I have a pair of 3-piece Sawyer PoleCat oars that have seriously stuck TiteSet connectors. I am using the official Sawyer TiteSet tool (not well made aluminum) and it is bending nicely instead of removing the TiteSet plugs. I removed both plugs from one oar by drilling a 1/2 inch hole in the plug, driving in a 1/2 inch chisel and turning the plug with channel locks on the chisel. Yes, these plugs were really stuck. The oars are brand new and never been in the water, but they were sitting in a fly fishing store for a long time. The cast threads in the shaft connector are damaged but still seem to work. The threads in the Duramax blade need to be cleaned up with a tap or bolt. The second oar has the same problem as the first. My question is: Is this a problem with the TiteSet connectors? Do the connectors degrade with age. Has anyone else had similar problems? Also, what should I lubricate the threads with? I have been on the phone to Sawyer for a week and sent 3 emails through their website without a response. I have three pairs of Sawyer wood oars and I have been using them happily for 20 years. I hope this is not a problem with the new counter-balance MX shafts that I just ordered.