With so many moving parts in the shop, it takes quite a bit to keep it all running smooth. We keep a few key lubricants on the shelf to make sure there is a always an oil or grease close at hand when we need to get rid of that squeak, loosen a rusted tool, or just get something back to like new performance. There are plenty of items in the shop that need a bit of routine lubricant to keep them running their best. Here is a look at what I keep on my shelf to keep everything moving.
1. 3 – In – 1 Oil – This standard use oil is great for anything that needs just a bit of lubricant. The lube is fairly viscous so it penetrates well into hinges, threads, and gears. Great protection against rust build up on metal parts. Get It Here $4.00 This also works well to keep metal drill bits cool and smooth when drilling into metal.
2. WD-40 – Yes, of course this makes the list. I remember my grandpa had a can of this on his shelf in his garage, and we’re sure yours did to. This solvent drives out moisture, helps unstick rusty parts, and just plain works. It’s a very runny oil though, so watch out when applying to areas where drips can get messy. Get It Here $7.50 And don’t put it on your bike chain.
3. Dry Lubricant – This non-greasy product doesn’t leave a residue that dust and grime can build up on. I use it on padlocks, door knob mechanisms, and interior hinges. While it won’t last as long as the 3-In-1 lubricant, it’s a lot less messy and makes it what I grab for anything over carpet or areas where I don’t want to build-up grime. Get It Here $7.00
4. General Purpose Grease – This is the grease I use in my hand pump grease gun. There are plenty of uses for this multi-purpose grease from trailer wheel bearings to a dab on gears or threaded rods. I go for a straight lithium or lithium complex grease with a 150 – 220 viscosity for general purpose use. Get It Here $12
5. Bit and Blade Lubricant – A while back, we wrote about cleaning your saw blades. I use BladeCote to give all my cutting edges a boost and it makes a noticeable difference in performance. If you work with wood, you need this lubricant. (I use Glide Cote for silky smooth surfaces). Get BladeCote Here $20 and GlideCote Here $25
The Tools – Most lubricants come in their own cans, but there are a few simple tools to have when you want to get the grease where it needs to go.
1. Grease Gun – Don’t worry about getting fancy with battery or air powered models, a simple hand pump gun is all that is needed for routine work. Get a gun small enough to easily fit into tight spaces, with a hose long enough to reach in and plug into joint ports. Get it Here $25
2. Precision Oiler – This small pen-sized oiler fits in a chest pocket for a bit of focused oil in a portable package. I have a small plastic version that I have refilled with 3-in-1 about 4 times this year. I keep it in my top apron pocket most of the time. Get It Here $10
Here’s a simple project to keep that gun clean and well organized: