How To Get Scratches Off a Knife Blade: Looks Like New

A good knife is essential for cooking and other household uses, but a scratched knife blade is trash. Or is it? When you look at your tools and see a scratchy mess, you could toss them out, waste a ton of money replacing them and then start over, or you could fix the scratch. Interestingly, it’s not difficult to remove scratches from knife blades. Instead of getting rid of good tools, follow the simple steps to restore different types of knife blades. It won’t take very long to learn these techniques, and it will save your favorite knives as well as your wallet. I’ll walk you through the techniques for various metals and coatings so you can DIY at home in no time. Best of all, you don’t need much to fix your scratched blades for years to come. 

How do you get scratches off a knife blade? To remove the scratches from a knife blade, you will need to sand them off. Depending on the material your knife is made from, you may need to use specific products and techniques for that metal. Regardless, the process is very similar for all blades, and anyone can accomplish this quickly. 

How To Get Scratches Off Knife Blades

Some knives have protective coatings on their blades that require special treatment, but any scratched metal is repairable. I will walk you through the options below and then explain when and why you may need extra steps for some knives. You can use all of these to remove scratches, but always start with the least damaging option and work your way down to rough grit sandpaper or steel wool only if you truly need them. 

  1. Buff & Polish- Sometimes, a scratch looks far worse than it should. A good buff and polish may be all it takes to restore a lightly damaged knife blade. 
  2. Steel Wool- For the deepest scratches and metal that has become ‘munched up’ looking, steel wool is a great first option. Removing excess metal and resurfacing the blade roughly is what steel wool is made to do.
  3. Sand Paper- For those who prefer to do repairs by hand, a series of different grit sandpapers will handle any scratch. However, this method takes more time and causes considerable hand fatigue.
  4. Rotary Sander- Using a rotary sander is one of the easiest ways to remove scratches. The sheer versatility of the changeable tips gives you the freedom to buff, sand, or polish based on the scratches’ depth.
  5. Air Sander- Often overlooked, air sanders are often thought of as tools to get scratches out of cars. Still, they are economical, ecological, and easy to use for any metal, including your knives. 

Good tools are easy to find. I suggest starting with the least abrasive option and working your way up from there. Sometimes a good buff will completely minimize or obliterate small scratches, leaving you with nothing left to worry about. For deeper nicks, try a light polish with a fine grain (high numbered) sandpaper, air sander, or rotary tool tip.

The Avid Power Cordless Rotary Tool is an outstanding, portable, handheld sanding option to remove those blade scratches. With sixty accessories and variable speed from 5,000 to 25,000 RPM, you could renew a whole drawer full of scratched knives in no time. Have yours delivered to your door when you click here

For the deepest scratches, begin with lower-numbered rough grain sandpaper or even steel wool for torn up looking blades. Then work backward in the steps using progressively more gentile methods until you have a smooth surface again. 

A set of GOH DODD Wet Dry Sander Sheets with Backing Pads will help you to get deep scratches out with your rotary sander. Not only are these made with premium aluminum oxide, but you get a one year warranty on all the pads. With sandpaper from sixty to ten-thousand grit, you should be able to grind off even deep scratches quickly. To see the outstanding Amazon reviews, click here

When You Cannot DIY a Scratch

Some Blades have a unique coating on them to give it a specific look. Unfortunately, you cannot always fix those scratches. Examples of this include textures and some external-only colors on more decorative knives. In these cases, you will have to get the knife re-finished to solve the problem.

You can opt to ‘live with it,’ but for those who don’t want to go that route, the best bet is to contact the manufacturer. If your knife has a one-hundred-percent warranty, they may replace it. Otherwise, the company might have a service to refinish those blades. However, there are times when the only option is to ask for the best reference for a place to send the knife to have a new decorative finish applied. 

Sanding decorative finish will remove it. Regrettably, extremely beautiful Damascus steel blades also cannot be sanded down to fix them. Doing this will change the appearance of the layers of metal, and there’s no real solution. However, the positive side of Damascus folding is that it also tends to be incredibly strong and durable. 

For those who love their decorative blades, your best solution is preventing scratches in the first place. If you plan to buy and use decoratively coated blades, make sure to store them safely. Rather than using a magnetic strip or knife block, consider using a drawer insert made for knives instead. For extremely delicate blades, such as antiques, wrap them in a soft microfiber cloth between uses to prevent any chance of damage and scratches. 

Knife Disassembly & Reassembly

Not all kitchen knives come apart once they are made. However, especially for those with folding knives, it might be necessary to remove a few screws. By taking only the blade to polish, you can reduce the chances of accidentally scratching your knifes handle as you buff out a scratch. 

To disassemble a knife, you need to look carefully at the screws in the handle. If there are none, please do not try to take a knife apart. Otherwise, remove all the screws. The pieces should come apart now unless they are gummed together with food debris or glued. Soak in warm water with mild detergent for a few minutes to soften food particles, but glue should be left in place. 

If you are concerned about reassembling your knives after you sand out the blade scratches, then take photos of each step in your process using a digital camera. This allows you to scroll through them backward to reassemble in the correct order. Don’t forget to clean the other parts while you have them separated. Use an old toothbrush with a mild detergent to clean screws and small pieces. 

Dry each piece with a soft cloth, or air dry before you put your knives back together. You don’t want water trapped inside a knife. Likewise, you can use canned air for drying any seams and hard to reach areas after washing a knife, but blowing on small screws and parts is likely to send them flying, causing even more scratches or lost parts. 

Using a Mini Air Sander from Amazon is a great way to remove knife blade scratches. This incredible, multiuse tool is pneumatic with low vibration and high stability. You won’t wear your hands out rubbing sandpaper over your blade hundreds of times. Plus and Air Sander is high efficiency and low energy use, making it fast and ecologically sound. To learn more, click here

Proper Knife Disposal

When you treat your knives well and buy good quality, you’ll rarely need to throw one out. However, when you do, take the time to dispose of them properly. It would be best if you always wrapped them in paper and cardboard rather than leaving them loose inside the trash.

First, take an old newspaper or junk mail flyers and wrap the unsalvageable knife in several layers. Next, take a piece of thick cardboard and cut it long enough to overlap the top and bottom and wide enough to wrap around the bundle like a taco shell. Place the blade edge on the inside of your cardboard taco, fold the top and bottom over the blade and handle before you fold it up.

Finally, secure your cardboard knife holder with some twine or tape. Hopefully, you won’t need to throw out knives often. However, this method will help avoid punctured trash bags, spills, and potential bodily harm from dropped knives. 

Final Thoughts

You don’t need to live with scratched, ugly knives. Moreover, there’s no need to get rid of those damaged blades when repairs are so simple. Even deep scratches are straightforward to renew, and quite literally, anyone can learn how to fix and polish a knife blade. 

Take your time and always practice proper knife safety. Especially when using hand-held tools like sandpaper, there’s a small risk of cutting your fingers if you are careless. Additionally, be careful using buffing chemicals on food preparation knives as the ingredients may not be safe to eat. 

It’s important to remember that a chipped blade is not the same as a scratch, and the process is different for removing edge damage. Fortunately, the process for fixing both are straightforward. 

Aron Blake

I am the lead copywriter on Homezesty and the Webmaster. I have a lot of experience in home renovations and the creation of style. I enjoy writing and sharing my tips on how to create the best living environment. My Linkedin Profile, My Twitter Account

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