padlock lubrication


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Old 08-16-18, 09:13 AM
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padlock lubrication

We have a set of eight padlocks that are all identical and use the same key. They are your standard size padlocks you typically see, the Master Lock laminated steel stacked plate design. They've been sitting unused in an outdoor shed for many years, all still work with the key but is obvious a little rust going on and they are a little not-very-smooth in operation because they could use some lubrication. Also, they will be used outside again as we are planning on putting them all back into regular use; often in rainy weather but not necessarily directly exposed constantly to water.

So there seem to be a dozen options as to what might be a good logical lubricant for these locks. Just use some regular WD-40 and call it good? Also have some new stuff called water resistant silicone lubricant (also WD40 branded). Seems like I've heard regular WD-40 can contribute to gumming up the mechanism, don't know if that's true or a concern with these padlocks. The silicone stuff might be okay but maybe silicone may not be the ideal lubricant for padlocks either. Any suggestions/comments appreciated.
 
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Old 08-16-18, 09:17 AM
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Liquid graphite is probably best but I normally use whatever I have handy - 3in1 oil or motor oil.
 
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Old 08-16-18, 10:36 AM
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I actually have some liquid graphite but doesn't that tend to get messy with getting that black stuff all over your hands/fingers when you handle the locks? I got 3-in-one handy too, and motor oil plenty of that. Guess I'll just go with whatever then and be done with it
 
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Old 08-16-18, 11:11 AM
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Having been setting around that long, I'd lay a piece of paper towel on the bench and thunk them on it a few times to see if any scale or whatnot came out. If a little bit did, fine, but if anything significant that's where I would use a spritz of WD40 inside to sort of flush out whatever is in there out, let them dry for a bit and go ahead with the liquid graphite. Yes, it can get a little messy if you get carried away, but shake it around a little bit, set them upright so any excess can drip out and they should be good for a long time.
 
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Old 08-16-18, 11:27 AM
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I'm a WD-40 and duct tape person. Many people scream "don't use WD-40 in locks only use powdered graphite" but I've been doing it for 40 years and on many, many locks. It works. It can be messy if you spray too much but that's about the only negative I've encountered. I've even had WD-40 free up stuck locks or ones that were difficult to operate.
 
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Old 08-16-18, 11:39 AM
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Great, thanks aka Pedro... will do. Thanks everybody for all replies!
 
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Old 08-16-18, 09:52 PM
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Keep in mind that graphite is a lubricant (and one recommended for locks) but WD40 is not; it is a water displacing material (it does have some lubricating properties but they evaporate rather quickly).

Your call, as you can make an argument for each type product with the environment you've described.
 
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Old 08-17-18, 12:03 AM
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Thanks stickshift, that insight is helpful to me also.
 
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Old 08-17-18, 02:46 PM
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If the locks are really grungy, you would ideally clean them first, then lube. I would use Liquid Wrench or naphtha (lighter fluid), to clean out the pin-tumbler cylinder, repeatedly wiping the key on a rag, then letting them dry out a day or 2, followed by re-lubing with a drop of oil (20W or higher) on the toe side locking dog, and a drop on the heel side shackle where it goes down into the lock body. More than a drop or 2 might find it's way into the cylinder, which should be avoided; thicker oils will get thicker with dirt and result in sluggish operation of the cylinder in time.

For the cylinder, I'd avoid graphite if they're going to get wet again; For years, locksmiths have been using Tri-Flow (sp?) and there are more recent penetrating petroleum-based wonder lubes that similarly will provide a thin film of lubricant for the pin-tumbler mechanism.

If our good buddy GlobalLocky chimes in, he will rail against WD40, equating it to strychnine poisoning.....I take a more moderate stance, only suggesting that if you do use it, you will have to re-apply it frequently, because it's long-term lubricating qualities are nil
and once the fluid completely evaporates, the pins will start to stick.
 
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Old 08-17-18, 03:03 PM
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Ok plenty to realize and consider, that's for sure. Thanks for the additional expert advice. Glad I inquired (I think).

Guess I'll just go with whatever then and be done with it
Or maybe not...
 
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Old 08-22-18, 08:28 PM
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Talking

Indeed......when the discussion turns to lubrication, whether for locks or for automobiles, there will be no shortage of opinion
 
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Old 09-06-18, 09:14 AM
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WD-40 was specifically designed by pre-NASA scientists at the request of the city of Houston when a huge flood, submerged thousands of vehicles in the flood plain. At the time, it would have cost millions to tow all the vehicles out of the flood plain. The city of Houston wisely asked scientists from the Mercury space program to "come up with something to help them"

Scientists developed WD40 to displace water (WD stands for Water Displacement) and dry out the points so gasoline could be run through the carburettor to drive the submerged vehicles out of the floodplain.

I think it is a fabulous product as designed. It is designed to dry out wet metal. That it also provides a temporary lubricant is a bonus, however.... as it dries out, it attracts dirt, dust and grime and effectively "gums" up workings.

Use it at your peril - I love the product because it continues to make me money in ongoing repairs for customers who have been conned by a nitwit with their head up their ****.
 
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Old 09-06-18, 09:41 AM
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If our good buddy GlobalLocky chimes in, he will rail against WD40
Yup...

I for one appreciate the info, thanks!!
 
 

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