Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tips & Tricks- Rub Candle Wax on your Machetes and Axe heads for a durable, water resistant coating

In the photo below: Water beaded up on the surface of a Cold Steel 13" Kukri Machete (left) and a Wetterlings Forester's Fine Axe (right) that have been coated with wax from a paraffin candle. 
(click to enlarge)

For a durable, water repellant finish on your machetes and axe heads, try rubbing a common paraffin-wax candle on them. The wax stays on longer than traditional protectants like gun oil, mineral oil, or petroleum jelly, plus, it won't rub off inside your pack or sheath as easily as traditional oils do.

TIP: It isn't necessary to coat all of the metal with the wax to do this. Just cover most of the surface and rub it in with your fingers. The wax rubs on easily, and once on, provides superior wet weather protection.

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About the author
Jason Schwartz is the founder and senior editor of Rocky Mountain Bushcraft. He is a former Red Cross certified Wilderness & Remote First Aid Instructor, and has taught bushcraft and wilderness survival techniques to the Boy Scouts of America, interned with the US Forest Service, and studied wilderness survival, forestry and wildland firefighting at Colorado Mountain College in Leadville, Colorado. Jason has also written for magazines such as The New Pioneer and Backpacker, including writing the "Tinder Finder" portion of Backpacker's "Complete Guide to Fire," which won a 2015 National Magazine Award (NMA). Email him at rockymountainbushcraft @ (without spaces)


  1. Nice tip. Yeah wax is about the best for it's durability. Plus it never hurts to have a candle in the pack to aid as a fire starting device. Especially in wet conditions.