Originally Posted by Stillwater
WD-40 stands for Water Dispersant, 40th iteration.
WD-40 isn't a very good lubricant, or metal preservative. However, it is a good penetrant.
I'm not so sure I can agree with that. A while back I found a test done on several lubes (don't remember where), and was actually surprised that WD-40 did so well, better than every thing tested (according to the data), except Lee Case Lube. Of course it is just a bunch of tabulated data; no corroboration, but the test seems pretty involved--I don't want to attempt to redo it. However, it is an eye opener. Unfortunately, it didn't include 'DuraLube which as I recall was subject to some pressure stress tests, and did pretty well.
I will include what I saved here, but it is pretty involved, and if the Admin wants to move it to "Knowledge..." with a link here that's understandable. I would do it but would probably bungle the attempt.
Please excuse the roughness as this had to be reformated a couple of times, and wouldn't paste here intact. The original is in 'Excel'.
Newboy's Slick Test
Every time I enter a gun store, I see a lot of new,miracle gun oils. Some of these will even publish results of tests showing how their product is superior to every other product on the market.
I decided to run a test to compare some of these products to see if any really were superior, in regards to lubricity.
As a disclaimer, I realize lubricity is only one of many important characteristics of oil. Some others are film strength, viscosity, corrosion resistance, ad infinitum. The scope of my testing did not test any of these other characteristics. I was only interested in how slippery the oils were. One of the claims of the newer oils, which looks promising, is that they penetrate the metals on a molecular level, leaving a slippery surface, even after the oil is wiped off. I also tested this claim.
My apparatus consisted of two 1 ¼ chrome plated steel ball bearings, welded together. I also had a piece of extruded aluminum angle, hinged at one end. I put the balls in the v groove of the aluminum, and elevated one end. From the angle of the aluminum at which the balls began to slide, I could calculate the amount of force necessary to move the balls (Force=m*a*sine?). From this I could calculate the frictional force we had to overcome (Friction=N*m), and the coefficient of friction for each oil (N). However, all of these numbers are proportional to the angle involved, so I am simply showing the angle involved in each case. The smaller the angle, the slicker the oil.
Upon completion of one sample, I would clean the apparatus by wiping everything with a solvent. Then, I would re-test the balls dry (no oil present), as a control. In this manner I felt that I could determine if any of the oils really were penetrating the metal. If this occurred, I would abrade the surface of the aluminum with Scotch-Brite until the control returned to normal, before going to the next sample. The oils which penetrated the metal are marked in the note section as leaving residue after cleaning.
Oil / Manufacturer / Angle (deg) / Notes
3 in 1 oil 18
Apiezon L Apiezon 18
Break Free CLP 17
Castor oil 18
Corrosion X 19 left residue after cleaning
Dillon Case Lube Dillon 17 Lanolin with alcohol carrier
Hoppe's gun oil Hoppe's 23
Imperial Sizing Wax Redding 18
Krytox DuPont 17
Lee Case Lube Lee 13
Lithium grease Permatex 19
Lube Shot Browning 18
Lube-it 8 Syon 19
Marvel Mystery Oil 20
Mil Oil 46 17 left residue after cleaning
Militec Militec 19 left residue after cleaning
Mineral oil 18
Mobil 1 Mobil 18
Moly Dry Spray 32
Motor Oil Valvoline 20
No Oil (dry) 27
Penn Reel Oil Penn 22
Reel X 19
RemOil w/Teflon Remington 17 left residue after cleaning
RIG Oil 16
RP-10 MPC Reel Power 21
Shimano Reel Oil Shimano 19
Silicote Reel Oil Abu Garcia 21 left residue after cleaning
STP Oil Treatment STP 19
Suber Lube 21 left residue after cleaning
SynFilm 32 Royal Purple 18
Tetra Gun Grease Tetra 21
Tetra Gun Oil Tetra 20 left residue after cleaning
Ultra fine Gun Oil Browning 17
Vacuum Pump oil Varian 24
WD-40 15 left residue after cleaning
X-1R Grease 19
X-1R Oil 18
ZeroFriction 19 left residue after cleaning
Initially, I expected to see a few oils which would really stand apart from the crowd. This did not prove to be the case.
As far as firearms and fishing reels are concerned, a person would do well to try any of the oils which do, in fact, penetrate the metal. Please note that these types of oils should be applied to a clean metal surface to work properly. Also note that some of the synthetics will not mix with the hydrocarbon oils. However, it is a mistake to assume that the $10.00 per ounce oils lubricate any better than the cheaper ones. The differences are relatively minor.
As for myself, I will not be concerned for many years, as I still have to use up all of these samples I purchased for testing.
Wm. George 19-Nov-02