The lubricants industry is no stranger to commodity formulations. You may have received a sales pitch or two from a recycler in your career and been enticed by the reasonable price tag. However, there is an underlying danger if you purchase the commodity and economy fluids. Over time, using these recycled fluids can cause machine failure and inefficiencies in lubricant solutions. This can contribute to a higher total cost of ownership and should be avoided. Premium fluids are the better alternative for a number of reasons.

“U.S. Lubricants has helped many customers move away from economy fluids and also bring forth lubricant maintenance strategies. This ensures the suitability of their lubricants and extends the life of their high-quality lubricants on site.”

-Andrew Martin, Industrial Product Engineer at U.S. Lubricants

Ask yourself, are economy maintenance lubricants worth the risk of:

  • Improper technology selection for a given application?
  • Short service life and a potential for premature component wear?
  • Steep replacement costs for equipment and new oil?
  • Valuable labor time and critical machine downtime?

Economy cutting oils and water-soluble cutting fluids may be the larger concern in the lubricants industry.

Economy cutting oils require several considerations:

  • Economy cutting oils can be formulated with recycled cutting oils which leads to low smoke points and staining on parts.
  • Economy cutting oils often require the need to stock two or three formulations, consuming valuable floor space and increasing the amount of compliance work required by Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) staff.

Economy water-soluble fluids require several considerations:

  • Economy water-soluble fluid formulations lack bacterial abatement technology, pH buffers, rust inhibitors, or extreme pressure additives.
  • Economy water-soluble fluids sacrifice fluid life and put tooling and part quality at a high risk of non-conformance.


Selecting premium maintenance oils, cutting oils, and water-soluble fluids is not the most reasonable option at face value, but it is the most reasonable option for total cost of ownership.  Choosing economy fluids will lead to increased tooling rates, more maintenance time on machines and the purchase of more fluid volume. Premium fluids are not only going to provide a facility with better products, but better vendors as well. Premium lubricant providers will work with operations and maintenance personnel to carefully select lubricants to develop a customized solution based on the unique needs and goals of the staff. Maintenance personnel and operators will also find value in educational opportunities to learn about lubricant maintenance and condition monitoring.

About the Author:

Andrew Martin

Industrial Product Engineer

Andrew Martin is the Industrial Product Engineer at U.S. Lubricants. Prior to U.S. Lubricants, Andrew was a Project Lead at Pinnacle and received his degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Andrew is MLT I/MLA I certified. To learn more or connect you can find Andrew Martin on LinkedIn.

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