Can You Use Gun Oil on Knives? Exploring the Best Knife Maintenance Tips

For maintaining a precious collection of knives or utility blades, dedicated knife enthusiasts are often in a dilemma about using gun oil as a lubricant and protectant. It’s a common question: Can gun oil be used on knives? This blog post aims to delve deep into understanding this intriguing issue. We’ll consider the similarities and differences between these tools, their requirements, the type of oils, and how gun oil might interact with knife blades. Let’s expand this intriguing discussion for a thorough understanding.

The Basics of Knife Care

Before moving forward, it’s crucial to have a brief overview of what knife care entails. Maintaining a knife is not merely about keeping it sharp. It also includes ensuring that the blade doesn’t rust or corrode, which can drastically reduce its functionality and lifespan.


Cleaning is an essential step in knife care. Use lukewarm water and mild soap to clean off any debris or dirt on the blade. After cleaning, dry the blade promptly to prevent moisture from settling in and causing corrosion.


Sharpening a knife is a crucial part of the maintenance as a dull blade can be more dangerous compared to a sharp one. Different knives may need distinct sharpening methods. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for ideal results.

Lubricating and Protecting

Lubricating a knife makes it function smoothly while protecting it from rust, corrosion, or possible damage. The choice of lubricant or protectant is often a matter of personal preference and the specific requirements of the knife at hand.

Understanding Gun Oil

Gun oils are specifically designed to offer high viscosity, adherence, and lubrication properties. Manufactured gun oil contains a mix of elements that primarily work to reduce friction between moving parts, protect against rust, remove residue, and preserve the firearm.

Can You Use Gun Oil on Knives?

Technically speaking, are there any rules against using gun oil on knives? The answer is no. There’s no law that states you can’t use gun oil on knives. But, is it prudent to do so? It might be helpful to compare the two lubricants designed for each tool, knife oil, and gun oil.

Knife Oil vs Gun Oil

Knife Oil

Generally, knife oils are designed with the blade and handle materials in mind. They are made to combat corrosion, enable smooth operation, and occasionally assist in the protection of handle materials. Knife oils are also frequently food-safe, which is crucial for kitchen knives or other blades used for food preparation.

Gun Oil

Compared to knife oils, gun oils often possess a more aggressive anti-corrosion feature. They are designed for the intricate design and high friction levels found in guns. However, most gun oils are not food-safe and can leave an unpleasant taste if used on a blade meant for food preparation.

Comparing Knife Oil and Gun Oil

Aspect Knife Oil Gun Oil
Designed for The blade and handle materials of a knife The intricacies and high friction levels of gun mechanisms
Main function Lubrication, corrosion protection Lubrication, aggressive anti-corrosion
Food safety Often food-safe Often not food-safe

Final Considerations on Using Gun Oil on Knives

The decision to use gun oil on knives ultimately depends on the knife’s intended use. For culinary knives or blades that come into contact with food or your mouth, using food-safe knife oil is highly recommended.

In contrast, if you’re dealing with a tactical or utility knife that doesn’t come in contact with food, you can use gun oil for its excellent anti-corrosion properties. However, always ensure to wipe off the excess oil to prevent it from attracting dust and debris.

Remember that proper care and maintenance play a significant role in extending the life of your knives. Be it gun oil or knife oil, regular maintenance will keep your blades in top condition and guarantee the highest performance.

To conclude, yes, gun oil can be used on knives in some circumstances, but it’s crucial to take into account the utility of the knife and the oil’s safety for those uses. As always, use your discretion and favor products designed specifically for your tools when possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What oil can you use to oil a knife?

There are several suitable oils for lubricating knives, such as mineral oil, synthetic oils specifically designed for knives, or even household lubricants like WD-40. However, it is crucial to choose an oil that is specifically intended for knife use as it provides adequate protection against rust and corrosion.

2. Can Rem Oil be used on knives?

Yes, Rem Oil can be used on knives. Rem Oil is a well-known brand of gun lubricant and protectant, but it also works effectively on knives. Its low viscosity allows for smooth blade movement, and its anti-corrosion properties help protect the knife from rusting.

3. Can you use Shooter Lube on knives?

Yes, Shooter Lube can be used on knives. Shooter Lube is a versatile lubricant primarily designed for firearms maintenance, but it can also be used for knife lubrication. Its formula prevents rust and corrosion, ensuring smooth opening and closing of the blade.

4. Can you use any oil on a knife?

While you can technically use any oil to lubricate a knife, it is highly recommended to use a lubricant specifically formulated for knife maintenance. Using dedicated knife oils ensures optimal blade performance, corrosion protection, and helps maintain the longevity of your knife. Household oils may lack the necessary properties required for effective knife care.

5. What are the properties of a good knife oil?

A good knife oil should possess the following properties:

  • Excellent lubricating properties to ensure smooth blade opening and closing.
  • High corrosion resistance to protect the knife from rust and oxidation.
  • Low viscosity to penetrate into tight spaces and prevent buildup.
  • Non-toxic and food-safe, especially for kitchen knives.
  • Long-lasting performance to reduce the frequency of oiling.

6. Is gun oil safe for food preparation knives?

Most gun oils are not safe for food preparation knives. Common gun oils contain chemicals and additives that may be unsafe if ingested. When it comes to knives used in food preparation, it is best to use food-grade lubricants or oils specifically designated for kitchen knife maintenance.

7. How frequently should I oil my knife?

The frequency of oiling your knife depends on several factors, including the environment, usage, and the type of oil used. As a general rule of thumb, it is recommended to oil your knife every month or whenever you notice signs of dryness or corrosion. Regularly inspect your knife and apply oil accordingly.

8. Can I use cooking oils to lubricate my knife?

Using cooking oils, such as olive oil or vegetable oil, are not recommended for lubricating knives. While they may offer short-term lubrication, these oils can become sticky and attract dirt and grime, leading to decreased blade performance and potential rust formation. It is best to use oils specifically formulated for knives.

9. How should I apply oil to my knife?

To apply oil to your knife, follow these steps:

  • Clean the knife blade of any dirt or debris.
  • Apply a few drops of oil to the pivot point or other moving parts of the blade.
  • Distribute the oil evenly by opening and closing the blade several times.
  • Wipe off any excess oil using a clean cloth or paper towel.

10. Can I use gun oil on the handle of my knife?

Gear oil is not recommended for use on the handle of a knife. Handles are typically made from various materials, such as wood, plastic, or composite materials, and require specific handle treatments. Using handle-specific products, like wood moisturizers or plastic cleaners, will ensure proper maintenance and longevity of the handle material.

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