Best Oil for Folding Knife: Reviews, Buying Guide, and FAQs 2022

by Hari Won

Folding knives have been around for as long as anyone can remember. But in recent years, it has become one of the hottest products to buy. Though you may wonder, why invest in a folding knife when you have those normal ordinary lying around in the kitchen? I'm glad you asked.

There are tonnes of benefits of using a folding knife compared to the ones we normally use. For starters, can you carry around an ordinary knife in your pocket without worrying that it may slice your thigh? Definitely not!

This raises another question, why would I need to carry a knife in my pocket after all? Well, let me present you with a few reasons for that:

To protect yourself. Regardless of gender, people must carry a small weapon with them for their security. It is better to be safe than sorry.

To open parcels. Next time you receive a parcel from your favorite online store, you won't have to make a rush to grab a knife or cutter. You can simply tear it open using your folding knife.

To help you survive a night out in the wild. If you are someone who loves adventures, you must own a pocket knife.

Just like this, the list is endless. You never know when you will need a sharp object so it's better to keep one around. Besides, there's no harm in carrying it as long as you are not irresponsible or impulsive.

If you are still reading this article, you are here for two reasons. Either you are interested in buying a folding knife or you already own one. Whichever category you belong to, I ought to tell you more about folding knives.

We all know everything requires maintenance. Even the most expensive things will expire if they are not taken care of.To look after a folding knife you need to buy oil for folding knives. Some lubricants come especially for this purpose. They protect the knives from dirt, prevent rust, and ensure the blade remains sharp for a longer time.

Editor's Recommendation: Top Oil for Folding Knife 2022

Top 6 Best Oils for Folding Knives:

But how do you know which one is the best oil for folding knives? Don't worry, I got you covered! I have personally tried and tested a lot of lubricants for folding knives. Following is the list of 6 best oil for folding knives that I liked the most:

Top 6 Best Oils for Folding Knives:
Top 6 Best Oils for Folding Knives:

KPL Knife Pivot Lube Knife Oil - Link

KPL Knife Pivot Lube Knife Oil
KPL Knife Pivot Lube Knife Oil

I was initially unsure about this product but decided to give it a try after coming across numerous good reviews about it. After using it a few times, I noticed that my knife stayed free of corrosion for a very long time. Even though the modern knives are mostly made of stainless steel, they eventually give in and become the victim of corrosion. But after using this, I could feel the difference.

Let me just list down some pros and cons of this lubricant!


I loved that it came with a needle applicator. This made the application a lot easier. It also gave me a sense of satisfaction that the lube must have reached all parts of the knife.

The difficulty I initially used to feel while disengaging the framelock went away after I started using this oil. Therefore, it smoothens the locking mechanisms of the knives.

I also noticed that it had speeded up the deployment of my knife.

The product itself has a fragrant smell.

It prevents pitting and galling as well.


I personally felt like the quantity was not up to the mark considering the price. Approximately 15 dollars for a 10ml bottle? Kind of expensive.

It has comparatively lower viscosity so it doesn't stay in a place that well.

If you wish to order, you can click on the link mentioned above!

Ultra Pro White Mineral Oil - Link

UltraPro Food Grade Mineral Oil, 1 Gallon (128oz), for Lubricating and Protecting Cutting Board, Butcher Block, Stainless Steel, Knife, Tool, Machine and Equipment, NSF Approved
UltraPro Food Grade Mineral Oil, 1 Gallon (128oz), for Lubricating and Protecting Cutting Board, Butcher Block, Stainless Steel, Knife, Tool, Machine and Equipment, NSF Approved

White mineral oil contains ingredients that are essential for keeping things clean and as good as new. I couldn't buy a one-gallon bottle without first learning more about the product. What I found out is that it's used in multiple industries such as cosmetic, pharmaceutical, plastic, and food. This had me thinking that something so common in such major industries can't be ordinary so I decided to give it a try!

Following are the Pros and cons of investing in this 1-gallon bottle of white mineral oil:


It can be used for various purposes. You can use it for multiple things besides just keeping a folding knife clean.

It forms up a thick protective layer hence better in terms of preventing the folding knife from rust and corrosion

It is a great cleaner for stainless steel. It removed the dirt from my knife swiftly.

It is easy to work with.


