There’s a wide variety of oils for folding knives and they all have unique applications! Some are good for rust protection, while others are best for pivots.
Finding the best oil to suit your needs is challenging, and that’s where this guide comes in! Read on as we cover the market’s top products to find the best lubricant for you.
7 Best Oil for Folding Knives to Buy in 2020
1. KPL Knife Pivot Lube Knife Oil
Despite having only two years in the business, Texas-based company KPL claims that they offer the best lubricant for modern folding knives on the market – and with this product, they deliver exactly that!
Boasting a synthetic formula, this lube is designed to stop premature wear on your knives caused by dirt and grit. In addition to that, this oil works to clean your pivot during use.
To care for different parts of your knives, this oil comes in two variants: KPL Original and KPL Heavy. We recommend you use the former for your pivots, while the latter is best used for your detents.
This product is very versatile and will work on AXIS and liner locks alongside other types of knives, but in our experience, it works best on Spyderco’s compression mechanism, which makes opening and closing it feels effortless.
For lubing, this oil works especially well on phosphor bronze washers but it’ll clean any type of bearing mechanism on your pivots.
This product doesn’t just clean well, it’s also an excellent lube for smoothness. When cleaning your pivots, you only need to apply several drops and work the oil in. Almost immediately, your knife should cycle effortlessly.
For ease of handling, this lube also comes in a small, compact bottle. However, you should be careful when handling it. It’s been known to be a little fragile and may burst if you squeeze it too hard.
Even with its slightly higher price point compared to other products, the KPL Knife Oil should be one of your first choices thanks to its incredible performance.
- The applicator needle works to ensure you don’t dispense too much oil at one time.
- This product is food safe, which makes it the perfect choice if you use your knife in the kitchen.
- The oil is well-scented, making your knives smell good after lubricating.
2. Lucas Extreme Duty Gun Oil
Our second knife oil recommendation comes from Lucas Oil. This California-based company boasts more than 30 years of experience providing lubricants for cars and firearms.
- This product provides your knives protection from wear and moisture even in extreme conditions.
- Comes with a 1oz needle oiler for precise application of lube on your knives.
- Long-lasting oil that’ll keep your knives lubricated long after application.
Even though this product is marketed as gun oil, this lube works just as well for your knives! Its corrosion-inhibiting properties will make sure that your blades are protected from rust.
In addition to rust protection, this product also works amazingly to lubricate pivots. By applying several drops of this oil, you can allow your pocket knife’s blade to glide smoothly without resistance from dirt or grit.
While this oil’s thickness might make out the front switchblades hard to retract, this product works amazingly on AXIS locks usually found on Benchmade knives.
One thing to keep in mind when using this oil is that it’s not food-safe, so it’s best not to use this lube on any knife used in the kitchen.
If you’re looking for an affordable multi-purpose oil that can take care of your knives as well as your firearms, the Lucas Extreme Duty Gun Oil is right down your alley!
3. Benchmade Bluelube Knife Care Lubricant
Manufactured by Oregon-based Benchmade, this product comes with an applicator that makes applying oil on the smallest grooves of your knives easy.
- Blue tint allows for easily-tracked oil application.
- Provides great protection against dirt.
- Thin-oil gives your knives a nice wet finish.
As it’s manufactured by Benchmade, you’ll find that this oil is optimized for their signature AXIS locks. With just a little application of this product on folding knives, they’ll be flying open with little effort. If you need a no-nonsense, easy to apply lube, look no further than the Benchmade Bluelube!
4. Nano-Oil – NanoLube Anti Friction Concentrate 10 weight
This third pick was developed by Christian StClaire, a California-based lubricant expert with 30 years of experience in various civilian and military industries.
For different needs, this product comes in light, medium, and heavy weights. From thickest to thinnest, it goes 85-weight, 10-weight, and 5-weight. The heaviest, 85-weight, is very thick and somewhat limited in purpose – it’s best used to silence rattle on your assist springs or bars.
While the light and medium weights usually see more use, in our experience, the 10-weight works best for your folding knife’s pivots. In addition to those three options, this product gives you versatility by mixing them to obtain the consistency you need.
This product works on many kinds of knives. AXIS, buttons, and especially compression locks like on a Spyderco would benefit greatly from this oil.
Read Also: The Best Spyderco Knife of All Time
This lube also works excellently on the Tri-Ad mechanism found on Espada knives.
Generally, you only need a little bit of this oil when lubricating your knives, so one small container can last you a long time. If you plan on using this product for extended periods, be sure to store it properly because the oil tends to gum up if left alone for too long, forcing you to squeeze the bottle hard to get it out.
