What Is The Best Oil For Air Tools?

If you own air tools, you know that oiling them is important. However, as you browse different products, you might wonder which oil is best for your tools. To help you make the right decision, we have searched for the answers to your query.

Pneumatic oils that are mineral or synthetic based are best for air tools because they have low viscosity and do not build up, unlike other types of oil. Here are some of the best pneumatic oils that you may opt to use:

  • Marvel Air Tool Oil
  • Lucas Oil 10200
  • Super Lube 12004
  • Ingersoll Rand
  • Bostitch Premoil 200-Z
  • CLI-Syntec Premium

Read on to learn more about what makes mineral- and synthetic-based pneumatic oils suitable for air tools and what brands are popular. Additionally, we've listed some alternative oils you may use if you can't find the recommended products in your store. 

Close Up Of Car Mechanic Holding Air Impact Wrench Pneumatic Gun, What Is The Best Oil For Air Tools

Ideal Oils For Air Tools

Pneumatic oils allow your air tools to have less friction as their components move when you use them. That's why using a product that suits it is vital, as the wrong oil may have a different effect.

Mineral-based pneumatic oil is most commonly used with air tools. However, this type of oil evaporates quickly and has a high chance of clumping up, which may damage your tools.

Air tools

Meanwhile, synthetic-based pneumatic oils are more expensive than mineral-based ones. But they don't produce a sticky residue.

Here's a list of pneumatic oil brands you can use:

Marvel Air Tool Oil

The two most recommended Marvel oils are the MM080R 4 and the MM85R1-32. The MM080R 4 suits piston-type air tools best. In addition, it prevents rust from forming and eliminates the formation of a gummy residue.

However, it's expensive compared to other oils. On the other hand, MM85R1-32 is more reasonably priced.

These oils are suitable for piston-type, rotary, or air-tool types, so they are an excellent choice. Furthermore, they prevent rust from forming and protect against metal damage.

Click here to see this Marvel Air Tool Oil on Amazon.

Lucas Oil 10200

Lucas Oil's most popular product is 10200. It is more slippery than other oils, ensuring that your tools don't have too much friction. Additionally, it has a nozzle, so pouring oil inside your air tool's inlet is easy.

It also has a water dispersal agent, which decreases the chance of rust. 

Check out this Lucas Oil 200 on Amazon.

Super Lube 12004

This product is known for its anti-rust agents. In just a few uses, it will show its effects against rust. Additionally, it has a nozzle, making it easier to use for air tools, especially if you're a beginner. One drawback is that it corrodes against acid.

See this Super Lube 12004 on Amazon.

Ingersoll Rand

This brand is best known for its versatility. It isn't just used for air tools but also hydraulic ones. So if you're looking to save money by using an oil that can be applied to different tools, this one is for you.

Also, it provides rust protection and comes with an easy-to-use nozzle. However, snipping its cap can pose some difficulty.

Click here to see this Ingersoll Rand oil on Amazon.

Bostitch Premoil-200Z

This oil is non-detergent, so rest assured that it is pure oil. It also prevents wear and tear on your tools as it smooths them. A few drops will go a long way on your tools.

Unlike other oils, it doesn't corrode in acid and can be used in extreme temperatures. However, it can also produce sticky build-up over time and doesn't eliminate the possibility of damage or rust from water.

Check out this Bostitch Premoil-200Z on Amazon.

CLI-Syntec Premium

CLI-Syntec is relatively cheap for what it offers. A few drops can last for months, even with regular use. It also protects from heat and moisture. It works well against rust but not against acid.

Air Tool Oil Alternatives

Lubricant and Gears

If you can't find mineral- or synthetic-based oils, you can use other types of oils instead. Here's a list of what you can use as a substitute:

  • Automatic transmission fluid: This oil is a good lubricant for air tools. Additionally, it prevents wear and tear and is cheap.

See this automatic transmission fluid on Amazon.

  • Marvel Mystery Oil: MMO has a strong solvent, enabling it to lubricate pneumatic tools well. Furthermore, it's an excellent choice if your air tool has gummy residue inside because it dissolves it.

Click here to view this Marvel Mystery Oil on Amazon.

  • 3-in-1 oil: Petroleum-based oils like this one are not usually recommended for air tools. But because it is thin enough and doesn't produce sticky residue, it's safe to use. Note that they also make products for pneumatic tools.

Click here to see this 3-in-1 pneumatic oil on Amazon.

  • Motor oil: This can also be used for pneumatic air tools and is a good lubricant. But ensure that you use the 10W 30-low-weight synthetic motor oil. Only use non-detergent and paraffin-free ones, so the wax doesn't build up.

Click here to see this motor oil on Amazon.

Even though you can use these oils as alternatives, make sure that you check the manufacturer's advice on recommended oils to use with their tools.

How Do You Lubricate Air Tools?

air pneumatic stapler in hand

You should oil your air tools throughout the day or at least every time you use them. First, ensure you protect your hands with gloves and wear safety glasses. Even though lubricating an air tool isn't that difficult, you should take precautions.

Follow these steps:

  1. Check your air tool for any signs of wear and tear before adding the oil. This will help you to avoid leaks while lubricating.
  2. Pour the oil into the fitting. Turn the tool over and squeeze four to five drops into the fitting or inlet. 
  3. Squeeze the air tool trigger. Do this a few times, then put the tool in an upright position. This allows the oil to flow through the interior.

How Do You Maintain Air Tools?

Close Up Of Car Mechanic Holding Air Impact Wrench Pneumatic Gun.

Aside from lubricating, there are other things you should do to maintain your pneumatic tools. Here are some maintenance steps:

  • Protect your tools using a filter, an after-cooler, and a compressed air dryer. This prevents heat and dirt from damaging your equipment.
  • Never run the tools at the highest pressure setting. If you repeatedly run your air tool in the highest setting, it will break after a short while.
  • Properly store your pneumatic tools and place them in a clean location. Debris and moisture can clump the lines and fittings of your equipment. That is why you should cap its air inlets after use.
  • Check for dirty filters and vents weekly. If you find that there's dust blocking your equipment's airflow, clean your filters and vents to prevent the tool from overheating.

Can You Use WD-40 On Air Tools?

WD40. Anti-rust cleaner on a white background

Never use WD-40 for pneumatic tools because it is a solvent or cleaner, not a lubricant. Because of this, it won't smooth the run of your tools and may damage them.

WD-40 corrodes rubber sealants, so it isn't safe to use for air tools.

In Closing

The best oil choices for air tools are ones that are mineral or synthetic based. These oils allow your tools to work effectively while reducing the friction of their components.

The brands best trusted for this job are Marvel Air Tool Oil, Lucas Oil, Super Lube, Rand Bostitch Premoil, and CLI-Syntec Premium.

These products have individual strengths and weaknesses. You can also use substitute oils for pneumatic tools if you can't find any of the mentioned products.

Read these posts about oils or lubricants for other types of equipment for more information:

Should You Lubricate Garage Door Springs?

What Oil Is Best For A Craftsman Lawn Mower [And Does It Come With Oil]

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