Windmuehlenmesser Rust Eraser & Oil

Edible, biodegradable mineral oil to protect carbon steel knives. Never gets gunky. And the Windmuehlenmesser secret-formula rust eraser to bring the shine back on your knife. Made in Germany. (more info)

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  • Windmuehlenmesser Rust Eraser & Oil - Kaufmann Mercantile1
  • Windmuehlenmesser Rust Eraser & Oil - Kaufmann Mercantile2
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Windmuehlenmesser Rust Eraser & Oil - Kaufmann Mercantile

Like a cast iron pan, carbon steel knives need a bit of maintenance to keep them from rusting.

Ballistol Oil is a biodegradable, universal oil developed in Cologne, Germany, in 1905. Originally developed for the soldier’s rifle, Ballistol preserves and lubricates the metal of the gun, the wood of the rifle stock, and the leather straps and holsters. While it can be used on anything from guns to gardening tools, the oil works perfectly for protecting carbon steel knives from end to end.

Both the carbon steel blade and the wooden handle on the Windmuehlenmesser knives benefit from a bit of light oiling. Ballistol is an edible mineral oil, so it’s safe on knives. The oil makes a protective alkaline film on the surface of the blade, which neutralizes corrosive acidic residues, like hand sweat and lemon juice. Because of its low surface tension, Ballistol creeps into and protects even the tiniest microscopic cracks and fissures in the metal. Unlike other lubricants, Ballistol Oil is not subject to resinification, meaning it won’t build up and become gunky on the knife.

Ballistol will also nourish the handle, protect the wood from the effects of moisture and humidity, and bring out the natural beauty of the grain.

The descriptively named Windmuehlenmesser Rust Eraser is slightly abrasive and the size and shape of a desk eraser. The compound is made by Windmuehlenmesser using a formula they’d prefer not to divulge. The rust eraser will remove spots of rust or the dark patina to shine up the whole blade.

The 100 milliliter bottle of Ballistol Oil and the Rust Eraser are sold separately.

Use & Care

Ballistol Oil: For use on a carbon steel knife, put a few drops of oil on a soft rag and rub into the washed knife's blade and wooden handle before putting away. Ideally this should be done every time you use the knife.

Rust Eraser: If orange rust develops on the blade, rub the Rust Eraser against the spot as you would a pencil eraser. If the whole blade is due for a shine, rub the edge of the eraser in smooth, steady strokes along the length of the knife. The shadows of a few cosmetic stains may remain, but the Rust Eraser will remove both the corrosive orange rust and the protective dark patina to bring the knife back to its original shine. 

Production & Design

Ballistol Oil was developed by erstwhile lawyer Friedrich Wilhelm Klever and his chemistry professor son, Dr. Helmut Klever at the request of the imperial German Army. The company had been making oils for industrial use since 1874, and were prepared to take on the challenge of a universal oil that could be used from barrel to strap of a soldier's rifle, as well as for the treatments of minor wounds, sores and scratches.

Ballistol has been widely used in Germany, Austria and Switzerland for three generations. It can be used on metal, wood and plastics, and is beloved by hunters and hobbyists, and used throughout beer breweries and tool factories.

The formula for Windmuehlenmesser's rust eraser is a closely guarded secret, but rest assured that it is safe and gets the job done. 


Ballistol Oil
50 ml (1.6 fl oz), glass bottle with plastic screw top

Rust Eraser
Proprietary Windmuehlenmesser formula

Made in
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