterbuggery...

Or instead of the rods I have a few old SAK liners laying about. 

Def
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: Grant Lamontagne on December 06, 2007, 04:22:58 PM
I got a fresh tube of graphite today, and the gentleman at the locksmith shop I bought it from has never heard of reactions with aluminum either, and considering the moisture/humidity in Nova Scotia, a locksmith would likely have seen it if it was there!

Of course, aluminum is too soft to normally be used in locks, so I will test it on an old SAK liner I have lying around. I'll polish and clean it up first, then take some "before" pictures. 

Given that very few multitools have aluminum in them I think the SAK liner is the best candidate for this test, especially considering the most prominent aluminum multis are anodized for protection, and the aluminum isn't structural, so any corrosion wouldn't be worth worrying about.

Def
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: NeitherExtreme on December 06, 2007, 10:51:19 PM
Sounds like a good test! :)
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: Leatherman123 on December 24, 2007, 03:48:44 AM
THE WAY I GET RUST OFF KNIVES AND TOOLS

I get a plastic cup.. Then put in some white wine vinegar.. Then put a few tablespoons of baking powder in the vinegar.. Then get a Q-Tip and dip the desired end into the solution and apply directly to the rust.. Will come off immediately!
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: Viper on December 26, 2007, 04:00:00 AM
My tools don't rust, LM123.  8)



Just funning.  ;)
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: Leatherman123 on December 26, 2007, 04:13:01 AM
O haha: no LM's! But I really never had a problem with rust but only on my knives.. Like the high carbon ones
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: Sea Monster on January 28, 2008, 05:42:05 AM
Customer come in with Charge asking for a service - all rusty and messy (easy to solve), also FULL OF SAND!

Best way to get sand out?

I was thinking compressed air, but it is in pretty good, all under the scales. No blades move without making gritty sounds  ??? ???
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: J-sews on January 28, 2008, 05:46:15 AM
Customer come in with Charge asking for a service - all rusty and messy (easy to solve), also FULL OF SAND!

Best way to get sand out?

I was thinking compressed air, but it is in pretty good, all under the scales. No blades move without making gritty sounds  ??? ???

Ugh! Sand is the WORST enemy of a multitool. :(  Best would be a total disassembly and a good cleaning. If that ain't practical, go with the compressed air and pray.
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: Sea Monster on January 28, 2008, 06:42:54 AM
Time to dig up my Security bits and have a hot date with a Charge then!
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: Sea Monster on January 28, 2008, 09:36:07 AM
I'm almost as bad as Dubya Dawg, with this double posting.


My Security (well not *my*, some I borrowed) bits didn't fit -
It's possible they were just rubbish bits, and not accurate enough to actually work - or is it possible that Yuessayans use a different size security bit?
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: Dtrain on January 28, 2008, 03:35:16 PM
I know when I still ran over the road.I would put some diesel in a can,then soak my Multi once and awhile,then wipe down and WD it up.It seemed to keep the junk out,and the fuel was always available.

Dtrain
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: Dunc on January 28, 2008, 04:52:30 PM
I'm always getting sand in my tools  ::)  I use compressed air . Not talking about the stuff in a can but a proper compresor. The I use a little brush ( like what you get with an electric razor , or a tooth brush ) , I also use bluetack http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blu-tack  . Just push it in all the hard to get places on your multitool and when you pull it out all the crap comes with it . It really does work and you can get right into the really hard to get places . Then its a good scrub with soap and water ( I find washing up liquid best ) and make sure you open and close all the tools several times under water , a rinse then dryed with a hair dryer . Any grains of sand left in the tool you should be able to get out with the blue tack and brush .Lastley a drop of oil .

Dunc
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: Splat on January 28, 2008, 06:31:40 PM
I use LPS #2 on my LM Core. I use pure mineral oil on my CRKT M21-14 because I may use it for food prep.
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: Spoonrobot on February 21, 2008, 09:46:31 AM
I learned this the first week I worked in a restaurant several years ago but just wanted to clarify since it appears I have forgotten.

When cleaning a tool avoid the Green Scouring Pads seen below. They actually scratch the metal and visibly destroy the finish as well as creating an environment that is more conducive to rust.

I used the pads on the PST mentioned earlier in this thread and never noticed because the tool was so used but after scrubbing down a SuperTool and seeing the damage created by the pads I must correct myself.

