Inkosi grease vs oil

Discussion in 'Chris Reeve Knives' started by Kaibab270, Sep 16, 2019.

  1. Kaibab270

    Kaibab270 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 20, 2019
    I watched some videos the other day in anticipation of my new Inkosi (got it today and it's awesome of course) and came across one where the gentleman theorized that because the Inkosi's washers are stationary compared to the free spinning Sebenza washers that the grease pockets dont actually do much of anything and may actually trap grease from touching the blade. He figured oil was a better option in this case for lube distribution. Does anyone agree with this? I mean it does make some sense to me. Of course there will be those that say if CR designed it that way then that's the way that's best. Just curious what others experiences have been.
    rexromic likes this.
  2. Ajack60

    Ajack60 Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Apr 21, 2013
    Well, why not try oil to see if it works fo you ?
    I’ve never used oil on a CRK, it’s always been grease. The way I see it, the pockets in the washers do hold grease. As the blade is rotated, it picks up grease from the pockets and when it’s rotated again, it places the grease back in the pocket. I’m in the camp that thinks the grease will trap debris on the outside edge of the washer and prevent it from getting into the moving parts. But, on the other hand, older CRK’s had solid washers and I’ve taken new ones apart and had to search for the grease from the factory.
    It all boils down to what you want to try. Some folks run the washers dry.
    Edgeoflife, Lady1911 and Dcdavis like this.
  3. Kaibab270

    Kaibab270 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 20, 2019
    I'm sure I'll try it at some point, I'm always tinkering with stuff. Just wanted some opinions on the matter.
  4. marthinus


    Dec 10, 2006
    I have been using grease and Elna seeing machine oil in my Inkosi since 2010. No issues with either.

    The theory does not hold ground in my personal experience.
    South paw draw and Dcdavis like this.
  5. Dcdavis

    Dcdavis Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 13, 2018
    I use grease on all my CRKs. I have used oil on my Sebenza and Umnumzaan at one point just to see. I’ve also used a mixture of grease and a heavy weight oil. But these days I’ve, after all the test runs, I’m grease only. I’ve used several different types of grease as well until finding my favorite.
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  6. Kaibab270

    Kaibab270 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 20, 2019
    Thanks for the feedback. The grease at least doesn't seem to gum up like all the oils I've tried so there is that.
    Dcdavis likes this.
  7. Dcdavis

    Dcdavis Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 13, 2018
    I’ve used nano10 weight and nano85 weight in oils. In grease I’ve used the crk grease, TW25 bravo and nano grease. Been using mainly the nano grease as of late on Inkosi’s and the crk grease on a few Sebenzas
  8. bart1

    bart1 Gold Member Gold Member

    May 24, 2009
    I'm sure that there are many products that will work for many CRK users out there. I use none, as I do a lot of food prep, and find washing my CRK's ( Sebs, and Inkosi's) in warm soapy water, rise, and blow dry , keeps everything smooth and freely working. Bart
  9. buckeyejake


    Dec 28, 2013
    I use mine on food also. There for i use my mineral oil . But my small sebenza has been well broken in .
    I use a titan precision oiler to put just a few drops on washers. Just say away from lock .
    When it gets sluggish i blow it out with compressed air .

    Edgeoflife, 4mer_FMF and Dcdavis like this.
  10. brownshoe

    brownshoe I support this site with my MIND

    Sep 6, 2002
    CRK says the grease is both lubrication and rust protection. Oil will not work as well. They put some serious research and design into their pivot system and's the science of tribology.
    Dcdavis likes this.
  11. kidcongo


    Jan 12, 2013
    The CRK grease, made by Christolube, has a lot of desirable properties. Being food-safe is one.

    The CRK grease sits in the pockets in the washers and when you put your knife in your pocket it warms up and the grease expands slightly, recoating the pivot surface.
  12. archieblue

    archieblue Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 19, 2001
    I say go as dry as possible. Almost the only time I oil my knives is right before I wash them in the sink with soap and water. And in that case it is only to protect the pivot area from the water. Otherwise I really try to only the high friction areas such as the detent ball/path of a liner/frame lock or the area where the lock bar of a back lock rides on the blade tang. In this case, I find reel oil to be the best option but I’ve used whatever is handy at the time such as coconut oil or even a teensy drip from the dipstick of an engine. Whatever the case I use a triangular sliver of paper or a tiny pointed stick as an applicator.
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  13. South paw draw

    South paw draw Yep.....I'm a idiot. Platinum Member

    Sep 23, 2019
    Ok so I've only got a umnumzaan and a inkosi right now with a large 21 insingo expected on Monday. And I've only had them for about 2 and a half months. My first experience with a CRK was 4-5 years ago. Picked up a large 21 righty and loved it. It was smooth and very easy to take apart and maintain. The grease was one of the more simpler things I liked about the maintenance of CRK. But I'm a lefty so I sold it and looked for a lefty. Couldn't find one and bought some other knives. Flash forward to now. I have just about all the oils you could ever want and I have tried them on all my knives. When I got the umnumzaan I felt obligated to run the grease but really didn't want to open the little tube that came with the knife. So I tried some heavy weight KPL. It's about the best imho out there atm and I run it on just about all my PB set ups. After about a day I took the umnumzaan apart, whipped it down, opened the grease up and used it. And for me I'll never use anything but grease in my CRK. I found it heavy weight oil would migrate out of the pivot when it heated up in my pocket. I didn't "drench" the pivot but I did put enough in so it would keep it lubed up and I wouldn't have to repeat the process every other day. With the grease I'm cleaning the knives about once every 3-4 weeks and there still clean, smooth and the PB are "wet" with grease. So as a CRK noob and know nothing. Most the fellas here have years of use and maybe Partial to the grease. I however am a fresh fanboy and a fanboy of KPL. But I'll never put it in my CRK. Chris Reeves did R&D on the design of the PB bushing and put the slits in the bushings for a reason. To hold grease and it works efficiently. But that's just my experience with it in the last 13 weeks. Hope this helps you. noob to noob.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2019
    Dcdavis likes this.
  14. jumpstat


    Mar 9, 2007
    The grease that comes with the folder is the best IMHO. My 21 Large is my edc of choice and since I started using it since 2015, I have disassembled it like 3 or 4 times the most. On each time I disassembled it, there are residual grease left at the pivot area amid the gunk. As a habit, I do clean my knife right after it has been used heavily. It involves rinsing the whole blade in water and soap. Dry it up as best as possible and when I reach home, a light coat of WD40 keeps it pristine.
  15. kniferbro

    kniferbro Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 22, 2011
    I use Breakfree on my CRKs and it works fantastically. The main reason being I like to be able to put a couple drops in the pivot and be good to go. I do take down my CRKs but if I go to wash my knives, I can just blow it out a bit then drip drop done.
  16. xderiwx


    Jan 26, 2019
    Thanks for that information! I’ve been trying to find out if it was food-safe lately, searching through a bunch of old threads. Come to find out there’s the answer in a thread on the front page! :)
  17. BellaBlades

    BellaBlades Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 12, 2013
    Grease it best IMO>

    For just about every other knife I own I use Rem oil with teflon. But for some reason the CRK are just smoother , longer. Ive tried both. As well as Frog lube which just sucks for knives.
  18. brownshoe

    brownshoe I support this site with my MIND

    Sep 6, 2002
    Took down, cleaned and lubed my 2011 sebenza. It's only it's third time. Still would fall open before cleaning. On takedown, it still had grease with no rust. I'd cleaned it with just soap & water for a few years since its last takedown. That CRK grease performs as expected.

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