by Addison de Lisle
(Portland, Maine, USA)
I personally use 3 products to maintain my swords:
1) Nevr-Dull, an automotive cleaning product that removes rust. It comes in a metal tin and applied to cotton wadding. I use this before my next product, which is
2) Tuff Cloth. This is some sort of "micro-crystalline" barrier between the steel and the atmosphere, and a rust remover. It protects the sword without leaving it feeling wet, as oil does. Just wipe down your sword, let it dry for a minute, then wipe it down with a rag.
For scratches, I use
3) Scotchbrite pads with oil. Note that you should apply these in the direction that the steel was ground/finished intially to avoid making new scratches that are difficult to remove by hand. For blades, this is almost always base to point.