One should only use stainless steel or copper scrubbers to clean the rust/grime from tools. They work well in conjuction with dishsoap and are easy on the finish but tough on rust.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v14/redmodels/DSCF1946d.jpg)

Tip#2: Toothpaste scrubbed into the pivot points of a used tool with a toothbrush will get rid of the "gummy" feeling that comes from years of use and old 3-in-1 oil. Be careful using this method on riveted and new tools since it is easy to go to far and create loose pivots.
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: Sea Monster on February 22, 2008, 09:00:44 AM
I use nothing more abrasive than Cotton for cleaning of tools & knives - I rely on whatever compound is in use to remove crap.
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: Smitty44 on April 12, 2008, 09:18:52 PM
WD40 in a pressurized can,fine brush,and Q-tips works for most crud.
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: NutSAK on June 17, 2008, 10:58:59 PM
Def, whatever happened to the graphite/aluminum experiment?
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: NutSAK on June 17, 2008, 10:59:14 PM
Def, what ever happened to the graphite/aluminum experiment?
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: Grant Lamontagne on July 08, 2008, 06:52:58 PM
Is there an echo in here? :P

Absolutely nothing happened.  I don't have any pictures of the arrangement I had set up, but basically I had an aluminum liner on a plate, inside a Rubbermaid cake thing- the kind used for transporting cakes.  I put water in the inverted Rubbermaid lid, put the plate in the center (the plate kept the scale from actually being in the water), then put the graphite all over the scale.  I had even scuffed the scale somewhat to make sure if there was any coating on it, the aluminum would be exposed.  I then put the clear lid over the whole thing and let it sit in my kitchen, where the temperature varies greatly depending on the time of day, or whether I am cooking anything.  I figured different temps might have different effects.

After about six weeks I gave up on it and cleaned the mess up- the liner had no issues whatsoever.

Def
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: max6166 on July 13, 2008, 07:20:57 PM
Reading the TLC thread, it seems there are 4 schools of camp when it comes to lubricating multitools:

1) WD-40
2) Various oils, like 3-in -1, gun oils, etc. either all over on just on joints
3) Mineral oil and Inox on joints
4) Nothing

I don't know anything about this stuff, but I was instinctively leaning toward nothing, and perhaps using mineral oil or graphite only if the joints became stiff. (That graphite is amazing stuff. I was a convert the first time it miraculously repaired a completely frozen lock with a small squirt.)

Anyway, the majority seem to favour WD-40 or oil of some sort. Is coating the entire tool really necessary? Doesn't it make it greasy and slippery?
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: max6166 on July 13, 2008, 07:31:17 PM
Since this thread is fresh in my mind, I thought I'd also post a quick summary of cleaning methods for future readers.

This is just off the top of my head, so please excuse any ommissions:

Cleaning:

- Most people either use WD-40, or water with some sort of soap.

- For cleaning utensils, people often use rags, toothbrushes, q-tips, & toothpicks

- Special cleaning methods include:
   - Blowing out dirt with a can of compressed air
   - Sticking blue tac inside grooves to picks up little bits of dirt, etc.
   - Using unwaxed dental floss to clean inside joints of pliers and tools
   - Putting SAKs and Vic MTs in the dishwasher
   - Opening & closing joints under running water, or while swishing the tool around in water

- Drying is extremely important. Some people leave the tool opened to air dry. Some use a hair dryer or something similar.

Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: NeitherExtreme on July 13, 2008, 08:32:05 PM
Anyway, the majority seem to favour WD-40 or oil of some sort. Is coating the entire tool really necessary? Doesn't it make it greasy and slippery?
I've never done extensive testing or anything, so I can't really say what's entirely necessary. But... I've been using WD-40 for serious cleaning and 3-in-1 for general lube. I just put a small drop on most of the pivots and work it in a bit. Sometimes I wipe some on the blades/tools, but not much. When I'm done I wipe the whole thing off with a cloth (just cut up t-shirts...). It doesn't seem slippery or overly oily to me, though the next couple of times I use the tool I might notice a little oil seeping out. I usually go a while between cleaning/lubing, so that doesn't bother me too much.
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: Mike on July 28, 2008, 09:07:40 PM
That's easy, buy it, decide the two of you don't gel, then sell it before the factory oil even wears off. Hmmm, sounds a lot like mickyd.  :D