If you put too much oil on application, it does tend to attract dirt. However, you can remove it simply by opening and closing your knife several times, wringing it to the ground repeatedly afterward to get rid of the excess.
Even with its relatively high price point, the Nano-Oil is effective, long-lasting, and provides great lubricating performance.
- This oil’s nano-bearing molecules can stick to the smallest crevices in your knife, providing lubrication in the tightest spots.
- This oil is multi-purpose and will lubricate your fishing reels and firearms in addition to lubing your knives.
- This product contains no metals or harmful solvents that may damage your knives.
5. UltraPro Food Grade Mineral Oil
This entry into the knife oil market comes from UltraSource. Founded in 1883, the Missouri-based company serves processing and packaging needs across various food and medical industries.
This mineral oil has lots of uses – from moisturizing skin, taking care of food-handling equipment, and of course, maintaining your knives!
Because it’s food-grade, you’ll find the best use for this oil is to clean and lubricate your kitchen knives to keep them rust-free. If you use this type of lubricant, be sure to apply it every week or so to ensure that no corrosion happens.
While mineral oil is mostly used for kitchenware, it can also benefit your pocket knives. You’ll find that this product provides excellent lubrication for various types of folding mechanisms like AXIS and compression, but it provides the best performance on simpler systems like the liner lock.
In addition to keeping your blades rust-free, this oil can also keep your knife handles clean! However, you need to keep in mind that the viscosity of mineral oil makes it less suited for lubing pivots. For that purpose, we recommend that you use more specialized lubricants like the Nano-Oil.
If you’re looking for a multi-purpose oil that can help you around the kitchen, a container of UltraPro Food Grade Mineral Oil can help you lubricate your knives and so much more.
- This oil also cleans and lengthens the lifespan of wooden cutting boards.
- Comes in a large one-gallon container which is perfect if you have lots of knives or can make use of the oil’s other purposes.
- This product is also useful around the kitchen since it can also be used to preserve raw eggs.
6.Remington Rem Oil
This pick comes from the North Carolina-based Remington Arms Company, a 200-year old firearms manufacturer. While Remington’s offering is primarily made for firearms, it can provide great lubrication performance for your knives as well.
In our experience, this lube is best used on your folding knife’s pivot to ensure the blade swings smoothly thanks to its ability to reduce friction. Furthermore, this product is considered one of the best oils for rust inhibition by removing the smallest traces of moisture on application.
This product boasts good lubrication for most mechanisms like back and lever locks, but it brings out the best in locking liner knives.
Compared to other oils, this product tends to be a little less viscous. Due to this, it’s been known not to stay in place as well as its peers that offer thicker consistency.
For easier use, this product also comes with an applicator cap. One thing to keep in mind when using this oil is that you should be careful not to place the bottle upside down since it’s been known to leak at times.
Boasting a very low price point without compromising quality, the Remington Rem Oil can be a good choice for your lubrication needs.
- Also available in an aerosol can variant for lubricating large areas.
- You can also get this oil in a wipe form for on-the-go lubrication.
- This product features a unique Teflon formula that provides a thin and long-lasting film of oil for extra protection.
Worried about the sharpness of your pocket knife? Then check out this review article on pocket knife sharpener.
7. Yoshihiro Tsubaki Japanese Knife Maintenance Oil
With over 100 years of experience in cutlery, Japanese company Yoshihiro provides the finest cutting tools for chefs worldwide. True to this longtime expertise, their entry into the knife oil market also reflects their high standards.
Originally used for cooking, Tsubaki or tea seed oil also helps to keep your high-carbon steel kitchen knives rust-free with just a few drops.
In our experience, this product is much better used as a rust preventive oil rather than a pivot lubricant. For better protection against dirt and dust, we recommend you use specialized lubes like the KPL Knife Oil.
Because this product isn’t quite optimized as a pivot lubricant, we recommend that you use it on simple mechanisms like lever and frame locks.
If you’re looking for a high-quality oil for your knives from an expert in the field, Yoshihiro Tsubaki Oil should rank very high on your list.
- This product comes with an extra rust eraser for knife maintenance.
- Tea seed is a great antioxidant and it can last for years if properly stored.
- It can remove rust while still keeping the patina on your knives.
Choosing the best oil for folding knives isn’t just about performance! A great oil will also prevent rusting and other wear and tear that might come from frequent use.
For our money, the KPL Knife Pivot Lube Knife Oil is the best lube for pocket knives. The expertise put in this product really shows! It’s a high-performance product that’s completely food-safe.
Coming in at a close second is the Lucas Extreme Duty Gun Oil. Don’t let its name fool you, this lubricant provides long-lasting protection for your knives at a very affordable price.