22

I have an old Swiss Army Knife on which I can only open one blade; the rest are locked in place. How should I clean this, and is there anything else I should do to refurbish it, like oiling, after I clean it?

This knife has been part of my daily carry for over a decade, and I carry it when I exercise, so I'm sure the innards are packed with some combination of pocket grunge, old candy and sweat.

The one blade I can still pull out works great, but the other blades are nice too.

2 Answers 2

27

When mine gets too bad I use WD40 to free it up, then clean with soapy water and a brush. Mine also goes through the dishwasher sometimes, with the blades partially open. If it gets gummed up with sugary stuff (your candy, or cutting up fruit) a good soak in hot water will free up the blades.

After cleaning it is a good time to sharpen it. If the hinges are still stiff, a drop of light oil (3 in 1 or bike chain oil) at each hinge should do the trick. Work the oil in by opening and closing all the blades a couple of times before assuming you didn't use enough, then wipe any excess off before putting it in your pocket. You could wrap it in a tissue the first day you carry it in your pocket, in case oil escapes when warmed by body heat - I used to carry one when I wore a suit.

1
  • 3
    Thanks, that did the trick. I soaked it overnight in hot soapy water, brushed it out this morning while working the blades, rinsed liberally, then blew it dry with compressed air. I finished with a touch of bike chain oil (which you probably knew I'd have around here) at each pivot. Much better now. :)
    – compton
    Commented May 17, 2017 at 12:57
16

The producer offers a page of care instructions on their website (here) (PDF). The gist is:

  • don't use a dishwasher, that might be too aggressive
  • open and close the blade multiple times in warm water
  • dry thoroughly
  • put some oil on the friction points (where the blades rotate), open and close multiple times

@chris-h's answer is also spot on. I, too, use a dishwasher (the producer discourages it). I saw some oxidation of the aluminium parts between the blades after that.

8
  • Mine is ancient, I not sure if it's got any aluminium parts.
    – Chris H
    Commented May 17, 2017 at 5:57
  • Don't know. Mine's not ancient, but 25 years old :-)
    – knitti
    Commented May 17, 2017 at 7:04
  • 1
    Gosh! I wish I could keep my pocketknives for more than a few years. They seem to wander away, or drop into deep crevices after a year or two. Alas, when someone borrows my knife, I have a compulsion to bird dog them until they return it.
    – wallyk
    Commented May 17, 2017 at 15:26
  • 3
    bird dog.. had to look that up; bird dog (North American) verb 1. search out or pursue with dogged determination
    – Molomby
    Commented May 17, 2017 at 22:13
  • 1
    @wallyk That's me for the keyring types (which are all I carry on my person these days). The full-size knives never seemed too easy to lose.
    – Chris H
    Commented May 18, 2017 at 8:10

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.