Rust Comparison Test: Granville vs Rustbuster

Granville Rust Cure Heavy Duty Vs Rustbuster FE-123


fe-123 500ml – £18.54 – (click here for the link)

Rustcure 250ml – £9.97 – Frost Restorations (click here for the link)

(POR15 – various prices. click here for the link)

Rust Cure vs FE-123
Rust Cure vs FE-123

click here for the link  I have taken video updates of the products, as I started the tests, a few days later, a few weeks later and a few   months later. Here are the quick links, Part One obviously is the application. Part Two is the results.

Part One:

Part Two:

Practical Classics Test: click here for the PDF (it may take a while as it’s 3mb in size.)


Before I start, I am very open to ideas on how to test these products out. If you have any ideas or suggestions please, please let me know via the contact me menu at the home page. It’s in my interest as well so I am up for suggestions. I may even mention you, (if you want me to that is).

Battle of the Titans of rust killers!

Yeah, I know it’s a big statement to make but I believe its justified. A long time ago I had an old car that had rust on its front wing under the aerial. I went to the bigger UK car parts store to gt some rust cure. I went in and there was this little pot of stuff that will rid me of rust. I bought some and paid a princely sum of £1.99 (yep – it was that long ago). I took the aerial off, sanded down and done what it said I should do. I painted it on and it sort of went brownish colour and dried. Great, I filled the hole and primed and painted. A month or so later the tell-tale needle bubbles were there and the brown stain on the paint. It was back. It was rubbish.

Since then I have been so cautious of the “rust treatment” hype. I now have an old classic car that has rust, not bad rust granted and in fact its pretty damn good for her age. I need to treat things and I want it stopped. I have been looking and studying the Rust products for a year or so now. they all promise the same thing and they all get very different results if you read the reviews. Now for the non-visible side of this I use POR15 paint, this is a 3 step process and takes a while. It seems to brilliant stuff. But, you can’t use it on the outside bodywork as a base coat. I emailed POR and they responded with “we don’t recommend it”. In other word your car will look rubbish if you do. Enough of POR that is a different product altogether but I thought I would mention it.

I have reviewed the Granville Rust Cure on this blog (click here) and Frost have used it as well for their promotions. I will review the FE-123 very soon as well and place that on here. You can go to my YouTube channel to see Granville in action on video. I will post another video of the comparison when I get more results.

Rust cure

Frost using my review of Granville



The prices are near to each other as you care to mention. The Granville does come on a smaller pot than the Rustbuster so could be cheaper if you a smaller amount but it’s a proportionate amount of the cost. You save because you buy less.


They look identical, they even smell the same. The difference of the products are to be around the application and the long-term results.

Previous Testing:

Link to the PDF results of Practical Classics tests – Practical_Classics_Rust_Converter_Test

The link to the PDF above for the Practical Classics results I don’t think was entirely fair.

Let me explain; The results were in favour of the Rustbuster as it won obviously. But their information is incorrect, they (being Practical Classics) mentioned that the Granville had to be used with two coats in “quick succession”. I don’t know where they got their information from but the back of the Granville clearly says apply a second after 12 hours! The time involved here could be an issue if you have to paint quickly. On the other hand, why would you be rushing these things. I always leave double the time to dry, just to make sure.

Secondly they mentioned you need to work outdoors due to the smell, now my nose has been abused over the years being in the print the solvents were horrendous. But, they both did not smell that bad and I have used in the house up the kitchen table painting small parts  with the Granville and the wife didn’t complain about the smell. (Only complaint was the mess I was making and the fact I was doing it up the kitchen table).

Thirdly both solutions apply the same, they don’t run of vertical surfaces and they stick very well. Both need rust there in order to work. The Granville does however tend to produce bubbles on my review. These can be calmed down on the nearly dry stage were the brush dragged over the bubbles will remove them. Yes I moan about it, but I think I have now got the “knack” of doing it. In my tests I have deliberately left some bubbles there to see what happens.


The Granville Rust Cure does to go to lengths on the pot to explain that this product should not be stored in the frost. The Rust Buster makes no recommendations.

The Results:

Due to these inconsistencies by Practical Classics I wanted to test my own things/theories out.

