Pneumatic Oil Uses & Facts


Commonly used in pneumatic systems, pneumatic oil works specifically in air-powered tools and applications due to its nature of being easily made airborne. As a result, the oil can work as a lubricant in air-pressured valve and cylinder setups, air compressor motors, and similar mechanical assemblies.

How it is Used

  • Pneumatic oil works as a lubrication additive in a pneumatic tool or tool system. Because the clearances inside such tools are so tight and are activated by air pressure, conventional lubrication such as grease does not work. Instead, pneumatic oil is used due to an ability to break it down to a molecular level and make it airborne. This low viscosity benefit allows the oil to then move along with the pressured air between the tool parts and lubricate them properly, reducing friction between the parts. The oil supply in the tool can either be handled through a reservoir with an automated distribution pump or by manually applying drops in the tool parts. Any extra oil that travels with the air is ejected from the tool or machinery while in use.

No Compatibility with Normal Oil Needs

  • Pneumatic oil does not work very well in normal lubrication applications such as automotive lubrication, mechanical grease, or general machinery applications. The same benefit that allows pneumatic oil to work in air compressed systems (viscosity) also causes it to break down too easily under any kind of mechanical wear or temperature. As a result, pneumatic oil should never be used as an grease or oil substitute in heavy machinery or vehicles.

Care in Use

  • Due to the atomizing nature of pneumatic oil, it can cause irritation on bare skin (typically the hands working with a pneumatic tool repeatedly). The oil can enter skin pores and cause irritation. The best way to avoid this problem is to wear gloves when handling the tools, wash hands regularly with soap, change out gloves and work aprons regularly, and take showers at lunch breaks and after work. These steps remove a significant amount of pneumatic oil residual from exposed skin.

Types of Tool Applications

  • Pneumatic oil typically comes in one grade and can be applied in a variety of air-driven tools. This includes vegetation chippers, reciprocating equipment, automotive mechanic tools such as tire lugnut drills and tire inflation units, most kinds of air motors, and similar machines. The product can even be used in brewery applications for bottling and canning.

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