By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more
Forum sponsored by:
Forum sponsored by Allendale Jan 24th

Cutting / tapping oil

What oil do you use ??

All Topics | Latest Posts

Search for:  in Thread Title in  
Karl Tear18/04/2020 13:01:11
14 forum posts
11 photos


What is everyone using for tapping drilling lubricant ?

At work we use rocol but for a hobbiest. Any alternatives ?

I came across a product on ebay called trillion. Anyone used it ?


larry phelan 118/04/2020 13:17:02
719 forum posts
14 photos

Try buying Rocol these days, make sure you,re sitting down when you hear the price !

Johnboy2518/04/2020 13:23:55
259 forum posts
3 photos

Second that - Rocol (the brown stuff - smell a bit sulphurous)

colin brannigan18/04/2020 13:34:36
83 forum posts
16 photos

Trefolex and Dormer Super Cut are my choice


Alan Johnson 718/04/2020 13:35:08
84 forum posts
13 photos

A local machine shop recommended to me to use Canola Oil. AKA Canada Oil and Rapeseed Oil. It is biodegradable, therefore no disposal problems. It is very cheap, and available in the supermarket. I have used it, and it works very well.

IanT18/04/2020 13:38:58
1532 forum posts
144 photos

I've always used Trefolex cutting compound (the 'green' stuff) since first introduced to it at evening classes 20+ years ago.

I purchased a 500gm tin many years ago - and just keep a small amount in the little jam jars that usually come with cream teas (I do take the jam out first). I use it mainly for tapping and screw cutting (with dies) but also when hacksawing and reaming. It works very well - and is simple to apply by just dipping the tap in it - or wiping a little on other things with the end of a wooden tea/coffee stirrer (motorway service stations supply them for free in normal times). It 'flows' when warm and you don't need very much.



Chris Evans 618/04/2020 13:58:09
1661 forum posts

For tapping I use a copy of the Rocol the RTD paste made by Exol. It looks and performs the same, whilst tapping or using a die I also spray a tapping/drilling lube from a spray can which seems to ease the effort required.

Andrew Entwistle18/04/2020 14:01:37
77 forum posts
147 photos

+1 for Trefolex for hand tapping/cutting and Rocol RTD for machine work.


Andrew Johnston18/04/2020 14:12:12
5503 forum posts
647 photos

I try and avoid cutting compound for hand tapping as it's a PITA to remove from the hole and tap. But if needed for tough materials and/or large taps I use Rocol RTD. For machine tapping on the vertical mill dry or a squirt of WD40, especially for aluminium. Machine tapping on the repetition lathe uses flood soluble oil, simply because it's there.


mechman4818/04/2020 14:35:47
2663 forum posts
410 photos

I use RTD for tapping & threading generally, but have used WD 40 for aluminium ( Aloominum for our friends across the pond ). Do also use neat cutting oil as well on smaller taps & dies. As above there have been many alternatives where needs must, Lard, tallow cooking oil, ( IIRC I've seen somewhere someone used full fat milk.. ?? ) I have some Cetus 9 soluble oil for flood cooling but that has been relegated to a back shelf somewhere as it is extremely rare that I need flood cooling on the stuff I do. As for parting off I tend to stick to WD 40 or light hydraulic oil ( SAE 32 ) brushed on,suits me fine, horses for courses I s'pose.


Martin Cargill18/04/2020 14:35:56
135 forum posts

For drilling steel diesel fuel oil makes a good lubricant, and at the present time it is cheaper than it has been for some time. Be careful not to let it remain on your skin though as it can cause dermatitis

Steviegtr18/04/2020 15:31:35
1233 forum posts
115 photos

Machine mart do a 1 litre bottle. I found it very good. Smokes a bit though.


SillyOldDuffer18/04/2020 16:35:31
5782 forum posts
1230 photos

CT90 for steel, only because it's what my local emporium stocks rather than scientific selection. Bit pricey, but it seems to work better than DIY alternatives, and a bottle lasts ages.

White paraffin or WD40 for Aluminium. Diesel is too obnoxious for me!

Almost anything greasy or oily is better than nothing. The advantage of CT90, Rocol and Co is they contain high-pressure lubricants and are human and machine friendly. As cutting agents I've no idea if they're ten times as good or only slightly better than bacon fat, but at least they don't go rancid!


not done it yet18/04/2020 16:41:13
4647 forum posts
16 photos
Posted by Steviegtr on 18/04/2020 15:31:35:

Machine mart do a 1 litre bottle. I found it very good. Smokes a bit though.


I thought machine mart sold their own branded version, not this one? I don’t usually tap fast enough to make it smoke, but I suppose they will all will burn if heated sufficiently...

This one appears to be available over the net in a plain tin with no markings? Surprising, that?

Try it and see - they can supply as little as 50g...

I am using CT-90 currently.

thaiguzzi18/04/2020 17:22:37
696 forum posts
131 photos

Never found anything better than Rocol. Prefer the liquid to the paste for taps and dies.

David George 118/04/2020 17:29:31
1226 forum posts
415 photos

Try Kutamatic liquid is great about £13.00 a 500 Ml and lasts for ages.


SteveW18/04/2020 17:34:13
122 forum posts
11 photos

I just use a dab of grease especially in blind holes so the swarf is expelled but for what I do I think anything a bit oily works. Wd40 is convenient. I don’t worry...

All Topics | Latest Posts

Please login to post a reply.

Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of Model Engineer or Model Engineers' Workshop? Use our magazine locator links to find your nearest stockist!

Find Model Engineer & Model Engineers' Workshop

Latest Forum Posts
Support Our Partners
Eccentric July 5 2018
Allendale Electronics
Eccentric Engineering
Subscription Offer

Latest "For Sale" Ads
Latest "Wanted" Ads
Get In Touch!

Do you want to contact the Model Engineer and Model Engineers' Workshop team?

You can contact us by phone, mail or email about the magazines including becoming a contributor, submitting reader's letters or making queries about articles. You can also get in touch about this website, advertising or other general issues.

Click THIS LINK for full contact details.

For subscription issues please see THIS LINK.

Digital Back Issues

Social Media online

'Like' us on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter
 Twitter Logo

Pin us on Pinterest