What Oil to Use on Wooden Knife Handles? | Oil The Right Way

Wood can become dry over time, no matter how you use it. Applying a few drops of oil to the handle regularly can make it feel better. Also, a slippery handle looks better because it brings out the natural wood pattern. Now, the main question is: What oil to use on wooden knife handles?

Let’s explore some of the best oils for wooden handles.

What Oil to Use on Wooden Knife Handles? | 4 Top Choices

Keeping your wooden knife handles healthy and beautiful is now easy with the right oil! Like we use lotion for our skin, putting some oil on the wood stops it from getting too dry, cracking, or losing its shine. But with so many best oil for wooden handles out there, it can be hard to pick the best one. Below are my top choices as per my experience:

1. Mineral Oil

This oil is on cutting boards and kitchen surfaces. It’s safe for knives and helps keep the blade from rusting


  • Food-safe for kitchen knives
  • No weird smells or tastes
  • Easy to apply and wipe off
  • Found in most grocery stores


  • Not great for outside knives

2. Ballistol Oil

Ballistol is a popular oil. It was first made for guns but now people like it for lots of things. You can use it as best oil for wooden handles, except if it’s painted. It smells like a pine forest; some people don’t like it, but others think it’s good as a cologne.

One good thing about Ballistol is you can put it on your knife to stop rust. It also helps take off tape from metal. It’s not written on the bottle, but it’s safe for food, so you can use it on kitchen knives. 

And if you want to keep leather soft, Ballistol works well for that too. So, it’s handy for keeping your knife and sheath in good shape.


  • Cleans, protects, and lubes wood & metal
  • Soaks in deep for lasting protection
  • Nice & light scent
  • Eco-friendly choice


  • Might darken some woods

3. Danish Oil

For woodworkers, Danish oil works wonders. It’s made with Tung oil and gets into the wood. After you put it on and let it dry, take a dry cloth and rub the wood. This brings out the natural patterns and, most importantly, gets rid of extra Danish oil. Don’t let it air-dry, or you’ll have a weird shiny layer. I noticed one good thing about Danish oil: it prevents the wood from drying out too fast after application.


  • Protects longer than mineral oil
  • Adds a shiny, water-resistant coat
  • Makes wood grain look amazing
  • Convenient maintenance


  • Needs good ventilation when using

4.  Boiled Linseed Oil

Here’s an old trick that works like Danish oil. Yes! Linseed oil for knife handles. Just put on a thin layer, let it sit, and wipe off extra oil. Don’t let it dry on the blade, though! That could make it stick like a weird coating, and that’s not good.


  • Perfect for outdoor knives
  • It soaks in deep and gets hard inside
  • Makes the wood color pop
  • Customizable finish


  • Smells strong (but fades)

Pro Tip: Test any oil on a hidden area of the handle first to check for reactions and desired darkening effects.

How to Oil Wooden Knife Handles?

How to Oil Wooden Knife Handles?

Applying oil to wooden knife handles is easy. Here are the simple steps:

  1. Use a clean cloth to put a bit of oil on the handle.
  2. Don’t use too much – just a few drops are okay.
  3. Let the wood soak up the oil.
  4. Rub the handle gently with another clean cloth.
  5. Now you can keep doing this until the wood can’t take in any more oil.
  6. It’s done when the wood doesn’t soak up any more oil.


What is the best oil for wood handles?

Popular choices include:

  • Mineral oil
  • Danish oil
  • Walnut oil
  • Linseed oil

How to oil a wood handle?

  • Clean and dry the handle.
  • Apply a thin coat of oil with a rag.
  • Rub it in well and wipe off excess.
  • Let it dry completely before using.
  • Repeat every few months for optimal protection.

What food-grade oil is good for knife handles?

Mineral oil, walnut oil, and coconut oil are all food-safe options. Choose mineral oil for the easiest and most affordable choice.

How to polish wood knife handles?

After oiling, use a soft cloth or buffing pad to polish the handle for a smooth finish. Be gentle and avoid harsh abrasives.

How to seal wood knife handles?

For extra protection against water and stains, apply a coat of beeswax after oiling. This creates a water-resistant barrier while adding a natural shine.

What oil should I use on wooden knife handles?

Consider your priorities: food safety, ease of use, protection level, desired finish, and cost. Then select the oil that best suits your needs!

Last Words

Now you know what oil to use on wooden knife handles? Just pick the right oil to maintain your knife health. Since each oils vary in viscosity, absorption rate, and protection level. Some oils penetrate deeply into the wood and nourish well. Also, it prevents drying and cracking. In contrast, others might sit on the surface and provide a protective coating. That’s why you should understand its properties for the handle’s condition and longevity.

The kitchen is the heart of the home, and a sharp knife is essential for any chef. We are dedicated to providing cooks and culinary professionals with the resources for excellence. Whether slicing, dicing, or julienning, our expert knife sharpening services can turn any dull blade into perfect condition.

Join us in our pursuit of culinary perfection.

Start your journey to culinary excellence with us!

Leave a Comment