Ferric Chloride Question

Ben Sellers

Well-Known Member
I have a question about ferric chloride for etching. How long will a 1:4 solution of Ferric last. I’m thinking of trying to do a hamon once I’ve refined my finishes. If it’ll only last a year or so, I may buy a second bottle as a backup. It its good and stable for years I may just get one bottle. I suspect its more related to number of blades or prevention of contamination but I’d like to hear what you guys think. Btw, I saw a great video from Ed Caffrey on etching this week.


"The Montana Bladesmith"
Thanks for the complement! With Ferric, the two biggest factors for determining how long it lasts is generally two factors you mentioned....
1. How much it's used.
2. Most importantly...... contaminating the Ferric solution.

It's always a good policy to have extra around....because when you make a mistake, such as spraying windex somewhere near the open container of ferric.....and a tiny airborne drop lands in the ferric and kills the whole container..... a guy can go nuts trying to figure out why something won't etch. (not that I've every done that ;)).

My go to container for ferric and for neutralizer is a piece of 4" PVC, with a solid cap on one end, and a threaded "clean out lid" on the other.

Ben Sellers

Well-Known Member
I hope I didn’t just break a rule. With that. If I did, let me know and I’ll delete or edit that post.