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Corrosion prevention test results?

Mar 20, 1999
Wasn't someone going to do a test on the corrosion preventive properties of various substances like RIG, Tuff Cloth, WD40, Axle Grease, etc? I sent someone some samples of two products I use.

Have we heard anything or did I miss it?

Visit Joel's Place
"You ought to weigh everything that's proposed by the government...against the loss of personal freedom." -- Ronald Reagan
I never saw anything. I have run this type of thing several times myself. I have a piece of 1095 currently on the front step that is split into three parts. One is covered with White Lightening, one with Tuf-Glide and one is bare steel.

It has been out now for about two weeks with no rusting on the protected sections. The unprotected part is completely orange with rust and was heavily spotted almost instantly. It has been raining and even snowing the last while and I have also periodically sprayed it with water.

It confirms what I have seen before which is unless I do something to remove the coating both will last basically forever. I have ran similar to this before using a periodic rinse with a salt solution and got similar rusts. Once the coating is on you need to remove it to see rust - or wait longer than I have the patience to look for.

By the way the reason I was doing this with this particular piece was that I wanted to see if I could notice a difference between a part of the steel that I had hammered on with a sledge and a bare steel part. This was in reference to some comments about bead blasting improving corrosion resistance in the general forum by work hardening the surface.

I tested two pieces and it made no difference as far as I could see. Both samples of 1095 rusted readily. By the way if anyone is curious - it takes about 110-102 shots (broke two of them) with a 15 lbs sledge to break an 1095 Ontario machete in half if you swing from the elbow with a 1/2 turn with the machete on a pine stump.

What I am looking for now is a sensible way to model general coating wear. It would be nice to know which protectant was more durable under normal knife use. I am thinking of repeating similar to the above withthe addition of taking the samples and swinging them through brush for 200 or so times each day and seeing how they hold up.

Cliff, have you ever thought of contacting Consumer Reports magazine and seeing if they have any machines that you could borrow to test your knives? They built a widget to hold shoes so they could "walk" repetitively on a carpet for one of their tests. Perhaps you could make a "brush beater" widget that holds the blades sideways and allows them to be passed through the grass over and over. Like a slow moving lawnmower......
I could easily develop jigs and such to control various effects, abrasion on the coatings being an obvious example. The advantage to this is that 6 months down the line I can see how another would compare without having to include one of the previous ones as a calibration. The disadvantage is that the work becomes less repeatable for others and more abstract. I am still trying to figure out which is the way to go. The best method would be to probably just do both.

Several years ago, my neighbor's son did a science project in high school. He did a study on corrosion preventatives. He used baby food jars filled with distilled water to minimize effects of additives. He also used 2 different kinds of nails, made of different alloys . Both nails, one each, were coated in a uniform method with a single wipe of the all of the preservatives using a fresh portion of the application cloth, and placed in the jars separated. All jars were labeled with the preservative and the date. The jars were all set in specially made racks with the labels visible. They were checked periodically analyzed, and a log kept. The project lasted a full school year, 2 semesters. Every kind of oil, grease, lubricant, preservative, assembly lube and synthetic and petroleum based product imaginable was used. Yes there were hundreds of jars, which is why he chose baby food jars.

The end result was that when the test was over, only ONE product left the nails absolutely rust/corrosion free. That product was RIG (Rust Inhibiting Greas), a gun preservative. Second place, with only a touch of rust on the point of one nail, the untreated one, had a little rust, The rest of those two nails were literally unscathed. That product was CLP Break-Free.

I wasn't surprised at the performance of the RIG, but was astounded at the CLP. I personally provided every lubricant and gun preservative I had, which was many, and I trusted my fine guns to them. I was very dismayed when I saw that many of the nails treated with what I thought were first class preservatives were nothing but piles of rust powder in the bottom of the jar, completely gone. The boy's father provided the CLP, I provided the RIG and Anderol, along with other high zoot chemicals.

The conclusion was that for long term storage, RIG can't be beat. For regular use,
CLP beat everything else hands down.
Naturally, for long term storage, I coat things with rig. For routine maintenance and cleaning, I use CLP. Now, Microtech and conventional wisdom say to NOT use products that have teflon in them for automatic knives, but my own experience shows that very careful sparse application of CLP, allowed to drain overnight, and wiped dry the next day prevents a build-up of teflon that could clog up the works, yet still leaves a protective film. Microtech themselves now recommend RemOil, which also has Teflon in it. I haven't subjected RemOil to the torture test that CLP passed with flying colors, so cannot comment on it for dependable rust/corrosion protection.