It could be just me but I didn't find the packaging any good at all. I was lucky it wasn't broken but beware of that. This is something you might expect.

Not everyone will take a risk and decide to try it out as I did. So in my opinion, it should come in lesser quantities as well.

Since it does not come with an applicator, I found the application slightly difficult especially in between the parts.

I ordered mine from here:

UltraPro Food Grade Mineral Oil, 1 Gallon (128oz), for Lubricating and Protecting Cutting Board, Butcher Block, Stainless Steel, Knife, Tool, Machine and Equipment, NSF Approved
UltraPro Food Grade Mineral Oil, 1 Gallon (128oz), for Lubricating and Protecting Cutting Board, Butcher Block, Stainless Steel, Knife, Tool, Machine and Equipment, NSF Approved

Check it out and give it a try!

KUROBARA 100% Pure Tsubaki Japanese Knife Maintenance Camellia Oil - Link

KUROBARA 100% Pure Tsubaki Japanese Knife Maintenance Camellia Oil (3.4 oz)
KUROBARA 100% Pure Tsubaki Japanese Knife Maintenance Camellia Oil (3.4 oz)

I initially bought this oil to treat the knives lying in my drawer. I was not using those knives enough and I was aware they were going to wear soon if I kept neglecting them like that. So I applied this to them a couple of times and the improvements I noticed in the overall functioning left me amazed. It's a combination of several oils including mineral oil and camellia seeds oil.

Following are some pros and cons of it:


It is not specifically designed for folding knives only. You can use it on your tools as a corrosion and rust preventative.

If it comes in contact with wood, it won't ruin it. Many times oils leave a stain behind and it's a headache to try and take it off.

It comes with an aerosol. Hence, easier application.


The description of the bottle is in Japanese. I had to use google translator to learn more about the product.

The viscosity is not as thick as I'd like. But fortunately enough, it doesn't stand in the way of its proper functioning.

Amazon has it, check it out by clicking on the above-mentioned link!

Yoshihiro TSOIL 100% Pure Tsubaki Japanese Knife Maintenance Oil - Link

Yoshihiro TSOIL 100% Pure Tsubaki Japanese Knife Maintenance Oil With Complimentary Sabitori Rust Eraser, 3.4 oz, Large, Golden Yellow
Yoshihiro TSOIL 100% Pure Tsubaki Japanese Knife Maintenance Oil With Complimentary Sabitori Rust Eraser, 3.4 oz, Large, Golden Yellow

Yoshihiro's oils are ranked among the top 5 best maintenance oils in the world. One of the major factors for its immense popularity is that this oil is made up of 100% organic ingredients, such as by extracting the oil from vegetables and flowers. One of the key ingredients in this oil is camellia oil, extracted from the camellia flower.

I have used this oil on my folding knives multiple times and every time I have noticed that the blade looks cleaner as ever. The company also claims that this oil frees your tools from toxic substances. Initially, this lube was only used by Japanese chefs to clean their kitchen knives but due to its excellent quality, it is now used on almost every type of knife!

Let's go through some of its pros and cons now:


The oil offers protection from rust and corrosion while also cleaning the blades.

It serves as the resistance to water by creating a thin coat over the knife and acting as a barrier.

Apart from cleaning and rust prevention, this lubricant also ensures the conditioning as well as honing of the folding knives.

Comes with a nozzle so ensures minimal wastage.


Applying the oil leaves the knife all greasy. This in turn traps dirt and dust particles. If they are not cleaned very often, the dust is accumulated and becomes very difficult to remove.

As good as the product is, paying $15 for a 3.4 fluid ounces bottle is something many people would like to avoid.

If you make up your mind in favor of this one, order it from the link and it will come with a complimentary rust eraser!

Lucas Extreme Duty Refill 4oz Gun Oil - Link

Lucas Extreme Duty Refill 4oz Gun Oil 10877 & 1oz Needle Oiler 10875
Lucas Extreme Duty Refill 4oz Gun Oil 10877 & 1oz Needle Oiler 10875

I know this doesn't exactly fall in the category of oils for folding knives as the bottle clearly states it's gun oil. But take my word for it, this is one of the best lubes I have used on my knives, and saw an immediate difference. It instantly smoothed its locking mechanism and I am glad I decided to give this one a chance.

