I've been trying to oil the handles of my condor bushlore to protect the wood from moisture. However, I notice that the knife's leather sheath absorbs all the oil off the handle within a few hours. I've been using olive oil so far.

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    Have you tried not putting it back in its sheath for a day or so to let the wood absorb more of the oil?
    – Rory Alsop
    Dec 17, 2022 at 8:58
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    ... And then giving it a good wipe (following @RoryAlsop's comment). But olive oil is unlikely to be the best choice. Wood is often oiled with a drying (polymerising) oil like linseed. Olive goes rancid and sticky eventually. Walnut oil is sometimes used on absorbent wood
    – Chris H
    Dec 17, 2022 at 16:17
  • Thanks both -- I tried leaving it out of the sheath for a couple days, but it always gets re-absorbed. To Chris's point, perhaps olive oil is just not a penetrating oil. Will buy some Tung or linseed oil and test it out. Dec 17, 2022 at 19:18
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    While Olive oil might not be the best, I have used it for years for thing such as knife handles, axe handles, wooden bowls/plates/spoons, ... Going rancid was never an issue.
    – fgysin
    Dec 19, 2022 at 8:55
  • @fgysin thanks -- did you ever have an issue with the sheath absorbing all the oil? how long did you leave it out to dry? Dec 19, 2022 at 17:04

1 Answer 1


Not sure what type of wood you have, but Tung oil dries and works well with many types of wood. I use it on my axe handle and other woodwork. Get the good stuff from a wood working supply shop, not the cheap stuff at local hardware stores.

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    Other drying oils are linseed, poppy, or (IIRC) walnut. The first is the most common and cheap choice where I live. An interesting alternative I've used for tool handles is biodegradeable chainsaw bar oil. Dec 20, 2022 at 12:50

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