What and how did I test?

I found an old inner fender splash guard that has rusted up big time and is no use to me as the rubbed barrier to the fender has all but perished off. On this piece of metal I would paint a couple of strips very similar places.

I also got a couple of long nails and tried a couple of things. The nails were allowed to rust up. This happened in a matter of days of laying in the wet grooves of the splash guard and dry out in the sun. No artificial ageing, just a sunny patio area and exposed to the elements.

On one of the FE-123 nails I painted it at the point end first to see if would prevent the rust in the first place. So these tests were slightly different but it was what I was interested in doing to see if would prevent.

Test Start Date:

10th April 2013 – Treated  the Splash Guard


11th April 2013

Rain started to fall on the Splash Guard

Outside for 1 day
Outside for 1 day

12th April 2013

No changes as yet, The bubbles on the Granville Rust Cure are still evident, but going away.

At this point the FE-123 does feel the smoother of the two. But the rain seems to run of the Rust Cure easier.

12th May 2013

This was after I had allowed the nails to be rusted on the 27th April 2013

Pre Treated nail has not allowed the rust through, and the rusted nail has not allowed more rust back yet.

2nd June 2013 

Things are starting to happen on the tests. Just after I had let the products dry and cure I decided to scratch a small patch on the treated areas. The reason is that the Granville could be scratched off when knocked or damaged. I scratched a small patch on both products to see what would happen.

The Granville so far has not lifted up and no rust has penetrated. The fe-123 has lifted up along with a cracking part which has happened on its own over the short space of time.

Here is the close-ups of the fe-123 flaking up. The fact I could pull it up with no effort is a little worrying.

I have had a close look and so far I can’t see any rust coming through. I will keep a very close eye on the progress.

It’s not looking to good for the fe-123. However this may only be cosmetic, we shall see.

Update 7th July 2013

Things are starting to happen and it don’t look good for the FE-123. I have noticed that some very small rust spots have turned into much larger ones. The flaking on FE-123 is horrendous and the coating is showing signs of cracking on its own accord. I have ringed the worst parts and also pointed some of the patches out. Nothing has been done to this test plate apart from being left in the sun, rain and everything in between, even the odd touch of frost.

I believe that I have my own answer to the testing but I will just continue with the test regardless.  The right hand side of the test strips are the FE-123 and the left hand side is the Granville Rust Cure. All the pink markings are on the FE-123 at this point.

For consistency I have marked up the scratched surface on the Granville, you will note that it is not flaking up and shows no signs of the rust coming back.

Update 25th July 2013

Fe-123 goes from Bad to Worse! Nearly twenty days later and the rust is starting to come back with a vengeance on the FE-123. The Granville Rust Cure by comparison shows no additional rust. I have pretty much proved it to myself and anybody who is looking that the tests results speak for themselves. I have taken some real close up versions as I can in the pictures below. There are now additional areas of flaking appearing on the FE-123 that I have not touched and just left it alone. Would this happen if it was under paint? I don’t know to be honest. But it worries the hell out of me if it is even considered that it might. When you spend thousands on a paint job and it peels up because of the this stuff I will put the bill to Rustbuster I am afraid to sort it out. What is interesting here are the nails. The nails were coated half  way down when rusted and the other before it had started to rust. The nails are holding up OK. I suspect that the reason is that the rust did not eat into the metal as much as my test piece of 47-year-old splash guard has. I am more worried about the rust on the old metal at this point. So here is the evidence.

Firstly the Granville Rust Cure,

I only took a single picture of this as nothing seems to be happening in comparison to the FE-123

rust 25-7-13 granv 1

Rustbuster FE-123 below with the areas marked up. where the rust is showing and the flaking areas.

Here is the evening sun on the FE-123 close up. As you can see I didn’t need to mark anything up as the evidence is clear to see for yourself.

I have taken another video of the comparison and posted it on YouTube to see for yourself.


Am I ready to pass judgement on the side by side products? Well Yes and No.

Yes, because the evidence is clear to see that the Rustbuster has failed to withstand the natural elements of my garden. The Granville has been subjected to exactly the same elements and conditions and yet it shows no evidence of the rust.