Mike
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: Benner on July 28, 2008, 09:39:00 PM
That's easy, buy it, decide the two of you don't gel, then sell it before the factory oil even wears off. Hmmm, sounds a lot like mickyd.  :D

Mike

Only if it's a LM.  :D
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: Mike, Lord of the Spammers! on July 28, 2008, 10:11:37 PM
That's easy, buy it, decide the two of you don't gel, then sell it before the factory oil even wears off. Hmmm, sounds a lot like mickyd.  :D

Mike
Oi :twak: :D
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: ironhand on November 20, 2008, 05:42:40 PM
dential floss!  I would have never thought about that.

see, I've already learned something new!

ironhand
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: donvito on November 23, 2008, 09:41:50 PM
dential floss!  I would have never thought about that.

see, I've already learned something new!

ironhand

Use the unwaxed kind, it's also good if used as a thread to sew gear together if nothing else is around, or if you need something that doesn't rot will long term water exposure.
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: P-11 shooter on December 26, 2008, 03:42:40 AM
I'll be honest. I don't really do much cleaning on my multi tools. I sharpen the knife if it gets dull. I haven't oiled the Pulse in I don't know how long. I oil the blades on the Wave every once in a while with some FP-10 gun oil.

I've used carb & choke cleaner to blast out grit before, or just over-oil the joint and work the pliers for a while. ALl kinds of black stuff comes out every time I do that.
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: Swiss Man on April 08, 2009, 11:47:33 PM
I just soak them in warm soapy water over night and then using either a pick or toothpick and pipe cleaners. I get the yucky stuff out.

Using a combo of M3 pads or steel eraser and paste.

But for oil I use olive oil on the pivots and blades. That way when one cuts food they don't get the WD 40 taste.

Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: Leatherman123 on April 18, 2009, 01:19:17 AM
I have found that Buck honing oil cleans up LM diamond files like new!
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: Pacu on May 21, 2009, 12:24:34 AM
anyone use Remington gun oil with Teflon? I take my tools out and regrease them every month as i live in Houston. Seriously living here is like going to a sauna and spraying a bottle of hot piss in your face. Dirty shady town. >:D

Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: Leatherman123 on May 21, 2009, 02:03:22 AM
I haven't tried RemOil..  :( I try to stay away from any oils in my multi-tools as they attract gunk.. I use dry film lubricants like Tuf Glide. Tuf glide is waterproof, it doesn't attract gunk, and it lasts a LONG time! Not to mention that it basically seals the steels pores so it makes it have a much better rust resistant finish. I would never use anything else!
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: Tinnie on May 21, 2009, 02:07:46 AM
I haven't tried RemOil..  :( I try to stay away from any oils in my multi-tools as they attract gunk.. I use dry film lubricants like Tuf Glide. Tuf glide is waterproof, it doesn't attract gunk, and it lasts a LONG time! Not to mention that it basically seals the steels pores so it makes it have a much better rust resistant finish. I would never use anything else!

YAY Tuf Glide user!!!

I bought a little tuf glide kits for my edc bag...good stuff!
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: Pacu on May 21, 2009, 02:11:04 AM
Tuf glide eh?  where uall getting this stuff? I'll try it. :multi:
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: Leatherman123 on May 21, 2009, 02:40:00 AM
Here's the kit I have: http://www.denverdiscounSPAMCORP (http://forum.multitool.org/index.php/topic,55947.0.html).com/KNIVES/KNIVES---ACCESSORIES/MOSS91200.html

An excellent price indeed!  :)
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: eodtech on May 21, 2009, 03:39:03 AM
I am sold on using an ultrasonic cleaner for the chore at hand.  I recently sold my old ultrasonic cleaner and just ordered a new one that appears to  have a big enough s/s tank for a MT or knife with out dis-assembly 2.5 Liter Ultrasonic Cleaner (http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=95563).  This model was recently on sale for $72 with FREE shipping and a $10 gift card, so I ordered one. The previous one that I owned I had to disassemble the item to be cleaned and put the pieces in the small tank, which was not always possible because the size of the parts would not fit in the tank. With the new one I believe I will be able to do riveted models and others that can not be taken apart in the s/s tank. Once I test the new model there will be a detailed post here, the unit should be here next week, I hope as I have a couple used SOG Toolclips and other MT's as well as some knives and other metal parts to clean.
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: Tinnie on May 21, 2009, 10:32:10 AM
Here's the kit I have: http://www.denverdiscounSPAMCORP (http://forum.multitool.org/index.php/topic,55947.0.html).com/KNIVES/KNIVES---ACCESSORIES/MOSS91200.html

