Lord Bloodraven and Prince Aemon the Dragonknight before him carried the Valyrian steel sword named Dark Sister (TSS: 81, 137)
We get questions from time to time about sword maintenance. This post will henceforth serve as a location for such information.
Presently we make swords out of three materials, maintenance needs will depend on the material.
If your sword is made from stainless steel, such as Longclaw or book Ice it needs almost no maintenance. Stainless steel isn’t fully rust proof, over a very long period of time it can still show some corrosion. You should do your best to keep it out of water and keep fingerprints off it. The acid in a fingerprint can, if left on the blade over a long period (months, years), still mark it. But generally, hanging up, unless someone touches it, you need to do nothing.
High Carbon Steel
If your sword is made from high carbon steel, such as book Needle, show Ice, Robb Sword, or anything in Damascus it needs maintenance. Ambient humidity can cause pitting, as well as actual water and finger prints. The blade should be wiped with a soft cloth after any handling, and you should keep it oiled or waxed regularly. Mineral oil works, as well as any oil sold or labeled for use with knives or guns, do not use a vegetable oil. For a more long term solution a product called Renaissance Wax is available. If the sword becomes pitted or rusted you will need to polish it with a product like Metal Glo or Bar Keeper’s Friend. The Bar Keeper’s Friend powder (get the powder kind) works very well with a scrubbing sponge (such as Scotch Brite) at removing rust or pitting. Just make sure you wipe the blade off thoroughly immediately after you finish and even rinse it with water, as leaving the cleaner on it can cause even more corrosion. Then dry dry dry thoroughly, and coat with oil. High carbon steel swords will ship to you with an oil coating on, but even that is not foolproof, so they should not be stored long term.
Damascus steel is a blend of two types of high carbon steel, so all that is true for high carbon steel is true for damascus steel. Except because it is so much more valuable you should be even more vigilant. Also, if your damascus does get blemished, be careful when polishing so that you do not wear off the patina. Test the polish first in a small spot.
All our handle parts have a protective finish and should not need any maintenance.
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