Remove Rust from Leatherman: [Easy Way to Get it Done!]

For a long life any instruments you own need care. Your multi-tool is no exception. There can be rust in your leatherman multi-tool if you don’t maintain it properly.

So, how to remove rust from the leatherman wave?

Removing rust from leatherman depends on what it has been exposed to. You can use low viscosity oil. If your multi-tool surface is buff stained then you can use a polishing cloth. For areas like pivot, you should use a Teflon-based lubricant. Clean with turpentine in case of tar or similar substances.

That is the method you can follow to remove rust from leathermen. To know more in detail continue reading the article. 

How to Remove Rust from Leatherman?

Every Leatherman product is made entirely of solid stainless steel. Although stainless steel is corrosion-resistant, it is not rust-proof. Stainless steels can be either extremely corrosion-resistant or somewhat soft.

Or slightly corrosion-resistant and rather hard, depending on the combination of metal alloys used to make them.

There are several rust cleaning techniques to think about depending on what your Leatherman has been subjected to.

Method 1: Gather Natural Ingredients

By natural ingredients, we mean products that are acidic. For example, there is vinegar, lemon juice, potatoes, etc. The benefit of using these is you have these in your kitchen. 

Method 2: Soak In WD40

Many leatherman users face this problem that the in-erds get rusty on. On top of that, it needed 10 security Torx wrenches to disassemble the wave. That is why many users can’t disassemble it. 

What you can do in that situation is just soak it in low viscosity oil (e.g. wd40). Keep your multi-tool in the oil for 24 hours or more. Then bring it out from the oil and wipe it out. 

For wiping you can use cloth or any other material. But we recommend you to use a toothbrush. In this way, most of the rust will come off. 

Method 3: Use Rust Cleanser

Rust cleansers are dedicatedly made for cleaning rust.

If you want to get your rust cleaned easily then rust cleaners are for you. Though there are many rust cleansers available in the market people mostly use “Barkeepers Friend”. 

The reason for this is that it contains oxalic acid. Which is very effective against rust. You can just apply it with a toothbrush in the rusty area. Then allow it to soak for around 1 or 2 minutes. 

After that, you can rinse it. For better results, you have to do this a couple of times. If there is anything left you can remove the rest with Scotchbrite. You can also use SemiChrome polish.

That’s it. Now your leatherman tool is almost new again.

Many people also use another product which is “Rust Reaper”. It is also good for removing rust. It softens the deposit of crusty rust.

Which in term helps to remove rust. So you can use this as a pre-treatment. 

Method 4: Use Naval Jelly

Naval jelly is a very good rust dissolver. It can remove rust from anything whether it is iron, steel, or other metal.

It acts very fast. It will not take more than 5 to 10 minutes for removing rust.

As it is water soluble you can easily clean this with water.

The application of this solution is also very simple. You can spray it on the rusty surface of your tool. Then rub the area with a brush.

After that, clean the area with water. Lastly, dry it with a cloth. Now you are ready to work with your tool.  

How to Prevent Rust on Leatherman?

We all know that prevention is better than cure. So if you don’t want to take the hassle of cleaning the rust off your multi-tool you can follow some tips.

Maintenance is the key to the long life of your belongings. All leatherman tools are made from 100% stainless steel. Though stainless steel is not rust-proof.

But there are ways which can help you to keep it rust-free for a long time.

Cleaning and Drying

First of all you have to clean your leatherman tool after using it every single time. It will remove unnecessary things on the surface of the tool. Which can create rust. 

Then you need to dry the tool with a piece of cloth. 


You should lubricate the joint area of the multi-tool after a certain period of time. It will enable the joints to move easily. Also, it will help to prevent rust.

You should lubricate the tool every 2-3 months depending on the season. 

How to Clean Black Oxide on a Leatherman Wave?

Well, there are a few ways to clean black oxide on leatherman waves. You can follow whichever you like. So, let’s start!

Method 1: Wash And Rinse

It is a proven method. Wash it with soap and water. Make sure you wash it thoroughly. Then wipe it. After that, drench it with oil. You can use local or brand products. Then again wipe it thoroughly.

It can be very oily at first. But after some time when the oil dries out, it looks very shiny. You would notice the minimal back-on-hand transfer. 

Method 2: Use Alcohol

Some people use this for cleaning their multi-tools. In this way, you would need a damp cloth and rubbing alcohol. Then you are all set.

Give it a rub. Down of mineral water. Also some 3-n-1 in the joints.

Therefore, some of the most efficient ways were discussed above to clean leatherman black oxide. You can apply any of the methods according to your preferences.

Below we have suggested some cleansers for your leatherman wave. 

Hope these will help you to clean your multi-tool easily.


Does Vinegar Dissolve Rust?

Yes, vinegar can remove rust from your leatherman multi-tool. Besides vinegar, you can even use lemon or potatoes to clean rust. The reason they are used to clean rust is they are acidic. If you have vinegar in your house don’t bother going to the shop to buy chemicals for cleaning.

Can You Clean a Leatherman with WD40?

Yes, among various cleaning methods of leatherman wave wd40 is a very effective one. By wd40 we actually mean low viscosity oil. Usually, there is rust in the joints of multi-tools. Using wd40 helps to force out the moisture trapped in the joints of your multi-tool. 

How to Sharpen Leatherman Serrated Blade?

According to experts the best way to sharpen a serrated blade is not sharpening it at all. Here how you maintain your leatherman is the key factor. But if you want to sharpen the blade you will need a ceramic rod. Lay the blade on ceramic and then move the blade up and down. 


In this article, we have tried to cover all the ways you can remove rust from leathermen.

As leatherman is made of pure steel it is not that rusty. But if you don’t maintain it properly you will see rust on the surface after a period. Try to apply natural ingredients first. If the rust is too thick then you can use chemicals for it.

That’s all.

Eric James
Eric James
Eric James

Hi, I'm Eric James. I grew up in the mountains of Colorado and have been an outdoors enthusiast since I was a young boy. I love skiing, hiking, camping, and fishing, and believe that nature has a way of calming the soul and renewing the spirit. I created "" to share my passion and help others enjoy the outdoors. I also cover prepping and emergency readiness to ensure that people are prepared for anything. Join me on my journey to explore and be ready for the great outdoors!

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