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Struggling_Mudansha
Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 20 Aug 2016
Posts: 61


PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 1:40 pm    Post subject: Sai and rust Reply with quote

After a year of training, my Shureido sai have accumulated quite a bit of rust. I have to admit, I had no idea how fast this was going to happen. At the time I bought these, I had the option of ordering their stainless steel version. The representative said they were quite heavy so I went with the plain steel.

I'm thinking that the stainless steel would've been a good investment, regardless of the weight, for its much better longevity.



Does anyone have experience with this? Should I switch to stainless steel so I don't have to deal with the rust?

Edit: If anyone was curious, I've decided to put a side by side of what I've done with the steel wool.



Last edited by Struggling_Mudansha on Sat Feb 24, 2018 1:51 am; edited 4 times in total
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singularity6
Pre-Black Belt
Pre-Black Belt

Joined: 26 Jun 2017
Posts: 958
Location: Michigan
Styles: Jidokwan Taekwondo and Hapkido, Yoshokai Aikido, ZNIR Iaido, Kendo

PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cleaning them off might be a pain in the butt, but once you get them clean, just apply a little oil from time to time. This should keep them shiny. I'd use some sword oil. You'll then have the added bonus of your sai smelling like clove!
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(Never officially tested in aikido, iaido or kendo)
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Tempest
Green Belt
Green Belt

Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 422
Location: Tulsa, OK
Styles: Judo, HEMA

PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, you should get some 3in1 oil and a green brillow pad and go to work. Once they are clean, apply vaseline to prevent further rust and try not to handle the metal parts without gloves or if you do wipe down and re-oil.
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singularity6
Pre-Black Belt
Pre-Black Belt

Joined: 26 Jun 2017
Posts: 958
Location: Michigan
Styles: Jidokwan Taekwondo and Hapkido, Yoshokai Aikido, ZNIR Iaido, Kendo

PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think I'd use vaseline... it's too heavy.

Here are a series of helpful videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCspvA264iw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_WtfUULJAg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDYTKzSuzZU
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5th Geup Jidokwan Tae Kwon Do/Hap Ki Do

(Never officially tested in aikido, iaido or kendo)
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Tempest
Green Belt
Green Belt

Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 422
Location: Tulsa, OK
Styles: Judo, HEMA

PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

singularity6 wrote:
I don't think I'd use vaseline... it's too heavy.

Here are a series of helpful videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCspvA264iw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_WtfUULJAg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDYTKzSuzZU


I didn't think so either till a blacksmith friend of mine got me to start doing it with my steel weapons, and by god it worked.

I am not a smith, just a man who spends a lot of time with steel weapons in his hand. If something works, and is recommended by a blacksmith, I am gonna use it.
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Think first, act second, and stop getting the two confused.

darsksideofthemat.blogspot.com
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MatsuShinshii
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 1423
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Machimura Suidi Rokudan, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If it is carbon steel you need to wipe them down after you use them and use a thin coating of oil. You can wipe off the oil when you use them so your hands will not slip.

High and Medium carbon steels will rust quickly due to the sweat from your hands or even the humidity in the air. Low carbon steels will rust as well as stainless steel. Just because it says stainless doesn't mean it will not rust. it will stain LESS.

You have to care for the weapon but it doesn't really take than much to do so. As long as it's surface rust it will come right off with a little oil and a green scratch pad.

Are you using these for actual Kumite? If not why would you go with Carbon steel? Chrome is your best bet for every day practice. It will not rust.

One other option is to blue the steel or put a patina on it. Go to your local gun store and buy bluing. It works best if you warm the steel with a heat gun or at least a hair dryer. If you want to go the cheap route you can put a patina on it by coating it with mustard (regular yellow mustard). Leave this on for 24 hours and wipe the mustard clean with a rag. it will look gray. Do not take this off as this is the protective layer. The bluing looks better but both will protect the steel from rust. This is not a life time permanent solution and will need to be reapplied.

Hope this helps.
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Struggling_Mudansha
Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 20 Aug 2016
Posts: 61


PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MatsuShinshii wrote:
Are you using these for actual Kumite? If not why would you go with Carbon steel? Chrome is your best bet for every day practice. It will not rust.


I wanted the chrome version but Shureido's been out of stock with those for a LONG time. My two choices boiled down to plain steel or stainless steel.

I do practice bo/sai kumite with these but it's only against rattan bo's. Nothing too intense for these sai.
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MatsuShinshii
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 1423
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Machimura Suidi Rokudan, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have steel Sai and I can definitely appreciate your choice. There is nothing wrong with owning/using them. Personally I love them but they do require upkeep.

I blued mine and it saves me a bit of upkeep. You still should oil them but if you forget... No harm no foul.

You may not like the look because depending on the type of bluing it's either black or brown. But if the original finish isn't important to you I would strongly suggest it as it will save you from all the elbow grease. However if you do decide to blue or patina them make sure to protect the handle wrap. It will stain. I put a clean nail polish were the leather/ cording meets the steel and taped the rest with painters tape. A little more effort but well worth it.

Good luck.
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The person who succeeds is not the one who holds back, fearing failure, nor the one who never fails-but the one who moves on in spite of failure.
Charles R. Swindoll
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MatsuShinshii
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 1423
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Machimura Suidi Rokudan, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tempest wrote:
singularity6 wrote:
I don't think I'd use vaseline... it's too heavy.

Here are a series of helpful videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCspvA264iw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_WtfUULJAg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDYTKzSuzZU


I didn't think so either till a blacksmith friend of mine got me to start doing it with my steel weapons, and by god it worked.

I am not a smith, just a man who spends a lot of time with steel weapons in his hand. If something works, and is recommended by a blacksmith, I am gonna use it.


The Vaseline acts as a barrier to moisture. It definitely will work but it's also very slick. If it gets on the handle it's difficult to remove.

I don't know if I would feel safe wielding a steel weapon with the possibility of it sliding out of my hands. I use mineral oil. And put it on very thin with a rag. A very thin coal is all you really need since its a barrier between the steel and moisture.

I'll try the Vaseline out. I guess if you've used it with success and have first hand knowledge it's worth trying. Have you had any issues getting it off when you use them? Does it make it slick. Just curious before I give it a try.

Hate to end up looking like a unicorn if it slips out of my hand and ends up in my forehead.
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The person who succeeds is not the one who holds back, fearing failure, nor the one who never fails-but the one who moves on in spite of failure.
Charles R. Swindoll
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Wastelander
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 18 Oct 2010
Posts: 2431
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Styles: Shorin-Ryu, Shuri-Ryu, Judo, KishimotoDi

PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Everybody has their preferred methods of protecting steel tools and weapons, and while there are some that are simply objectively better for certain applications, a lot of it boils down to personal preference. You should never use a petroleum-based oil or lubricant on steel that is going to be kept in a leather sheath or pouch, for example, because the petroleum will break down the leather. For sai, in particular, you have several options.

If you are just doing kata and don't care about traditional looks, you can paint them with automotive paint, or something similar. It holds up well, and if it does chip it can be touched up.

If you want something more traditional than paint, MatsuShinshii's suggestion of a gun bluing kit is excellent. Parkerizing kits are good, too, but more expensive and take more work. For forced patinas, I prefer a vinegar soak over mustard, but anything acidic will do.
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