Penetrating oil can help you loosen nuts, bolts, screws, etc. They do so by working their way through the tiniest cracks and seeping into the joint. The oil then displaces other materials, leaving a thin coating of lubrication as it seeps in.
But which is the best penetrating oil?
There are a number of options in the marketplace these days. Some are well-known brands, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the best formula for the job you need doing. That’s why we put together the below list of reviews of the top penetrating oils and keep reading, there’s even a helpful buying guide to answer all your questions.
We’ve done the research for you, so you can focus on getting the task at hand wrapped up. After all, the weekend is short enough.
So, let’s go through them and find the perfect penetrating oil for you…
- 1 Top 6 Best Penetrating Lubricant Product On The Market Reviews
- 1.1 1 WD-40 Multi-Use Product with Smart Straw – Best Mid-Range Penetrating Oil
- 1.2 2 Liquid Wrench L134-4PK Penetrating Oil – Best USA Made Penetrating Oil
- 1.3 3 Schaeffer Manufacturing Co. 0190-011S Penetro 90 – Best Penetrating Oil for Rust
- 1.4 4 KNOCK’ER Loose Solvent 13 OZ – Best Budget Penetrating Oil
- 1.5 5 Gibbs Brand Lubricant – Best Gun Oil
- 1.6 6 Royal Purple 05000 Maxfilm High Performance Multipurpose Synthetic Penetrating Spray Lubricant – Best Penetrating Spray Lubricant
- 2 Best Penetrating Oil Buying Guide
- 3 Before you go…
- 4 So, what is the Best Penetrating Oil?
Top 6 Best Penetrating Lubricant Product On The Market Reviews
1 WD-40 Multi-Use Product with Smart Straw – Best Mid-Range Penetrating Oil
One of the most recognized brands in the lubrication industry is WD-40. Their Multi-Use Product was formulated over 60 years ago, and it’s still one of the best. We think it’s a great option to keep on-hand for when the need arises.
What makes WD40 penetrating oil one of the best options?
There are a few reasons everyone seems to use WD-40. The main reason is it’s great for over 2,000 different uses. It lubricates, penetrates, and protects while at the same time removes and displaces moisture.
WD-40’s Multi-use Product is free from silicone, kerosene, water, graphite, and CFCs. This makes it ideal for just about any lubrication job.
In fact, it’s been dubbed a “toolkit in a can” due to its versatility. We would recommend this for everything from hinges to engines. It’s excellent for loosening up stuck tight alloy wheels, and that hedge trimmer you left outside. We’ve even been known to use it when running up our bikes.
But is it easy to use?
Yes, this is a super easy-to-use product thanks to its 2-way spray nozzle. It comes with a permanently attached straw that flips up to supply a nice tight stream. Or, you can flip it down to spray a wider area.
We like this new design as now there is no straw to attach or lose. It’s also handy that this formula can be used on rubber, wood, and a range of plastics. It prevents rust, keeps mud storm sticking, and helps loosen unflinching bolts and nuts.
- 2-way spray nozzle.
- Over 2,000 different uses.
- Free from silicone, kerosene, water, graphite, and CFCs.
- Lubricates, penetrates, protects, removes, and displaces moisture.
- Do not use on polycarbonates or clear polystyrene plastic.
2 Liquid Wrench L134-4PK Penetrating Oil – Best USA Made Penetrating Oil
Liquid Wrench is another manufacture of penetrating oil that has been around for generations. In fact, they’ve been making products to loosen your nuts for over 75 years. The formula L134 Penetrating Oil a great option for tradesmen, as well as DIYers looking to get shit done.
What is it designed for?
Liquid Wrench’s Penetrating Oil has been formulated to dissolve rust and to cut through grease. This makes it ideal for loosening those nuts, bolts, and screws that won’t budge. We would also recommend it for squeaky hinges and clamps that need their springs unfrozen.
It’s also ideal for use on locks. Latches and other frozen mechanisms will loosen up with an application as well. It’s even recommended for nozzles and hose pipe fittings.
Is it safe to use?
The L134 formula is 0% VOC and safe to use on painted surfaces, plastic, and PVC. It also has a low odor, so you won’t get a headache from a horrible smell. You can even purchase this in California, where everything is regulated.
We like that it’s proudly made in the U.S.A. The company is based in North Carolina, and they strike to provide consistent performance. We’d say this makes it one of the best penetration oils for rusted nuts.
- Dissolves rust and cuts grease.
- Low odor and 0% VOC.