An excellent price indeed!  :)

That's the one I have :)

Great lil item!
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: Hardnox soldier on March 02, 2010, 12:50:36 AM
I have been using similar methods. Mostly nylon brushes,and compressed air. The only thing I do that I have not yet read about is Contact cleaner. The kind used in electrical trades. Designed to dissolve dust and grime. Evaporates very quickly. End with light machine oil applied with pinpoint applicator. I have been wondering how to remove small scratches. Great thread!
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: GotUCovered on October 29, 2010, 11:51:42 PM
I am sold on using an ultrasonic cleaner for the chore at hand.  I recently sold my old ultrasonic cleaner and just ordered a new one that appears to  have a big enough s/s tank for a MT or knife with out dis-assembly 2.5 Liter Ultrasonic Cleaner (http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=95563).  This model was recently on sale for $72 with FREE shipping and a $10 gift card, so I ordered one. The previous one that I owned I had to disassemble the item to be cleaned and put the pieces in the small tank, which was not always possible because the size of the parts would not fit in the tank. With the new one I believe I will be able to do riveted models and others that can not be taken apart in the s/s tank. Once I test the new model there will be a detailed post here, the unit should be here next week, I hope as I have a couple used SOG Toolclips and other MT's as well as some knives and other metal parts to clean.

Whatever came of this?  Does the cleaner work well for multi's without dissasembling them?
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: JimShockz on May 24, 2012, 03:46:27 PM
Here's the kit I have: SPAMCORP (http://www.denverdiscoun[url=http://forum.multitool.org/index.php/topic,55947.0.html).com/KNIVES/KNIVES---ACCESSORIES/MOSS91200.html]http://www.denverdiscounSPAMCORP (http://forum.multitool.org/index.php/topic,55947.0.html).com/KNIVES/KNIVES---ACCESSORIES/MOSS91200.html[/url]

An excellent price indeed!  :)

That's the one I have :)

Great lil item!

Incredible what the can do these days. :tu:

-JS
Title: Multitool TLC
Post by: Metropolicity on May 26, 2012, 05:01:38 PM
After washing I usually put some tin foil down in my toaster oven, set it to 100f and let it bake for about 10 mins. That dries up all counts of water.

A little mineral oil or olive olive for food safe lube and away I go. If its a BO tool (likely it is) I take a paper towel with some olive oil and wipe it on and with another cloth or paper towel wipe most of it off. It give it back it's semi sheen, for BO that is.

If I  doing a full tear down or reassembly from a mod, I actually lightly coat or dab some petroleum Vaseline on the pivots. Tends to stay put and doesn't need much.
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: Breezy12 on August 02, 2012, 08:04:45 AM
I have found that Bar Keepers Friend works wonders... it gets rid of rust, grime, sap, mystery "gunk", etc.  I have used it on a couple filthy Leathermans that I got on ebay, and BKF got them looking like new in no time.

http://www.barkeepersfriend.com/ (http://www.barkeepersfriend.com/)

I use the powdered version with a damp sponge, then towel the tool off when I'm done.  I let it air dry for a bit, then hit it with some 3-in-1 or WD-40.
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: JNieporte on August 12, 2012, 07:01:45 PM
It depends on how used or gunky the tool is. For new tools, skip to the second-to-last paragraph.

For gunk, rust, blood, etc. I use boiling water in a pan with a drop of dishwashing liquid. I just leave the tool in there for about 60 seconds. Then I use a toothbrush, toothpicks, dental floss, and lots of elbow grease to remove whatever is in there. Sometimes I'll need to use the bronze bristle brush on a Dremel. Everything is then dried with a hair dryer and then the pivots are lubricated. My choice for lubrication is half Tuff Glide, half 3-in-1, in the Tuff Glide's needlepoint bottle. Work the pivots a few times. Then the tools get resharpened and whatever other maintenance is needed. The most common is a broken flathead screwdriver, which can be turned into a pry bar or reamer easily. If the tip of one of the needlenose pliers is broken off, the other one can be filed flush with it to make stubby pliers. I sharpen my multitool blades to the point where they'll cleanly slice thin (receipt) paper.

