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Best Options for Storing Folders Long Term

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Radden95, Sep 28, 2020.

  1. Radden95

    Radden95 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 21, 2016
    Hey Bf,

    Wondering what the best options are out there for storing folders, primarily "tactical" folders I guess. Right now I use an Apache 3800 case (similar to a Pelican Case) with the pick/pluck foam inserts. While this has been a good method for me, I've encountered a few issues and wanted to get some advice on a better way, especially to prevent rust/corrosion long term.

    I have heard that even with these types of cases, the foam can absorb moisture and cause corrosion to occur overtime. I've noticed that some blades that have been sitting in this case for a few years (1-3 years avg) have a small, micro amount of surface rust sometimes seen on the blade, and even noticed one of my blades has some around one of the handle screws. Keep in mind that these are mostly new knives (oiled regularly as well) and dont have any use on them except a select few.

    I like the portability of the case and the protection that it gives, but for longterm (talking like 10+ years), i dont know how they will hold up given the small surface rusting that im seeing. I currently oil all my blades and other rust-prone metals on the knives. Is that sufficient enough? I was also thinking of adding some moisture absorbers in the case to help reduce that.

    What are your thoughts or recommendations? Looking for something that has ultimate rust protection/moisture control where i can store my blades long term and not have to worry (aside from normal lubrication and basic cleaning every month or so).

  2. Eversion

    Eversion Gold Member Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Gold Member

    Apr 9, 2020
    Some reusable desiccants (moisture absorber) would be helpful, in conjunction with a rust inhibitor on the blades. For knives to aren't going to prep food with, EDCi and Tuffglide work well. For knives you do want to prepare food with, a thin coat of mineral oil works.

    Unfortunately you won't be able to just forget about the box for years at a time. You'll have to dry the desiccants out and freshen up rust inhibitor occasionally; the frequency of which depending on how humid it is where you live.

    I live in Arizona, so I don't have to do anything past a coat of Tuffglide or oil whenever I disassemble a knife for maintenance.
  3. gazz98


    Sep 3, 2008
    If I had to guess, the only way you could store a knife for long term is to use one of those vacuum sealers + specialty bags that go with a vacuum sealer.

    Otherwise, you need a moisture absorber + some care (ie. oiling the blade and airing out your container on occasion).

    Any surface rust you do come across should be easy to get rid off.
    Radden95 likes this.
  4. jbmonkey

    jbmonkey Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Jun 9, 2011
    I use those spyderco, not even sure what to call it, spyderpac I guess. inside in ac with rh of 50 to 55, no rust. I just stack them up in a closet. seem to do well.
    Radden95 likes this.
  5. BD_01

    BD_01 Basic Member Basic Member

    Jun 9, 2016
    1. Make sure everything is clean & dry.
    2. Knives with steel internals, spray down with a “dry silicon” aerosol. Make sure the carrier chemical evaporates completely.
    3. Wipe the blades down with mineral oil; wear gloves to exclude skin oils.
    4. Wrap each knife individually in VCI paper.
    5. Put ‘em back in your Pelican. Make sure the pressure vent is closed!
    6. Put a desiccant pack in the Pelican.
    7. Lock it up.
    8. Forget about it.

    Someone used to make a desiccant packet that had some sort of VCI built into it. That would be even better, but probably unnecessary with the VCI paper.
  6. Coiloil37


    Dec 2, 2013
    I would coat them in lanolin grease and wrap them up or put them in a bag inside the case.
    All the guns in my safe are stored like that back in the old country and they don’t rust in the years between visits. It’s easy enough to clean off when you need to remove it, it doesn’t run and it hasn’t stained anything like wood on me yet.
    I live on the coast now within 60 meters of the water and I keep my knives coated in it here too when I don’t expect to use them for a few weeks or months.
    allenC and Radden95 like this.
  7. brownshoe

    brownshoe I support this site with my MIND

    Sep 6, 2002
    I use cigar boxes and rotate my carry. The boxes sit on top of a long bureau on the barely heated/uncooled third floor of a 100 yo house. The carbon steel ones get oiled after use. You may be making it too complicated.
    Radden95 likes this.
  8. MolokaiRider

    MolokaiRider Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 13, 2017
    As mentioned above, desiccant works great.

