I think we have all tried various types of cleaners and protectants on our firearms and anything else made of metal that we wanted to protect before storing it away or between uses. So, why not put some of the common ones up against one another in an escalated test to see what holds mustard and what is just a plain bad idea? Here’s the set up and the test. I have (4) identical knives here. They are the Mora #840 MG Clipper and it’s a very popular, low cost, high carbon steel blade with the bushcraft and outdoor types. Some of you might recognize them from last year’s Bushcraft Class that kind of died on the vine. Now according to the Sir Francis Drake High School, you will need approximately 35 grams of sea salt per liter of water or approximately 4 oz. of sea salt per gallon of water to make average density sea water. Since none of us want to go burying our weapons in a salt water aquarium, this seems like a great base for a test. Except we don’t do anything with minimum “this” or “average” that here at FTF, we go to a bit more of the extreme. Because what fun is hedging your bets when you want to know what the REAL results would be? So here I have (4) buckets from a commonly known “do it yourself” store that I acquired. They hold 5 gallons of water and I got this here 40 pound bag of salt. I am thinking about filling each bucket with; let’s say 4 gallons of normal tap water and five times the recommended amount of salt to make standard sea water. That’s 80 ounces of salt in 4 gallons of water just to make things interesting. Then I am going to take these four knives and coat 3 of them with common protectants and leave one as an untreated control. WD-40, Fluid Film and XF-7 will be sprayed / applied on a white rag and I will wipe each application on one blade and then submerge that knife with its new “armor” in the buckets of high density saltwater and keep a weekly or monthly journal for awhile. So, here you can see the (4) buckets. Each one was filled with tap water and I dumped in 80 ounces of rock salt. Because of a need for fairness I had to make two revisions to my initial plan. Revision One: The salt takes awhile to dissolve, but I wanted to get these tests rolling, so I improvised a large wooden “spoon” to attach to the end of my Dewalt drill. To keep things fair, the same spoon was used in each bucket, but it was wiped off with a common house towel between applications. Yeah, there could be cross contamination, but do you really want that to be your first post on this subject? So, each bucket got a solid 3 minutes of swirling and twirling to get the salt mixed with the water. May not sound like a lot, but you stand there in 31 degree weather watching a wrist watch for three minutes while you spin water and salt together... LOL So now all the buckets had the same “mix” time. These pictures are taken one hour after the mixing and you can see each bucket is clearly labeled with product and date to keep things on the up and up. That should be good enough for store bought testing. Revision Two: These Mora knives don’t float. I was under the impression they did, and I know that some versions do float, these however do not. So, I can’t have all four knives at the bottom, sitting in rock salt because what if one landed on it’s side and one landed on it’s spine and I could just hear the interwebz arm chair testers crying foul, so I made a simple little suspension device to keep all four knives floating in the salt water substance. As you can see here, this is some classic engineering that involved some popular sandwich bags and some Gorilla tape. It has been said that few problems in this world can not be solved with an adequate application of duct tape or C4. I prefer Gorilla tape, but the same thought process applies. Day one: All four knives are floating in their new home. Each has been treated with as best as I can estimate an equal amount of the substance that will be protecting them except for the plain control model. Covered them up, put them in the corner and will check them in a day or so and document with date stamps for those following at home. Let’s see who protects and who falls short.