Best Lubricant and Rust Preventer

Oct 30, 2000
What do you guys out there feel is the best Lubricant or liquid to prevent formation of rust?
Also, supposing your knife has got specks of rust on the surface of the blade, what should I use to remove the rust? Can I just use some oil/solvent, or do I need to actually use something to scrape away the rust?

silent souls leave .308 holes
Well I have a large number of coated blades so the tuff cloth? doesn't work for me, however, I have heard good things about it. For general pivot lube and rust prevention I use Breakfree CLP. I have tested this against many products, in a scientific manner, and it came out on top in most of my tests against other lubes/oils of similar viscosity.

My two cents worth.

Cleaning rust off of your blade depends on your blade's finish in regards what to remove it with. I know what I would say for a firearm, but I will defer to the more experienced knifers out there on this portion of your question.

good luck

Best Rust preventative I have ever used is Marine Tuf-Cloth. Period. Its TOO much for most appilcations, so I use regular Tuf-Cloth most of the time.

Most modern folders need very little lubricant. I believe the mainly need rust preventative in their pivot areas, not lubricant. I use Tuf-Glide for this because it is thin, gets int the pivot easy, and DRIES, so it doesn't attract dirt, lint, etc. It provides some lubrication, and ALOT of rust prevention.

I have been using Sentry's products for 7 years, and have found them to be the best for my use.

Stay Sharp!
Will Fennell
Camillus Cutlery
To echo what Will said: When you oil your pivot area don't over lube. Biggest problem I see in knives/guns etc. a single pinhead size drop goes a long way! For the exposed edge I place a few drops on some cotton and just run the edge over the cloth to just smudge the edge lightly with a microscopic coat of breakfree.

Another good suggestion I have heard is plain paste wax on your daily user blade. (not in the pivots or liners or locks!) However, the above mentioned Tuf cloth is a safe sure bet on non coated blades.
There is a product called Renaissance wax which I have used for several years. It was recommended to me by some custom knife makers I know. It protects against just about anything except loss.
It is made in England and widely used by museum curators. It is good for any metal, bone, leather, wood, mineral etc. but it smells bad at first. Try this link

For lubrication I like a product called White Lightning, try
I like it for the same reasons the others have already stated about oil drawing dirt and lint. It works like MC chain wax which is sprayed on and when the solvent dries it leaves the wax.

Lastly, I have used scotch brite pads to take rust off of knives !*IF*! the rust is bad and the knife is not a mirror polish. Otherwise I would go with some metal polish or crocus cloth. I also knew a knife maker once that restored Japanese swords and he used Crest toothpaste for one of his final polishing steps. Ain't free advice quantity

Si Vis Pacern Parabellum
Semper Ubi Sub Ubi

[This message has been edited by crecy (edited 01-18-2001).]
I rely on BreakFree CLP for lubing folders (a little drop will do ya) as well as protecting blades from rust.
Break Free CLP and Corrosion X performed great in my rust tests, and they work well as lubricants too. Flitz works great preventing and removing rust on shiny blades.
linjunpei -

I have used RustFree from Russell for corrosion resistance, especially during storage. For daily use I use a vegetable oil.

For pivot lubrication I use White Lighning, messy but effective.

I rarely get rust with these two treatments, if I did, I would use scotchbrite on a non-mrror finish, Flitz on a polished one.

I'll cast another vote for Sentry Solutions Tuf-Glide, Tuf Cloth products. They work great without leaving residues that will attract dust and grit. For removal of minor rust, Flitz also works well.
Guys, thanks for the quick response.
I think I will give the "white lightning" a try, and try to find a shop that sells tuff cloth. A couple of you mentioned Flitz, is it similar to "autosol"?? I have heard of a handful of people who use autosol on their blades, and have had quite good results. Have any of you tried autosol?? and was it really good??

silent souls leave .308 holes
Nobody knows more about lubricating folding knives than balisong artists. In five minutes, I can cycle the joints on my knife more times than even the most ardent "flicker" will in a year.

Four our of five balisong artists surveyed recommend Militec-1 for their friends with folding knives.

Balisongs -- because it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing!
Will, I believe Marine Tuf-Cloth is the same chemical as Tuf-Cloth, but more of it. I bought the 8 once bottle of Tuf-Glide to resaturate my Marine Tuf-Cloth and it says on the bottle, "Dry film replacement for oils and silicones. Designed to be used with Tuf-Cloth and Marine Tuf-Cloth"

Linjunpei, I use Marine Tuf-Cloth for most purposes and RIG (Rust Inhibiting Grease) for storage.

Walk into a gun store and buy a small bottle of ballistol.
You'll be amazed, and it isn't even toxic as most above are. It can do anything, lubricate, prevent rust, impregnate leather...

Everyone I know which used the stuff once never stopped using it.
Jim Hrisoulas became the official USA dealer for the stuff because he liked it so much.

greetz, Bart.

"If the world wouldn't SUCK, we'd all fall off !"

