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Buying Guide & Reviews Top 10 Best Penetrating Oil for Stubborn Rusted Bolt & Nuts

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Dealing with stubborn rusted bolts and nuts has been an endless endeavor for most car enthusiasts. No matter how hard you twist on your wrench, there will be little to zero movement. To remedy this concern, you need to find the best penetrating oil to seep through and loosen up these rusts.

There are hundreds of penetrating oils in the market, but do you know how to choose the right one? Here, we’re going to share with you our complete buying guide in choosing the right penetrating oil for 2019. Likewise, we also included a comparison chart and an in-depth product review for listicle.

Top 10 Best Penetrating Oil

1. Kano Aerokroil Penetrating Oil

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Our top pick penetrating oil for 2019 comes from the makers of Kano Labs. Compared to other brands like the classic WD40 or PB blaster, this one does a unique chemistry on the rustic metal surface.

First off, it got a good creeping ability in the narrowest area full of rust. Once it seeps through, it effectively dissolves the rust particles surrounding the bolt and nut surface. You need to apply a sufficient amount of spray so that the reaction is faster.

Aside from that, it also has the capability of displacing moisture from the metal surface while leaving a thin film of protective coating. You’d say that magic, it’s just purely science and a wonderful product for all car enthusiasts and DIYers.

The Pros

  • Fast-acting rust remover
  • Prolong lubricating action
  • Versatile applications

The Cons

  • Nothing to gripe about so far

2. WD-40 490026 Multi-Use Penetrating Oil

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Our runner-up for best penetrating oil comes from the classic WD40 Multi-Use Oil. This product has never failed many users in easing their burden of squeaking hinges or stubborn rusted bolts and nuts.

WD40 has heard our concern of finding ways to effectively deliver a sufficient amount of oil into tight areas with the use of its smart straw. Aside from being an effective rust remover and lubricant, it is made from environmentally-friendly compounds. Likewise, WD40 can be readily applied on various surfaces like metal, rubber, wood, or plastics without a single damage.

If the rust is very thick already, you can apply a substantial amount on the area. Otherwise, soak the affected material in a small basin of WD40 and let it sit for a few minutes.

The Pros

  • Classic, time-tested penetrating oil
  • Efficient creeping ability in tight areas
  • Rust remover and lube

The Cons

  • For thicker rust, you will use substantial amount of WD40

3. Liquid Wrench L134-4PK Penetrating Oil

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Third on our list is a penetrating oil from Liquid Wrench. Sometimes, we have prejudices about family-owned businesses, but this one has successfully been in the industry for 75 years already.

This product has serious abilities to pass through narrow spaces even with rust and paints blocking the way. Despite its fast-acting rust remover and grease cutting action, you can never expect a single rubber gasket from being damaged.

If you have some joints or bolts and nuts with a year old rust. Spray a sufficient amount of this Liquid Wrench oil around the affected areas. Let it sit for like 5 to 10 minutes. After, you’ll be amazed on how it can animate that frozen area. Moreover, this oil has zero VOC and safe for application on painted areas.

The Pros

  • Zero VOC and safe for painted areas
  • Easy to apply and fast-acting
  • Low strong odor

The Cons

  • Slightly pricey

4.  Tri-Flow TF21010 Superior Lubricant

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If you are on a tight budget but still want an excellent penetrating oil, then Tri-Flow is your best choice. For a price below $10, you get a 2 ounce of effective lubricant that is suitable for varied applications such as in sewing machines, automobiles, or hinges.

It got a straw where you can spray an amount of oil in very tight areas. Compared to singer 503a, the typical lube used in sewing machines. This one got more penetrating power and reacts faster. In terms of viscosity, this oil is not too thin, thus, it can effectively form a thin protective film around the surfaces

The Pros

  • Affordable price
  • Wide range of application – e.g. sewing machine and automobiles
  • Excellent viscosity

The Cons

  • For light applications due to small volume

5. Gasoila Free Rust Eater Penetrating Oil

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Rust eater? For real? This penetrating oil from Gasoila contains chemicals which effectively eats up the rust in between gears and threads which causes the freezing. The rust-eating active agent itself provides the lubricating liquid that enhances mobility of the rustic parts.

