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Lubricant of choice

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by RDaneel, Sep 12, 2012.

  1. RDaneel

    RDaneel Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 23, 2000
    What's your lubricant of choice, for your knives?

    I've had some older knives and hard opening knives I've been working on and I've been using "White Lightning." It seems to work really well. It loosened up an eighty-year old scout kinife, a SAK that got really hard to open and my yellow CV Case pen knife. They stay easier to open too. I've got it working on my 40-year old Sodbuster, Jr. right now.

    Been awhile since I posted. Thought I'd join in here.


  2. Doug Add

    Doug Add

    Jan 9, 2012
    I use White Lightning Easy Lube as a chain lube on my bicycles. Good stuff.

    For my knives, most of which are used with food, I use mineral oil.
  3. MT Damascus

    MT Damascus Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 14, 2011
    I have been useing Tri Flow for years, but recently swithched to Ballistol. It works as good and is safe for most surfaces. I use butcher block oil for my ivory and wood.

  4. Stich2442


    May 6, 2012
    I use mineral oil, on joints, bone, wood etc.
  5. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker

    Aug 18, 2008
    I've bee happy with this one for quite a while now...
  6. RDaneel

    RDaneel Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 23, 2000
    I've heard of Militec. What's it made of?
  7. Nathan Dewey

    Nathan Dewey

    Nov 29, 2009
    Rem Oil/WD40 Specialist then tuffglide after it had been properly worn in.
  8. pinnah


    Jul 28, 2011
    Boy o boy... you want to open a can of worm on a cycling forum, start a thread about chain lubrication.

    White Lightning is a well known chain lubricant for bikes. As a former pro mechanic and moderator of a cycling forum, here is my take on chain lubricants as it might apply to knives...

    Edited to add: drawing a connection between bike chains and knives isn't crazy as knives with peened pivot pins are very similar in construction to bike chains. Bike chains are a combination thin inner links with a bushing (like a knife blade) and wider outer links (like a knife frame) which are held together by a peened or press fit pin.

    Chain lubricants can roughly be grouped into 2 categories: petroleum based and wax based. There is a third group that deserves mention and almost immediate dismissal and that is solvent based. We'll get to that.

    Petroleum based lubricants are great in wet weather conditions and tend not be washed off easily. But, they can attract grit and grime, and the combination of oil and grit has another name - "grinding compound". So, when used in dirty conditions, oil based lubricants can lead to grimy chains and fast chain wear. Certain oil based lubricants can dry out and turn to a hard to remove "gum" if left on a chain (or derailler or gun part) too long. 3 in 1 is particularly bad about gumming up.

    Wax based lubes resist dirt but they don't repel water well. They excel in dry dusty climates as the outer layer of wax collects dirt and then sloughs off. New wax can then be added. But in wet environments, they tend to wash away quickly and leave the metal unprotected from rust. White Lightning is among the best of the wax based products that I've used. Somebody is going to mention Boeshield T-9 in a second...

    In watching the chain lube holy war wage on countless bike forum for years, my short take away is which is best depends entirely on where you live. If you live in a dry dusty climate (say, the US southwest), wax makes more sense. If you live in wet or humid conditions where rust is a problem, oil is best, but oil requires constant attention to avoid gunk and gum.

    If food preparation is involved (for knives, not bike chains), then food grade mineral oil is the only choice that makes sense to me.

    Solvent based products like WD-40 are good for cleaning out gunk but are horrible in terms of lubrication. Of the solvent based products, my favorite is CRC 6-56, which is designed for marine environments. More lubrication and better rust prevention, but it's still not true lube.

    (FWIW, my favorite chain/bike part lube for wet conditions like we have in Boston is chainsaw bar oil cut with a some naptha. The naptha thins the oil, allows it to penetrate a bit and then bakes off leaving a thick durable oil coating. Wouldn't use that on my knives though.)
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2012
  9. neeman

    neeman Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    I use mineral oil in the form of Baby oil as it is edible
    Because I use al my knives with food
  10. on_the_edge

    on_the_edge Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 31, 2006
    Another vote for mineral oil here.
  11. confucius37


    May 18, 2008
    mineral oil all the way, for the blades, springs, joints, handles, everything.
  12. jackknife

    jackknife Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 2, 2004
    I've been known to use anything from the old 3-In-1 to Hoppe's gun oil. Once a long time ago, I used a drop of oil from the dip stick of an army jeep on my Buck stockman. So far, I'm still here and okay. I just wish the voices would leave me alone when I'm trying to sleep. :D

  13. Doug Add

    Doug Add

    Jan 9, 2012
    That's what I use for cleaning my firearms, and I have been pleased.
  14. Mink

    Mink Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 2, 2012
    Royal Purple Synfilm 32
  15. 555

    555 Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 5, 2007
    Though the years, I've gone from motor oil, 3 in 1, WD-40, Militec and now use mineral oil.
  16. Grateful

    Grateful Basic Member Basic Member

    Oct 5, 2002
    Another mineral oil user here.:thumbup:
  17. black mamba

    black mamba Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 21, 2009
    Pharmaceutical grade mineral oil, only, inside and out, all handle materials.
  18. Gevonovich


    Jan 17, 2011
    3 in 1 and Mineral Oil (Pharm grade)
  19. Simple Man

    Simple Man

    Nov 6, 2001
    Quick-Release, Militec-1, SLP-2000, Corrosion-X, Rem Oil, Mineral Oil, 3in1, Breakfree CLP, Ballistol, WD-40, in order of preference for lubrication. (and yes, they all reside in the house somewhere.....:eek: )
  20. shecky


    May 3, 2006
    I generally advocate not oiling your knife unless absolutely necessary. But for the most part, oil is oil. If there's a chance the oil will come in contact with food, stick to plain mineral oil. And if your oil does come in contact with your food, you're probably using way too much oil.

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