Most of my multitools are Leathermans, and I absolutely hate their bead blast finish. In humid environments, mine rust up just by carrying them; don't even have to take the tool out. So, I use a bronze wire wheel attached to a Dremel and remove the finish, then a small cotton wheel loaded with polishing compound. A final finish with 0000-grit steel wool produces a nice satin finish. I have to get every spot of every tool, and as deep into the pivots as I can. A Blast takes me about an hour.

Sheaths require care as well. Most of mine are nylon, and it's as simple as repairing any worn-out Velcro, reattaching belt loops, and using a lighter for frayed parts. Sometimes, the sheath just needs to be thrown out. New ones are typically $6.

Once the tools are up to par, it's a matter of keeping them sharp and lubricated. For sharpening, I use a leather strop and then a glossy magazine cover. If it's really dull, I use a white ceramic rod. Dog bone sharpener (looks like a triangle) for serrations. If I'm going around water or it's humid outside, I'll rub each tool down with a Rem Oil cloth, otherwise, I keep everything but the pivots dry.
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: GNandGS on September 07, 2012, 12:56:03 PM
Had a Radio Shack edition get lost outside... found it months later after the snow melted.  Buried 1/2 way in some mud!

Washed it in the kitchen sink and lubed it.  No rust or discoloring.  It was the only time in nearly 10 years I ever added anything -otherwise dry.  Still a usable pc until I had it exchanged under warranty.

I would still wash it on occasion. Never tried floss but that is a clever idea.  Toothpicks were handy.  After washing would open it up and let air dry.
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: Dtrain on September 17, 2012, 05:03:37 PM
I was a bit neglectful recently with my SwissTool..I didcovered the results of said neglect at Work..I ended up dipping a Bandanna in to some Diesel and wiping down the Crud..Worked pretty well as it has a few times when I still ran out over the road as a Driver..It even left my tool with the Manly Scent of Deisel! LOL
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: TheAverageJoe on September 04, 2014, 12:28:48 AM
Personally I swear by ballistol (a rather good oil) on edc items once every couple months. other items once when it looks like they need it. its the duct tape of oils imho (plus you could probably drink it its that food safe) another upside is it eats rust!
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: detron on September 04, 2014, 05:13:07 AM
Personally I swear by ballistol (a rather good oil) on edc items once every couple months. other items once when it looks like they need it. its the duct tape of oils imho (plus you could probably drink it its that food safe) another upside is it eats rust!

was not familiar with this product,   it does look safe, but the warning is sort of odd

Ballistol does not contain ingredients considered hazardous by the FDA. It does not contain any ingredients which may be harmful for warm-blooded organisms, reptiles or aquatic organisms (if used as directed). If swallowed, DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING, ASPIRATION CAN OCCUR. CONSULT A PHYSICIAN IMMEDIATELY.

if it is so safe, why do I need to contact a physician?
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: TheAverageJoe on September 04, 2014, 12:58:21 PM
Personally I swear by ballistol (a rather good oil) on edc items once every couple months. other items once when it looks like they need it. its the duct tape of oils imho (plus you could probably drink it its that food safe) another upside is it eats rust!

was not familiar with this product,   it does look safe, but the warning is sort of odd

Ballistol does not contain ingredients considered hazardous by the FDA. It does not contain any ingredients which may be harmful for warm-blooded organisms, reptiles or aquatic organisms (if used as directed). If swallowed, DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING, ASPIRATION CAN OCCUR. CONSULT A PHYSICIAN IMMEDIATELY.

if it is so safe, why do I need to contact a physician?

simple aspiration can occur, oil in the lungs is not good at all.
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: detron on September 04, 2014, 01:24:10 PM
Personally I swear by ballistol (a rather good oil) on edc items once every couple months. other items once when it looks like they need it. its the duct tape of oils imho (plus you could probably drink it its that food safe) another upside is it eats rust!

was not familiar with this product,   it does look safe, but the warning is sort of odd

Ballistol does not contain ingredients considered hazardous by the FDA. It does not contain any ingredients which may be harmful for warm-blooded organisms, reptiles or aquatic organisms (if used as directed). If swallowed, DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING, ASPIRATION CAN OCCUR. CONSULT A PHYSICIAN IMMEDIATELY.

if it is so safe, why do I need to contact a physician?

simple aspiration can occur, oil in the lungs is not good at all.

that makes sense,  I guess I did not read it well enough (plus I was 3 hours past my bed time)
Title: Re: Multi-Tool TLC
Post by: lanedecamp on September 08, 2014, 02:16:56 AM
OK so I admit it .. they go ion the bath me once a month .. whether they (or I ) need's it or not  ::).