It also has a smart straw which guides the liquid in very narrow areas so that you would have a maximum spray application. If you are dealing with other than rust, this product can also work on tar, red and white lead, grease, graphite and carbon build-ups.

You can also use this in polishing wheel guards made from plastic by applying small spray amounts. With its proven ability, it can be applied in other tools such bicycle, cranes, air compressors, and home appliances. Overall, we find that it fairly lives up to its claim of having three times lubrication than other similar brands.

The Pros

  • Smooth rust-eating agents
  • 3x more lubricating power
  • Safe for painted areas

The Cons

  • No gripes about it so far

6. Royal Purple 15000 Maxfilm Multipurpose Penetrating Oil

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This penetrating oil from Royal Purple claims to be far better than the classic WD40. Based on its application, it was able to provide smooth lubrication to two rustic Lazy Boy Chair equipment that’s over 10 years old.

WD40 was mainly formulated as a water displacing liquid on mechanical parts and provide minimal lubrication. This one is technically formulated to provide maximum lubrication while dissolving rust surrounding the area.

Looking at its lubrication abilities in hot temperatures, this one goes over the borderline. It can still maintain sufficient lubrication even when used in drilling holes. Other applications where it exhibits great performance is when you used it to lubricate your squeaking sliding windows and doors.

Overall, we find it a great partner for all your DIY and small repairs at home.

The Pros

  • Excellent rust protection abilities
  • Long-lasting lubrication
  • Cost-efficient

The Cons

  • Slightly pricey but worth it

7. LA-CO Precision Spout Oiler Lubricating Oil

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If you are planning to clean some rust on small areas in your appliances or in automobiles, this telescopic penetrating oil from LA-CO is your perfect partner. The telescopic straw of this product can reach around13” distance in narrow spaces.

Using LA-CO precision oiler can definitely allow you to have a neat cleaning and lubrication on that specific area in your equipment. You can specifically use this on vacuum bearings, hinges, roller bearings, HVAC motors, and engines.

If you want to oil the bearings of your fan motor, then this product is the best tool to have with its telescopic straw. Based from its features and ingredients, we are convinced that LA-CO precision oiler provides a superb all-around solution in lubricating tight and delicate areas in your equipment.

The Pros

  • Sturdy and flexible 7-inch telescopic tube
  • Effective active ingredient in removing rust
  • Good lubrication abilities

The Cons

  • Suitable for light applications

8. 3-IN-ONE 10235 Multipurpose Penetrating Oil

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In choosing a good penetrating oil, it must have enough viscosity and density that will not harm any parts of the equipment. If you want it hassle-free, then this 3-in-1 Multi-purpose oil can be your all-around lubrication solution.

The thickness of this oil is just right to provide sufficient film protection around hinges, bearings, and gears. It effectively silences squeaking doors and windows. Aside from that, you can also use this for any automobile lubrication and rust dissolution requirements.

All you have to do is provide a good estimate of the oil’s volume on the rustic bolts and nuts of your tires. Let it sit for 1or 2 minutes, then you try applying minimal amount of torque. Add more drops if it still hard to twist around.

The Pros

  • Cost-efficient light machine oil
  • Easy to apply and control
  • Good penetration abilities

The Cons

  • Plastic container feels flimsy

The overall component and trait of this product proves to be an ideal light machine oil for all your mechanical requirements.

9. Prolong Super Lubricants PSL40010

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Compared to WD40, this product from Prolong Super Lubricants is still young in the market. However, it has shown significant positive results from being a penetrating oil for various mechanical equipment and tools.

