CRC 3-36 Multi-Purpose Lubricant and Corrosion prevention

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Review by newwoodbutcher posted 05-31-2017 08:11 PM 5419 views 4 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
CRC 3-36 Multi-Purpose Lubricant and Corrosion prevention No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Granted we don’t have major moisture or rust issues in Southern California but untreated metal still does rust here.
For the rust prevention process in my shop the first few years, I used Camellia Oil to prevent rust on hand tools and cast iron surfaces. It worked “OK” and it was expensive (about $15.00 for an 8 oz bottle). It went a long way but still. I used it dutifully with a kind of cool applicator that came with the first bottle I bought. Still there were these seemingly insignificant rust stains that kept showing up, especially on chisels and planes that weren’t used very often. I tried 3 in 1 oil, used it for a good while with basically the same results as the Canola oil. I read that woodworkers raved about using furniture wax to prevent rust, so I tried that for about a year. For me wax didn’t work as well as either of the oils. I read somewhere that wax could trap moisture underneath. A machinist friend recommended CRC 3-36 Multipurpose lubricant that displaces moisture and prevents rust. I bought a gallon from Amazon for $30.00 a few years ago (3-4?) and it’s still over half way full. I keep it in a spray bottle and a on a couple of soaked rags kept in a small Tupperware container. I use the spray for plane irons and my cast iron surfaces, I spray it on pretty heavily then wipe down with a rag. I use the oily rags on chisels and other tools. This stuff is great! It smells pretty good, and forms a protective layer on the metal that feels dry to the touch. I just don’t have a rust problem anymore. So I thought My Lumberjocks buddies would like to know about this great product. I have no affiliation with the maker, just a happy customer. I recommend it highly. After 25 years of following advice and experimentation this is by far the best rust prevention product in my experience.

-- Ken

View newwoodbutcher's profile


813 posts in 3626 days

16 comments so far

View Rich's profile


5621 posts in 1365 days

#1 posted 05-31-2017 08:44 PM

Thanks for the review, Ken. I just added that to my wishlist on Amazon so I can include it with my next order. Compared to what some products sell for, $30 a gallon is pretty darned good.

BTW, do you know if the stuff in the jug is the same as what’s in their aerosol cans? I’m buying the jug, but was just curious.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View cmmyakman's profile


286 posts in 3432 days

#2 posted 05-31-2017 08:52 PM

I read in the August 2012 Fine Woodworking that compared multiple lubricants and this CRC came out on top. I purchased a dozen CRC aerosol spray cans from Zoro Tools, gave some of the cans away and have use the rest of them all of the time for a variety of purposes. I really like the CRC lubricant. I didn’t know you could buy a gallon. When I run out, perhaps in 10 more years, I’ll have to look into that, along with an empty spray bottle from Home Depot.

-- You can't fail if you don't give up.

View bobasaurus's profile


3633 posts in 3960 days

#3 posted 05-31-2017 09:34 PM

Looks really great. Does it rub off on wood and affect gluing/finishing?

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View newwoodbutcher's profile


813 posts in 3626 days

#4 posted 05-31-2017 09:39 PM

Yes I believe the gallon bottle is the same stuff as the spray can. I haven’t seen any finishing or gluing problems since I’ve been using it.

-- Ken

View wuddoc's profile


359 posts in 4494 days

#5 posted 06-01-2017 12:25 AM

NewWoodButcher good review.

I have used CRC 3-36 for decades. Like NewWoodButcher I was introduced to the chemical by a colleague who taught metal machining. The solution works into the metals grain structure and helps resist corrosion for 2 to 6 months depending on your location. All I do is rub it into the metal and let it dry over night.

For corrosion of older machined surfaces I apply the CRC 3-36 directly to the surface and place a Scotch-Brite pad under an orbital sander and abrade until the corrosion is reduced or eliminated. Be sure you have an apron on when you use the orbital sander method and dispose of used rags safely.

What I have found especially nice it does not spoil the machined wood when you apply a finish.

-- Wuddoc

View BurlyBob's profile


7619 posts in 3041 days

#6 posted 06-01-2017 02:45 AM

Thanks a bunch Ken. I’m always looking for a new product. This stuff sounds like a great addition to my arsenal.

View Hawaiilad's profile


3374 posts in 3797 days

#7 posted 06-01-2017 02:49 AM

Thanks for the good information. I have a big problem with rust here. I have used paste wax for years, but more and more it is not holding up. I doubt Amazon will ship a gallon to Hawaii, so I will have to look in the stores here.

-- Larry in Hawaii,

View Woodknack's profile


13395 posts in 3156 days

#8 posted 06-01-2017 07:53 AM

WD40 is $20 gallon at Home Depot.

-- Rick M,

View Woodtodust's profile


75 posts in 2613 days

#9 posted 06-01-2017 12:25 PM

Thanks for the review. Unlike SoCal we have a huge issue with humidity and the rust that results here in Southeast Georgia. I’ve tried lots of different products with mixed results. This could be the the one! I just added it to my Amazon wish list.

-- Bill...Richmond Hill, GA--"83% of all statistics are made up."

View HokieKen's profile


14069 posts in 1914 days

#10 posted 06-01-2017 05:03 PM

3 things there’s always a gallon of in my shop: Mineral Spirits, Simple Green and CRC 3-36.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View Quikenuff's profile


66 posts in 1645 days

#11 posted 06-01-2017 07:18 PM

Couldn’t agree more. Living in central Florida, I’ve tried them all, Wax, WD-40, Boeshield, dry film and more. None compare. I bought a gallon CRC 3-36 a year ago after going through a couple of aerosol cans.


View steliart's profile


2895 posts in 3464 days

#12 posted 06-01-2017 10:50 PM

Thanks for the review … cool !!!!!!!

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions !!!

View TexasOak's profile


18 posts in 2375 days

#13 posted 06-05-2017 12:55 PM

I use this stuff all the time. Living in Texas, I treat the beds of my large tools about every 6 months and the all the hand tools about once a year. I’ve never had it rub off or leave spots on my wood either. (just have to let it dry to the touch). It actually penetrates the metal and soaks into the pores (can take up to 48 hours). But I’ve not had rust at all since I started using this stuff.

It also works well at taking off rust and the best part is, once the rust is off, the metal is already protected.

View zzzzdoc's profile


567 posts in 3779 days

#14 posted 06-14-2017 08:06 PM

I use it all the time as well, in hot/humid Florida. I have nothing but good things to say about it. I’ve gone through 3 or 4 cans from Amazon by now. Use it on plane irons, and machines.

Needs to reapplied on occasion (I do it every month or so), and my rust issues are vastly reduced.

-- Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

View CyberDyneSystems's profile


306 posts in 2964 days

#15 posted 06-26-2017 07:23 PM

Thanks, I will be giving it a try!

-- Without the wood, it's just working

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