No, because will the Granville suddenly explode with a torrent of rust? To be fair I don’t think it will, but I just want to know what its limits are, if that makes sense.

I am bitterly disappointed with the Rustbuster as I don’t believe it does bust the rust at all. I was hoping that the FE-123 would win the battle of the giants. Why? Well it’s a one coat process and didn’t seem to bubble like the Granville. But saying that the FE-123 does leave brush marks which is clearly visible. Now I am going to use the Granville Rust Cure where it matters.


So, to the Practical Classics results, nobody has posted pictures of the results that I can see, has anybody seen them at all?

There has been no updates from what I can see on the tests that were performed. I would love to be proved wrong, but I don’t think so somehow. I will continue to leave the splash guard out in the weather elements where it has been for months now untouched. I will continue to update this page when I think of it or I see something happening that needs a mention.


I’m not sure why I am putting this here but I thought I would cover my own back.

The results are my own tests which I have performed. Both the products have been submitted to exactly the same treatment and conditions. I am happy to provide the testing splash guard for inspection to the companies in question if they want but it will not be at my expense. I have nothing to hide and I can only speak from what I have seen. I would advise anybody to seriously consider what and where they will be using the products and I hope my results are a guide only for reference. This was not a laboratory test in controlled conditions. It has just been left out in the sun, rain snow, hail, frost or anything in between.



*** Shocking Update September 2016 ***

It has been a few years 2013/2014 since I wrote my reviews on both of the products FE123 & Granville. I have kept the same test piece of metal out in the sun & snow as well as everything else in between. The metal was a splash guard from under a front fender which was left around the back of a shed. I decided to have a tidy up and get rid of it. Then I thought I would share the findings. To keep things fair I will post this at the bottom of all the tests for Granville & Rustbuster.

I am expecting a torrent of abuse over this because I haven’t done this or that. But the products say they convert it and protect it not me see their pitches below;

FE123 sales pitch

“fe-123 envelopes rust at a molecular level, developing into a neutral layer which exists between the steel’s surface and the atmosphere. This neutral layer prevents the migration of ions so that no chemical reaction can occur at the metal’s surface. Recent independent testing by ‘PRACTICAL CLASSICS’ magazine April 2011 proved that fe-123 not only converted the rust but also left a foundation that could be painted over without neutralising and came BEST IN TEST scoring ten out of a possiible ten ponts. If you would like a copy of the report you can down load from the top of this page. We where also awarded best in test by CLASSICS MONTHLY in there 2011 long term test results.”

Granville Rust Cure sales pitch

“Granville Rust Converter is the rust convertor used by the oil and marine industries, the MoD and NATO.

It is used to stop corrosion in environments far more severe than your car will ever see . . . and it WORKS. Drying to a tough gloss black finish it can then be top coated with most paints. Environmentally and ecologically safe. Acid and lead free. Non-flammable. MUST be applied to rusted ferrous metals. Kills old rust and stops new forming.”

  The update on both of these products is not looking good.  

I have not coated these converters with anything else at all since it was all done way back then. The results are there to see for yourself. It says on all these things it forms a barrier and coats to protect etc etc. I am not convinced let alone impressed.

You can look closely you will see the untreated areas are brown with rust and the straight edges. Rustcure is on the left, FE123 is on the right just before the white sticker.

Here is the test I compared myself click here or  I even done a few videos on the products on my YouTube channel click here or follow this link

You can see from that comparison exactly where I have added the products either side of a piece of electrical tape that i removed after application.

First Patch test
First Patch test

Here is a similar angle of the updated results:


The original second batch of tests

Second Patch test
Second Patch test

Again taken from a similar angle for the updated results:


The rest of the metal?



It’s clear to see that none of it has worked left uncovered or painted.


On the right there is a black piece of paint that I did at the same time out of my own curiosity, this has NOT rusted.


The black paint? That paint is POR15. The paint which was applied incorrectly with only one coat and not two like recommended, without treating the metal with their three step process, it has still outperformed the other two liquids.

The link for POR15:  or click here

full floor pan
full floor pan


Now you may say it’s unfair of a test etc. So I challenge Practical Classics magazine to show you, the internet or me their results after 3 years. Did they paint over it? I don’t know. However; neither was the POR15 and that didn’t rust in exactly the same conditions. I will let you make your own minds up.

For me there is only one cure for Rust – New metal!

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5 thoughts on “Rust Comparison Test: Granville vs Rustbuster

  1. I do not know much about Granville Rust Cure. But I saw how fe-123 is used and its results after months (by the way I am not associated with CM, and I am no in UK). In your article there are two issues.

    1. you said: “But their information is incorrect, they (being Practical Classics) mentioned that the Granville had to be used with two coats in “quick succession”. I don’t know where they got their information from but the back of the Granville clearly says apply a second after 12 hours!”

    My understanding is that CM applied two runs of Granville in order to make a solid seamless single coating, which can only be done when you do the two runs in quick succession. This is not inconsistent with 12 hours’ instruction on product label. Acutally when I, and perhaps most painters, do painting with multiple runs to form a solid uniform coating.

    2. In you test you deliberately scratched an open patch to both Granville and fe-123 coating. And this is to be a fatal wound to whichever product that completely seals off the metal. Because that patch would induce a much higher electrolytic potential that foster rapid rust. That is why you see the rust on fe-123 part went ‘revenge’. And that in turn proves fe-123 does seal rust tighter than Granville.

    I believe CM did a fair test.

    1. Hi,
      Thanks very much for the response and I genuinely appreciate the feedback on such a difficult matter of Rust. there is so many variations on the market and anything that discusses the issues is welcome by me.
      I will address your points as you mentioned them:
      1) The instruction clearly state apply two separate coats, it is irrelevant if it’s done another way to look pretty or not, If you don’t follow the instructions then the test is not fair on the product. They masked of the areas as did I to apply the treatment. this will give a clean edge.

      2) I stated very clearly the following for an update:
      2nd June 2013

      Things are starting to happen on the tests. Just after I had let the products dry and cure I decided to scratch a small patch on the treated areas. The reason is that the Granville could be scratched off when knocked or damaged. I scratched a small patch on both products to see what would happen.
      What I meant was that I noticed the FE-123 was starting to lift and peel on its own. I scratched BOTH products in the same way and both products have always been treated the same. Also I treated two areas of the same metal for each product and I only scratched one section of the products and leaving the other section alone. Still the FE-123 still let the rust through which shows it did not seal as well and the Granville. these separate areas are clearly marked out and are there for you to inspect. The FE-123 cracked and peeled on its own BEFORE I started the scratch test, the photos above clearly point out the FE-123 own flaking which was not on the scratched area. In fact I think it’s a fair thing to do, if I treated an area and it gets scratched and it rusts worse than before I want to know about it. If the FE-123 is on a part of the chassis where it could be damaged then I will be making things worse by what you are saying, is that not the case?
      I have not tried to replicate the tests that the magazine done that would be pointless, these were my own tests from my point of view. I still challenge the magazine to show the results as I have done here. In fact I should do another update on the results and the FE-123 is looking very much worse for wear unfortunately, perhaps I will do a 1 year on update as the metal is still where I left it untouched for many, many months now. I said from the beginning I really wanted the FE-123 to work for me, but unfortunately it wasn’t as good as the Granville. I am using the FE-123 in out of the way non-critical areas to use it up. But the Granville will take the bulk of the important work.
      To summarise –
      These were my own tests that I wanted to do, not some lab controlled area. The rust appeared on the FE-123 before the Granville did on the scratched AND unscratched portions of the metal. The fact the unscratched area of the FE-123 showed rust can not be explained by your “electrolytic potential” theory. The test by the magazine own article said applied in rapid succession but this is not what the instructions say, leave time is the instruction set. I am open minded about this and maybe you are correct, but I can only report on my findings on what I wanted to know about the products side by side.
      The best of all these products by a LONG way is the POR15, which is my priority if you look at the blog and the areas I have treated that are open to the elements that nature can through at us.
      If you want to stop rust – use POR15.
      I do not work for Granville, or Rustbuster or POR15 come to that. I am just a bloke trying to understand what is going on here.

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