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  • Do I need to oil my air tools?

    I recently purchased the Porter Cable pancake compressor from Home Depot that comes with three nail guns. I was told from a friend that I need to add oil to the guns so that they last longer.

    When I opened the box, there was no oil to be found. Is my friend losing it or do I need to go get some oil? I was thinking that since it was an oil-free compressor I didn't need to use oil at all.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    Chris

  • #2
    Re: Do I need to oil my air tools?

    Basic answer is yes. The compressor will wring the water out of the air and push it through your system. If you don't keep it oiled it will rust. There are automatic oilers you can buy, but I just spray a little into the end connection when I am done, reconnect it to the hose and cycle the tool to push the oil around the internal workings. You also want to make sure you drain the compressor of water when you are done.

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    • #3
      Re: Do I need to oil my air tools?

      I don't own the Porter-Cable nailers, so I suggest you look at your owner's manuals for specifics. I do have the Ridgid Straight Finish Nailer and Ridgid's Brad Nailer.

      With that particular brad nailer, oil is not required during use (perhaps the mechanism has a teflon or similar coating). But, the straight finish nailer definitely requires "air tool oil" and a small container was supplied. IIRC, the manual for the finish nailer states that a drop or two should be added via the air connection before each use. I presume that if I'm going to be using it a lot during the day, one should probably do the same, periodically.

      This really doesn't have anything to do with whether your compressor is lubricated or non-lubricated, as I doubt that there would be enough oil carried downstream into the system (using a lubricated compressor) to do the tool any good. Basically the operating mechanism of the nailer needs to be lubricated to prevent wear.

      As previously mentioned by the other poster, adding a few drops of oil to the tool's air connection will also provide some corrosion protection. But, your compressor should always be checked to ensure that condensation does not build up in the tank. As the air is compressed it will heat and condensation will occur. If the environment is humid, the condensate may be significant.

      Again check you manual for specifics, as too much oil can well blow onto the surface you are nailing.

      I hope this helps,

      CWS

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      • #4
        Re: Do I need to oil my air tools?

        Originally posted by krdomingue View Post
        Basic answer is yes. The compressor will wring the water out of the air and push it through your system. If you don't keep it oiled it will rust. There are automatic oilers you can buy, but I just spray a little into the end connection when I am done, reconnect it to the hose and cycle the tool to push the oil around the internal workings. You also want to make sure you drain the compressor of water when you are done.

        Spray a little oil into the end? Please tell me your not spraying WD40 in your gun? WD40 is like 70%(or more) Kerosene and will Eat the seals inside your gun.

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        • #5
          Re: Do I need to oil my air tools?

          I use this stuff, , Marvel Air Tool Oil 1-2 drops every couple of hundred nails/brads or when I put the nailers away if I shoot less. I get mine at Menards but Home Depot or Lowes should have something similar if they don't carry the Marvel.
          Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

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          • #6
            Re: Do I need to oil my air tools?

            Originally posted by BadgerDave View Post
            I use this stuff, , Marvel Air Tool Oil 1-2 drops every couple of hundred nails/brads or when I put the nailers away if I shoot less. I get mine at Menards but Home Depot or Lowes should have something similar if they don't carry the Marvel.
            yea thats good stuff too. few years back Bostitch sold gun oil by the gallon i bought several gallons hehe havnt had to buy any gun oil in a LONG time and a long time to come i think.

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            • #7
              Re: Do I need to oil my air tools?

              Originally posted by Arthur96 View Post
              Spray a little oil into the end? Please tell me your not spraying WD40 in your gun? WD40 is like 70%(or more) Kerosene and will Eat the seals inside your gun.
              I don't remember the brand of lubracant I use but it is not WD40 and not kerosene based.

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              • #8
                Re: Do I need to oil my air tools?

                I remember using ATF in air tools in the late 60s and early 70s.
                ---------------
                Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                ---------------
                “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                ---------
                "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                ---------
                sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

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                • #9
                  Re: Do I need to oil my air tools?

                  Originally posted by Bob D. View Post
                  I remember using ATF in air tools in the late 60s and early 70s.
                  heh how did the seals hold up with the ATF? i remember for a long time gun makers were under fire because of failures. it was like the cost of using them was that they didn't last long until they figured out that the oils used were eating the seals then they came out with gun oil for them that wouldn't eat the seals.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Do I need to oil my air tools?

                    All,

                    Thanks for the tips. Sounds like I need to get some oil specifically made for air tools and put a drop or two into the gun each time before I use it. I just hope it doesn't make it's way on the project I am nailing.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Do I need to oil my air tools?

                      Originally posted by cswatson98 View Post
                      All,

                      Thanks for the tips. Sounds like I need to get some oil specifically made for air tools and put a drop or two into the gun each time before I use it. I just hope it doesn't make it's way on the project I am nailing.
                      If you feel that you may have over oiled, just shoot a few nails/brands/staples into a piece of scrap before you start using the gun on your project.
                      Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Do I need to oil my air tools?

                        We have a wide variety of brands of nailers and until our latest purchase the owners manuals have always instructed that a few drops of oil be placed in the hose inlet connection before use each day.
                        We recently purchased the Porter Cable pancake compressor which came with four nailers. The MANUALS for three of them instructed that NO OIL be used. The pin nailer instructions stated that oil be used daily. Since the pin nailer was a "bonus" item included with the purchase I assumed it might be an older design that still required oil. We have been following the manufacturers instructions regarding use of oil and to date(admittedly only a few months) have experianced no problems. As others have stated, I assumed Porter cable had begun using internal components that were more corrosion resistent and decided to stop using oil to eliminate problems associated with it. I have not talked with Porter Cable so this is strictly a guess. For many years I was involved with companies supplying products used on pnuematic instrumentation lines in the oil production, pipeline and refining industry. Over the years we transitioned from instruments that required oil to eliminating that need as corrosion resistent parts were developed. Our engineers told us they eliminated oil because the inherent stickiness attracted dirt which caused binding of parts and actually increased the wear rate of some internal components. Just a guess!......Ray
                        Last edited by roadrashray; 05-12-2009, 09:55 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Do I need to oil my air tools?

                          No, you're supposed to air your oil tools.

                          J.C.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Do I need to oil my air tools?

                            Originally posted by Arthur96 View Post
                            heh how did the seals hold up with the ATF? i remember for a long time gun makers were under fire because of failures. it was like the cost of using them was that they didn't last long until they figured out that the oils used were eating the seals then they came out with gun oil for them that wouldn't eat the seals.
                            Oh yeah, I'm not saying is it best practice for a nail gun, but that is what was done back then by some (probably many) automotive shops. Now these were automotive impact wrenches, pneumatic hammers, drills, etc. from CP, MAC, Snap-On, and others, not brad nailers and the like.

                            The vanes in the air motors didn't seem to mind. And the air tool oil that came with the tool looked like ATF, if you put a drop of each side by side you couldn't tell the difference.
                            ---------------
                            Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                            ---------------
                            “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                            ---------
                            "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                            ---------
                            sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Do I need to oil my air tools?

                              I talked with Porter Cable technical service this AM regarding the "oil less" nailers we recently purchased. I was told the following........
                              1-The technology they use no longer requires oil and they state that longer wear and decreased problems result if oil is not used daily in the nailers.
                              2-If an owner experiances a failure and returns a oil less nailer for service, evidence of oil found in the nailer will nullify the warranty.
                              I asked him what the design engineering rationale was regarding the prohibition of oil use in these nailers. He stated he didn't know. I have sent an email to Porter Cable technical service asking that same question.
                              Stay tuned.....Ray

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