Let's see some pros and cons of this one too:


It has just the right viscosity. It is thick enough so stays where you put it and doesn't drip away.

With the help of a needle applicator, it easily flows between the parts. You just have to use a small amount and it will go a long way. I prefer using no more than 2 to 3 drops at a time.

It's really easy to clean which is a plus point. No one likes their stuff getting greasy.


It is more of a personal opinion but I think it doesn't smell very good.

The quantity is less compared to the price I've paid for the product. Even though a small bottle will also go a long way considering I only need to use a few drops every time but I would appreciate more quantity.

If you wish to get your hands on this amazing lube visit Amazon and order one for yourself!

6. Nano-Oil - Link

Nano-Oil - NanoLube Anti Friction Concentrate 10 weight
Nano-Oil - NanoLube Anti Friction Concentrate 10 weight

We all know the key to protecting metallic items is to keep them away from moisture. Keeping your knife dry is one way to do that but what happens if you live in a humid area? The heavy vapor content in the air will still ruin your knife.

My problem was solved by using this oil. It felt like it has formed a moisture barrier on the surface which is exactly what I needed to combat the issues I have been facing. The manufacturers of this lubricant understood very well how important it is to oil the moving parts of folding knives. I feel an immediate reduction in the friction as soon as I apply this oil to my knives.

Refer to the following pros and cons to reach your own judgement:


It is easy to clean up after so it doesn't leave any grease behind. Therefore, it does not trap dust particles.

It has an easy application.

Ideal for pivots. Even though it can be used on other items too, this property of the oil makes it perfect for knives with folding mechanisms.


Again, too pricey. I feel like it should not cost more than $9. If I were to pay $17 +shipping on this oil, I will more likely explore other options first.

It sets up very quickly. So if you are not a regular user, make sure to often shake it otherwise it will gum up in a matter of few weeks.

Wondering where to buy it from? I have mentioned the link above for you!

Everything has some drawbacks to it. When it comes to lubricants for folding knives, trust me when I say I know it all. You may not find some of the oils mentioned in the list worthy enough but they do an amazing job. This is coming from someone who has experimented with over 20 different types of lubes.

I remember surfing the internet in search of a lubricant for knives for the first time. I had numerous questions in my mind but no one to guide me through them. Fortunately for you, I am here. So, let's move on to the next part of this article.

We'll now be discussing some frequently asked questions about folding knives. Continue reading to learn the answers to them. It will help you in clearing your queries and you can make up your mind about it faster!

Oil for Folding Knife Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Using Lubricants on Knives Safe?

While some oils do contain harmful substances, they are not lethal. To stay on the safe side, wash your knife properly before using it if you had applied a lube on it last time. Some oils are also safe to consume as well as skin and hair-friendly. I have come across many people who use them as a hair oil too as it moisturizes hair so well.

Although I wouldn't recommend you to do that. You can buy separate products for your hair and skincare. Let's just keep this one for the purpose it has been designed for.

Does the Oil for Folding Knives Expire?

No, it does not. Even though most of these oils come with an expiration date printed on their bottles but that date does not affect their potency. It will work just as well as new even after the expiry date has passed.

I have several oil bottles in my cupboard that are more than a couple of years old and so far they haven't gone rancid. They still have retained their fragrance. But I would suggest you store it in a cool and dark place.

Is the Oil Edible?

While the oils for folding knives are mostly food grade, they are not edible. One should never be okay with consuming it, even if it is a little amount. Make sure to wash your knife before using it every time you have lubricated it with the oil!

How Often Should You Oil a Folding Knife?

There is no need to overdo it. It depends on how often you use it. I have seen people lubricating their folding knives every now and then but that is totally unnecessary! I would suggest oiling it quarterly if you are a frequent user. If you barely bring your folding knives to use, checking in every six months is more than enough.

Although, if you are about to keep them away for some time, oiling them well before storing them might be a good idea!

What Happens if the Knife Is Excessively Oiled?

Anything done in excess is bad. Lubricating your knife more often than required will lead to unwanted results. It is going to trap dust and dirt instead of keeping it clean. If too much residue is accumulated in the moving parts of the knife, it will hinder its function. Also, it will be tough to clean it then!

How Much Oil Should Be Applied in One Use?

