Just like any other tool you own, knives need proper care and maintenance. Taking good care of your knives is essential for them to continue performing well and to extend their lifespan. This applies to both kitchen knives and knives that you use as tools or for other practical purposes. One aspect of knife care is applying oil to your knives and there are specialist oils for doing this with each type having different purposes. Here is a guide to buying knife oil and reviews of the best knife oils available.
A Knife Oil Buying Guide
There are many different knife oils available and each has its own purposes and benefits. While some are suitable for kitchen knives, others are intended as a lubricant for folding knives. Here are some things to consider when choosing which is the best knife oil to use.
Purpose of the Oil
Which oil for knives you should use depends on which type of knife you intend to use your oil for and the purpose of this knife. There are two main reasons you would use knife oils, and these are:
- Kitchen knife care- Knife oil that you use for kitchen knife care is different to oil that you would use for maintaining knives that you use as tools. It is important that you choose a food-grade oil for kitchen knife care as some other oils are unsafe. Oils that are used for kitchen knife care are usually applied to the blade.
- Folding and pocket knife care- Oils for folding and pocket knives are applied to the moving parts of the knife, so they are generally used for the purpose of lubrication or cleaning. If the blade is made from materials that will rust, then you can also use it as oil for knife blades.
It is essential to consider the materials from which a blade is made when making your decision about which oil for knife blades to buy. Consider the following:
- Some oils are not compatible with all materials, so it is important to check whether the oil is compatible with the materials from which you knife is made to avoid causing damage.
- Ceramic blades do not need oiling.
- Synthetic oils are better than organic oils when it comes to applying oil to the metal. This is because dust and dirt will stick to the oil and can react with the blade or prevent moving parts from moving freely.
The Purpose of the Oil
Different oils have different purposes, so you should think about the benefits of each oil in relation to the reasons you are buying oil and choose accordingly. Just some of the benefits of oils available include:
- Rust prevention- Some oils will reduce the likelihood of your knife developing rust if you rub it into the blade. If an oil says that it will increase rust-resistance, it is a good choice for carbon steel knives.
- Lubrication- There are many oils that give a layer of lubrication, although this does not apply to all oils. When added to the moving parts of a knife, it stops them from grinding together and causing damage. It also keeps them moving smoothly.
- Protection- Many oils can protect your blades from damp or salt when applied to the blade.
- Cleaning- Some oils have properties that mean you can also use them for cleaning purposes.
Reviews of the Best Knife Oil for Blade Maintenance
One of the main uses of oil is for maintenance of the blades and there are many oils available for this purpose. Here are reviews of five of the best knife oils for blade maintenance.
The main element of this three-piece set is the 3.4-ounce bottle of pure Tsubaki oil, which is made from camelia oil. This is widely considered one of the best types of oil to use on kitchen knives and is a popular choice for those who favor Japanese knives. Tsubaki oil is completely safe to use on kitchen knives as it is food grade. This excellent little knife maintenance kit also comes with two other useful items as it includes a cloth for applying the oil to your knife blades and a Sabitori rust eraser for easily removing any rust spots that develop on your kitchen knife blades.
- Food grade oil
- Cloth included
- Complimentary Sabitori rust eraser
This safe food grade oil comes in two size options, each of which has a different form of application. The larger size is in a pump spray bottle that is quick and easy to apply to any knife blade, while the smaller sized oil has a dropper fitting that allows you to apply droplets of oil to the knife blade sing a cloth. Although this oil is best-suited to Japanese kitchen knives, it is also suitable for any other type of kitchen knife or even woodworking tools. It will protect any knife from corrosion, thus giving your knives a longer lifespan. You can also use this oil on other products that are made from materials including ceramic, rubber, or plastic.
- Spray or drop options
- Food grade oil
- Easy application
This four-ounce bottle of oil has many uses as you can use it on both stainless steel and wood. If you use it on your stainless steel knives, it will protect the blades from rust and will lubricate the moving parts of folding and pocket knives. It is equally suitable for use on stainless steel appliances. You can also use it to seal and protect your wooden chopping board and any wooden kitchen utensils. It is approved by the USDA for use in food preparation areas and it is tasteless, colorless, and odorless. The oil comes in a dropper bottle that is easy to use.
- Food grade mineral oil
- Protects and lubricates
- Colorless and odorless
- Easy to apply
The knife oil sold by Citadel Black is a combination of white mineral oil and cold-pressed Tsubaki oil.These are both completely safe ingredients to use on kitchen knives and the oil is suitable for use on steel, carbon steel, and stainless steel. It will protect your kitchen knives from rust and from general wear and tear. This is an odorless oil that will not solidify in the bottle. It is also easy to apply and spreads evenly on your knife blades, using the pipette-style dropper that is part of the bottle and lid design.
