If you have ever attached a wrench to a bolt or nut that simply would not budge, then you understand the value of penetrating oil. Besides moving rust from the threads on a bolt, penetrating oil is a low-viscosity lubricant known to clean and put an end to corrosion in tight places. With a wide variety of choices available, choosing the best one becomes a challenge. Our penetrating oil reviews and buyer’s guide will provide you with the information necessary to make a qualified choice the next time you purchase penetrating oil.
Top Rated Best Penetrating Oil Reviews
First introduced in the 1960s, Pipe Break Penetrating oil has been a go to solution for freeing up rusted parts and joints for half a century. Protecting against corrosion and displacing moisture are also impressive features to draw your attention. Pipe Break forms a protective film over parts to prevent friction breakdown of moving parts.
• Breaks down the molecular structure of rust so you can loosen seized parts.
• Creates a thin film to protect parts from friction breakdown and corrosion.
• Attached straw and aerosol delivery allows you to use it with precision.
• Does not have a powerful odor.
• Leans toward the pricey side.
• Aerosol pressure tends to be weak.
A product that is the most recognized by most do-it-yourselfers is WD-40. The WD in the name stands for water displacement, which along with its rust solvent properties, is the primary purpose of this product. When it comes to loosening a frozen nut or bolt, it’s pretty hard to beat this classic from the 1950s, because it is a powerful solvent.
• Quality rust solvent properties.
• Cleans grease and caked on debris.
• Does an excellent job of displacing moisture.
• Powerful aerosol with Smart straw for a precision spray.
• Priced to fit any budget.
• The dispensing straw is always a problem; it either leaks or gets clogged.
• When the Smart straw doesn’t work, you can’t use the product at all.
Anti-Friction Metal Treatment technology is behind the formulation of Prolong Super Lubricants PSL40020 Super Penetrating Lubricant. This penetrating oil was designed to lubricate and protect while displacing moisture and reducing rust. It is well suited for light-duty machining, tapping and as a drilling fluid. Its solvent properties are not quite as powerful as some formulas with this straight oil type.
• Corrosion protection and moisture displacement qualities.
• Effective as an anti-friction and anti-wear lubricant.
• Quality product used in various aspects of machining.
• Aerosol based with anti-gravity sprayer that works in any position.
• This product is not for those on a tight budget.
• Solvent properties for loosening seized parts are less effective than some.
The environmentally conscious will be thrilled with Moovit High Performance Penetrating Lubricant. This century old product displaces moisture while ensuring protection against friction and wear. Moovit will work with a wide variety of metals, alloys, plastic and rubber without damage while it cleans and protects. It is free of solvents and can be used for threading, tapping, drilling and lubrication of fine machines and tools.
• Environmentally friendly formula without solvents.
• Includes a 360 degree inverted spray valve for release in any position.
• Non-flammable formula (though the aerosol is flammable).
• Can be used on multiple types of parts without damage.
• Does not break down rust as quickly since it has no solvents.
• There is no precision delivery system included.
The performance of Penetro 90 Penetrating Oil from Schaeffer Manufacturing provides solid performance when it comes to loosening seized bolts and joints. It helps to prevent threads from stripping and protects against the buildup of corrosion. Its super-low viscosity allows it to penetrate into the tightest spots to work its magic.
• Super low viscosity allows for deep penetration.
• It is oil based, but includes power solvents to break down rust.
• Quality water displacement makes it a good choice for providing protection against corrosion.
• Has a long-lasting effect on the parts it treats.
• Moderately expensive.
• Requires a larger amount of product to produce the desired results.
A powerful penetrating oil for eating rust is found in Gasoila’s Deep Penetrating Oil formula. This product is loaded with solvents to get rid of grease, tar, lead, graphite and carbon deposits. It does a great job of breaking down rust in order to loosen seized parts and joints. This formula does not contain silicones, which makes it safe for use in paint and shop environments. Along with its solvent properties, this product does a decent job of displacing water and providing lubrication in tight places.
• High quality solvent properties make it ideal for breaking down rust.
• Low viscosity allows it to penetrate into tight spots for lubrication and corrosion protection.
• This formula contains no silicones.
• Affordable to most budgets.
• A single treatment does not get the job done and it has to be applied multiple times to see results.
• The precision delivery of this product leaves something to be desired.
3-IN-ONE Professional Garage Door Lubricant is a feature-rich formula that reaches well beyond lubricating garage doors. This company has been in the lubricant industry for more than a century and has continued to develop quality products. It is specially formulated to prevent sticking of hinges, chains, rollers, pulleys and tracks. You get a fast drying formula without residue, which protects against corrosion and friction wear.
• Silicone based lubricant with a quick drying time without residue.
• Works great at lubricating in tight places.
• Smart straw system is built into the unit and delivers product with precision.
• Water displacement qualities prevents corrosion.
• Non-solvent formula.
• Affordable for all budgets.
• Not as effective at breaking down rust for loosening seized parts.
• If the Smart straw system becomes damaged you are out of luck, there is no way to use the product without it.
