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Cleaning and lubricating.

June 18 2016 at 2:37 PM
TheCollectiveCuff  (Login mtht)

I want to clean my cuffs (modern styles and brands), I want to get any dust and gunk out of them, clean out any old lubrications, ensure they don't have water in them and lubricate them to protect them. What ever uses the least amount of items would be nice. I know WD40 cleans, penetrates, lubricates but it attracts dust and debris like a soup kitchen attracts homeless people in need of food.

So I would like to take care of my cuffs so that they will remain working. Currently all I have is WD40, 3-in-1 oil (which I am using currently), compressed air can, fine powdered graphite (which I only used one one pair of cuffs as a test since they were dry with no lubrication from factory).

So any product recommendations available on www.eBay.co.uk or www.Amazon.co.uk would be appreciated. So far I found ebay item ID: 201389601637 but I just have no experience with knowing what products/features would be the best to use.

Thankya kindly, in advance.

 
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Anonymous
(Login mtht)

Re: Cleaning and lubricating.

June 18 2016, 3:40 PM 

Preferably something that can be used on colored handcuffs as well as plain metal. I have read about mineral spirit (white spirit it is called in UK) but I do not know if it would evaporate quickly or if I could then soak in isopropanol to make the cuffs dry after washing quickly as possible. Or even if mineral spirit would be fine on color cuffs such as the ones shown on the other thread under this about Smith And Wesson weather shields.

 
 
Key Flag
(Login KeyFlag)

Re: Cleaning and lubricating.

June 18 2016, 3:46 PM 

I am not an expert in this aspect by any means, so please take this with a grain of salt.

I have found that if I am trying to clean out tight places (like single strand rivets) I tend to oil it liberally, work the mechanical workings, then use an air compressor with a, "blow gun tool," to blow the dirty oil out of the orifice, add more oil, work the mechanical workings, blow out the oil, and repeat until the oil comes out clean.

My thoughts are that when cleaning, any good penetrating oil will work fine.

When putting them up for storage, I have not yet found a favorite oil. Maybe someone with more knowledge and experience will be able to share their favorite storage-type oil.

These are my own personal opinions, and your results, of course, may very.

Respectfully,
-Key Flag

 
 
TheCollectiveCuff
(Login mtht)

Re: Cleaning and lubricating.

June 18 2016, 3:53 PM 

Thanks. I have no access to such hardware other than maybe a compressed air duster can but that would spew out Freon and who knows what else, so I am hesitant to try that. My original idea was to wash them in water, drown them in isopropanol 99.9%, work them outside so they quickly dry totally (I assume no water would be left after the isopropanol bath and a quick working of the mechanics outside) and then use some kind of oil. But I am just uncertain. I do not want to use some chemical that could tarnish the metal, corrode it like putting graphite powder on aluminum or chemicals on powder coated color cuffs or similar such things. So all advice will help from people who know these things.

 
 
Martin
(no login)

Re: Cleaning and lubricating.

June 18 2016, 8:07 PM 

I used wd40 and spayed then soaked redone this a fee times leavimg them over a fee hours then i got some 3in1 oil from b&q and soaked them in that for a night then just wiped off the remaining oil and job done cleaned them up real good. See you say you have these products but just thought id say it seem to work fine for me

 
 
Anonymous
(no login)

Re: Cleaning and lubricating.

June 18 2016, 8:37 PM 

I never recommend graphite is locks that cannot be pulled apart to be cleaned (ie Tower) is does build up and can get hard.

 
 
TheCollectiveCuff
(Login mtht)

Re: Cleaning and lubricating.

June 18 2016, 9:22 PM 

Martin Yeah. In my experience 3-in-one seems to be ok, but I am more concerned with effectively cleaning out all libricants so that I can freshly apply what ever is the best, or 3-in-one.

I only graphited one pair that came with no lubricant, as a test. I doubt I would want to use it in any others due to the potential mess it can make. Do you think isopropanol might wash it out so that I could transition to using oil instead? Or would isopropanol cause any issues on/in modern handcuffs?

 
 
Martin
(no login)

Re: Cleaning and lubricating.

June 19 2016, 3:53 PM 

Tfr trafic film remover this will remove any grime and will not evaporate like brake cleaner

 
 
TheCollectiveCuff
(Login mtht)

Re: Cleaning and lubricating.

