All You Need to Know About Air Tool Oil (For Best Performance)

If you use air tools in your workshop, like for example a nail gun, you know that they require regular maintenance to keep them running smoothly. If you have read my article about nail gun maintenance , you know that using oil is important, and even more important is using the right kind of air tool oil.

However, with so many types of oil on the market, it can be quit difficult to know which one is best for your air tools. That is why we wrote this article, “All You Need to Know About Air Tool Oil.”

In this in-depth guide, you will discover all you need to know about oil for air tools, including what it is, why it’s important, and how to choose the right type of oil for your air tools. Above that, you will get some pro-tips for both using and storing air tool oil. That way, you can get the most out of your tools and keep them in top working condition.

Disclosure: At zero cost to you, I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. I earn from qualifying purchases as an Amazon associate. Products featured are selected based on quality, performance, and reputation, regardless of affiliate relationships.

What Is Pneumatic Air Tool Oil?

Pneumatic air tool oil is a specialized lubricant that is specifically designed for use in pneumatic air tools, such as nail guns , impact wrenches, ratchets, and drills. Pneumatic air tools use compressed air as their source of power, and the air that powers these tools can be very dry and abrasive.

Over time, this can cause the internal components of the air tools to wear out and break down, leading to reduced performance and shortened tool life.

All You Need to Know About Air Tool Oil - Makita Nail gun maintenance with air tool oil
All You Need to Know About Air Tool Oil – Makita Nail gun maintenance with air tool oil

What Is Air Tool Oil Used For?

Pneumatic air tool oil is designed to lubricate the internal moving parts of air tools and protect them from wear and tear. It helps to reduce friction and heat, and prevents the formation of rust and corrosion, which can cause the air tool to fail. By using pneumatic air tool oil regularly , you can extend the life of your air tools and keep them running smoothly.

Why Is It Important to Use oil for air tools?

It is important to use nail gun oil because it helps to lubricate the moving parts of air tools and protect them against wear and corrosion. Without proper lubrication, the parts of an air tool can become damaged and fail prematurely, resulting in costly repairs or even the need to replace the tool altogether.

Additionally, using this type of oil can help to extend the life of an air tool and improve its performance by reducing friction and heat build-up. Using the correct type and amount of oil for air tools is essential for maintaining the health and longevity of your air tools.

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Can you use wd40 on air tools?

It is better not to use WD40 as an air tool oil substitute. When considering WD-40 as a lubricant, it is important to note that its low intensity may not provide the level of protection necessary for air tools. To ensure maximal performance and extend the lifespan of the tool, one should use a lubricant specifically designed for air tools.

Air tool oil vs 3-in 1 oils are not the same when it comes to lubricating air tools. Air tool oil specifications are specifically formulated to handle the high-speed and high-impact nature of air tool operation, while the other oil is a multi-purpose lubricant.

Additionally, before applying any lubricants to internal parts, the directions and recommendations of the manufacturer must be followed and the tool assuredly cleaned. Furthermore, over-lubrication should be avoided as this could disrupt proper functioning.

What Viscosity Is Air Tool Oil?

Viscosity is how a fluid’s resistance to flow is measured. It is often described as the “thickness” of a fluid, with high-viscosity fluids being thick and difficult to pour, and low-viscosity fluids being thin and easy to pour. The air tool oil viscosity is typically in the range of ISO 22 to ISO 32.

This means that it is a relatively thin to medium-thick oil, but also that this air tool oil weight will differ from other types of oil. That is why it is able to flow easily and provide good lubrication to the moving parts of air tools.

What Is Air Tool Oil Made Of?

Air tool oil is usually made from synthetic oil mixed with other additives. The specific composition of this type of oil can vary depending on the manufacturer and intended use of the oil.

Synthetic oil is a type of lubricant made from chemical compounds instead of crude oil. Synthetic oils are designed to be more stable and durable than conventional mineral oils, and are often used in high performance applications where lubrication is critical.

In the case of air tool oil, synthetic oil is usually used as a base because it flows easily and provides good lubrication to the moving parts of air tools. This can improve performance and at the same time protect the oil against wear and corrosion.

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Is Pneumatic Tool Oil the Same as Compressor Oil?

Air tool oil and oil for compressors are both types of lubricants designed for use in air-powered equipment. However, they are formulated differently to meet the specific needs of these different types of equipment.

Air tool oil

This type of oil is specifically designed for use in air tools, such as pneumatic drills and impact wrenches. It is typically made from a blend of synthetic and mineral oils, and may also contain other additives to improve its performance and protect against wear and corrosion. This type of oil is typically thin and volatile, which allows it to flow easily and provide good lubrication to the moving parts of air tools.

Compressor motor oil

Oil for compressors, on the other hand, is designed for use in air compressors. It is typically made from a thicker , more stable oil, such as a synthetic or mineral oil, and may also contain additives to protect against wear and corrosion. This oil is designed to lubricate the moving parts of an air compressor, such as the piston, cylinder, and bearings, and to help prevent overheating and other problems that can arise from excessive wear and friction.

The primary distinction between air tool oil and this oil is their viscosity and composition. Oil for compressors is thicker and more stable than oil for air tools , which is thinner and more volatile. To ensure optimal performance and longevity, use the correct type of oil for the equipment you’re working with.

What Is the Best Air Tool Oil?

When it comes to choosing the best oil, there are many different options on the market. Some of the best oil brands include Milton and Marvel. These brands offer the best oils for air tools , each designed to provide optimal lubrication and protection for different types of air tools.

In addition to choosing a reputable brand, it’s important to consider the specifics and capabilities of the oil you’re considering, such as its viscosity, composition, and performance characteristics. The best type of air tool oil for you will depend on your specific needs and requirements, as well as the type and condition of your air tool. For the best oil to use with your specific tools, always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.

The best air tool lubricants

I’ve included some examples of dependable and best types of air tool oil below. You can easily compare features and prices of these nail gun oils by clicking on the link below.


Only lubricating air tools, such as a nail gun, will not ensure a long life. I discovered that proper storage can make a significant difference. How Do You Store Nail Guns? Best Advice to Keep Them as New, is a lengthy article on the subject that you should definitely read and from which you will undoubtedly gain a lot of inspiration.

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