As we go over this product, we noticed its chemical ingredient contains an anti-friction metal treatment technology. It showed positive results in decreasing the squeaking in hinges, bolts, nuts, cranes, and joints. When tested in rustic lug nuts in tires, it was able to creep inside and soften the rust in tight areas.

Similar to other lubricating oils, you can install a straw extension so it can concentrate its application on smaller areas. Looking at its price which does not go over $20, its quality is a great trade-off already.

Overall, this product has a parallel performance with that of WD40 in loosening rusted parts while giving enough insulation against moisture.

The Pros

  • Anti-friction metal treatment technology
  • Thin layer of protection against moisture
  • Economical price

The Cons

  • It does not come with a straw tube for spraying tight areas

10. Eastwood Rust Remover Acid-Free

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There are several things to admire and a few to gripe from this Eastwood penetrating oil. This rust dissolver can effectively remove rust particles for around 30 minutes. Time duration is fair based on the thickness of the rust.

The chemical ingredient of this rust remover is friendly to automobile engines and tires. Unlike other rust converter that are acidic, this one is completely harmless when used on other surfaces such as copper, vinyl, plastic, aluminum, rubber, and even with the presence of sealants.

For its price and application, we can say it’s fairly cost-efficient as 1 quart of it can be applied to 5 square foot area. Moreover, it has complied with environment safety standard on compounds that doesn’t do harm on nature.

Just a heads up, it can effectively remove rust if you will submerge the tool or part with this product for about 30 minutes. Spraying it on the surface still does its job but to a little extent only.

The Pros

  • Safe for use on painted areas
  • Non-acidic substance
  • Removes rust in 30 minutes

The Cons

  • Rustic parts or tools must be submerged with this product to remove rust

Why You Should Invest In A Penetrating Oil?

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Convenience and fast-relief is the main reason why you need to invest in the best penetrating oil. For the details, below are the main benefits why this product is essential for you.

Lubrication and Rust Removal

The active ingredients of most of these products have two functions – penetrating and lubricating, and softening rust. When applied on the affected area, the first thing it does is soften or dissolve the rust causing the parts to be stuck. After, the lubricating oil component will creep through to further supplement smooth action or turn.

Protective Coating Against Moisture

After successfully lubricating the rustic parts, the oil provides a thin film of coating which drives away moisture. Moisture is the main culprit for the formation of rust. All penetrating oil must have the right viscosity, otherwise its sole purpose gets compromised.

Cleans Surfaces

Most of these products in the market also has the capability of cleaning surfaces from grease, markers, varnish or chewing gums. It is an added feature which works best for this product.

Higher Work Efficiency

Adding up all the previous benefits mentioned, a penetrating works best in making your job way easier than merely using your muscle to twist those stubborn rustic parts.

What Makes The Best Penetrating Oil?

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Before making any purchases, make sure you have read this section as it talks about the things you need to look for the best penetrating oil. Like any other buying guide, we need to have some checklist on the important features of this product.

Function

Before buying, make sure you check if the product can do lubrication, cleaning, and rust removal. If you want to have a penetrating oil which does everything mentioned, then go for a multi-purpose type.

Surface Application

Unless you are using a multi-purpose penetrating oil, you need to look at the product label. Check what surfaces is it compatible for application. A lot of penetrating oils can be applied to various surfaces such as plastic, rubber, copper, aluminum, metal, and painted surfaces.

Simple to Use

It is wise to also read on how a certain product like penetrating oil is applied on the intended object. Typically, it is more of a spray type application while some indicates complete submersion of the parts into the product.

Majority of it also has a small tube for spraying tight areas on your tires, engines, or other equipment.

Green Material

All companies are obliged in creating products whose materials cannot harm the environment. For this one, it must not harm the ozone layer by emitting volatile organic compounds and other harmful fumes in the air.

Viscosity and Lubricity

To be able to effectively penetrate through tight areas, your product must have lower viscosity as its liquid particles are freely moving. In contrast, if the liquid is thick, then it worsens the friction inside the immobile parts.

