Taking Care of Your Real Sgian Dubh

Our Real Sgian Dubhs are a thing of beauty and with a little bit of looking after, they will stay like that for a long time to come.


Silver is tarnished by wool and the process is accelerated by humidity [the conditions found in most kilt socks!].

Use silver polish or a standard jewellers cloth to restore the shine.


Horn will be damaged by dropping or scratching. Avoid extremes of temperature and humidity which will cause the horn to shrink or expand and could lead to cracking.

The natural shine can be restored [and some small scratched removed] by polishing with a jeweller’s cloth.


Wood is a natural product that will slowly adjust its moisture content to its surroundings. Avoid extremes of temperature [such as leaving it in the sun or on top of a heater] and exposure to excessive water.

Keep the wood looking good by occasionally waxing with wood wax [found in most DIY stores].

Stainless Steel

Our stainless blades are low in maintenance although all steel will eventually tarnish after exposure to water, acid and salt [all found in a sweaty kilt sock].

We lightly oil our blades before dispatch and suggest that you keep it lightly oiled to keep it in the best condition.

Real Sgian Dubhs can be used for real cutting but this can cause marking of the polished surface. If you want to keep a smooth shine then avoid heavy cutting. Your sgian dubh comes with a real edge, which you can sharpen using any normal sharpening stone or steel.

Damascus Steel

The pattern in Damascus blades is caused by oxidising. This is the same process as rusting – so your blade may rust over time, especially if exposed to humidity.

This can usually be easily removed with Dremel Polishing Compound [421], available for a couple of pounds on ebay. In time you may also wish to consider re-etching your blade. There’s a nice tutorial on how to do this here.

I use a cotton bud to rub the etching fluid over the blade. Use a thin layer of mineral oil to show up the pattern nicely and give some protection from rusting.