- 50 state compliant.
- Great for stuck nuts, bolts, and locks.
- Made in America.
- Slightly more expensive than some other options.
3 Schaeffer Manufacturing Co. 0190-011S Penetro 90 – Best Penetrating Oil for Rust
Penetro 90 is produced by Schaeffer Manufacturing Co. It’s also known as formula #0190-011S. We like this option for those jobs that are truly stuck tight.
What makes Penetro 90 worth the price?
We know it’s not the cheapest option. Still, we’d recommend this if you have a job that is rusted over. The formula busts through rust and helps to prevent thread stripping.
It accomplishes this by lubricating each rust particle. This creates tiny ball bearing-like lubrication. The rust particles will more easily slide over each other.
Great for preventive care too…
The formula contains three rust and corrosion inhibitors as well. This makes it ideal for preventive care as it penetrates deep into the pores of metal. With a highly durable shield, your machinery, nuts, and bolts will be better protected against corrosion issues.
Moisture and abrasive particles are also sealed out by the formula. This means your bolt’s threads are protected for longer. In fact, this formula can last up to three times longer than the competition.
What is it made from?
This is not a solvent-based oil that evaporates quickly. Instead, this is an oil-based formula that can provide a light, clear lubricating film that will last longer. It even works in high-moisture conditions.
- Triples the life of hoist chains and sprockets.
- Safe on seal materials or coatings.
- Reduces friction and wear.
- Protects against moisture.
- One the expensive side of our list.
4 KNOCK’ER Loose Solvent 13 OZ – Best Budget Penetrating Oil
If you’re looking to take apart an old piece of rusted machinery, then you’ll want some Knock’er Loose. This is one of the best cheap penetrating oils we reviewed.
What’s it good for?
Knock’er Loose Solvent formula has been designed to creep into cracks, seams, threads, and joints. And it does so better than most of the competition. This means it’s ideal for use in disassembling machinery.
It’s also great for routine maintenance and emergency repairs of tools and equipment. No matter how rusted, corroded, or frozen your nuts might be, this formula will make the job easier.
Is it safe to use?
Yes, this formula is a Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) compliant. It’s also NSF H2 registered. This means it’s safe to use in meat and poultry plants.
Now, we will note that this is not as strong or as quick acting as other formulas reviewed here. Still, for the price, it’s a great option for quick jobs.
- VOC compliant.
- NSF H2 registered.
- Creep into cracks, seams, threads, and joints.
- Not the strongest formula.
5 Gibbs Brand Lubricant – Best Gun Oil
If you’re looking for the best penetrating oil for gun care, then look no further. Gibbs Brand Lubricant has been designed for just such a task. Plus, it’s great for a number of other tasks as well.
How long does it protect?
Gibbs claims that their lubricant will protect your piece for up to five years. It’s everything you need to clean and lubricate your firearm. There’s no need for other solvents, oils, or cleaners.
You know it’s good when you see it used everywhere. Military personnel, mechanics, body shops, and the police all use this regularly. It’s a great corrosion inhibitor and water repellent.
What else is it good for?
We would also recommend using this formula to prevent electrical connections from oxidation. It’s great for protecting your saw blades, drill bits, etc. to keep them functioning like new.
It can even be used to clean, protect, and preserve leather. Plus, it’s clinically tested down to -40°F. In fact, the only downside we could find is the cancer and birth defects warning on the can.
- Protect for up to five years.
- Corrosion inhibitor and water repellent.
- Tested down to -40°F.
- Prevent electrical connections from oxidation.
- Great for maintaining firearms.
- The label suggests you should be very careful while using it.
6 Royal Purple 05000 Maxfilm High Performance Multipurpose Synthetic Penetrating Spray Lubricant – Best Penetrating Spray Lubricant
The final option on our list is produced by Royal Purple. Their formula #05000 Maxfilm is a high-performance multi-purpose spray lubricant. It’s a great option for those in need of a synthetic spray lube.
Does it penetrate deeply?
Yes, it does go nice and deep. It also leaves behind a nice slippery film. That’s because Maxfilm has a high film strength to help you clean and loosen rusted parts.
It also will then help protect against wear, corrosion, and rust. This makes it as good at loosening rusted nuts, as it is at lubricating power tools, open gears, and more. It can even be used as a tapping fluid.
Have you ever heard of Synerlec Technology?
It’s an additive technology that makes Royal Purple unique. The additive works on a molecular level to improve the ionic bonds with metallic surfaces. This allows your engine oils to react with increased film strength and lubricity under heat and pressure.
