Author Options:

How do I "un-gum" a gummed up assisted opening pocket knife? Answered

I own a Kershaw Ken Onion assisted opening knife.  The blade had been oiled by an over-zealous individual (me) to keep rust at bay.  Now, however, the assisted opening is sluggish.  I am wondering if I should use mineral spirits to break down the oil and then wash if thoroughly to get the assisted open to be smooth again.  I don't want to make it worse, though.  Any thoughts?



Best Answer 8 years ago

I carried the same knife for years (several of them actually, as I misplaced a few) I always used very hot (almost boiling) water with a bit of dish soap. If it is really bad, they are fairly easy to take apart and clean more thoroughly. I lube my knives with dry graphite powder so that they won't pick up dust, but they are also always rinsed or at least wiped down after contact with corrosive things, like citrus juice.

Oh, and when the assist-spring broke, after repeated and prolonged exposure to saltwater and sweat (on the beaches and in the jungles of Central America, sand probably played a part, too) I contacted Kershaw about getting a new part, and they just sent me a whole new knife, for free. Excellent customer service.


3 years ago

i used very warm water, dish soap and a toothbrush to scrub the pivot part, works better then new!

To the best of my knowledge, Vaseline or pure petroleum jelly is about the only oil based lube that doesn't gum up over time! I use it on my guns and knives for storage!

Dismantle it for a thorough clean. You can also inspect for damage while it's apart. I use lanolin spray to lube my knives, it is good for metal, timber, plastic, leather, everything. (if you don't mind smelling like a sheep) I even waterproof my hunting boots with it.
I soak/clean knives in methylated spirits, then lube with lanolin. Do it regularly.

A worry is that any o-rings in there (if there are any) may have deteriorated if a wrong type of oil was used (like motor oil).

Try as others say, clean it, then use wd-40 (water displacement, formula 40) to dry it, then use a small amount of proper oil to lube it. Remember that wd-40 is 'not' OIL!

Just blast it with WD-40 or similar.


WD-40 will help un-gum it but over time will gum up again.  It's not a good permanent ap for a knife.  3in1 or a lite gun oil is better.  Even better is corrosion resistant gun oil.

.  Wash with soap and water, rinse well, dry thoroughly, and apply just enough light oil (eg, WD-40) to prevent rust.