What is the best cleaner and/or lubricant for power tools?

What do you use to polish/coat the top of a table saw? What kind of cleaner and lubricant should I use for cordless and/or corded power tools? What’s the best way to restore aged or tarnished metal? The manuals and people I have asked refer to a “mild solution” for cleaning, please expand on this and maybe suggest what types of chemicals would deliver the strongest and best results.

Filed Under: Used Power Tools


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  1. Ambular says:

    purple power cleaner

  2. Max Schnell says:

    For the table saw, you can wax with a common, NON SILICONE, furniture wax such as Johnson’s or Minwax. Let it haze, then buff off, just like waxing a car. Don’t use car wax. You can get a special compound called BoeShield, but I’ve never seen the need for it.

    You can do similar for the shoes of portable power tools and beds and fences of jointers and planers.

    For general cleaning, just a soft cloth, brush, or air gun. If there is oily residue on the surfaces, you can dampen the rag in naphtha. For non-oily soling, just a cloth dampened in Dawn and water, but I’ve never seen the need for this much cleaning?

    To restore tarnished / rusted metal such as old planes and chisels, buff with 0000 steel wool or fine wet-dry sandpaper, lubricated with WD-40 or mineral spirits. Wipe of the swarf with a clean rag.

  3. Vortex says:

    The top of a table say is usually cast iron and will rust if not protected. It is good practice to use paste wax to both polish and lubricate the top so wood glides over it smoothly. Rub the wax in good and remove any excess. Power tool can be wiped down with WD-40. Shake the can well before use and wipe off any excess. It will keep the chuck and metal parts from rusting. If you are interested in internal lubrication you will find most manufacturers sell their own specific grease. It would not be the best to think all greases are the same or will mix. If you cannot get the manufactures grease then completely clean out all the old grease and use a light grade of wheel bearing grease. Tarnished metal can be difficult to clean. If it is steel an rusty a wire brush may be the first thing to use or a Scotchbite maroon abrasive pad. There are various cleaners sold for different metals sold in hardware stores. One of the best is whink rust and stain remover which is available at most true value store. A warning is in order. Whink contains a dangerous acid, hydrofluoric which can penetrate skin and cause severe skin burns right down to the bones. It also emits fumes that can swell the lungs. There is only a small amount in whink but good gloves and ventilation are essential to safety. I use it and have had no trouble but I am aware of the possibilities. There may be other products you can find like naval jelly that are safer. Plastic parts are thermoset plastic and tough so the only thing to use is a soap type cleaner with no harsh hydrocarbons in it.

  4. movinonman says:

    I would agree with both Vortex and Max on everything except the WD- 40 as it attracts moisture and is NOT what I would use to maintain my tools. A light machine oil is best ( in my humble opinion) otherwise they are both on the mark. I would not use any chemical solutions to wash my tools. A good practice is to wipe your hand tools, screwdrivers wrenches etc with a rag on a regular basis, as this should be enough, periodic oiling ( light weight oil) and you should be fine for a long time.

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