Best Lubricants for Locks

Best Lubricants-cover

Best Lubricant for locks

Which are the best lubricants to use in locks and why?

I get asked this from time to time and my answer depends on what application it’s being used for. Below is a general guide for using lubricants in common pin tumbler locks which is on most front entry doors.


I personally use Ezyglide for most of my jobs as it’s a non-oil based spray and is very easy to apply. Ezyglide needs to be applied more regularly than most other lubricants. I use it frequently, especially when picking open locks. I sometimes refer to it as Magic Spray as it makes picking locks easier.

Graphite Powder

This lubricant has been around for a very long time and I still consider it to be the best. The drawback with graphite is it’s hard to apply and you have more of it sitting in the bottom of the barrel than actually getting up into the pinning area where it’s most needed. The trick to applying graphite is to apply a little onto the top of the cuts of your key and then push it in and out of the lock a few times. If you puff too much of it into your barrel, sometimes your key won’t go in all the way and you need to scrape some of the graphite back out.

If you happen to spill graphite on your carpet, reach for the vacuum cleaner straight away and don’t try and brush it up. Believe me, it makes a big mess.


WD40, INOX or any Oil Based Lubricant

I always carry a can in my van as its great for lubricating  lock mechanisms (inside the lock body) and for breaking down grease, especially dried up grease which I sometimes come across in locks. I only use it in pin tumbler locks when I pull them apart to give them a good clean. I usually follow up with Easyglide to break down the oil as oil tends to attract dust and anything else that likes to stick to it.


Many years ago I used this product and found it a very good lubricant. This is because it contains Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE)  in which is more commonly know as Teflon. These day I stay clear of it because I don’t want to be exposed to the chemicals that Tri-flo contains on a regular basis.


Ezyglide is best for lubricating pin tumbler cylinders as it is easy to use and effective.

Graphite is more effective over a longer period of time but can get messy using it.

WD40 or equivalent is very effective but can attract dust over time. It’s probably the best for reducing wear.

TriFlo is effective but I prefer to avoid the vapours.

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