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How-to

How do you maintain a multi tool?

You can use the Leatherman, Victorinox and SOG multi tools for all sorts of tasks. They are ideal tools to always have around. However, how do you make sure you can enjoy your multi tool as long as possible? How do you make sure it continues to run smoothly, and how do you prevent rust?

Key when taking care of your tool: keep it clean!

By keeping your multi tool clean you prevent a number of bad situations. Try to make sure that when you use it no sand gets caught in between the tools. A multi tool is comprised of a number of moving parts. When sand or dirt gets caught in between the pivot you will know for sure it won’t run as smoothly as it did before. Did any dirt get caught in between the tools? Try to clean it as best you can. Use, for instance, compressed air. You could, however, also try to use a wooden skewer to get most of the dirt out.

What about rust?

Every multi tool is made from stainless steel not corrosion resistant steel. Stainless means that a type of steel is well-equipped against rust. However, when something is corrosion resistant you can assume that it can’t rust.

Why don’t they make multi tools from corrosion resistant steel?

That is an excellent question. The answer is quite simple: corrosion resistant steel cannot cut things that well and doesn’t stay sharp in the long run. As such corrosion resistant steel cannot be used for tools with a blade. Stainless steel contains a certain amount of carbon. This amount of carbon makes sure (in combination with other factors) that a knife can cut through things and that it remains sharp. Unfortunately carbon is also the element that causes a type of steel to rust. A great type of steel is therefore always a compromise between these different properties.

However, this doesn’t mean that your multi tool will start to rust the moment you leave it alone. Absolutely not. After all, that would make stainless steel completely useless for tools that have been enhanced with a blade. All you have to do is watch out with salt and acids. Are you, for instance, peeling an apple or cutting a branch? Clean the blade after using it. Fruit and tree juices namely contain acids that can make stainless steel rust. The same applies to salt water: when your tool comes into contact with salt water it is important to rinse it off afterwards with fresh water and allow it to dry.

Active protection against rust

It is also very important to grease your tool once in a while. To prevent rust, but also to keep the moving parts moving. Why not use one of these maintenance oils. We are big fans of Ballistol. However, when greasing the moving parts use the Nano Oil 10W.

How do you remove rust from a multi tool?

A little rust on your multi tool does not the end of the world make. Simply use a drop of the previously mentioned maintenance oil and a cloth to remove most of it. Any difficult-to-remove spots left? Try to gently clean them with an abrasive sponge. However, be careful! You don’t want to end up with a tool filled with scratches.

The truly difficult-to-remove stains can easily be removed with a Naniwa Rust Eraser. With it you will lightly sand the surface. So beware of a dull surface afterwards. However, that is, of course, still much better than rust!

Better safe than sorry

We cannot say it often enough: better safe than sorry. Are you taking good care of your multi tool? If you are your multi tool will definitely also take care of you. And trust us, that is definitely the secret to a healthy and happy relationship with your multi tool.


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