Proper Lubrication

May 22, 2001
Ok, here's a question I should have asked long ago. It pertains to liner locking knives especially. How on earth do you lubricate the knife without at least a small amount of the lubrication getting on the locking part of the tang? I've tried for several years now and I can't figure out a way, short of taking the knife apart, lubing just the washers and then putting it back together, that I can apply lubrication to the pivot without some getting on the locking part of the tang. The best way I've found(the way that ultimately leaves less lube on the lock) is to open the knife all the way, and spray or put drops of the lube down from the top of the handle. That is, from the pivot side of the handle towards the end of the handle where your pinky finger would usually rest. Any better ways?
As long as you don't use too much lubricant, I don't see it being a problem.
Yet another limitation of my least favorite lock, the liner lock.

You could, I guess, use a Q-tip or similar applicator and use lighter fluid or similar solvent to degrease the affected area.

Or, just get another type of lock and lube the daylights out of everything. :D
You could, I guess, use a Q-tip or similar applicator and use lighter fluid or similar solvent to degrease the affected area.

That's exactly what I usually do.

Or, just get another type of lock and lube the daylights out of everything.

BLASPHEMY! If it's not a liner lock then it's... not... a... liner lock. But seriously, it's too bad there's so few appealing designs that have better locks. The axis, integral, and rolling locks are the only other locks I'd even consider. I don't like the back lock.
Take it apart, open it up and lube it. Not a hard task and you're able to become familiar and intimate with your blade.

Besides. . .how long does it take you to take apart, lube and put your prized possession together ?

A little periodic preventive maintenance never hurt anyone ! ;)
I agree with Razoredj on this. It just should not be a problem for some lubricant to get into the liner lock area.

IMHO, for a liner lock to be really effective and safe, it must be very precisely ground at the tang/liner area. If it is, I don't think the presence of lubricant will have any significant effect.
On a well designed lock it probably makes little difference. I never clean the tang but I don't over lube either.

I've never seen anyone that has a knife that fails the 'spine whack' test attribute it to too much lube. Usually if a certain model fails and someone reports it here, you will see one of two things...

A) 15% to 30% of the people say they have the same problem, the rest claim they don't.

B) 95% or more of the people say they do not have the same problem.

I think that A is sign of poor design and/or execution, and B is a sign of poor execution only.

Almost any linerlock can be over stressed and fail, but a well designed one would need a lot of force, in an unusual direction, to make it fail.

A short story: About ten years ago...A knife maker friend had a knife returned. His customer had requested a heavy folding skinner and he was not a knife knut. The maker was experimenting with the liner lock, it was a fairly new idea then, so he thought he'd surprise his customer.

Don't get ahead of me here! You already did? Oh well..:(

The liner had a definate 'Z' shape to it and the customer said, "I don't want any #%$#$##$ knife I can't close!". It never did fail but my friend made him a new slip joint anyway. Later he 'beefed up' the liner (from 3/32" to 1/8") and gave it to my father. I still can't believe he bent the liner, or how he did it.

Beautiful knife, almost 9" OAL, 440C mirror finish clip blade with a good belly, stainless bolsters and liners and ironwood scales. This maker also makes excellent 'shrunk to fit' sheaths, but not for folders, this knife comes with a 'pancake' sheath.

"Short story?" Far too long! I gotta go...

1. Use Militech-1 and heat the pivot area or leave in oven. Do several times and remove excess. Forget about needing a lube for at least a year.
2. Use a dry Teflon grease, one reviewed by me in Kits site in my link.
The basic TufGlide container has a very small diameter metal -- seems almost like wire -- applicator on the end. Depending upon the knife/blade design, it is usually easy to apply the lubricant to the precise point on the pivot one wishes to lubricate. Of course, the stuff is pretty thin, so small drops only. TufGlide evaporates, leaving behind a coating. I'm sure I've gotten some on the tang area where the locking part of the liner hits it. But have never felt that area to be -- or more importantly act -- like it was slick. I do clean that area of the blade with dry toothpicks semi-frequently.