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Rant on WD-40

Cougar Allen

Buccaneer (ret.)
Oct 9, 1998
I just saw yet another post where somebody asked if he should use some lubricant on the joint such as WD-40 ...

ARGGGGGGGGGH! WD-40 is not a lubricant! It's not a rust preventative either! It's a FORKING PENETRATING OIL, gentlebeings, A PENETRATING OIL!!!

WD-40 is a mixture of cheap low-grade oil with some cheap solvents, and it's great stuff for when you have a rusted-tight bolt on your car to get loose. That's what it's good for. It's cheap enough to spray on in large quantities and the oil in it is good enough for that purpose.

Because there is oil, however low-grade, mixed with those solvents, WD-40 can be used for lubrication and preventing rust, and in fact you can use it for just about anything you'd use oil for, AND YOU'LL FIND IT'S BETTER THAN NOTHING. It is far inferior for the purposes of lubrication and rust prevention to any oil that is formulated for those purposes. Any oil you buy in a gunshop is immensely superior for your knives, even the cheapest oil in the shop. The Sentry products are available from the BladeForums Store and they work great. Break-Free and Rem-Oil are also popular. Those of us who are paranoid about toxins use mineral oil or vaseline or vegetable oils on blades we might use for food, and they are no better than WD-40 for preventing rust, but they're non-toxic. (WD-40 is quite toxic, and it doesn't taste great, either.)

WD-40 isn't even cost-effective for a penetrating oil; you can get the same stuff with any other brand name on it for about a dollar a can less because you won't be paying for all that advertising.

I hope somebody from the WD-40 company tries to argue with any of this -- I can hardly wait to flame his pants off.

For more info, there are numerous posts on rec.guns about the rust-preventing and lubricating properties of WD-40 -- some are anecdotal accounts of large and expensive gun collections being ruined in amazingly short times, others are reports of rigorous comparison tests.

If you're that much of a cheapskate there are formulas for mixing up your own oils in the rec.guns FAQ www.recguns.com and posted on rec.guns -- search http://www.deja.com/home_ps.shtml But even though a little bottle of good gun oil will cost you a couple of bucks, it'll last you for many years. Unless you use it as a penetrating oil....

-Cougar Allen :{)
Other uses for WD-40:

Fishing Lures,

Starting fires in Southeast Alaska

I'm sure there is more

"A knifeless man is a lifeless man"
-Nordic proverb

Ok already, stop sugar coating it and tell us what you really think

WD-40 is the "fast food" of lubricants. It will often do the job if you're in a hurry and don't want to put just the right lube in just the right spot. Perhaps a better description is it is the "shotgun" of lubricants. Spray oil like you'd spray lead with a scatter-gun.

Say you have an assembly like a lock or a hinge that you don't have the time (or patience) to get a spot of grease right where it belongs. Just shoot the WD-40 in the nearest crack. It stinks and runs, but suddenly you can turn your key or open your door quietly. Just don't use it on anything really valuable or anything you want to keep clean. Also don't use it on anything subject to real low temperature since it will get stiff at serious arctic temps.
WD40 is the Dremel Tool of solvents. It's a terrible choice for most job but it does nearly all of them well enough to get by. I agree that it's not really a lubricant. But I kinda like the smell... whoa, getting woozy...

Don't cook with WD40. Don't brush your teeth with Metal Glo. But always keep both on hand.

Let me tell you how wd 40 saved my life.
I was hiking up a narrow mountain trail when it suddenly ended in a sheer dropoff. I was retracing my steps when I came across a huge angry grizzly. He got up on his hind legs and started coming at me. I don't know about you but when I'm on an excursion I always pack a can of wd at my side. I whipped it out and sprayed it at his feet. He started slipping and sliding and finally went over the edge of the mountain. I then simply waited for 30 seconds until all traces of the wd was gone and proceeded on my merry way. WD40, don't leave home without it.

It does a pretty good job of removing the after-goop when peeling stickers off of things.

As for other lubricants, oops, sorry, wrong forum.

Don LeHue

The pen is mightier than the sword...outside of arm's reach. Modify radius accordingly for rifle.


Umm..., that should be use number 1,000,003 out of a can of WD-40

""My Dad said I only need two things in life. WD-40 to make things go, and Duct Tape to make them stop.""
WD-40 is also great for chemical burns resulting from gunscrubber, killing bugs, and cleanin stuff. And about those bargain basement sprays, I have some, they suck. They gum up fast, dont help the burning sensation on your hands from the gunscrubber, and dont have that distinct "WD-40" aroma.

[This message has been edited by yoda4561 (edited 05 August 1999).]
Keeping a can of WD-40 handy for quick uses doesn't make much sense when you should be keeping a can of Break Free et al, in the garage and one under the kitchen sink.

Be handy with the good stuff, not the mediocre stuff. -Brian
Hey, don't be dissin' WD40 -- at least not around me.

There is no product made (except possibly duct tape) that does more thing poorly than WD40.

The problem with WD40 as a light lub, aside from the fact that really attracts dust and dirt, it that it has no staying power. But, if you've got something that's a bit sticky, a shot of WD40 can get you through the day until you can apply a proper lub.

WD40 is an excellent cleaning product. I've never seen it dammage anything.

It truly is the first combined furniture polish, hair tonic, foot oil, and salad dressing all in one.

Give me a can of WD40, a roll of duct tape, and a Leatherman PST, and there's not much I can't fix, pr at least get going for the day.


[This message has been edited by Gollnick (edited 06 August 1999).]
I recently went fishing on Lake Ontario for Salmon, Brown Trout, and Lake Trout, with a couple of my buddies on a three-day charter. For the second year in a row I watched as the mate sprayed the lures liberally with WD-40 just about every time they went in the water. I don't know if it helps, but we caught plenty of fish, so it didn't hurt. I've heard WD has fish oil in it, anyone else ever here this?

"Every Dog Has His Day"

From what I hear, WD-40 is no longer flammable. I keep seeing this on the Spud Gun pages....


Kevin Jon Schlossberg
SysOp and Administrator for BladeForums.com

Insert witty quip here
No longer flamable? That sucks.

When I was a kid and wanted a cheap thrill, I'd open one of those big juice cans, drain the contents and remove the top. Then I'd spray WD-40 in there and drop a match in.

You'd get a fireball litteraly big enough to engulf your whole body. It doesn't last long enough to burn you, but it would singe your eyebrows...

As to WD-40 as a lubricant, I thik the duct tape analogy is more or less accurate; it can get whatever it is working long enough to get it back to where you can really fix it.

I use it to clean my folders, but for lubricant I prefer a light machine oil. Pressurized Breakfree would be an alternative I suppose, I'll have to get some and try it out...

Oh yeah, if you want spudgun propelent, get one of those cheap butane/propane brazing torches and without sparking it(you need the type that has a screw-type valve, the auto -trigger ones will light instantly) fill your spudgun with the butane or propane. You can even use Mapp gas this way. Depending on configuration, you can light the spudgun with the built in striker on the torch.
wd 40 is good for one thing...cleaning stuff off...that is all...but since it is flammable its not the best product for that either.....it leaves a sticky residue....and its not a penetrating oil sorry to say... it stands for water displacement 40 (like whatever 40 means)....and it does that.


It smells great though, "Ahh Bisto" (british advert joke)

I used to, in my foolish youth, spray in in the back of airgun pellets and fire them out of the rifle, I don't suppose it did the airgun any gun but the diesel effect was quite something