We don’t have to tell you your cutting tools take quite a bit of abuse, especially in metal-cutting applications. That’s why it’s so important to use cutting fluids to protect and extend the life of your cutting tools. A good cutting fluid serves many purposes:
- It helps your workpiece maintain a stable temperature while cutting.
- It lubricates and protects the cutting tip of your tool.
- It helps prevent rusting and corrosion.
- It increases your safety and efficiency.
However, it’s also important to choose the right cutting fluid for your job. With so many choices, how do you know which one you need? To start with, you have a choice between lubricants or coolants to help your cutting tools perform at their maximum potential.
Lubricant versus Coolant
What’s the difference between lubricants and coolants, you ask? Great question! There is some overlap in how they function, but the difference is primarily in how they mitigate the heat caused by the cutting process. Excessive heat buildup can cause problems such as tool failure, oxidation or thermal expansion. Any of these problems create costly downtime.
Lubricants reduce friction, minimizing the amount of heat generated while cutting. The improved lubricity also reduces chip soldering and wear on the cutting tool.
Coolants absorb the heat generated in the cutting process, which protects both the cutting tool and your workpiece. (Pro tip: It also speeds up the cutting process so you can move on to your next project that much faster.)
Cutting fluids come in different types, such as aerosols, liquids, gels and pastes. A lot of them work for the same applications and materials, so your choice in some cases may be based on preference and convenience.
Paste: Hard-Kut Hi-Performance Metal-Working Lubricants are a thick paste formulated for the toughest metals. It comes in a squeeze bottle, jar or jug. Hard-Kut is ideal for drilling, sawing and engraving, among other demanding applications. The paste stays where it is applied, so it can be used in vertical and overhead applications. They also are safer to use because there are no hazardous ingredients.
Aerosol: Our Ultra-Cut 2 and Ultra-Cut Cutting Tool Coolant are both guaranteed to absorb heat and reduce friction while providing superior lubrication. Spray them exactly where you need them in drilling, tapping, reaming, threading, milling and machining applications. Ultra-Cut is great to use for all metals except aluminum.
Ultra-Cut Cutting Tool Compound is ideal for all metal cutting applications and produces superior threads quickly and efficiently. It prevents galling, flat ridges and distortion. The formula also clings to curved and vertical surfaces.
Liquid: Our Ultra-Cut Synthetic Cutting Fluid, available in a bottle or pail, can be used for different materials such as steel, iron, aluminum and brass. They are guaranteed to produce better finishes and cleaner cutting in addition to inhibiting rust and corrosion. The biodegradable, water-soluble formula is easy to clean up and reduces disposal hassles.
Ultra-Cut Gold Cutting and Tapping Fluid comes in a squeeze bottle, spray bottle or gallon jug. It can be used on virtually all metals and helps prevent overheating and dulling. It goes on clear, and it’s safer to use. It has no harmful solvents, odors, oils or silicones, so it’s better for you and your work environment.
Ultra-Cut Cutting Tool Compound is the same formula as our aerosol version, but this one comes in a can.
Gel: Ultra-Cut Gold Gel is ideal for working with all types of metal, including steel alloys, titanium, brass, aluminum and stainless steel. The clear formula won’t obscure the work surface, resists throw-off and doesn’t splatter, so there is less mess. This is a great option for metal removing and forming applications like cutting, drilling, tapping and reaming.
Stick: Stick lubricants are handy to keep in a toolbox. Roto-Kut is fast and easy to apply and provides superior adhesion. Ultra-Cut Gold Stick is ideal for grinding wheels and works well on all metals.