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What to use to oil carbon steel blades?

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by Smiling, Nov 24, 2019.

  1. Smiling


    Nov 21, 2019
    I just wondered what other people use to protect their carbon steel from rust?

    It may sound dumb, but I use coconut oil on my SK-5 Recon Tanto ever since I got it, and so far rust never developed on it. True, most of the blade is covered by factory coating, but edge has always been exposed.

    I usually wash the knife in warm (not hot) water, wipe it with paper tissue, point hair dryer at it for a while (from a fair distance so it's not hot). Then I apply coconut oil with another paper tissue.
    And it doesn't take long to see very small bits of coconut oil solidified on the blade after a while.

    If nothing else, my knife at least smells nice :)
  2. Wharn

    Wharn Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 1, 2011
    I like mineral oil.
  3. not2sharp

    not2sharp Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 1999
    I’ll second mineral oil (aka baby oil). It is the main active ingredient in WD40 but not poisonous or staining.

  4. SVTFreak

    SVTFreak Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 8, 2011
    Third for mineral oil. I actually use a royal purple variant (22) that is synthetic, a little thinner also so it can get into joints etc, yet is still food safe. I wouldn’t drink it, but a little residue won’t hurt.
  5. marchone

    marchone Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 13, 2013
    Frequent use.
  6. Rich S

    Rich S

    Sep 23, 2005
    I don't use my pocket or outdoor knives for food prep. For general joint and blade oiling, I use a mix (in one bottle) of 3 and 1, WD40 and motor oil. Has kept my knives in excellent condition.
  7. Smiling


    Nov 21, 2019
    Well, my first idea was to use something like WD-40 or motor oil, but then I thought again and realized that it may not be food safe.

    Knowing that mineral oil is safe to use for a blade that's sometimes used on food, I'll probs try it out if this method fails me.

    Coconut oil was my first option because:
    1. It's edible oil
    2. I have it readily available at home
    3. It solidifies easily and can be like wax while solid

    So far it's working perfectly well, so I'll just stick with it for now.
    Because you know: "If it isn't broken don't try to fix it"

    I just wanted to see if anyone else is using something unusual, like the guy I know IRL who dead serious told me he uses animal grease for his knives and tools :D
  8. HopalongCassidy


    Sep 22, 2019
    I imagine you could use just about anything. Or nothing; just wipe them down.
    The mere fact that it is a concern, you are looking and doing routine maintenance, will keep your knives rust free.
    GABaus, cudgee and Smiling like this.
  9. DB_Cruiser

    DB_Cruiser Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 17, 2018
    I mostly use mineral oil from the pharmacy (laxative). I have some knives that only get used seasonally, so I use a paste made from mineral oil and beeswax on the blades before storing them to prevent rust. It's also good on wood. I prefer food safe as I like to have the option of using any of my knives for processing game and food preparation.
    sodak likes this.
  10. Neko2

    Neko2 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 18, 2003
    I use Ballistol.
    Food safe but can't be marketed that way in the US.

    Your coconut oil idea is pretty cool though.
    It takes forever to go rancid, won't gum up and is completely food safe.
    Smiling likes this.
  11. Bill3152


    Nov 27, 2018
    For my straight razors I use clippercide. Oils and disinfects. For my carbon knives I use frog lube.
  12. Smiling


    Nov 21, 2019
    Thanks :D
    And it did come handy to me because I actually used that knife on food few times.

    Well, ballistol isn't marketed as food safe in Europe either as far as I know.
    I understand that a small bit of laxative on a blade won't do a thing, but despite it not being poisonous, I would probably wipe my blades extremley well before using them on food. I'm kinda being paranoid here.
  13. marchone

    marchone Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 13, 2013
  14. The factory-coated blade and your paranoia about food safety will work in your favor. ;)

    If you're always aware & keen to keep the blade clean & dry anyway, you'll likely not need anything else. The coconut oil on the blade may or may not add much value for the sake of rust resistance. But, it's tendency to get a bit 'sticky' will make it hold onto stuff like dirt or food debris (read: potentially more bacteria), which otherwise wouldn't stick as readily to a clean, dry blade. So, if you coat the blade with the coconut oil to give peace of mind for rusting's sake, you'd still do well to clean that off before using the blade for food, IF you're really that concerned about food safety.

    With only the edge bevels being uncoated, they'll be kept rust-free by simple stropping and/or sharpening done regularly. Edge maintenance takes care of virtually all rusting worries on a knife's edge, on it's own.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2019
    cudgee likes this.
  15. Neko2

    Neko2 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 18, 2003
    Actually, on their German product page they seem to.

    Attached Files:

    Smiling likes this.
  16. Smiling


    Nov 21, 2019
    Well, I do wipe my blade before using it on food thankfully.
    And whenever I use my knife - I use it heawily, and after use I always wash it, then I resharpen it and wash again, and after that I wipe it and also dry it before oiling and storing the blade.
    I'd also like to comment how factory coating is holding up extremley well, I wasn't expecting that.

    And that is interesting to know about ballistol. I'll most likley give it a shot too, since I know that coconut oil going rancid on a blade might not be a good thing. Lucky for me, coconut oil takes extremley long time to go rancid, and I use my knife often enough for that not to happen.
    Neko2 likes this.
  17. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 6, 2000
    Coconut oil will work.
    Frog Lube-which was all the rage for firearms a few years ago, was basically coconut oil.
    Neko2 and Smiling like this.
  18. Smiling


    Nov 21, 2019
    Thank you for sharing this info with me, I did't know this info :)
    Then I'll just stick with it, since I always have coconut oil at home anyways :D
    Neko2 likes this.
  19. Alberta Ed

    Alberta Ed

    Jun 29, 1999
    Vaseline works just fine. Food safe, too.
    GABaus and crumpet8 like this.
  20. TheEdge01


    Apr 3, 2015
    I recommend Balllistol. It smells like dirty gym socks but gets the job done.

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