How to Select the Best Metalworking Fluids

Selecting the right metal cutting fluid can take time and be an information overload. To select the fluid that is the right solution for your needs, you should review the options and benefits of each metal working fluid.
Start by reading the product and supplier information and have a conversation with your local supplier or stockiest. Ultimately, the best performance indicator will be trial and error for your personal needs.

When selecting a fluid, consider these factors:

  • The cost and life expectancy of the fluid
  • Feed, speed and depth of the fluid’s cutting operation
  • The compatibility of the fluid with machine components and work materials
  • Type, microstructure and hardness of the metal to be machined
  • The ability to separate the fluid from cuttings and work
  • The ease of quality control and maintenance of the fluid
  • The temperature operating range of the product
  • PH ranges and optimal concentration
  • Ease of disposal and fluid recycling
  • Storage practices

When choosing fluids, you should remember one thing: you will get what you pay for. Do not select a fluid based on its initial cost, divide the cost per gallon by the fluid’s life expectancy to have an accurate indication of its cost.

Even though the initial cost of a premium product can be high, such a fluid will have a lower long-term cost than other low quality products. This is because a premium product has a superior fluid life.

When selecting a fluid, you should weigh the benefits of the fluid’s versatility against its performance. Due to the essential improvements in the fluid formulations, most of the modern day fluids can handle a broad range of machining applications.
Machine shops that need various types of fluids can now choose one to two fluids that will meet all of their needs.

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