TMI.
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: shadowulf on September 03, 2016, 09:54:22 PM
Personally I swear by ballistol (a rather good oil) on edc items once every couple months. other items once when it looks like they need it. its the duct tape of oils imho (plus you could probably drink it its that food safe) another upside is it eats rust!

was not familiar with this product,   it does look safe, but the warning is sort of odd

Ballistol does not contain ingredients considered hazardous by the FDA. It does not contain any ingredients which may be harmful for warm-blooded organisms, reptiles or aquatic organisms (if used as directed). If swallowed, DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING, ASPIRATION CAN OCCUR. CONSULT A PHYSICIAN IMMEDIATELY.

if it is so safe, why do I need to contact a physician?
Balistol has mineral spirits as an ingredient, fairly safe for external use, not good for internal use.

It's one of my favorites for use with my "wood & steel" guns. It is safe for most finishes and handy for treating and removing rust. That said, it's okay for a protective oil. It can be washed off, but pretty durable otherwise.

I've been tempted to run my LMs through the dishwasher, after a citrus degreaser. But usually, I rinse them in clean water and apply a good gun lube to the pivots. Then work the lube into the pivot, wiping the dirt/rust/grime away as it works out of the pivot joint.

This usually works well for several months, but I try to do this every 3 to 4 months. It's a habit I got into being in a trade that uses hand tools all the time.
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: Joseph Gonzalez on September 06, 2016, 02:46:37 AM
Just had a funny picture run through my head. I know some people with access to an air compressor use them to clean out their tools. I don't have any to use, and I was thinking about where I could go to use one. I remebered that they have compressors at gas stations to fill tires, and then I just pictured myself standing in a parking lot outside a gas station using the compressor to clean multi-tools...  :D Truly absurd! What won't I think of next.

If you do it, make sure to post a video on YouTube! Be sure to include people's reactions after they walk up and ask you what you're doing!  :facepalm:
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: benjigoh on March 05, 2017, 09:30:19 AM
hi guys, anyone here has got problem with their LM developing spot rust? I currently own a Wave and started noticing that the LM is having rust spots all over it. I have taken it apart once and tried to remove as much of it as possible. However a couple of weeks later, the spots are back. And this time round I think they bought a couple of backups along. Any idea on how I can prevent them from appearing? Kinda reluctant to soak the whole unit into oil. TIA. Cheers ;)
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: Vidar on June 04, 2017, 10:47:04 PM
Most stainless steels are stainless because the chrome will react with oxygen on the surface and make a thin surface film that prevents rust. If that surface film is disturbed or scratched the exposed chrome will again react with oxygen and form a new film. This works great in air.

It might still rust in environments or in spots if the surface is contact with something that breaks down the film faster than it can heal. That might be case if coming into touch with aggresive acids or salts - and in particular if combined with blockage of oxygen, or generally little oxygen in the environment. (Most stainless will suffer in common sea water). Basically cleaning and polishing so nasty stuff don't get stuck often helps. (Victorinox doesn't polish their stuff just to make it look shiny).

Another common issue is surface contamination with non-stainless steel. Such inclusions will rust, and they are easier to get than you'd think. Brushing using non stainless steel brushes, or tools/ sharpeners used with normal steel, rough contact with normal steel, or even worse welding spatter, will tend to start surface rust going.

Not sure if any of those apply to your case, but things to have in mind for the common stainless steel types.



Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: Pablo O'Brien on September 05, 2017, 12:27:18 PM
It is TLC related...  :whistle:
What's the highest sandpaper grit you need when polishing sak tools and scales?  :think:
1500? 9000?
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: Pablo O'Brien on September 11, 2017, 07:01:35 AM
I guess no one reads El stickies.  :D
Title: Re: Multitool TLC
Post by: Mechanickal on September 11, 2017, 07:08:19 AM
I guess no one reads El stickies.  :D
You should have known...