You can E-mail me at any time....guaranteed reply !

member of the BKS
White Lightning is a good lube.
Marine Tuff cloth is a great rust inhibitor/preventor.
Motor oil, (believe it or not) is great at both though not recommended for knives I cut food with.
Militec-1 don't know smooth until you have tried this stuff. I've tried Breakfree CLP, Triflow, Rem Oil, and WD-40 and nothing even compares to it.


My collection
Never heard of Autosol. Flitz, Happich Semichrome, and Iosso are all excellent though. Brownell's, A.G. Russell, and Smoky Mt. Knife Works carry the above products.

Save your money... White Lightning and Pedro's Ice Wax and that ilk use wax as a lubricant. Yep, simple parrafin. In controlled tests on lubricant testing machines (involves a fixed and rotating bearing with load applied), wax is one notch below ordinary water. Yes indeed. This crap is well marketed, but has little science behind it and simply is inferior. It was originally aimed at mountain bikers for drivetrains (tough service, lots of mud and grit to grind down chains and gears under a significant load), and many still use it, but use a lot of it every ride to keep things moving. It forms a sticky sludge, a grinding compound that ruins drivetrains over time. A knowledgeable bike shop owner said he will sell no more wax when inventories are gone, it is expensive and doesn't work for long. For knives, you'd not notice the expense, but there is MUCH better product out there.

Wax works fine on a chest full of drawers, and on snow skis, but that about ends the list right there.

The wax based lubes feel good in your pivot...until they attract pocket debris and bind the debris up into a sort of waxy grinding compound. Trust me on this, via my BM710 Axis lock. And on my mountain bike chain. I fell for it... and my chain squeaked by end of ride. Not good.

If wax were a good lubricant, the automotive industry would use it, for sure. Talk about research & development for lubes. And they avoid the stuff like the plague. (think about what engine pistons and valves are subjected to...heat, rapid metal-to-metal friction... No wax here folks. Refiners have de-waxing units to get the stuff out of oil products that go into lubes and greases).

I use a couple products on my bike chain that aren't common to this board, ProLink (which is probably similar to Tuf Glide only more substantial friction reducers, as a dry film metal friction reducer, works great on knives as it provides lube with nothing sticky left behind) and Rock n Roll lube (haven't tried on knives yet).

For knives, I've used Break Free CLP with good results (same for firearms), but the comments on this thread about Ballistol and Militec-1 catch my interest. TriFlow uses teflon and is a very good lube also, but can get a bit sticky with dirt over time.

WD-40 is inexpensive garbage... it is 25% mineral spirits, 50% mineral oil, and some fragrance that I've heard comes from banana oil, and the rest propellant. When the spirits evaporate, over time you get lacquers, and lacquers are sticky and attracts dirt. Stay away.

I use Marine Tuf Cloth for the good stuff that has corrosion issues (D2 on down), and simply use WD-40 as an el cheapo rust preventive for my $10-$20 machetes after I clean the veggies off them. I haven't tested it, but BoeShield seems to get decent reviews also.

For my art knives that don't get used, the Renaissance Wax is what is always recommended by makers and dealers alike. And it works fine for stuff that stays in storage or on display. And doesn't yellow or detract from appearance. It's a wax developed for museum use in Britain. Expensive, but a tiny dab goes a long ways. 200 ml can is $20.

Tuf Glide or Prolink for pivots, or BreakFree CLP. I'm going to try Militec-1 and Ballistol too.

Tuf Cloth for users, Renaissance Wax for display pieces (tuf cloth can leave a hazy appearance and smells funky, which doesn't matter on users).

I'm about to test a hard-to-find product that will probably usurp ProLink and Rock lubes on mountain bike chains, called ATB by Keith Lewis out of Mesa AZ. It's got a ton of science behind it (Keith is ex-GM for 30 years, knows lubricants from his work).
I am currently using Rust Free from A.G. Russell. I live in Bangkok where the humidity is in the "oh my God" figures and none of my blades that have been coated show signs of rust. This includes a handful of those wickedly sharp Marbles knives that will start rusting inside of an hour if left wet. (I wet fitted a sport 99 and wrapped the blade in saran wrap before inserting in sheath. An hour latter I pulled the blade out and had a nice rust line where the tip had pushed through the saran wrap
. A little steel wool and an application of rust free-no more problems!)

"sharks and dogs" he muttered, "sharks and dogs...."
For removal of rust or discoloration on blades due to oxidation, I use a product named Tranite. I have 9 ounce tin that I bought 10 years ago, which for blades is a lifetime supply.

Simply apply a bit on paper towel and wipe on/wipe off. Repeat if you don't get it all the first time. Works fine.

There are other similar brands - just look on the ingredients list for 'oxalic acid'. Oxalic acid is the ingredient that eats up the oxides on the metal.

This involves no polishing or other mechanical method of actual metal removal that might visibly mark the metal.

Highly recommended.