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Benchmade's washers.


Mar 28, 1999
I've noticed that when I washed my M-2 AFCK in hot water the action seemed to get real stiff and stay that way for several hours.Did the washers swell up? Does it have something to do with the BT2 coating? I don't recall this happening with any of my other BM's.What are those washers made of anyway?Thanks
scott w
sdw - the washers are made of a material called Nylatron (some sort of plastic). Not too clear on the details.

After you washed your AFCK, did you drop some lube in the pivot area? When you washed the knife, it is possible that you rinsed away any lube that was there before, causing action to be stiff. Hope this helps

Dexter Ewing
Knife Reviews Moderator

"The keystroke is mightier than the sword"

I found that the same thing happens to my Pinnacle when I apply WD40. It gets real stiff for an hour or so. Weird. -AR
Lubricant is not the major component in WD40.

The WD stands for Water Dispersant. Yes, they tried 40 different formulations before they hit on the perfect one to disperse water on certain components of Minute Man missles. Originally, WD40 was actually classified. But, it worked so well for so many different things 'round the old silo that eventually the missle repair men started using it all over base, and finally taking it home. So, the spooks gave up on keeping it secret. It's actually part of your peace dividend. So, don't ever say that nothing good came out of the Cold War or that defense spending is all wasted.

Anyway, WD40's lubrication ingredients don't work very well until all of rest of the components (which are quite volatile) evaporate.

Personally, I think WD40 is one of the most versatile things you can have around. If you've got a can of WD40, a roll of duct tape, and a good knife, you're ready for most anything. Throw in a Leatherman PST and you're invincible.

For example, WD40 is FDA approved for use in food service. I've got a lot of recipes that begin "grease the pan." I'm no professional cheif and I guess I don't have very good equipment. None of my pans, not one, has a grease port fitting. I've got my grease gun right here, but there's no place to hook her up. Besides, none of my pans have any moving parts. So, I've found that a quick spary of WD40 before use keeps 'em working fine.

As for the knife that's a bit tight after a hot water wash, I'd suspect expansion of the materials. Try gently heating the knife with a hair dryer and see if this produces the same result.

On second thought, while the gentle heat idea is nice, another test would be to throughly rinse with cold water after you get the knife clean. If it is thermal expansion, this should set everything right again.

After water wash, it's important to dry the knife out. I prefer compressed air. Then, it is important to get a bit of lubrication in there. I like a product called Tetragun oil. It's a Teflon based lubricant sold as a gun oil at better gun shops. It's pricey, but they have a little bottle available and you only need a couple of drops to lube a knife. Since it's Teflon based, it actually consists of solid PFTE bits suspended in a carrier. So, shake well before using. Then, after applying it, you have to work the knife back and forth many times to grind the little PFTE bits into the metal surface before it'll really get nice.


[This message has been edited by Gollnick (edited 20 April 1999).]
Your knife gets stiff for about an hour after spraying it with WD-40? First of all, do not breath a word of this to Mike Turber. He will by a pallet load of the stuff.

Seriously, it may be that the hydrocarbons in the mineral oil (WD-40 is mineral oil (aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons), plus surfactants, which lower the surface tension so the compound can penetrate) are interacting with the plastic of the washer, causing temporary swelling. This is a long shot, as this is usually found with shorter chain hydrocarbons, and the plastics selected for washer use are partly selected for their resistance to petroleum products, but it is the best explanation I can come up with.

Throw away your WD-40 (or send it to Mike
It gums up after a while, isn't that great a lube, and attracts dirt like crazy.

I suggest a thin film lube like Sentry's Tuf-Glide, or Smooth Kote. If you insist on sticking with a conventional lube which will remain tacky and hold onto grit, then go with a oil/PTFE (Brake-Free, etc), or use a good grease. Lithium grease (which can be had with PTFE in it) is a good choice to minimize staining.

Hope this helps, (formerly whacko) Walt
WD-40 in your frying pan? I am speechless. But, if it works for you...

One of the funniest things you will read is due to a typo in a WSJ article about 10 years ago, when it said the product was composed of surfactants and mineral WATER. You still see people repeating that, even ones that know better.

The thin film corrosion inhibitors act well to disperse water and not degrade electrical connections. Corrosion X has a picture of a TV that has been immersed in Corrosion X liquid for some time, and the TV is ON!!

Hope this helps, (formerly whacko) Walt
Yeah WD-40 is'nt a good lube at all,but its great for cleaning out the pivot area.I believe the washers are swelling with the heat.I have also experianced this swelling with the WD-40 on BM's pivot.I blow out my knives with compressed CO2 which gets cold when it hits the air.After the cleaning the action is ultra smooth,but when the heat takes over (room temp.) the action returns to normal . I noticed this when I was carrying a CS voyager in the summer.That thing would get very stiff,but as soon as I would shoot some CO2 in it ,it became a good working Zytel folder.So the Zytel expands and contracts very noticable also.As far as a lube, Idon't use them too much.because they attract too much dirt.I have the best results just by keeping the pivot clean with compressed air or CO2.Although I hear that White Lightening does'nt attract dirt.Is that true?Thanks everone.
scott w
1) I frequently use "REM-oil", a gun lubricant on my folders, including AFCK. I have not noticed any difference in how hard the knife opens. I carry it daily and have had no problems with gunk or lint accumulation in the knife.

2) I don't quite buy the edible WD 40 thing. I would need to see technical literature from the manufacturer before I ate any eggs fried in that stuff!

"Walk softly and carry a big stick"...TR

[This message has been edited by greenie (edited 21 April 1999).]
It says so right on the can: USDA Approved. Now, on the other hand, it doesn't seem to give nutritional information. I wonder how many calories are in a spray of WD-40???

There are couple of "new" lubes out that are aimed at us cycling nuts. These are for use on the chain, naturally and work quite well. One of the attributes of these products is that they make dirt not "stick" to the chain and repel water to some extent. Now, I can't give you the Walt treatment of full chemical breakdown (too lazy I guess !) but can say from personal experience that they work well.
My favorite is Pedro's "Ice Wax", it lasts longer and does not leave a residue, like the
"White Lightning", which works pretty well but does require more product use. As a matter of fact, I just remember seeing the White Lightning advertised in a knife mag recently. Get the Pedro's tho.
My .02
I've noticed the same problem in my one.

If it is due to thermal expansion it could just as likely (if not more) be due to the pivot pin expanding. Could be that the metal of the pivot pin expands faster than the metal of the blade, that they heat at the same rate but the bulk of the blade cools the blade down faster than the pin (although not sure why the blade metal wouldn't help to cool the pin), or it could be due to the insulative properties of the blade coating (small but possibly significant).

"it may be that the hydrocarbons in the mineral oil (WD-40 is mineral oil (aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons), plus surfactants, which lower the surface tension so the compound can penetrate) are interacting with the plastic of the washer, causing temporary swelling. This is a long shot, as this is usually found with shorter chain hydrocarbons, and the plastics selected for washer use are partly selected for their resistance to petroleum products,"

I don't know much about Benchmade's washer material, but any kind of chemical interaction could be permanent, as well. Many pure polymers are very hard (eg PVC) and have plasticizers added into their industrial versions in small amounts to toughen or soften them up. The surfactants in WD 40 could be drawing those out.

Either way, sensitivity of this kind is the price you pay for a folder with no 'play' in the blade. I remember asking a retailer about the play I found in the blade of a Buck folding hunter years ago, and he said that it was built in to allow for the faster contraction of brass than steel in freezing weather. so there you go...

[This message has been edited by Little claw (edited 22 April 1999).]