After seeing with my own eyes the utter failures of vaunted and highly advertised rust preventatives, and the singular superb performance of the two winners, I'm converted.
I'm convinced that CLP offers unmatched corrosion protection along with excellent lubricating qualities, so I use it on ALL of my guns and knives. I've yet to have a failure of either lubrication or corrosion protection.

BTW, the WD40 treated nails were the first to begin rusting.


[This message has been edited by StarPD (edited 05-06-2000).]
RIG is what I sent to be tested along with X-1R Multi-Use grease. I have used RIG and Break Free for a long time. I prefer the older Break Free to the newer stuff and have switched to FP10 in the lubricant dept.
Originally posted by the4th:

Gun Tests magazine did a test of rust resisting treatments back in the early 90's (I think? All my back issues are boxed up)The tests were directed at protecting carbon steel guns. They worked with blocks of steel. One test was even done in a saltwater mist for several hrs. If anyone is interested I can dig out those issues and give you the basic results.

"Fear God and keep His commandments for that is the full duty of man"

[This message has been edited by Durandal (edited 05-07-2000).]
Durandal, I would be interested in those results.

I have used breakfree for years on everything and it works. Tuff-cloth is another one.

I've been using Break Free for well over 20 years now. It's wonderful stuff. A gunsmith told me about it origninally and swore by it. My guns used to rust because all I did was wipe them down with wd40. When I switched to breakfree, I had guns I never touched for 2 or more years and no rust. And no gumminess either. For guns, I like to use a shaving lather brush to apply breakfree. Just spray it on the brush and work it in the nooks and crannies.

One product I've been curious about is Rem Oil. I've been using that a lot lately and so far no problem but I wonder if it is as good as breakfree. Did your neighbor's son test that product too?


The low, hoarse purr of the whirling stone—the light-press’d blade,
Diffusing, dropping, sideways-darting, in tiny showers of gold,
Sparkles from the wheel.

Walt Whitman

[This message has been edited by Hoodoo (edited 05-07-2000).]
Cliff you are not sugjesting hitting a peice of steel is the same as what Carson is talking about with his bead blasting are you?
I don't know if beating the steel would produce the same type of (surface) work hardening as bead blasting. It seems to me that hammering would produce a harder and more corrosion resistant surface. (Hand hammered Woks come to mind.

The only thing I could think of to remember is small, overlapping strikes so that the whole surface was covered easily. Might make a neat looking finish for a knife too!

Speaking of neat looking finishes, Sean Perkins has some nice stuff. What does he call his? A stone finish?
did you actaully use Tuff-Glide? Or was it Tuff Cloth? I thought Tuff Glide only clean and lube as it is just mineral spirit.
The4th, I did work over the entire surface in a controlled sweep, the problem I was having though is that I was breaking the steel. Lesson learned don't use such a large hammer next time. I have a friend who is trying to start a bead blasting shop now. If he gets set up I will get him to bead blast and sand blast a few pieces and set them out and see if there is a significant difference in corrosion resistance as compared a set hand rubbed finish. I may even try different finishes, depends on how much time I have.

TD, it was Tuf-Glide, this is the active ingrediant in Tuf-Cloth. Mineral spirits can also be used to "wet" the cloth when it dries but it would seem to me that this would weaken its effect as it is only a carrier so I use Tuf-Glide on mine.


[This message has been edited by Cliff Stamp (edited 05-08-2000).]
Ths is about the fourth or fifth telling....a department that I use to work in had a lot of hardened and ground steel laying around that was handled on a regular basis and they needed something better than the LPS (?) that they were trying to use for rust protection. I suggested Break Free and they used it for quite awhile as it worked well, but they ended up switching to EezOx as it worked even better. I use Eezox for rust protection, use Break Free when I want to carry one lube and a good rust preventative, and for the past couple of months have found that TriFlow seems to work better as an oil than Break Free. I use Tetra Gun grease when I want something a bit heavier than oil. The Tetra site has some nice lubricity data on some common sprays, oils, and greases.
StarPD,.... I just want to know if Tuff-Cloth was included in that corrosion preventatives study.

I'm really interesested to know how it performed compared to RIG and Break-Free and the rest of the corrosion preventatives used in that test. I mean how long (if ever) did Tuff-Cloth prevented rust from creeping in compared to the rest of the stuffs used.

If RIG and Break-Free did well in this study Its interesting to know if Tuff-Cloth can be at par if not better considering the recommendations its getting.

AKTI Member # A001059
My Knives Photos
A potential problem with greases and cloth applied products is that crevices, all surfaces on complex configured parts, etc., may not get treated. Sprays are popular in such cases, although I still use a liquid type of product.