Meanwhile, lubricity means the product is able to leave a thin film of liquid to stimulate smooth motion and protect the area from moisture and rusting.

Frequently Asked Questions

We have included some FAQs for additional information regarding penetrating oil and relevant topics.

Are penetrating oils capable of preventing rust?penetrating-oils-bolts

Penetrating oils and rust removers are two different products. The former is more focus on creeping through tight areas to loosen up threads and parts. These products do not necessarily eat the rusts, rather smooth out rusted parts.

However, most modern penetrating oils have been reformulated in a way that it can act as a slight rust remover to make it more efficient.

How do penetrating oils work?

These products literally creeps and penetrates through the smallest gap in bearings and threads. While passing through surfaces, it leaves a thin film of oil which displaces moisture, rust, and other debris which causes freezing of parts.

What is the standard ingredients of a penetrating oil?

Penetrating oils are made from various chemicals which include lubricating oil, alcohol, and others. The alcohol ingredients of these products are a mixture of 1 part methanol and 5 parts isopropanol.

Meanwhile, the oil base of these products are a mixture of natural paraffin oils that has been treated to become less viscous. It needs to have low viscosity level so it can effectively penetrate through narrowest spaces and gaps.

What are the different types of Penetrating oils?

Generally, there are two major types of penetrating oils – micro-dispersant and straight-soluble penetrating oils. Below is a further discussion of the two.

⦁ Straight – Soluble Penetrating Oils

These types are also called all-around mechanical oils which are typically applied without dilution. Most of these types are made from mineral-based oils that are insoluble in water. However, it still contains low water concentration in order to lower their flammability rate.

⦁ Micro-Dispersant Penetrating Oils

These types have extremely high flame resistance so it won’t ignite when applied on hot surfaces. The main composition of these penetrating oils are mineral oils with suspended solid lubricants on top. The common solid lubricants used are graphite, boron nitride, and polytetrafluoroethylene.

What are the differences between the three – Dry PTFE Lubricant, Silicone Lubricant spray, and Rust-Penetrating Oil?

Dry PTFE Lubricant

These are solid lubricants (polytetrafluoroethylene) that are sprayed on the surface and are left to dry to create a thin film that prevents dust from sticking. It can be readily applied on plastics, wood, rubber, and metal surfaces.

It typically serves as a light lube, so it does not provide enough lubricity for high-torque requirements.

Silicone Lubricant Spray

This lube is great for parts sliding against each other such as gears, sliding doors, and others. However, it must only be applied to dry environments because dust and moisture sticks to it. Likewise, it’s suitable in drying out electronic circuitry.

Rust-penetrating oils

This product has a better performance than the two formerly mentioned. It has low viscosity so it can easily sneak in through small gaps and cracks. Moreover, its rust remover capacity serves as an excellent function in completely lubricating stubborn lug nuts and bolts.

Can Penetrating oils serve as a Cleaning Agent?

Most penetrating oils in the market have cleaning active ingredients which can cut through grease, tars, dust, and rust. Companies have made this innovation in order to increase the added value of penetrating oils.

Just spray a substantial amount of these products on the intended area. You can use a steel wool or brush to peel off the stubborn top layer. After, you can let it sit for a few minutes then wipe off with cloth.

Conclusion

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Based from our in-depth analysis for our top 10 penetrating oils 2019, we highly recommend Kano Aerokroil Penetrating Oil. The overall performance of its chemical substance is comparable to combining WD40 and PB blaster. There are no worries with hefty price as this is cost-efficient in its application.

Unlike other rust remover which needs the part to be submerged, this one requires little spraying only. Once sprayed, its reaction can be readily seen and maximum effect can take place after 5 to 10 minutes. For faster and better results, you would have to apply more on the area.

We have laid out all the details but still the final decision rests upon you. Be smart and wise in your choosing. If you find this article helpful, kindly share it with your friends or colleagues.

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