Found a new favorite knife (and maybe everything else) wax!


Forum Owner - Moderator
We don't often talk about it, but pretty much ever serious knifemaker I know doesn't use oil on their knives, they use wax. Of course there are a ton of products out there to choose from, each with it's own pros and cons. Without getting into a "wax war" about what's good and what's not, and with thanks to my pal Karl Anderson for turning me on to it......

It does everything that my previous favorite wax did, but this stuff is MUCH "harder" and seems to protect much better..... when I first got it, I put it on my daily carry folder (52100 blade), and after several days it's still beading/shedding water, or any other liquid that the blade comes into contact with. I'm anxious to see how it does on exotic woods!

Motor City Mike

Well-Known Member
Bowling alley wax!!! That makes perfect sense.

A bowling alley takes constant abuse but they always look clean and slick.

Thanks Ed. I'm going to order some tomorrow.
Ed...just got some a week ago! Pricey...but seems to be worth it. I'm hoping to use it as a finish on stabilized wood. Do you think that it would work for top finish on stabilized wood?


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Do you think that it would work for top finish on stabilized wood?
I'm hoping so! The only thing that worries me a bit is the solvents it contains..... one of the big reasons I rejected Briwax was because the chemicals in it caused certain woods, particularly dark ones such as African Blackwood, to look hazy/milky. I found the effect very bad on Cocobolo.... I can only guess that it's because of all the resin that wood contains. I would suspect the effect would be lesser, or even non-existent on stabilized wood... but then again, I've never seen any stabilized wood that was 100% stabilized (the stabilizing resin saturating comletely).

I've got a batch of knives on the bench right now that are bound for the Blade Show...... woods vary from walnut, to blackwood, to ironwood. I'll let you know how it works on those (non-stabilized).

One Armed

Well-Known Member
I guess I'm just not very serious, LOL! :D

I've never used wax. Typically I use the same gun oil on blades as my firearms. Vegetable oil for food prep knives. Maybe I'll try it out again.

This whole wax vs oil thing has popped up on firearms sites as well. I've been building firearms since 2005, right after the Clinton '94 AWB went bye-bye! Never seemed right to me. So I never took to it and just followed suit with oil on knives as well.

But then, I'm not a professional, er..I mean, I'm not a "serious" knifemaker. J/k (I'm sorry..:) last one!)



Forum Owner - Moderator
I was of the same mindset once....stuck in "this has always worked, so why change" mentality. After giving it an honest try, and finding a product I liked, it's simply a no brainer...... oil attracts dust, dirt, etc., wax does not. Oil rubs off, evaporates, or otherwise goes away quickly, wax does not. Oil protects for a very short term, wax protects for a much longer time frame.

Funny you mention firearms..... the only oil/grease that gets used on my firearms is on the internals, and even those get a coat of wax before any oil or grease is applied. Wax is particularly effective on my waterfowl guns...... they not only shed water and mud, but with wax, I don't get those "slowed" actions (auto shotguns) during extreme cold weather hunts as is often the case with oils or grease.

The difference between oil and wax shows vividly in my daily carry gun..... with oil and/or grease, it would be packed with dirt after a day of riding ATVs with my Mrs. in the mountains, and require a full tear down and cleaning...... after cleaning it and replacing the oil/grease with wax, I now pull the slide, and blow it out with shop air, and it's good to go. Like I said, it's a no brainer.

If you don't want to be a "serious knifemaker", at least be a sensible one! (sarcasm right back at ya!) :p

Ben Sellers

Well-Known Member
Ed, are you still liking the bowling wax now that we're a couple of months down the road? I'm thinking about going this route when I get done with my can of Ren wax.


Forum Owner - Moderator
Hi Ben!

I am! I gave away my can of RenWax long ago. Right now I'm using both the Mother's brand cleaner/wax, and the Bowling alley wax. The Mother's wax does a great job of final cleaning, with the added benefit of the wax. The Bowling alley wax finishes out to a HARD finish..... far harder then any other wax I've come across. I have learned that I prefer the Mother's wax for those handle materials that are affected by solvents (found in the Bowling alley wax). It's nothing earth shattering, but I've found that the solvents can affect the look of more delicate woods/handle materials. My advice with the Bowling alley wax is to test it on whatever handle material you're using, just to make sure it doesn't dull or streak it.


Forum Owner - Moderator
I do..... I rarely use oil or grease on anything to do with knives anymore. Wax (whatever brand/type you prefer) is just a much better option (IMO)...... it stays and protects much better/longer then oils, doesn't draw dirt and grit, and delays intervals of maintenance (don't have to apply it nearly as often as oil/grease).
I initially thought the bowling alley wax "pricey" or "spendy" for you
BUT....A little goes a lonnnnnnnng way with this bowling alley wax. And stays on if you buff it lightly with a soft clean buffing wheel.


Forum Owner - Moderator
I don't know what RenWax is going for these days, but years ago when I first bought it, I thought I was gona have to take out a loan! :) When I stumbled upon the Mother's Wax I thought I was in hog heaven...... then Karl Anderson turned me onto the Bowling Alley wax......... now I know just why a bowling alley smells the way it does....... the wax! :)