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How do you maintain a multi-tool?

You can use the Leatherman, Gerber, 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. You can also prevent dirt from getting into pivot by wiping the multi-tool regularly with a microfibre cloth, for example.

What about rust on my multi-tool?

Every multi-tool is made of stainless steel. That doesn't mean that you'll be safe from corrosion in all circumstances though. In fact, you may assume that the multi-tool you buy is rust-free. Stainless refers to the fact that, due to additives in the steel, the steel is more resistant to rust than carbon steel. However, stainless steel still contains some carbon. This carbon makes the steel hard enough to cut and it retains its sharpness well. Unfortunately, carbon is also the element that allows steel to rust. A good steel is therefore always a compromise between these different properties. Read more about why stainless steel can still rust here.

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. For this, use one of these maintenance oils. We recommend products like Skerper maintenance oil, Ballistol and Nano Oil.

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 Flitz or 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!

Sharpening a multi-tool

The fact that you can and should sharpen your multi-tool is often overlooked. With so many different tools, it is important to keep them all sharp. But how? Read more about sharpening a multi-tool here.

Taking apart a multitool

Sometimes it is necessary to do a little bigger maintenance on your multi-tool. Maybe because something is broken or the hinge is too loose. Don't do this yourself! As long as it is within warranty, problems can often be fixed by a professional. Want to try it yourself? Most screws on a multi-tool are special screws, and it can be hard to find the right screwdriver. Fortunately, we offer a wide variety of bit sets, cap sets, screwdrivers and other special tools. Just keep in mind that potential warranty may be rendered invalid if it is found that you have opened your multi-tool yourself.

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.