Kano 24HP Lubricant Penetrating Oil 8 Ounces
Kano Kroil Lubricant Penetrating Oil is a celebrated champion among penetrating oils. Kano Labs is a leader in the industry and provides a high quality performance when it comes to breaking up rust deposits to loosen up seize parts and joints. Its super low viscosity allows it to penetrate into crevices as small as 1 millionth of an inch where it can dissolve rust quickly. The solvents included in this formula work to clean all sort of corrosion, grease, carbon and other forms of buildup. Water displacement and corrosion protection are also features of this product.
• Very effective at deep penetration into tight places.
• Works more quickly than most formulas when it comes to dissolving rust and corrosion.
• Effective at water displacement and corrosion protection.
• Industrial strength penetrating oil that you can use at home.
• Does not include a precision delivery system, so it is sort of spilled on the area rather than directed at it.
• A little bit over the average price range.
Penetrating Oil Buyer’s Guide
Just because penetrating oil is on the label or absent from the label of a product it does not mean that you are getting exactly what you are looking for. Consequently, a better understanding of the various features and benefits of oils labeled as penetrating oil is necessary. To help clear up any confusion, we’ve assembled a list of questions and answers to help make choosing the right product easier.
Why do you need penetrating oil?
A variety of applications benefit from the use of penetrating oil. The most common is loosening rust or corrosion that has built up between two metals. However, penetrating oils are often used as cleaning agents, to prevent future corrosion, and as short-term lubricants. Certain materials will see damage from various types of penetrating oil, so knowing which type to use for various situations is also important. Another factor included in why you need a certain type of penetrating oil is related to how the oil will react to heat or flames. Consequently, you need to consider the purpose for which you want to use the product before reaching for penetrating oil.
What are the various types of penetrating oils?
Most users are only familiar with a limited number of the various types of penetrating oil. There are actually three different types of penetrating oil. Each type is used in various capacities and has advantages and disadvantages. Here is a closer look at those three types:
• Emulsion or Water Soluble Penetrating Oil. Fluids with a high water content are contained in these types of penetrating oil. In addition, they tend to be further diluted in water, leaving their concentration levels below 10%. They are used on the types of materials that will see damage if any of the other types of penetrating oils are used.
• Synthetic and Semi-synthetic Penetrating Oil. These are produced from synthetic or semi-synthetic compounds like esters, diesters, silicone, polyglycol and various mixtures of synthetic fluids and water. Fire resistance is the greatest benefit of this type of penetrating oil, but you will pay more for it.
• Straight Oil. This type of penetrating oil is produced from petroleum oil and base minerals. They are used without dilution and often contain polar lubricants like vegetable oil, fats and esters. In addition, they sometimes have sulfur, chlorine or phosphorus as additives. They are used to lubricate machine parts.
What are some of the features to look for when choosing penetrating oil?
Along with choosing the right type of penetrating oil for the right materials and applications, knowing what features to look for as you compare various brands is important. Here are some of the features to consider in your comparisons:
Viscosity and Lubricity
The internal friction of various fluids uses viscosity as its standard of measurement. Highly viscous lubricants, which have a higher level of internal friction, are not able to penetrate into or through anything because they are too thick. Very low viscous lubricants, with a lower internal friction, can accomplish deeper penetration into tighter space because they are thin. Consequently, the extremely low viscosity of penetrating oil allows it to work into tight crevices in order to remove rust and corrosion or to lubricate areas with minimal space between components, such as door hinges.
Temperature tolerance and fire resistance are another important feature to consider as you compare brands and formulas. If you intend to use penetrating oil near flames or for high temperature situations, like drill bit lubrication, you will want a product with a higher temperature tolerance. This feature is commonly found in synthetic and semi-synthetic penetrating oils.
Ease of Use
Applying the penetrating oil to the area where you need it is a major factor in its use. If you are unable to deliver the lubricant with precision, there is apt to be a great deal of waste, along with frustration because it is not meeting your objective. When comparing brands, consider its delivery system and whether it will be easy to use on the application for which you need it.
There are plenty of toxins being released into our environment on a regular basis. Those who are environmentally conscious will want to take a closer look at the contents of various types of penetrating oils to determine the toxicity level of the ingredients included in its formula. There are environmentally friendly lubricants available in all three types of penetrating oils, which are eco-friendly, but still perform as required.
You can never escape the adage, “you get what you pay for.” Penetrating oils are no exception. Those with the highest quality of ingredients in their formula, as well as the best delivery systems, tend to more. In addition, formulas that are especially designed for a specific purpose will also tend to cost more than those with a broader range of purposes. Look for brands and formulas that achieve your objective at a price that agrees with your budget.
What are some common uses of penetrating oil?
Loosening rusty bolts and nuts are not the only uses of penetrating oil. In fact, penetrating oil achieves three different purposes, including moisture displacement, lubrication and protection. Parts and components to which they are commonly applied include:
• Air tools
• Electrical terminals
However, its use goes beyond these application as well. Firearms, sewing machines, fishing reels and drill bit performance are additional ways in which penetrating oil is used to lubricate, protect and displace moisture.
When it comes to removing a rusted nut from a bolt, penetrating oil becomes invaluable, but its other uses and the various types available make it a great choice for fighting corrosion, lubricating tight places and cleaning as well. Our reviews and buyer’s guide have allowed you a closer examination of the various penetrating oils available. With the information provided, you will be able to make a qualified purchasing decision next time your reach for penetrating oil.