How to Mirror Polish a Knife by Hand

How to Mirror Polish a Knife by Hand

Mirror polishing is a finishing process for bladed metals. It is a somewhat old but still widely used practice by knife enthusiasts and military personnel alike. By hand it is never an easy or fast process, but with the guide in this article on how to mirror polish a knife by hand, you will have a perfect outcome.

If you’re trying to remove scratches left by a grinder, start with 220 grit sandpaper and progress through 400 grit, 600 grit, and 800 grit. Use finer grits (1200 or higher) if your knife is dull because using too fine of an abrasive on a dull knife takes a very long time.

Once you get the knife close to finished with 800 grit, use wet/dry sandpaper with rubbing compound or polishing compound applied between blades until you get it as reflective as you want.

It recommends that you start with a grinder for shaping your knife. However, because the grinder will leave a lot of scratches on the blade, you’ll need to polish the blade by hand to remove them.

How to Mirror Polish a Knife Blade by Hand

How to Mirror Polish a Knife Blade by HandA mirror-polished knife is a symbol of craftsmanship. With patience and practice, you can produce a polished blade that will make people do a double-take.


  • a polishing stone 
  • sandpaper
  • some water (distilled is best)
  • a rag or towel
  • some paper towels or toilet paper
  • some paste polish 

Here’s how to get started:

Step 1: You’ll need to remove the burr from the edge of your knife using a whetstone. A burr is a sharp but brittle edge that can catch on your skin, so you must remove it before polishing.

Step 2: Move to an 800 gritstone and use light pressure when running the blade along its surface. When you’re done polishing, apply some oil to prevent rusting.

Step 3: After that, move on to the 6000 gritstone to achieve the mirror finish. Rub the blade in a circular motion along with the stone until you’ve polished both sides of the blade evenly.

Step 4: Wipe down your finished product with rubbing alcohol and buff out any imperfections with steel wool or a paper towel.

How to Mirror Polish Stainless Steel Knife

 I will show you how to mirror polish a stainless steel knife using only household items such as sandpaper, steel wool, and a little elbow grease.

Many people prefer this method because it does not require any special tools and can be done at home with little effort on your part as long as you follow these simple steps:

Step 1: Take some coarse grit sandpaper (80-220 grit) and rub it on the blade of your knife in a circular motion. It will remove any rust that has formed over time due to oxidation from air exposure or water contact.

Step 2: Take some fine-grit sandpaper (1000+) and rub it in circles until all scratches are gone. If there are still visible scratches after doing this step twice, then repeat one more time until they disappear completely!

Step 3: Repeat step two until all scratches are gone, then finish by buffing it out with 0000 steel wool for about 10 minutes until shiny. By now, your stainless steel knife edge will be sharp and shining.

How to Mirror Polish a Sword

How to Mirror Polish a SwordMirror polishing a sword is a time-consuming process that can take up to a few weeks. But it’s worth it. Here is a step by step guide:

Step 1: Gather all the materials you will need.

Step 2: Get a small piece of sandpaper and start to polish the sword by rubbing it back and forth in even motions, starting with the lowest grit sandpaper (60 grit). The lower the grit, the more abrasive it is, so be careful not to scratch up your sword too badly.

Step 3: Once you have finished this step, use higher grit sandpaper (80 grit) and repeat 

Step 4: Continue this process until you reach 1000-grit sandpaper or higher (2000-grit is preferred).

Step 5: Set some steel wool that is 0000 grade and rub it along the sword in even motions until the sword surface becomes smooth again (this step should take about 20 minutes). This step will remove any scratches from previous steps to ensure that your sword has as close of an “edge” as possible when it comes time to sharpen it (the edge is what makes swords sharp).

Step 6: Use a soft cloth to wipe off any residue left behind by using steel wool at this point if necessary.

How to Polish a Knife with Sandpaper

Polish your knife with sandpaper, and you will be amazed at the sheen it achieves. This method is not complicated to perform, and you likely have everything you need at home right now.

What you’ll need:

  • Sandpaper
  • A knife
  • Gloves
  • A light source{lamp or the sun}
  • Two buckets or bowls
  • Water
  • A towel that you don’t mind getting dirty (or wet)
  • Dish soap (optional)


Step 1: Wash and dry your knife.

Step 2: Put a drop of oil or any lubricant on the sandpaper.

Step 3 Wet the paper with water, then squeeze out any excess water.

Step 4: Place the sandpaper on a flat surface and rub your knife along it at a 22-degree angle for 2 minutes.

Step 5: Flip the knife and repeat with the other side until you have an even finish on both sides of the blade.

After you’ve finished sanding and have reached the finest grit, clean off your knife and run your fingers. You should feel no bumps or funky edges anywhere on your blade. If you still do, simply repeat the process from an even coarser grit until things are smooth.

How to Buff a Knife Blade

Step 1: clean up any rust on the blade with steel wool.

Step 2: wash the blade with soap and water.

Step 3: Wet your sandpaper and use a heavier grit to buff off any imperfections on the blade. You may have to repeat this process a few times.

