The most common “how to” question sword collectors pose is categorically about sword maintenance. As such, we have written this brief overview to assist collectors protect their swords from rust corrosion and offer simple to follow tips to maintain their sword fittings and blades. It should first be noted however, that this blog article is written specifically for the maintenance of High Carbon Steel European swords. These guidelines should not be applied to Damascus steel swords or Katanas (Samurai Swords ).


Sword maintenance is not complicated. Cleaning your sword blade and fittings twice a year will suffice. This process takes 5 to 10 minutes and does not require any machinery.

This article is an easy to follow guide for the proper maintenance of your sword.

Proper Care of Your Sword Maintenance: 5 simple Tips

1- When it comes to swords, humidity plays a crucial factor. Ideally, you should store or display your sword collection in an environment that has about 30% humidity level to avoid rust or corrosion.

2- Avoid skin to blade contact. Such contact will leave oil and salt that will eventually corrode the blade.

3- Do not store your sword in its scabbard for extended periods (30 days or more). Scabbards are made of wood, wrapped in leather. The leather will trap moisture and will eventually corrode the blade if it is left in the scabbard for extended periods.

4- Clean your sword blade and fittings every 6 months if you are simply displaying your sword.

5- Clean and oil your blade after every use, whether used for reenactment combat, cutting tests, or simple training.

In cases when your swords have rust.

Two methods can be tapped to clean the rust off the steel: chemicals and abrasion cleaning.

Chemical cleaning is the simplest way to clean swords. With a quick application light to medium weight oil, such as gun care oils (RemOil or Ballistol), or regular sewing machine oil (found at WalMart). Once oiled, wipe the blade and fittings with a cotton cloth until the oil is no longer visible. This process will remove light rust and dirt.

Abrasion Cleaning: For light handling and humidity rust, Nev-R-Dull, a mild steel chemical cleaner, is recommended. This product will remove any light surface rust while polishing your blade and protecting it with a light coating of oil. For heavier rust imprints, we recommend using a fine sanding pad (180 grit) with oil. Note the direction of the grain on  your blade and fittings. Make sure to follow the direction of the grain as to not cause cross-scratching.


When restoring the blade, always start at the base of the blade; smoothly and continuously pushing the sanding pad towards the tip of the blade. This will ensure that you follow the grain of the blade and enhance your blade with a nice satin finish.




17 thoughts on “A Guideline for proper Sword Maintenance

  1. Marlin May says:

    While I’m saving up for a Feanor, I wonder if you could address the proper care of the scabbard and sword belt, so that all three can be kept for generations.
    Thank you!

  2. Eyal Azerad says:

    Hi Marlin,

    while the scabbard requires very little maintenance. If desired, the leather can be cleaned every 12 months or so. We recommend using Dr. Jackson’s “Hide Rejuvenator”. This will give “life” back to the leather.

    Thank you Marlin.

  3. Zach says:

    I’m not certain I am understanding the preferred methods. Does it go something like this –
    1) Routine cleaning (every 6 months) and light rust should be done by oiling and/or using Nev-R-Dull.
    2) For middling to worse rusting I use the technique shown in the video.

  4. Ryan says:

    Hi, I have two of your swords, the 14th century ‘dagess’ style sword and the glamdring. My 14th c swords pommel and guard are shined and bright always, but the glamdring swords guard and pommel turn a dull blue after only about a month and then need to be repolished. Is there some other treatment I should be using for this swords fittings? I cut with them occasionally, but they mostly are beautiful wall hangers.

  5. Thilina says:

    I have a kastane sword of sri lanka. I recently got it. When i first got it there was some greeze applied. I removed it and couldnr apply back when putting back in to scabbord. Now i notice minor scratches over the blade. Please advice how to remove the. And how to store it in the scabbord.
    Thank you

  6. Pingback: Darksword Armory |

  7. Pingback: Darksword Armory Swords |

  8. Gias says:

    First of all, I would like to thanks for your cool article. the part of your article 2 method of removing rust, I liked most. I think its really important to be careful about the grain of the metal.
    2nd, Could you please tell us what it mild steel chemical or recommend some name of it??
    finally, I would like to say please keep posting such a useful post.

    • Eyal Azerad says:

      To clean the blades you can use any metal polisher such as AutoSol or Silvo. To protect the blades, use a light based oil such as 123 Stop. We do not recommend using WD40 as many collectors do, as WD is not an oil but a “Water Dispenser – WD” (pushes water away) but does not protect against humidity and dampness.

        • Eyal Azerad says:

          hahaha, i know, i know. My comment was written quite some time ago, I think it was the Auto-correct issue. Yes, WD stands for water disperser and not water dispenser. Hence the use by locksmiths when locks get frozen during the winter months.

  9. kitchen knife says:

    Indeed, even the harder steel and more intense point of a Japanese-style culinary specialist’s blade will require intermittent honing. Hone it with a whetstone. The cycle is more required than utilizing an electric or manual blade sharpener, yet most expert gourmet specialists say it’s the best methodology. It eliminates minimal measure of material of all the honing strategies. Home cooks additionally say it tends to be a remedial and loosening up work out.

  10. Ross Johnson says:

    For sword maintenance I’ve started using Japanese Camellia oil sold at Woodcraft. It’s used by the Japanese to maintain their high quality woodworking tools and swords so I tried it out on my Einar sword and my Ranger sword. Seems to work well

    • Eyal Azerad says:

      Hi Jason,
      we do not have a video guide for oiling the blade. I would recommend using mineral oil, gun oil, or any type of light oil. Place a very small amount on the blade and spread with a clean cloth. As a guide, if you can see or feel the oil, you have placed too much of it. It should really be minimal. Think of it as a barrier against oxygen.
      Hope this helps.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.