Can You Use Gun Oil On Knives – All You Need To Know
Using gun oil on knives is a topic that has been the subject of much debate in the knife community. Gun oil, a lubricant primarily designed for firearms, has been adopted by some knife owners as an alternative for keeping their blades smooth and rust-free. While some knife owners swear by gun oil as a lubricant, others worry that it may cause damage and degrade the blade over time.
To shed some light on the matter, in this blog post, we will look at the pros and cons of using gun oil on knives and provide advice on the best oil for your blades.
What Is Gun Oil
Gun oil is a lubricant that helps to protect the gun from corrosion and wear and tear. Gun oil helps to reduce friction between moving parts, which helps to improve the performance of the gun. It also helps to keep the gun clean and free of dirt and debris. Gun oil can be used on all types of firearms including pistols, shotguns, rifles, and revolvers. It can also be used on other metal surfaces such as locks, safes, and knives. Gun oil is a must-have item for gun owners as it helps to improve the performance of their guns and protects the gun from rust and corrosion.
Let’s Get Straight To It: Can You Use Gun Oil On Knives?
Yes, you can use gun oil on knives, but it’s not the best choice. Gun oil is specifically designed for firearms, and it doesn’t contain the same lubricating and protective elements that are necessary for a knife. There are several reasons why it’s not the ideal choice for knives.
- Too thick and can attract dirt and debris: Gun oil is designed for use on firearms, which typically have more tolerance for thicker lubricants. Knife blades are typically much thinner and more delicate than gun barrels, and a thick lubricant like gun oil can be more likely to attract dirt and debris, which can lead to blade damage and corrosion over time, as well as damage to the handle material, making it brittle and susceptible to cracking.
- Not effective at preventing rust and corrosion: Different types of oils have different properties and are formulated to perform specific tasks. While gun oil is effective at protecting firearms from rust and corrosion, it’s not effective at protecting a knife blade from these types of damage. Knife-specific oils and lubricants are specifically formulated to protect knife blades from rust and corrosion.
- Can cause discoloration over time: This is due to the oil’s chemical composition, which can react with the metal of the blade and cause a reaction that results in discoloration. The discoloration can range from a light yellowish hue to a dark brown or black color. This can reduce the aesthetic appeal of the blade, making it look dull and unappealing.
- Makes it too slippery: Gun oil is often too slippery, which can make gripping the knife difficult and increase the risk of accidents. The slickness of gun oil can also make it harder to keep a firm grip on the knife while cutting, which could lead to the knife slipping and cutting the user.
- Hard to remove: Gun oil can also be difficult to remove from the blade, which can make it difficult to clean and maintain the knife. Finally, gun oil can be toxic and can cause skin irritation if it comes into contact with the skin.
- Can be toxic: Gun oil can be toxic and can cause skin irritation if it comes into contact with the skin. The oil contains a variety of chemicals, including solvents and preservatives, which can be harmful if absorbed through the skin.
Therefore, it is important to use oil specifically designed for use on knives to ensure that the knife is properly lubricated and protected.
Difference Between Oil And Lubricants
Oil and lubricants are both used to keep knives in good condition, but there are some key differences between the two.
Oil is applied to the blade before use, which protects the blade from rust and corrosion by forming a protective barrier on the blade. This barrier also helps to reduce friction and wear on the blade, making it easier to use.
Lubricants, on the other hand, are applied during use. They help to reduce friction and wear on the blade by creating a thin film between the blade and the material it is cutting. This film helps to reduce the amount of friction and wear on the blade, making it easier to use and helping to extend its life.
In general, both oil and lubricants can be used on knife blades to protect and lubricate the blade. The choice between the two will depend on the specific needs and characteristics of the blade and the environment in which it is used.
There are a few different types of lubricants that are suitable to use on knives. I would recommend using a silicone-based or mineral oil-based lubricant for your knives.
- Silicone-based lubricants: These lubricants are made with a synthetic compound called silicone, which is known for its low friction properties and ability to protect against rust and corrosion. Silicone-based lubricants can be a good choice for knife blades that are exposed to harsh environmental conditions.
- Mineral oil-based lubricants: These lubricants are a type of lubricant that is made from refined mineral oil, which is a clear, odorless oil that is derived from petroleum. They are often used on knives because they are non-toxic and food-safe, making them suitable for use on tools that will come into contact with food.
Oil For Knives
It is important to consider the type of steel and your personal preferences when looking for the best knife oil. Some oils may provide a more durable finish, while others may offer a more natural-looking finish.
- Mineral oil: Mineral oil is a clear, colorless oil that is widely available and relatively inexpensive. Mineral oil for knives is a good choice as it is food safe knife oil, does not go rancid, and provides a protective barrier against water and other elements.
- Camellia oil: Camellia oil, also known as tea seed oil, is a plant-based oil that is commonly used in Japan for a variety of purposes, including knife maintenance. It has a pale yellow color and is known for its ability to penetrate deeply into the steel, providing long-lasting protection.
- Linseed oil: Linseed oil is a plant-based oil that is extracted from flax seeds. It is commonly used as a wood finish and is known for its ability to penetrate deeply into the wood, providing long-lasting protection.
- Tung oil: Tung oil is a plant-based oil that is extracted from the seeds of the tung tree. It is known for its ability to provide a durable, water-resistant finish and is often used on knife handles and other wood products.
Nano Oil For Knives
Nano oil is a type of oil that has been refined to very small particle size, typically in the nanometer range. Nano oil is sometimes used on knives to provide a protective coating and to improve the blade’s performance. There are a few different brands of nano oil that are marketed specifically for use on knives.
