Cleaner, lubricant, protectant, and penetrantbut does it really work?
As is the case with many magazines, at Practical Sailor, product samples regularly arrive out of the blue. And that's what happened not long ago when we received a 16-oz. can of Strike-Hold. Self-described as a "fast-acting penetrant," among other descriptions: "demoisturant, dry lubricant, etc.), this machinist's elixir is advertised to cut through "dirt, rust, carbon, and scale," to protect metal with a "shield-like film" that won't wash off.
That's a lot to claim.
According to Debra Huggard of MPH System Specialities in Venice, FL—the producer of Strike-Hold—it's all true. Huggard's husband Mike developed this substance expressly for cleaning and protecting the weapons used by general infantry soldiers in the U.S. military, but he soon discovered other uses. It's heavier than water, so unlike other lubricants ( WD-40, etc.), it won't float, but will move through to protect metal. It's reportedly harmless to plastic, and carries a dielectric strength of 38,000 volts, meaning that it would be a good protectant for most electrical connections. (The company has posted some compelling video footage on its website, including one segment of a man spraying an electric light with Strike-Hold and immediately dunking it in a clear bucket of water without the light shorting out.)
PS conducted a few tests of Strike-Hold. We first applied it liberally to a severely rusted lug bolt on a spare trailer tire. Heretofore, we had beaten on that bolt with much force trying to extract it, but to no avail. After 20 minutes, the bolt wouldn't release. We sprayed it again and waited overnight. Still no luck.
Then we took two zinc-plated machine screws, sprayed one with Strike-Hold and placed them both in a saltwater for a day followed by six days, in the open air. There appeared to be no difference between them except for a lustrous sheen on the one coated with Strike-Hold.
These tests are in no way conclusive, so we'll continue with others. If Strike-Hold can do all that it's advertised to, it would be a very useful tool for sailors. At $12 for a 16 oz. can (online at www.sailorsolutions.com), it's roughly the same price as competing products (Boeshield T-9, WD-40, etc.), so certainly worth a try.
Contact - MPH System Specialities, Inc., 866/331-0572, www.strike-hold.com.