June 21 2016, 3:00 PM 

Well I decided to risk trying IPA since I had that. I put some in a squeeze bottle with a nozzle on it and forcefully squirted it into the keyhole, double locking pins and windows, outer pawl rivet joints, right into the pawls all over, drowning everything several times. I used probably 175ml total and cleaned out all my cuffs. I believe I have most if not all the graphite out of the pair that has it and hopefully all the oil out of the others. I ratchet the arms and dig the teeth into my hand and I detect no greasy leftovers as I would normally expect to see.

I have some "3-in-one with PTFE" on order that comes in a little aerosol can that I am going to use. I have seen multiple references to using light oil with cuffs and using oil with PTFE, plus on rare occasions I have seen people recommend graphite or other dry lube like PTFE. So I am going to go with the 3-in-one with PTFE product because it seems to match all requirements.

If someone could explain what the difference will be with using the oil I normally use vs the version of it I have on order with PTFE (teflon) in it? How is it better? What does it do than just the oil it's self doesn't?

Thank you.

 
 
Vince
(no login)

Re: Cleaning and lubricating.

June 21 2016, 5:24 PM 

Here are the products I use, and the reasons I use them...


The SUPER RUSTED SHUT items get soaked in a container of a homemade mixture of 50% Acetone and 50% of the cheapest store brand automatic transmission fluid you can find. The more expensive ATFs have more detergents and friction modifiers which do not contribute to penetration). (an old timer taught me this trick and I don't know how I've done before without it). The mixture is flammable and should ONLY be used outside with proper ventilation. The Acetone will evaporate from the soloution and can be replenished as needed.

The SUPER RUSTED SHUT items that can safely be heated are held to a torch (Mapp or propane work the same) to several hundred degrees but not hotter, remove the flame, then spray the hot metal with WD40 and the oils will be wicked into moving joints by capillary action. The same physics are what cause solder to be pulled into a joint when sweating copper pipe. WD40 while also flammable, is pretty resistant to actually catching fire. WD40 is fair as a penetrant but sucks as a lubricant.

HEAVY cleaning and de-gunking is achieved with Mass Air Flow Sensor Cleaner. Everything you normally use brake parts cleaner for but MAFS cleaner is safe for almost all plastics and will not be eaten by it. This dries VERY fast. Very flammable, use with caution!

General cleaning is with a product called "Houdini", excellent ability for flushing light particles of dirt or metals. It is actually sold as a light lubricant and once flushed, the item only needs wiping off of excess with a rag or paper towel. This is what I use for locks or cuffs that I handle frequently as there is no oily or greasy residue left behind. It has a pleasant orange scent, does not dry my skin and is also safe for almost all plastics. I use this especially for cuffs with plastic overmoulds like ASP or the Hiatt ultimate or speedcuffs. Will not shine or polish plastic surfaces when wiped off. Kinda hard to find, but if nothing else it is just plain COOL to lubricate your cuffs with something called "HOUDINI".

I use Triflow spray for almost everything that needs lubrication, it has EXCELLENT lubricity properties, does not dry sticky unlike wd40 which is actually not a lubricant (W=water D=displacement 40=40th formula). It will easily shine plastics and paint but will not harm either, this is not always a desirable trait, however as a lubricant as it's designed, it really holds up even after years of disuse. Teflon base in light carrier oil. VERY heat resistant but somewhat flammable until dry. I have not run into any issues with use on any brand of colored cuffs. Available at good bike, lock or gun stores. ABSOLUTE WONDERFUL STUFF!

Locksaver spray made by a company called MIL-CoMM. It is an OK lubricant that dries to a dry, and I mean DRY film. It's best use is on locks made of white metal (pot metal) and aluminum cuffs and locks as it fills in the microscopic pores in the metal thereby resisting wear in plugs, cylinders and locking dogs. Kinda hard to find, but it has it's place as described above. I have heard it has salt-spray resistive properties, but I have not personaly tested this. Leaves slight white residue on cardboard boxes cuffs come in.

The ONLY cuffs I use powdered graphite on are Korean made with silicone linings. The graphite is inert and can in no way harm the silicone. (playing it safe rather than sorry with these). Graphite gets a bad name due to ignorance. It MUST be stored in a DRY environment as it absorbs moisture from the air even through it's plastic tube. The secret to using it is "if you see it, you've already used too much of it". Most people squeeze the tube like they're pumping up a blood presure cuff. If it's dry enough just shake the tube with the cap on, some will become airborne and you simply need to point the tube skywards, open the cap and hold the tip to whatever you are lubricating. The "graphited air" will disperse upon to your item. That's all you need. Any more than that will clump together and behave more like molasses than it will lubricant. Not very good if you live in a humid or salty air locale.