What this means is that extended use can improve the surface condition of metallic compounds. It will smooth the surface, thus reducing friction. It’s all rather high-tech and modern, and we think it makes for a great product.
- Contains Synerlec technology.
- High film strength.
- Great for loosening rusted parts.
- Reduces friction and smoothes surfaces.
- Cost a bit more than some other options.
Best Penetrating Oil Buying Guide
Our reviews show that there are a number of good options available to help you loosen those rusted tight nuts. However, the best penetrating lubricant does more than just assist with stuck bolts. If you really want the best of the best, then you need to consider the following:
Penetration speed matters more than you realize…
Let’s face it; you don’t want to be sitting around all day waiting to complete a task you’ve started. There’s little more frustrating than waiting. That is why we suggest that you choose a penetrating oil that works quickly.
Now, it will take some time for any product to work its way deep into a rusted nut and bolt. The oil has to first reach and then react with the grime keeping things from spinning freely. This is why the speed at which a formula gets the job done is directly related to its thickness.
Penetration depth is related to the oil’s thickness…
For loosening rusted-tight fittings, you’ll want a thinner oil that can penetrate deeper. It has to work its way through minute cracks, almost seeping its way through. In fact, the really good formulas can seep into the pores of a metal’s surface.
This allows a film of lubrication to work its way deeper through any joint. In turn, you will get a greater effect, and the bolt, nut, or whatever you’re working on will loosen up more quickly. So, in effect, the speed at which a formula works is directly related to how thick it is.
Protection is another key consideration when choosing the best penetrating lubricant…
While one of the key uses of the products reviewed above is loosening rusted shut connections, it’s not the only important task they accomplish. Another great reason to use one of these products is the protection they provide down the road.
A good penetrating oil…
Will keep the connections from rusting over in the first place. Or, at least help keep it from advancing as quickly if applied to an already rusted bolt, nut, etc.
These products do this by keeping out moisture. As you know, moisture is the primary cause of rust, and it can become a major cause of deterioration to your vehicle, tools, and a lot more.
Penetrating oils also help you keep things clean and safe…
Many of the products above can also be used for cleaning surfaces. They are ideal for removing grease, as well as other grime that can build up on your machinery. In fact, some options above are even recommended for your gun cleaning kit.
This is because the oil seeps into the pores of the oil. This creates a film that rejects moisture and grime. In turn, this helps to keep the gun, or machinery running smoother longer.
Ease of application is also an important factor to consider…
Some products above are equipped with an easy-to-use spray nozzle. The ones that feature fine point straw tips allow you to efficiently direct the application. This is ideal for loosening individual nuts, bolts, screws, and the like.
Other options only offer a wide-angle spray or even come in a large bottle with nothing more than a pour spout. These are better used on bigger jobs, especially those requiring a wipe down. Like cleaning your firearm.
There are two aspects to safety to consider when choosing a penetrating oil. The first is related to the job. Some products reviewed above will react with specific materials like plastics.
This can cause some serious damage to machinery, and it’s an important factor to consider. We highly advise you choose a product that will not breakdown plastic, synthetic, or rubber seals and other parts. It’s no use causing further damage while trying to get the job done.
This is the main reason to make sure your penetrating oil can allows for a tight spray angle. Straws can be easy to lose if they aren’t attached to the can, but they are vital in providing a precise application.
The other aspect of safety to consider is your own health…
Well, and that of your family, pets, neighbors, etc. We may not realize it, but our modern lives tend to pump a lot of toxicity out into the environment. This is worth considering when choosing a penetrating oil.
We recommend one with no VOCs that will cause damage to both you and the environment. After all, no one needs another cancer-causing agent spread around the house, garage, or workshop. Do yourself and your family a favor, choose something that is environmentally safe.
Before you go…
You may also be interested in our reviews of the Best Carburetor Cleaners, the Best Automotive Paint Guns, the Best Motorcycle Cleaners, the Best Mechanic Gloves, and the Best Car Compasses currently available.
So, what is the Best Penetrating Oil?
You should now be ready to pick a formula and get to work. There are a number of great options, and each has its own strengths. And we are sure that our buying guide and list of reviews has helped you find the product you need.
But if you still can’t make up your mind, you’re not alone. It can be hard to pick the best of the best, but when we open our wallets we choose the…
It works fast, penetrates deep, and it’s one of the safer options to use.
Happy nut loosening.