If you are starting to look at your machining options at your machine shop, then you may want to look at the cutting fluids used in addition to the machines themselves. Cutting fluids are ones that are essential when it comes to their ability to remove metal pieces during the machining process, and they also help to minimize the thermal radiation. Some fluids also encourage a much smoother and shiny finish. You will need to choose your fluids carefully, so keep reading to learn about a few options.


The vast majority of cutting fluids are made from some type of oil, and straight oils are used in cases where applications have low heat. This has to do with the poor cooling ability of both petroleum and mineral oils. However, the oils have a great ability to lubricate, and sometimes vegetable oils are even added to the oil mixture to enhance lubrication.

Oils are often used on their own without anything mixed into them, so they are best used in applications where only a small amount of the oil is needed. This allows for cost reduction, and if the oil is placed under a great deal of pressure, then there will likely be an additive mixed into it. There are a few different types that include phosphorous and sulfur.

While straight oils are common, you may also have the option of using soluble oils that can be mixed. These oils are typically formed into an emulsion with the help of water and they can be diluted quite a bit and retain much of their lubrication ability. These oils do have a greater cooling ability than straight oils, so they may be advantageous where cooling is required.


You may have heard the term synthetic when looking at your options for automotive oil. And, synthetics are available for use with machining equipment. Like synthetic motor oils, the cutting oils do not break down as quickly as organic oils and this means they are a good choice for long-term use. They also are able to minimize thermal radiation so they do have a cooling ability.

Semi-synthetics are an option as well, and these fluids are often a good choice if cost is an issue. They are a mixture of both straight or organic oils and synthetic ones.

If you want to know more about cutting fluids and whether a natural or synthetic oil would work best for your machine shop, speak with a cutting fluid specialist.