- Nano coat Knife Oil: This brand of nano oil claims to provide a long-lasting, water-resistant finish for knife blades and handles. It is applied in the same way as other knife oils and is said to penetrate deeply into the steel, providing excellent protection against rust and corrosion.
- Blade Armor Nano-Oil: This brand of nano oil is formulated specifically for use on knife blades and is said to provide a durable, water-resistant finish that helps to improve the blade’s performance. It is applied in the same way as other knife oils and is said to penetrate deeply into the steel, providing excellent protection against rust and corrosion.
- Nano Shield Knife Oil: This brand of nano oil is formulated with a blend of synthetic oils and is said to provide excellent protection against rust and corrosion. It is applied in the same way as other knife oils and is said to provide a durable, water-resistant finish that helps to improve the blade’s performance.
How To Oil A Knife
- Gather your supplies: You will need a clean cloth or paper towel, a small amount of oil (such as mineral oil or camellia oil), and the knife you wish to oil.
- Clean the knife: Before oiling a knife, it is important to clean the knife thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris. Use a soft cloth or paper towel and mild detergent to wipe down the blade, handle, and any other metal parts. Rinse the knife with water and dry it thoroughly.
- Apply the oil: Once the knife is clean and dry, use a clean cloth or paper towel to apply a thin layer of oil to the blade, handle, and any other metal parts. Be sure to cover the entire knife and wipe off any excess oil.
- Wipe off excess oil: Use the rag to wipe off any excess oil from the knife.
- Let the knife dry: Allow the knife to dry completely before using it. This will ensure that the oil has been properly applied and will help keep your knife in good condition.
Best Oil For Knife Handles
The primary purpose of applying oil to a knife handle is to protect and enhance its appearance while providing some moisture resistance. Here are a few common oils that are often used for knife handle maintenance:
Mineral Oil: Mineral oil is a popular choice for wooden knife handles due to its low cost and wide availability. It is classified as food-safe, making it suitable for use on kitchen knives. It also provides decent moisture resistance, helping to prevent the wood from drying out or cracking.
Tung Oil: Tung oil is derived from the nut of the tung tree and has been used for centuries as a wood-finishing oil. It offers excellent moisture resistance and durability, making it suitable for knife handles. Tung oil enhances the natural beauty of wood, providing a warm, rich finish.
Note that pure tung oil requires multiple coats and a significant amount of drying time between applications.
Linseed Oil: Linseed oil is extracted from flaxseeds and is another popular oil for wood finishing. It provides good moisture resistance and helps bring out the natural grain and color of the wood. However, it is important to use boiled linseed oil rather than raw linseed oil for knife handles.
Can You Quench A Knife In Used Motor Oil
No, you should not quench a knife in a used motor oil: motor oil is not designed for quenching, and the heat-treating process can release harmful toxins and contaminants. A popular alternative is vegetable oil, such as olive, corn, or canola oil, due to its high flash point, which can withstand the heat of the blade without giving off significantly more smoke or ignition. Additionally, vegetable oil yields a slower rate of cooling, helping the blade to attain the desired hardness or tempering. Ultimately, neither method faces a right-or-wrong decision – individual preferences tend to vary significantly – so it may need experimenting in order to find out what best suits both your style and the culinary shape.
What Oil Can I Use To Sharpen A Knife
Using oil can be beneficial, as it helps reduce friction and heat during the sharpening process. Honing oils, specifically formulated for this purpose, are highly recommended. These oils are designed to reduce friction and heat buildup, providing a smooth and effective sharpening experience. Honing oils also help flush away metal particles and debris from the blade, preventing them from clogging the sharpening surface. When selecting a honing oil, it is important to choose a high-quality oil specifically designed for sharpening knives to ensure optimal results. I wrote a dedicated article about knife sharpening; you can read my full guide here.
Can gun oil damage a knife blade?
Yes, gun oil can potentially damage a knife blade due to its thickness and sticky residue. The buildup of gunk on the blade can dull the edge and reduce the performance of the knife. Additionally, gun oil may cause blade staining or discoloration if it reacts with certain types of blade steel.
Can you use gun oil on knives?
Yes, you can use gun oil on knives; however, it is suggested to use a dedicated knife oil or lubricant, as they are designed specifically for knives and can provide better protection against corrosion and other damage.
What are the risks of using gun oil on a knife?
Using gun oil on a knife can cause corrosion, discoloration, and pitting of the blade and handle. It can also cause the blade to become brittle and break.
What are the benefits of using a lubricant specifically designed for knives?
A lubricant specifically designed for knives will not damage the blade or handle of the knife. It will also help to protect the blade from corrosion and wear.
Is Nano Oil good for knives?
Yes, Nano Oil is a good choice for knives. Nano Oil is non-toxic and safe to use on food-grade knives.
What oil to use on wooden knife handles?
Mineral oil is the recommended oil to use on wooden knife handles for both protection and maintenance.
What is the best oil to keep knives from rusting?
The best oil to keep knives from rusting is mineral oil. It is relatively inexpensive and contains no additives, meaning it won’t react with the metal of your knife. It’s also odorless, tasteless, and will not dry out or become sticky.
While gun oil may have some potential as a lubricant for knives, it is not the best choice due to its thickness, sticky residue, and potential for blade staining or discoloration. Instead, it is recommended to use a knife-specific oil or lubricant to ensure that it is properly lubricated and protected. By using a dedicated knife oil or lubricant, you can ensure that your knives are properly cared for, reducing friction, preventing rust, and maintaining their sharpness.