ANY good brand name gun oil would protect cuffs or locks especially if you plan to leave them in storage for long periods of time. They generally get sticky over time but does quite well at resisting rust and corrosion.

Blacked cuffs are actually a form of Iron Oxide which is a type of rust as it is. Over-polishing or cleaning can alter the finish, some of the best info on the subject can be found on gun websites and forums. I own several pairs of blacked cuffs and noticed slight color changing from especially skin oils.

I was never fond of silicone sprays for locks or cuffs as it always has a slimy feel even after being wiped down, also attracting dirt and dust is not desirable to me.


Hope this helps someone,

--Vince


. Copyright 2016 .

 
 
Anonymous
(no login)

Re: Cleaning and lubricating.

June 21 2016, 7:12 PM 

"WD40 is fair as a penetrant, but sucks as a lubricant".

Couldn't have said it better myself! wink.gif WD40 is best at what it was truly designed to do, namely: displace water, then act as a solvent to dissolve rust!!


 
 
Howy
(no login)

HOUDINI Aersol

June 21 2016, 8:45 PM 

I got HOUDINI aerosol spray cans and sold them at the Magician and Escape Artists Convention in Indy, at the Crossroads pf America Lock Show.


McDonald Locksmith Supply, Inc.
5767 E Shelby Drive
Memphis, TN 38141

Hours: M-F 7:30am to 4:30pm (CST)
Time in Memphis - 19:39pm

Tel: 800-238-7541
901-797-8000
Fax: 901-366-0005


Give them a call, their catalogue is not accessible unless you register.

I have been dealing with them since ~1974.

Howy
Cincy

 
 
Howy
(no login)

Re: Cleaning and lubricating.

June 21 2016, 8:51 PM 

Lock Saver

Mil-Comm Products Company

PHONE 800-743-4518


https://www.mil-comm.com/industrial/lock-saver

Howy
Cincy

 
 
TheCollectiveCuff
(Login mtht)

Re: Cleaning and lubricating.

June 22 2016, 9:38 AM 

Vince, would you say the one you mentioned as "Teflon base in light carrier oil" be pretty much the same as my "3-in-one with PTFE" I have on order? Seems like that would be a light oil with teflon in it?

 
 
Howy
(no login)

Re: Cleaning and lubricating.

July 1 2016, 9:08 PM 

I got a flyer from McDonald Dash Locksmith Supply Company today.
800-238-7541

HOUDINI Lock Lubricant #11101 is listed as $4.98 each or $4.73 in a case of 12.

Howy
Cincy

 
 
sbd
(no login)

Re: Cleaning and lubricating.

August 9 2017, 2:32 PM 

If WD40 attracts dirt and ends up going gummy BUT it useful to displace water faster than natural leaving it for long enough, how do you eliminate the WD40 after it has displaced all the water so that you can use dry lubricant to prevent attracting dust and leaving gummy residue?

 
 
Howy
(no login)

Re: Cleaning and lubricating.

August 9 2017, 7:01 PM 

The WD-40 will evaporate, then the dry lubricant can be applied.

Personally I wash my handcuffs in the shower with bar soap, working the action, and let the shower jets blast out any dirt or grime.

Then I hang them open on the shower rod to dry ~5-6 hours, then lube with Super Lube.

3 in 1 oil works well as does sewing machine oil, just don't use WD-40 as a lubricant.

Howy
Cincy







 
 
Better Way
(no login)

Re: Cleaning and lubricating.

August 10 2017, 11:24 AM 

Howy, spend some $$$$$ and buy an Ultrasonic cleaner, such as:

http://www.tovatech.com/blog/617/ultrasonic-cleaner/ultrasonic-gun-cleaner-critical-for-officers

You'll be glad you did! BTW: I'm not partial to the above company, just "Google" handcuff ultrasonic cleaner ..........

 
 
Howy
(no login)

Re: Cleaning and lubricating.

August 10 2017, 12:03 PM 

Thanks

I got mine from Harbor Freight, for pistols.


Howy
Cincy

 
 
 
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