- Kitchen grade
- Rust protection
- Easy application with the pipette
The 13-ounce bottles of this oil cost less than many of the competitors that offer a much smaller quantity, so it is the best knife blade oil in terms of value for money. It is a food safe certified oil that is tasteless, odorless, and contains no allergens or gluten. The oil is safe to use on all types of steel, including carbon steel, and is recommended for use on Japanese knife brands. When applied evenly, it creates a barrier between the knife blade and both water and humidity. This prevents rust formation and extends the lifespan of your knives. In addition to using this oil on knives, you can also use it for wet stones, meat grinders, axes, and garden tools.
- Food safe and allergen-free
- Odorless and tasteless
- Good value
- Blade preservation
- Multiple uses
Best Knife Oils and Pivot Lubes for Folding and Pocket Knives
Oils are important for lubricating the moving parts of folding and pocket knives. Here are six of the best knife oils and pivot lubes for folding and pocket knives.
Sentry Solutions TUF Glide is possibly the best knife lubricant on the market now. There are two variations of this oil as you can choose between the oil with a needle knife oil applicator and the oil in a pen applicator. While the former is a good lubricant for a folding knife with small parts, the latter is great for larger knives or other tools. You can use this folding knife oil when cleaning and maintaining a folding or pocket knife. It will lubricate the parts to keep them moving smoothly and reduce the amount of wear and tear your knife suffers.
- Lubricates moving parts
- Application options
- Reduces wear and tear
A folding knife lube, this product is a light machine oil that you can use to lubricate the moving parts of your folding or pocket knife. It is also ideal for use on fine machinery, firearms, and fine reels. It comes with a long, thin, needle applicator. This means it is easy to apply the oil into small gaps and other hard to reach parts of your knife or tools. The applicator also allows you to extract just the right of oil from the bottle so that you will not apply too much oil to the parts and leave the knife feeling greasy. The clear container means that you know when the oil is running low and you need to buy more.
- Light machine oil
- Good applicator
- Clear container
There are two main purposes for using this folding knife lube. The first is that it offers your knife parts a layer of protection from moisture and this reduces the likelihood of rust spots developing and will increase your knife’s lifespan. The second purpose is for lubrication between the knife parts. This means that the parts will move smoothly and there is less wear and tear. You apply the oil using the stainless steel needle dropper that is provided. This is small enough to reach into the trickiest parts of the knife without needing to dismantle the knife every time you add oil.
- Creates a protective layer
- Reduces wear and tear
A multipurpose oil, you can use this product for cleaning, protecting and lubricating your knives. It comes with a 1.5-inch, 18-gauge, stainless steel, pharmaceutical grade applicator that will help you to apply the oil into the moving parts of a folding or pocket knife to keep them moving smoothly and reduce friction. You can apply the oil to the blades of folding, fixed or pocket knives by spreading it out evenly to create a protective barrier. This synthetic oil is also suitable for use on painted or plastic surfaces. Two of the advantages of this synthetic oil is that it does not gum up or evaporate.
- Good applicator
- Doesn’t evaporate
You can use this oil on many items, including pocket or folding knives, bicycle gears, switchblades, tools, firearms, and fishing reels. It is a synthetic oil that is specially formulated to create a self-renewing protective surface. This surface creates lubrication to minimize friction and drives out dirt and moisture. The bottle of knife oil comes with a needle applicator that you can use to get oil into all the small parts and joints. Alternatively, you can use droplets to wipe along the blades of your tools and knives, but not your kitchen knives, or onto specific points that need lubrication.
- Drives out dirt and moisture
- Creates a protective layer
- Needle applicator
This synthetic oil is a better option than organic oils as dust and dirt will not stick to the oil. It displaces dust, dirt and any previous petro-oils or sprays that you have used on your knife. The manufacturers of this oil claim that it is superior to its competitors in terms of corrosion prevention. You can use it on any type of knife and on many other metal tools. It is also plastic safe, so you can use it on any plastic or painted surfaces. The oil comes with two needle applicators; one measure one-inch and the other 1.5-inches. Therefore, you have a choice of application tools to use for all parts of your knives.
- Two needle applicators
- Synthetic oil
- Corrosion prevention
Best Knife Oil Applicator Reviews
Using an applicator can make applying knife oil so much easier. Here are four of the best applicators on the market now.
One of the best knife oil applicators is the Sakai Takayuki Oil Applicator. It is designed for use with Tsubaki oil, but you can use it with any food grade oils that are suitable for use on kitchen knives. This chef’s tool is made in Japan and is intended for use as part of your regular knife maintenance routine, regardless of whether you are a professional chef or an enthusiastic home cook. It comes prefilled with oil, which you can refill when the original oil runs out. It is easy to use and will help you to spread your oil evenly on your knife blades.
