If oxidation or rusting is present, clean and buff the affected area with a soft chamois and apply a coat of oil to the entire tool surface. For trouble spots utilize an anti-oxidation product (such as Miracle Cloth) after cleaning and then apply a protective product (such as Sentry's Marine Tuf-Cloth) to prevent further oxidation and repel foreign debris. You may also want to try a light steel wool pad (000 grit) to buff off the rust, and then re-apply the anti-rusting agent.
Remember: rust and corrosion occur most often due to the absence of proper maintenance, so the best defense against oxidation or rusting is to keep your tool clean and well-oiled.
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Regularly clean and fully dry your multi-tool, especially after use. When necessary, oil the pivot points with a light oil. Be sure to clean the blade and handle set after each use. A mild solution of soap and water should remove any dirt and debris that have accumulated during use (avoid harsh detergents such as laundry or dish soap, and chlorine products). It is best not to immerse your folding tool in water.
To remove any debris from inside the handle you can use a toothpick for any visible lint or dirt, or a cotton swab for smaller amounts of dirt and debris. Also, a can of compressed air is useful for completely clearing out any embedded dirt or lint. (Ensure that you follow all recommended cautionary guidelines that the product provides, as some compressed air canisters use an accelerant which might damage your tool's finish.) If extremely dirty or after exposure to salt water, rinse the tool in fresh water, or with a mild solution of diluted soap and water, and completely dry the tool with a soft cotton cloth.
Apply a light coat of water-displacing oil (such as WD-40 or 3-In-1) or other desiccant (a drying agent), and then wipe down and lightly lubricate the tool's surface and pivot points. This will not only remove any dirt and debris which might inhibit the tool's functioning, but will also help prevent oxidation and rusting on the surface steel. (This is particularly important if you live in humid or marine environments.)
Do not store the tool inside a pouch for long periods, as moisture will remain trapped in the fabric, and tanning oils in leather sheaths might accelerate oxidation and rusting.
Multi-purpose tools are not intended to replace full-sized tools, such as full-scale screwdrivers, wire cutters, clamps, etc. Instead, multi-tools offer a pocket-portable kit for use on light to moderately heavy-duty applications. Use the proper tools for the proper applications.
SOG multi-tool components can be easily swapped out without voiding your warranty using basic mechanical knowledge. To start, remove the hex nut with a 5/16 hex wrench or 5/64 Allen wrench (depending on production date), and remove the spacer or component to be replaced. Insert new component in desired position, keeping in mind that some components can only be placed in certain positions within the multi-tool. Realign the components with the holes and push the hex nut all the way through. On the Powerlock, make sure the component lock groove is in the same position as the other components. You might need to use a nail (or similar item) to help guide the pin through. Next, re-bolt the hex nut and adjust for the proper operating tension (a small drop of blue threadlocker on the threads is HIGHLY recommended to prevent the bolt from falling out). If properly installed, the multi-tool should close completely, and components should easily come out yet stay in place when closed.
Component arrangement tips When customising your configuration, keep in mind that there are a limited number of "slots" for multi-tool components, and certain components take up more than one slot. Also note the size of each component when selecting your arrangement - Large components MUST go on the outside edges (one per side) and large and medium components work best when separated by a small component. Scissors and wire cutters MUST be positioned on the far left side of any configuration, and the Phillips head screwdriver must have small components on either side.
Below you'll find a chart of total slots per multi-tool, as well as a chart of component sizes.
PowerLock = 2 x 6 slots
PowerAssist = 1 x 6 slots
* Special positioning required (see above) † PowerLock/PowerAssist exclusive component ° PowerLock exclusive component
- 1/4in Drive - Small - 2 slots
- 3in blades/Double Tooth Saw/3-Sided File - Large - 1 slot
- Bottle Opener & Med Screwdriver - Small - 1 slot
- C-4 Spike *† - Large - 3 slots
- Can Opener & Sm Screwdriver - Small - 1 slot
- Phillips Screwdriver* - Medium - 2 slots
- Scissors*° - Large - 2 slots
- Lrg Screwdriver - Small - 1 slot
- V-Cutter*† - Large - 1 slot
- Wire Strippers*† - Large - 2 slots
FOLDING BLADE KNIVES
Keeping your knife clean, dry, oiled and sharp are the primary defenses against corrosion, wear, and potential injury. And practicing proper care for your knife will extend the life of your SOG as well as increase its durability and reliability.
Keep your knife clean. Be sure to clean the blade and handle set after each use. A mild solution of soap and water should remove any dirt and debris that may have accumulated during use (avoid harsh detergents such as laundry or dish soap, and chlorine products). It is best not to immerse your folding knife in water. To remove any debris from inside the handle you can use a toothpick for any visible lint or dirt, or a cotton swab for smaller amounts of dirt and debris. Also, a can of compressed air is useful for completely clearing out any embedded dirt or lint. (Ensure that you follow any cautionary guidelines that the product recommends, because some compressed air canisters use an accelerant which might damage your knife's finish.)
Keep your knife dry. After cleaning or after exposure moisture be sure to completely dry your knife blade and handle, using a cotton swab to dry areas that are not easily accessible. Use a soft cotton cloth or chamois and a small amount of moisture-displacing oil (such as WD-40 or 3-in-1), on the blade only, to prevent water spots and oxidation from forming.
Keep your knife oiled. Fingerprints and weather are the primary causes of rusting or corrosion on a knife blade. To keep your knife looking its best we recommend that you give your blade a light coat of oil after each cleaning, and prior to long term storage (you may need to re-apply oil more frequently if you live in humid or marine environments). Be sure to also apply a Paraffin-based oil to the pivot point, which will not only keep the action of your blade smooth but will repel dirt and debris which could impede the blade's action.
Keep your knife sharp. A sharp knife is safer and easier to use than a dull one. If you are new to sharpening blades we recommend that you invest in a fixed-angle sharpening kit, so that you ensure a consistent grind from tip to base - we also recommend that you practice your sharpening skills on your kitchen cutlery first, before working on your SOG knife. Also check out the SOG Sharpener for a quick refurbishing of the edge. (Please note that any damage to your blade caused by home-sharpening will not be covered under your warranty.)