air tool lubricants

   / air tool lubricants #1  


Silver Member
Dec 20, 2003
Northwest Lower MI
Kubota Bx2230
I hope it's ok to post a question like this. I just purchased a impact wrench to use with my Kubota and other things. It calls for air tool oil for lubrication. Is air tool oil different than regular oil?? Also, the impact wrench came with instructions that are of no help to me. I see it has an dial on the bottom with the numbers 0-4 on it but I don't know how to set it. The wrench has a max of 380 ft pounds of torque and thats about all I know. As you can see I am new at air tools.

Thanks for any help. /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif
   / air tool lubricants #2  

We have always use power steering fluid once we ran out of the stuff that came with the gun. When I say power steering fluid, I DONT MEAN ATF, actual rack and pinion friendly pwer steering fluid.............

It is a good question because these tools can give you a good long service life if taken care of properly.

Just my 2 cents.

Take care

   / air tool lubricants #3  
Astor, air tool oil is a light weight, gum solvent oil. You can buy it at Wal-Mart, as well as most auto parts stores. A half teaspoonful at a time is plenty, but you can't hurt the tool by using too much; the surplus will just be blown out the exhaust. And the best way to protect the tool is to give it a shot of oil, then one quick burst of air when you finish using it and before you put it away. That'll replace any moisture and prevent corrosion. You didn't say what brand and model number you got, so I'm assuming the dial on the bottom is for reducing the tightening power when you don't want to overtighten something. On all the ones I'm familiar with, turning the dial down does not reduce the loosening power; i.e., reverse, but simply reduces the tightening power by partially closing the air intake, thereby reducing the volume of air going through the tool. Most mechanics never turn the adjustment down; they just give the tool a shorter burst of air when they don't want something too tight.

Now we're talking about air tool oil, which is applied through the air intake. I'll assume that your tool also has either an "oil" plug on the side (should be half full of 20W or 30W non-detergent motor oil) or it has a grease fitting (tiny ball bearing in a "dimple" either on the rear or on the side) that you grease with a needle nosed grease gun.
   / air tool lubricants #4  
I agree with the others.. the dial is probably a power control. My air ratchet said to use 'air tool oil' or 30wt non detergent motor oil. Go by what your manual says to use..

   / air tool lubricants #5  
my father always told me atf was as good as air tool oil, but we have had a can of air tool oil that has lasted for years anyhow, its available at auto parts stores and is as cheap as most any oil, i usualy just used atf tho when i couldnt find the air tool oil or when i was at a friends with my air tools and had forgoten the oil
   / air tool lubricants #6  

My Dad said the same thing about ATF. I think non detergent is the key..............Something about regular motor that will cause seals and other things to leak, detergent maybe?

Taker easy

   / air tool lubricants #7  
I use Marvel Air Tool Oil. Add a few drops before each use. Works for me.
   / air tool lubricants #8  
As far as air tool oil, I use Snap On IM6 in all of my stuff. Retailers like Home Depot should carry air tool oil also.
The 0-4 dial is an adjustability of the torque, roughly equivelent to 25% increments. Use the "4" setting for taking things off and the "1" or "2" setting for tightning with the final rundown with a torque wrench. Keep in mind that the 380 ft lbs rating is only accurate if your air compressor is capable of the rated SCFM at 90 PSI.
Now a note about sockets and extensions for your impast tools. Invest in some Impact tools, sockets and extensions with NO Chrome Plating, ususally black oxided. Chrome finish tools can have the chrome plating fracture when used on impact tools and the chrome plating becomes a rapidly rotating razor blade(s). This is especially common on cheaper, imported tools.
   / air tool lubricants #9  
</font><font color="blue" class="small">( I use Marvel Air Tool Oil )</font>

That's what I used mostly, too; got it by the quart when I was repairing air tools. Bottom line is that any oil is better than no oil. /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif I know folks who use Marvel Mystery Oil, instead of the air tool oil by the same company. I don't know why, but I've not known of any problems it caused. ATF works pretty well, too. Certainly nothing wrong with adding a few drops before each use, but adding them after each use is even better to prevent corrosion. Nearly all problems with air tools can be traced to: (1) corrosion from moisture, condensation, from the air line, (2) dirt or debris getting in through the air intake, (3) excessive air pressure, or (4) lack of lubrication.
   / air tool lubricants #10  
I knew this was a question tailored just for Bird (TBN Superstar) as soon as I read the subject. As always, great advice about oiling them after use.