There is a reason why lubricants for folding knives come in such small packaging. It is because they are only needed in small amounts. Using two or maximum drops is more than enough to lubricate the entire knife. Just make sure it reaches all parts of the knife, not just the blade!

How to Apply a Lubricant of Folding Knives?

There are multiple ways of applying lubricant to folding knives. But these are the two ways I like doing it. Either take a small piece of cloth and pour a few oil drops on it. Now apply the oil to the blade of your knife with the use of this cloth.

The second method I follow is by using the needle applicator. With the help of it, the oil reaches between all the internal parts of the knife as well.

What Can It Be Used on Besides Folding Knives?

The best part about investing in a lube for folding knives is that its use is not particularly limited to knives only. You can use it on several other things. Dustpans, firearms, tools, and basically everything that is made up of metal can be cleaned using this lubricant.

Moving on, mentioned below are some points that you need to consider when buying a lubricant for folding knives.

Things to Look For:

Easy application. If you are a first-time buyer, you should look for an oil with a needle applicator or a nozzle.

Environment friendly. We all are already playing our part in polluting the Earth, let's just be a bit considerate here.

Medium viscosity. Oils with thicker consistency will stay where you put them and not seep through. Whereas, if the consistency is too runny, it will just drip off.

Plastic bottles. Always prefer plastic bottles over glass ones. They are safer. Glass bottles sometimes crack during transportation and you receive half the quantity.

Food grade. Although this still does not mean that the oil is safe for consumption but if you are using it on knives, it is better to choose the one that is less harmful.

Synthetic oil. This is more of a personal choice. But I feel that synthetic oils are better suited for folding knives as they are comparatively thin in consistency so it is easier to apply them.

Cleaning property. Always look for a lubricant that is good at cleaning the knife as well. While almost all oils can do this, only a few of them actually claim to do that. Get your hands on it!

Buy them at eBay, Etsy, Walmart (subject to availability)

Yoshihiro TSOIL 100% Pure Tsubaki Japanese Knife Maintenance Oil With Complimentary - Walmart, Etsy, eBay

KUROBARA 100% Pure Tsubaki Japanese Cutlery Knife Maintenance Camellia Oil (8.3 oz) - Walmart, Etsy, eBay

UltraPro Food Grade Mineral Oil Dropper 4 oz for Lubricating and Protecting Stainless - Walmart, Etsy, eBay

Smith's HON1-4oz Honing Solution, White - Walmart, Etsy, eBay

100% Natural Food Grade Knife and Blade Maintenance Oil, 1.69oz by Citadel Black - Walmart, Etsy, eBay

Thirteen Chefs Knife and Honing Oil 12oz - Food Safe, Protects Carbon Steel Knives, - Walmart, Etsy, eBay

KPL Knife Pivot Lube Knife Oil - Walmart, Etsy, eBay

Lansky Nathan's Natural Honing Oil Yellow, Medium - Walmart, Etsy, eBay

Sentry Solutions Tuf-Glide Needle Applicator 0.5 OZ - Walmart, Etsy, eBay

Daiwa 64110100 Reel Oiler, One Size - Walmart, Etsy, eBay

Conclusion for Oil Buyers

Sentry Solutions Tuf-Glide Pen Applicator 0.25 OZ
Sentry Solutions Tuf-Glide Pen Applicator 0.25 OZ

To sum everything up, lubricants for folding knives are a must-have if you are looking to preserve your knives in the long term. I understand how tough it is to make up your mind about something you have never bought before. This is why I have compiled a complete guide for you.

The oils mentioned in the list are among the best oils for folding knives. Carefully examine and compare the pros and cons of each of them and then make up your mind in favor of any one of them. This is going to be one of the best purchases you decided to make and your knives will be thankful to you for it!

So, what are you waiting for? Go and grab your favorite knife oil now by clicking on any of the links mentioned above!

About Hari Won

Hari has been a close friend with Josh since kindergarten. Her place is right around the corner from Josh’s.
She claims they are only friends. Hari also loves to drink. By accident, she tried her first taste of beer in middle school; felt in love with them since then.
Life has been up and down lately for Hari. She and/or other friends often meet up with Josh for a few packs. They may drink through the night, while taking turn to tell their life stories.
Hari received her BS degree in biochemistry from University of Phoenix. She hoped to become a great brewmaster someday...

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