Can I Use Gun Oil on My Knives?

A quality knife needs more than sharpening to remain useful to you. Many people are not aware that their knives need to be lubricated in order to stay sharp and useful to them.

Knife care is about more than just washing off grime and liquids that have collected on the blade’s surface.

You might own a knife and know that it needs to be oiled. Maybe you are not sure what you can use to take care of your knife in this way. This is a common question for knife owners of all kinds.

If you are ready to learn more about if you can use gun oil on your knives, read on!

Five kitchen knives on the brown wooden background

Why do Knives Need to be Oiled?

Knives need to be oiled to protect the blade from friction when it is being inserted into a knife block or knife drawer and also if it is being used with a sheath.

You will find that the knife blade needs to be fed oil to prevent rust and other issues with the blade as well.

Moisture can wreak havoc on a knife blade and good oiling can keep moisture and grime off the blade and make it easier for you to clean substances off of it. If you are working with acidic substances, oiling your knife is essential for its longevity.

Many people are aware that knives need to be sharpened but not many people are aware that they need to be oiled as well.

Oiling is part of a regular care process for all kinds of knives and you will want to be sure that you know how to do this process properly if you want your knife to last as long as possible.

Can I Use Gun Oil on My Knives?

Gun oil is a reasonable product to use to oil your knives and it can be a great choice if you want to spend a little extra money on your oiling process.

While there are cheaper options out there, gun oil is made for metal and can be a great choice for oiling a knife.

Gun oil is light and lacks the greasiness of cheap oils. This is part of what makes it a great lubricant option for your knives. Any oil that is heavy and sticky will just lead to a build-up of grime on your knife blade that can cause issues later.

Gun oil does have a smell that regular light oils will not have and it can be the wrong fit if you are not wanting to smell it all the time. Gun oil is easy to spread and you will not need much of it to cover even larger knives effectively.

It can be a really great solution for folding knives and pocket knives because it prevents moisture from getting into the mechanism of the knife or slipping into the spaces at the base of folding blades.

When Should I Avoid the Use of Gun Oil on Knives?

If you are sharpening a knife that will be used for food preparation, you should avoid the use of gun oil for this oiling process.

Gun oil has chemicals and preservatives in it that are intended for gun maintenance that is not safe for human consumption.

This is an oft-overlooked reason that gun oil should not be used for kitchen knives. However, gun oil works very well for use in hunting and folding knives that will not be used for food preparation purposes.

Most hunters have gun oil on hand already for their hunting weapons, so it is easy to oil a hunting knife with it as well.

What Should I Use to Oil Kitchen Knives?

Olive oil makes a great oiling substance for kitchen knives and you can use any other light oil. Make sure to avoid vegetable or canola oils as they are heavy and sticky and tend to attract bacteria and cause rust.

Any light oil that is not low-quality will be a great fit for your knife-oiling needs overall.

You will not need to apply much and you can make sure that your oil is not too heavy by verifying that your knife does not leave a film on the knife block or a towel when you are done oiling it.

When Should I Apply Knife Oil?

Knife oil needs to be applied to knives after you have sharpened them and after deep cleanings.

You will need to oil your knife at least two times per year in most cases, but you might need to apply oil more often if you have been using your knife in harsh conditions.

If your knife has been exposed to acidic materials of any kind, you will need to clean it thoroughly and then oil it to prevent further issues with rust or other surface damage.

Anytime that you have to use a lot of soap to scrub the knife blade hard you will want to apply knife oil as well.

Lastly, sharpening is always drying to the blade, so you will need to apply oil after each sharpening process to make sure that the blade does not become dried out.

Oiling a Knife is Part of Knife Maintenance

Without proper maintenance, any knife can become dull or damaged. You should always remember to oil your knives at least twice a year and to use the right oil products when you do so.

Hunting knives or other knives that are not used in food preparation can have gun oil applied to them. Kitchen knives will need light oils applied to them like olive oil.

Always make sure that you do not use too much oil and that you take care of your knives by keeping them in proper storage locations as well. Caring for knives should be an ongoing effort, not a once-in-a-while quick fix.

Taking care of your knives by properly oiling them will make them last a long time and keep them sharp and useful on a daily basis.

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