Hmm. You seem to have misunderstood my entire point, Chuck. I was talking about using pencils only, as in the good old #2 pencils. A mechanical pencil works well too. No lubes. I am aware there are graphite lubes on the market, but that is not what I was referring to.
No worries, though. I'll be on my way now. Sorry for the advice.
I understood quite well. The misunderstanding seems to be on your part.
I have been aware of the pencil trick for some time now. Why do you think the pencil trick works? That's because you are putting a minute amount of graphite powder between the lock face and the lock bar and that miniscule amount of graphite works to reduce the friction between the two surfaces. Graphite reduces the friction between two surfaces because it has a low friction coefficient between it's molecules and that is the reason it works as a dry lubricant.
When using graphite(or pencil lead) to reduce friction between the engagement surfaces of a lock, the graphite is functioning as a lube(reducing the friction of a sticky lock thereby making it smoother). When the graphite is gone, you have to reapply, that is temporary in my book and hence to me, stopgap. Besides, I use my folders for food prep often and I don't want any more carbon with my food.
Out of curiosity, what foods do you prep often that do not contain carbon by nature?
Additionally, I believe you have additional misconceptions related to the subject of this thread. Hopefully this can be understood by your consideration of my comments here ... vs. your existing knowledge/understanding on the subject.
RE: "That is my opinion. You really can't argue with me on what my opinion is."
If your opinions are beyond reform, please simply disregard my entire post here as I do not make any attempt to be argumentative.
To the OP, and others of interest ...
In my personal experience pencil lead (carbon/graphite) many times helps to reduce lock-stick during break-in of a knife. Sometimes a single application is all that's needed, AND can be a permanent solution, sometimes 2-3 applications over time are needed over increasing periods of time between applications (please consider the last paragraph of this post as to why/how this may work). It is my guess that initially the graphite & wax/grease of wood-case "pencil-lead"
can work as a lubricant, long-term the ceramic/clay works as an abrasive to mate/smooth the surfaces. Sometimes a knife needs a little more physical help (removal of a bur on the face/edge of the lock-bar, cleaning of lubricants from the mating surfaces, etc., etc.) depending on the related specifics of the knife & specific issue.
Mechanical pencil lead
on the other hand; (many/most) are actually a polymer composite and can leave a polymer residue that increases/prolongs lock-stick. I have noticed it can leave a plastic like film that is bad in locks, pivots, etc. After initial application it seems to improve lock-stick, but BAD results over time though (my personal experiences). The polymer film that develops over time must be mechanically scraped from the metal to remove it, and can easily be overlooked if not previously experienced. On a bearing-pivot knife, this film can get into the bearing system and be even more problematic on cased-bearing pivot assemblies. I realise this is a bit off the subject of lock-stick, but relevant to my comments related to defining "pencil lead" (mechanical vs. wood-case) as used in this discussion and knife maintenance in general. BTW, as I have stated elsewhere there are also "other" types of "pencil lead" that can also be used but the specific composition & intended purpose of use must be considered.
RE: standard pencil lead
or wood cased ceramic lead
(wood provides the structural integrity vs polymer based lead). It is my belief that the reason standard pencil lead "can" effect a long term break-in solution to lock-stick is because of its composition (primarily a mixture of graphite, clay and grease/wax). The small and equally distributed amounts of clay (ceramic) works as an abrasive to smooth the mating surfaces against one-another over time. In my experience, all "pencil lead" is NOT created equal and may be on the reason some have better luck
with this method. Ignorance = variable/bad results much of the time that are many times misinterpreted by user.
Hopefully something of use, to someone of interest. These are simply my experiences, your mileage may vary differentially ;-)