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If unlocking your padlock feels more like a wrestling match rather than the brisk movement that it usually takes, it's time for you to lubricate it. Don't worry because we've searched the net for the best recommendations when it comes to lubricating your lock.
It is best to use dry lubricants for your locks so that they can offer longer protection and won't cause more dirt and grime to cling to your locks. Look for these most recommended products by lock experts:
- Lock Saver Synthetic Lubricant
- Long Item Development Triflow Lube
- CRC Dry Graphite Lube
- 3-in-1 Dry Lube for Locks
- B'laster Industrial Graphite Dry Lubricant
Continue reading to know more about these products and how they'll help you out of your sticky situation with your padlock. We'll also tell you whether you should be using oil and WD-40 oil on your lock.
Are Oil And Lubricant The Same Thing?
We often use these terms interchangeably, especially when talking about lubricating. It's time to know the difference between the two.
While they are both used in lubrication, there is a difference when it comes to their application and, therefore, where they are suitable to use.
Oils are poured into something that you want to grease or moisturize. After this, they'll instantly do the job. They are more suited to use for larger objects or systems such as a chainsaw or engine. Thus, we have engine oil, chainsaw oil, transmission oil, and the like.
On the other hand, lubricants are liquids that can penetrate into small spaces and loosen the stuck parts in the process. That's why they are best used for smaller tools such as locks.
Examples of lubricants are the silicone spray which is made of silicone, and the Teflon spray that's made of PTFE. The manner of application is spraying or attaching a thin straw so that you can reach tiny spaces.
Since we're talking about lubricating our padlocks, the right product to use is a lubricant so that they can get into the small and narrow slots within the lock.
What Is Best To Lubricate A Lock?
Sometimes, dirt, dust, grime, and other small particles in the air find their way inside the lock, causing it to become sticky and hard to operate. This can be frustrating, especially if you're in a hurry to retrieve whatever is inside the compartment.
According to lock experts, it is time for you to clean and lubricate your locks when they get sticky. Yes, locks need maintenance, too! They are exposed to different elements aside from the wear and tear caused by constant usage.
When it comes to lubricating your locks, experts recommend that you use dry lubricants. These are more effective because they will help you get rid of the dirt, and they won't leave an oily residue on your lock, which will only attract more unwanted particles and cause the same problem all over again.
Here are the five best lubricants for your locks:
Lock Saver Synthetic Lubricant
This lubricant is best to use for squeaky and sticky locks because of its highly refined ingredients. It is easy to apply as it comes with a thin straw that you can insert into the narrow areas of your locks. It also gives dry and non-oily protection on the surface.
Long Item Development Triflow Lube
This is a high-performing lubricant that will make your locks work smoother and quieter for a longer period of time. It is also safe to use on metal and won't leave stains on the surface.
CRC Dry Graphite Lube
This is a dry film lubricant so it won't invite grime and other particles to stick on the lock's surface. It is easy to apply and dries fast. It even leaves a dirt-repelling barrier so that the lubricatrion will last for a long time.
3-in-One Dry Lube for Locks
This premium lubricant acts fast to loosen sticky locks. It can be used 2 ways - attach a straw or spray on the surface. It also dries quickly and won't attract more dirt to accumulate on your lock.
B'laster Industrial Graphite Dry Lubricant
This graphite dry lubricant works effectively on locks. It forms a quick-drying film and ensures long-lasting lubrication. It also protects your lock from further wear and tear.
There you have it. It's best to always have these lubricants on hand to help you in maintaining your locks so that they will be in good working condition all the time.
How Do You Keep A Padlock From Sticking?
Padlocks help you protect your home and belongings. But in order for them to be effective, you have to take care of them properly.
Part of your lock's maintenance is to clean and lubricate it regularly. Dust, dirt, and even contaminants in the air tend to accumulate inside and outside the lock over time. These will cause friction and make the lock difficult to use.
Don't worry because it's so easy to perform this task. Just have your trusted lubricant on hand and then follow these steps:
- Spray a small amount or a few drops of lubricant into the key cylinder and on the shackles of the lock.
- Allow the lubricant to make its way deep into the keyway. You can also tap the lock on the table to help distribute the lubricant in the inner components of the key cylinder. This will help loosen those sticky parts.
- Insert your key into the cylinder. Use it to remove the dirt and grime inside the lock.
- When you take out the key, wipe off the dirt using a rag or paper towel.
- Repeat the process of inserting and removing the key to be able to remove all the dirt inside.
- When the key finally comes out clean, you're done cleaning and lubricating the keyway.
- Wipe off excess lubricant in the shackle and key.
- Let it air dry before you use it again.
We recommend that you perform this maintenance task at least once every six months or even sooner when your lock is frequently exposed to elements.
Can You Put Oil In A Padlock?
Oil, especially cooking oil, is handy and usually used as a quick fix for sticky locks. You just rub some oil in your key and insert the key inside the lock cylinder. Keep turning the key inside the lock to be able to grease the inside portion of your padlock. This should make it easier to use the lock.
However, it isn't the best solution for fixing your sticky locks. Oil tends to harden over time, and it is also a magnet for dirt and grime.
It is still recommended that you use dry lubricants so that dirt and other contaminants in the air won't cling to the lock's surface. This is the most effective way to lubricate your padlocks.
Is It OK To Put WD-40 In A Lock?
When it comes to cleaning and lubrication, WD-40 is one of the most popular choices because of its versatility. It can be used for various applications at home, such as taking off gum from clothes and removing paint on the tiles. It can also be used for bikes and cars.
However, when it comes to cleaning and lubricating locks, you shouldn't use this particular product. While WD-40 can get the job done initially, it will also attract dirt and grime into the lock, which will cause it to become sticky again.
WD-40 is a petroleum-based product, so when you apply it to your lock, it leaves an oily residue on the surface. Dirt and other contaminants in the air will cling to the lock thus, causing the same problem in a short amount of time.
Also, the WD in WD-40 stands for water displacement. It is excellent for removing moisture and oil, but in the process, it can also get rid of the existing lubrication on your lock. This will only leave your locks drier, more prone to sticking, and, therefore, difficult to use.
Can You Use Powdered Graphite In A Padlock?
Powdered graphite is another popular lubricant. Locksmiths have long used it to lubricate locks. However, it may very well be a thing of the past. With the different effective lubricating products that we now have in the market, it isn't advisable anymore to use this on your locks.
The main reason why locksmiths turned to other products for lubricating locks is that graphite powder is messy to use. It is hard to put inside the lock cylinder. As a result, it can make the carpet or tables dirty or even leave unsightly stains on their surfaces.
Also, it's hard to control the amount of graphite powder used. As such, some people tend to put in more powder than needed, and as it combines with the dirt and grime inside, it contributes to the problem of having a sticky lock.
This is why locksmiths now prefer other lubricants that are just as effective in moisturizing the surfaces but are easier to apply without the mess.
Use only dry lubricants on your locks so that you can do away with sticky situations for a long time. Products such as Lock Saver Synthetic Lubricant, Long Item Development Triflow Lube, CRC Dry Graphite Lube, 3-in-1 Dry Lube for Locks, and B'laster Industrial Graphite Dry Lubricant will get the job done effectively.
For more information about padlocks and another type of lock, you may read the following posts: