Will Tri-flow Dissolve When Stored?

Oct 3, 1998
I store most knives with a coating of tri-flow (teflon). I have heard that the protecting agent in WD40, when stored on a knife for prolonged periods, will dissolve and leave a wet film on the blade that can ACTUALLY CAUSE rust instead of protecting against rust. Can this happen with long term storage with tri-flow! Thanks, JEFF
Well, er, ah, actually I have never used oil/PTFE products for corrosion protection. As they are lubricants. True, some lubricants can protect from corrosion/oxidation, but this is not their primary function. The problem is that the film of a typical oil/PTFE product has so much surface tension that it can't penetrate enough to bond with the metal. Rusting under an oil film is not something new, I believe Col. Askins addressed it in the 1930's.

That is what FTFC (Fluid Thin Film Coating) are all about. These are probably better known as Corrosion-X and Tuf-cloth/glide. Actually Dry Film Lubricant and Protectant is the term that Sentry (Tuf-) uses.

However, both the Corrosion-X and Sentry products work in the same fashion, to the best of my knowledge. They are very low surface tension liquids that seep everywhere, and quickly dry to a dry film, which is barely noticable.

The surface tension and ability to bond with the metal is so good that the product will actually go UNDER rust and corrosion, and bond with the undamaged steel underneath.

By all means, check it out for yourself:



Each company makes a variety of products; however be aware that you are paying for the container. Discount Knives has the liquid Sentry product Tuf-Glide for about $6 for 1/2 oz., but 8 oz. costs about $15! That is sixteen times as much for about twice the price. Now, you may need one of the small containers for application, as it has a long, steel hypodermic needle-like applicator, but you can sure refill it from the big bottle. Check it out:


Other things I do for long term storage of knives and guns is use VCI (Vapor Corrosion Inhibitor); this is most convenient in the Bianchi Blue bags, which are heavy mil plastic bags with zip tops, and the inner surface has VCI on it. This produces a harmless corrosion protecting vapor, so it gets everywhere. These bags are available from the mail places such as Dillon and Midway Arms.

If you are a real obsessive compulsive person, you toss a couple of silica gel moisture absorbant cans inside your airtight container as well.

Hope this helps, Walt Welch
Unlike WD-40, Tri-Flow or Break Free,(same stuff),does provide corrosion resistance.

I've long used tri-flow, and now slick-50 onelube (both PTFE) on all my tool steel knives with no problems, sometimes stored for months between cleanings. And my Ruger .22 lubed with tri-flow and stored for over 5 years shows no corrosion.
As always, your mileage my vary. If your intention is long term storage, then buy a product made for that.