- Easy to use
- Comes prefilled with oil
Designed specifically for use alongside Boos mystery oils and creams, this is a simple way of maintaining your kitchen knives. You can also use this tool to apply the oils and creams to utensils, cutting boards, wooden bowls, and butcher’s blocks. The hand section of the applicator is constructed from a sturdy beech wood that gives you good grip and control. The antibacterial sponge is specially treated with silver ion to prevent bacteria growth. The sponge applies the oils or cream evenly to the surface of the knife blades without waste or mess. It comes with a cap to protect the sponge when it is not in use.
- Even application
- Good quality materials
- Protective cap
These are versatile bottles that you can use either for applying knife oil or for dispensing many other fluids. As you get two oil dispensers for under $10, these are extremely good value and will suit those on a budget. The reusable bottles are made from plastic while the needle tips are made from stainless steel. Each bottle can hold 20 millilitres of fluid or oil and the need tips allow you to dispense the oil into the movable parts of a folding or pocket knife easily.
The pack contains five small bottles made from plastic. Each of the bottles holds 15 millilitres of oil or fluid. The tops of the bottles have a dropper design that is ideal for precise lubrication as they allow you to reach all the tough and fiddly areas. Each od the bottle also has a cap that is attached to the neck of the bottle to stop you from losing it and adding the cap when the bottle is not in use will prevent contamination and spillage. You can use these bottles for knife oil or for other liquids you may need for your hobbies or household tasks.
- Plastic bottles
- Precise lubrication
- Good value
A Few Frequently Asked Questions
What is Knife Oil and Why Would You Use It?
Knife oil is a type of oil that you can use to maintain your knife. There are different types available and while some are intended for use on the blade, there are others that are for the moving parts of some knives, such as folding or pocket knives. The properties of each oil are different, so there are different reasons why you might choose and use each. Some of the reasons for using knife oil include:
- Preventing corrosion- People use knife oil to reduce the likelihood of their knife blades suffering from corrosion. There are some knife oils that you can even use to remove small spots of rust from the blade.
- Lubricating moving parts- Using oils on moving parts of a knife will keep them moving smoothly and prevent dirt and grime from stopping the parts from working correctly. It can also reduce the wear and tear that knife parts cause when they rub against each other.
- Protecting the blade- Rubbing oil on the knife blade can protect the knife blade from substances that can damage your knives, such as damp, water, and acids.
- Cleaning- Some oils are used to clean the blade and other parts of a knife, although not all knife oils have the right properties to do this.
How Often Should You Oil Your Knife?
One of the most important things to know if you want to care for your knives properly is how often you should apply the oil. For kitchen knife maintenance, you should add a little oil to a dry cloth and wipe over the blades every few weeks. For folding and pocket knives, you should clean and oil them every six months or as and when needed. You may need to do this more often if dirt or grime is preventing the moving parts from working properly.
Can You Use the Same Knife Oil for Blades and Pivots?
If you have both kitchen knives and knives that you use as tools or for everyday tasks, then you may wonder if you can use the same knife oil to care for all the different types of knives you own. While there are some oils that you can use for all types of knives, it is important to note that not all oils are suitable for use on kitchen knives. It is essential to check that any knife oil you use on kitchen knives is safe to use in the kitchen. This means that you should only use oils that are food grade on kitchen knives.
Knife oil is an important substance to buy for those who knives, regardless of whether these are knives that are used as tools or kitchen knives. Oil plays an important role in the maintenance of knives as it protects the blades, reduces the risk of corrosion, and keeps moving parts moving smoothly.
If you want a knife oil to maintain your blades, then the best knife oil is Yoshihiro TSOIL 100% Pure Tsubaki Japanese Oil. This is a food grade oil that is manufactured by a reputable brand. It also comes with a cloth for application and a rust eraser.
The best knife oil for folding and pocket knives is Liquid Oil 100% Synthetic Oil. This oil is superior to its competitors in terms of corrosion prevention and will lubricate your folding or pocket knife well. There are also two different sized applicators, which gives this oil and advantage over many others available.
To apply knife oil, you may wish to use an applicator. One of the best applicators available now for oiling knife blades is the John Boos Oil and Cream Applicator. This is a smart-looking knife oil applicator that will apply oil to your blade evenly. For oiling moving parts of a folding or pocket knife, the best choice is the 1st Choice Two Needle Tip Bottle Oil Dispenser as this affordable pack of two will allow you to apply the oil easily to the moving parts.