Choosing the Right Cutting Oil

Choosing the Right Cutting Oil

During metal machining, the heat can damage both the cutting tool and the work piece if the right kind of cooling doesn’t take place at the cutting edge. In order to select the best oil, you need to gather some basic information relevant to the selection criteria.

For purposes of simplicity, you need to know the metals in use, and consider the predominant machining operations at first. New machines, changing environmental concerns, machine types, tooling specifics all combine to limit the effectiveness or applicability of the cutting oil


In most cases, aluminum, brass and iron alloy which are common materials and easy to machine with general-purpose oils. But some of metals are more difficult to machine than others, e.g., stainless steel, tungsten steel, nickel alloy and very hard metals demand a very high level of performance from the cutting oil.

In short, there are many kind of cutting oil that we can chose, but it may not necessarily be suitable for each metal. For instance, cutting oils (containing active sulfur) should not be used for brass and aluminum, as they will stain or tarnish the finished parts.

Machining Operations

Easy machining operations (turning, forming, drilling, milling, etc.) can be performed at higher speeds and require high levels of cooling. The milder operations can be performed with lower viscosity of cutting oil.

On the other hand, difficult machining operations must be run at lower speeds. Oils designed specifically for the most difficult operations, like thread-cutting or broaching, are generally higher in viscosity and loaded with additives like active sulfur and chlorine.

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