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Expensive flatware was scratched with scotch brite


Please help silly expensive flatware set owner!

While trying to debur a dropped, newly purchased knife, I (very stupidly, might I add), tried to use a Scotch pad. I forgot to consider what it'll do to the rest of the knife.
It came to me in a finish that looked mirror-finished, but I hazard to use the phrase because there must be a specific usage for it. I simply don't want to see the scratches any more and restore it to the condition I received it (i.e. I can see my reflection on the blade).

What must I do to remove the scratches?
They don't look too deep ~<1/2 thousandths and are localized near the tip of the blade. The knife itself is made from 18/10 stainless steel (or so the box says).

How long will I be spending to restore it?
I would still like to use it for eating, so is there a way to make sure all the chemicals I used on it are removed? How much will everything cost me?


H. M. [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Los Angeles, California


It's doable, but easier said than done. There is probably more patience and technique involved in polishing than there is magical chemistry. In principle, again easier said than done, you need to polish in the perpendicular direction with a polish just smooth enough to remove all of the lines you put in, while putting in new lines that are more numerous but narrower and shallower. Don't stop until every orginal scratch line is gone. Then you get a finer polishing/buffing paste and go back in the original direction until all the perpendicular lines you had put in are completely gone and you are left with more numerous, narrower, shallower marks again. No magic.

Maybe a local knife-sharpening shop knows how to do this for you?

Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey

A source of confusion on this topic is that some people use the term "jewelers rouge" to refer to any and all buffing compounds including red-brown, white, and green; whereas other people use the term "jewelers rouge" to mean the red-brown buffing compound very specifically.

Being a custom knifemaker on a part time basis for 10+ years..Ted's method is the most commonly used for best results that I've seen. To avoid "rounding" off the surface and to keep your lines crisp knifemakers commonly use a block of smooth flat material wrapped in sandpaper. Using just your fingers or a cloth behind the abrasive will make you lose some detail. Scotchbrite come in various grit but the most common grit sandpaper to use to remove scotch marks is starting with 600, 800, 1200 and then go to a fine polish paste or a loose buff wheel with a LIGHT buffing compound (green jewelers rouge is my fav) it is very tedious work but if you care about the quality of the piece do not be tempted to just go at it with a buffer to remove them completely. I personally wouldn't trust a local sharpening shop to do it. Your best bet would be contacting a reputable custom knifemaker to do it for you, or maybe even a custom jeweler. do a net search for "custom knifemaker" and you should find a few, there are also a few good cutlery magazines you can pick up at the large book store chains.

Good luck!

(ps...keep your sandpaper wet to keep it from clogging and to make the scratch depth more uniform)

Jason Aube
- Flint, Michigan

Hello I recently purchased a knife set off eBay which did advertise as having 'some use' however it has dots of rust all over the blades. How can I remove this?

Nicky Lavergne
- Victoria, BC, Canada

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