Step 4: After step 3, you’re going to want to move up in the grit of your sandpaper and repeat step 3 until there are no scratches left on the blade. If you need help figuring out what grit level of sandpaper to use, 

Finally, wipe down the knife and dry it off with a clean cloth or paper towel. Don’t let your newly-buffed knife sit for too long after you’ve finished cleaning it—you don’t want water spots.

How to Polish Knife Blade Scratches

How to Polish Knife Blade ScratchesYou will need:

  • a knife with scratches on the blade
  • baking soda
  • olive oil
  • cotton cloths, or microfiber cloths if you have those

Step 1: Sprinkle baking soda on your knife

Sprinkle a liberal amount of baking soda onto the affected area. Don’t worry about getting it too close to the cutting edge; just make sure you get enough on that part of the scratched-up blade.

Step 2: Soak a cloth in olive oil and wipe it over the area where you put baking soda.

Combining baking soda and olive oil will create a paste that will help remove scratches from your knife’s blade. Ensure you don’t use too much oil because it’ll run off the blade to eliminate scratches effectively. If you don’t have olive oil, vegetable oil will work just fine as well. Just make sure it isn’t expired!

Step 3: Wipe off excess paste with a clean cloth, then rinse with warm water and air dry

Here are some extra tips:

1. Before trying different products or techniques, clean your blade with soap and water.

2. Use a metal polish that’s made for knives. You purchase this at any hardware store.

3. Apply the polish to the blade with a cloth in circular motions.

4. If you do not see results, try adding more pressure or changing the direction of your polish strokes.

How to Polish a Bowie Knife

Polishing a Bowie knife is an excellent way to keep your blade in good condition and keep it clean and shiny. You’ll just need a few simple tools, some elbow grease, and about an hour of your time to complete the job.

1. Soak the cloth in oil

Take the soft cloth or mop and soak it in mineral oil. Be careful not to get any dirt or dust on the oil itself, as this will cause scratches on the blade.

2. Rub the blade with gentle pressure

Take your knife and rub it with gentle pressure along its entire length. Start at one end and work your way to the other end, applying more pressure where necessary to make sure each part of the blade is cleaned evenly. Do this for about 5 minutes. 

Next, rub in small circles to polish the areas between grooves on knives with serrations such as those found on kitchen knives or hunting knives that have been used for skinning animals.

Using a soft cloth, you can use both hands to hold onto the handle while buffing out scratches with one hand as needed.

3. Wipe down with a clean rag

Once you’ve finished rubbing down all sides of the knife, allow it to air dry before storing.

How to Polish a Knife with a Dremel

If you’re looking for extra shine or need to get rid of scratches, polishing your knife with a Dremel is easy.

First, use a screwdriver or knife sharpener to remove any burrs. Stray burrs can cause your Dremel to scratch your knife even more.

Next, attach the appropriate-size buffing wheel to the Dremel and turn it on. (You can use either a regular buffing wheel or the felt-type.) Finally, apply some paste wax or car wax to the blade of your knife and start buffing!

Buff in smooth strokes back and forth along the entire length of the blade. Don’t press too hard—you don’t want to end up scratching your knife more!

Once you’ve finished buffing, wipe off any excess wax with a soft dry cloth. Your blade should now be shiny and without scratches.

How to Polish Knife with Toothpaste

How to Polish Knife with ToothpasteWhether you have a pocketknife, a hunting knife, or a large kitchen knife, you can use toothpaste to shine it up. It’s simple, fast, and effective. Here’s how:

Step 1: Remove the knife from its sheath or case and empty any contents of the sheath or case into a safe place. Wash your hands thoroughly before handling anything.

Step 2: Inspect the blade for damages, such as chips, cracks, or dents. Do not proceed with polishing the blade if you find any, as this is likely to cause more damage. Instead, take it to a professional knife sharpener.

Step 3: Rinse off the blade with lukewarm water and wipe dry with a soft cloth. Set aside the cloth for later use.

Step 4: Apply a small amount of toothpaste onto the tip of your finger and rub it gently into one side of the blade. It will remove any rust or tarnish on the blade’s surface, as well as give it an attractive shine when finished.

Step 5: After applying toothpaste to one side of the blade, flip it over to apply toothpaste to the other side of it using another finger; otherwise, you can use your first finger again if you wish (just make sure to clean your hands first). You may need to apply more toothpaste if either side seems too dry.

Step 6: As you wipe down the blade, use circular motions, and don’t forget to scrub along with the handle as well—it might seem like an afterthought, but it needs to be polished too! Be gentle when cleaning near any wooden handles or grips so that the abrasive toothpaste doesn’t damage them. 

If necessary, use a different cloth for these parts of the knife than what you used for polishing metal surfaces, so there’s no risk of scratching softer materials like wood or bone.

Step 7: Use some warm water and a sponge or cloth to wipe off any remaining toothpaste residue.


Mirror polishing is an extremely labor-intensive process that takes a long time to master. It requires hours of work, but with proper training on how to mirror polish a knife by hand, you will realize it is worth the time invested. 

In addition, mirror polishing will give you a finish on your knife that you’ll have to feel to believe. It’s smooth, sleek, and sharp.

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