I don't know if the difference is in the type of oil used or the solvent, or some other ingredient, but Watco and Deks D1 behave very differently.
Deks D1 can (and should) be applied wet-on-wet in multiple coats until the wood just doesn't accept anymore. Try that with Watco and you will wind up with a gummy mess, as well as a whole lot of gummy rags.
Where does the D1 go? Perhaps it is just drying out layer open layer on the surface of the wood, and maybe that is why it tends to have significantly more depth to the luster and why it seems to last longer. And D1 is pretty much completely dry within 24 hrs or so.
Watco even when it seems dry may continue to attract dirt for more than a week after application. I find this most noticeable after car topping my boats within a week or so of oiling the gunwales. Invariably the vinyl covered rails of my Thule rack will leave dark smudges where they contact the wood. This isn't just on the surface, it is down in the oil and you have to sand the wood to get rid of it.
It may well be that if one applied 6 coats of Watco oil each a week apart that one would get a similar depth of finish to Deks D1 but I have never tried it.
If you have only used Deks by applying one or two coats as you might with Watco oil, I don't think you can judge the results that can be obtained with it when applied according to directions.
Touring Kayak Paddles
Classic Freestanding Rack
Pull-Up Strap Handle Kit
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