    Buy in bulk, then change once a year.
    Radden95 likes this.
  9. Owen K.

    Owen K. Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 9, 2016
    I use an off brand pelican case with pluck able foam. I'm thinking about switching to an actual pelican with one those custom inserts by nalpak. I think the foam will hold less moisture and there will be more air space around the blades. Does anyone have experience with those?
    Radden95 likes this.
  10. spoonrobot


    May 1, 2004
    Pelican style cases and foam for storage of knives and guns always contributes to rust because it sucks in and holds moisture, long-term. I've seen more than a few collector shotguns ruined by storage in Pelicans and ran into issues storing my own knives in such cases. Now I just keep my knives in plastic (non-air-tight) shoebox bins. They're cheap, they Tetris knife boxes satisfactorily and it's easy to stack them into cardboard moving boxes if you need to move them en masse. I got a bunch of these when they were on sale for <$1 each but this is still a good price: https://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/product/stackable-shoe-boxes-set-of-12/1045926877

    I've got knives I put into bins directly out of my edc rotation back in 2008 and have left alone to this day that are fine. No rust or anything like that. Most were stored inside, in temperature controlled conditions but a few ended up outside in the garage to deal with Georgia summers and winters. Both were fine, breath-ability and not having a moisture holding mass is most important, IMO/IME.
    Radden95 likes this.
  11. Radden95

    Radden95 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 21, 2016
    Thank you all for the advice - all this is really helpful. Thinking about just using the desiccant packs that i ordered and will see how those work. Also thinking about going with the Nalpak insert with a legit Pelican case as well, but the plastic container idea sounds good as well. Ordered so EDCi lube instead of using rem oil too see how that works overtime.

    I would love to know how the pelican nalpak inserts are compared to normal pick n pluck foam if anyone has experience regarding them reducing the amount of moisture that can be present.
  12. Stelth


    Jul 15, 2007
    For storing my knives, I use plastic closing trays meant for fishing lures. They're made by Plano and Flambeau and each holds a dozen knives or so. I throw in a silica packet in each box and keep them in a gun safe.
    The Mastiff likes this.
  13. ArchVV

    ArchVV Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 8, 2015
    I use a Nalpak insert that I trimmed to fit into a Plano case. I have silica packs scattered throughout the case and haven't seen any rust yet.
  14. The Mastiff

    The Mastiff Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 21, 2006
    I paste wax ( Rennisance wax) all my stored knives as well as some of my daily users. I have a bunch of old carbon steel bowies and carbon and alloy steel folders that get checked once or twice a year and that's about it. The check is mostly to make sure nothing has leaked on the knives.

    I always wash anything corrosive off a knife before waxing. The wax also works great on wood, brass, steel guards, whatever. I make sure I leave no fingerprints on knives. I've seen fingerprints become permanent in about a half an hour here in the summertime heat and humidity. This method also works for guns including fine glossy hot blued antiques. The rifles use up a lot more time and wax than knives. Knives are easy in comparison to keep rust free.

    allenC and Stelth like this.
  15. Stelth


    Jul 15, 2007
    I love Ren wax too. It's good for what you said plus it's also good on leather and wood.
    The Mastiff likes this.
  16. Bigfattyt

    Bigfattyt Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 23, 2007
    I put mine in the safe. The safe has one of those powered heat rods that keep the temperature constant in the safe.
  17. Nalpak foam is closed-cell, so it should not absorb nearly as much moisture as the open-cell pick-and-pluck foam.
  18. Glenn Goodlett

    Glenn Goodlett Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 6, 2016
    I use those Zerust vapor things and desiccant packs on my machine tool and lathe chuck storage cabinet. The tools, collets, and chucks are much more prone to rust than my knives. Search Amazon for Zerust and the desiccant which I buy in the gallon jug.

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