What tufting gun oil should I use? Three options tested

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Tufting guns are relatively simple machines, but if you don’t regularly treat them with tufting gun oil they can make your rugmaking an absolute nightmare.

So which tufting gun oil should you use? Grab my top recommendation below, or keep reading to learn more.

If you’re new to tufting, check out my guide to how to oil your tufting gun for more maintenance tips, or visit our list of all the essential tufting supplies you’ll need for your first rug.

3-in-One Multipurpose Oil
$4.46 ($1.49 / Ounce)

3-in-One is the best tufting gun oil you can buy, with the right viscosity to keep your tufting machine in tip-top shape.

Buy Now (Amazon)
03/08/2024 01:25 am GMT

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The best tufting gun oil is 3-in-One

Best tufting gun oil featured
Photo via Nick Rowan (Tiny Workshops)

Without a doubt, the best tufting gun oil is 3-in-One Multipurpose Oil. It has the right viscosity to keep you tufting for hours on end, and it’s super cheap.

This simple household lubricant will prevent friction while also cleaning grime and preventing rust. This is essential as rug fibers build up on your tufting gun over time, and it will extend the life of your machine significantly.

Another great thing about 3-in-One is just how easy it is to find. You can buy it online or in any number of hardware stores, and you may even have some tucked away in your garage somewhere.

3-in-One is also sold in smaller containers, which is great because it lasts a long time when used as a tufting machine oil. A few drops will do the trick, and the thin spout is ideal for this.

If you’re worried about the oil staining your tufting yarn, don’t be. As long as you oil and thread your tufting gun correcting, it just won’t happen.

However, I have heard stories of large swings in temperature causing the bottle to leak. I haven’t experienced this personally, but consider keeping it in a temperature-controlled environment.

What about sewing machine oil?

Sewing machine oil Zoom spout

A tufting machine is quite similar to a sewing machine, and sewing machine oil will work to lubricate your tufting gun in a pinch. It won’t make much of a mess, and it’s almost always sold with an elongated spout.

However, it’s not quite as good as 3-in-One because it’s designed for the delicate parts of a sewing machine. This means that it’s less viscous to prevent build-up on the smaller gears and parts of a sewing machine.

But for the moving pistons of your tufting gun, you want a light machine oil like 3-in-One. There’s nothing particularly delicate about them.

Sewing machine oil can be a bit more difficult to find, but it’s typically sold in small containers, which is ideal for tufting guns. I like the Zoom Spout model below because the spout is fantastic.

Why you shouldn’t use WD-40 for your tufting gun

WD-40 in workshop

Another household product you might be tempted to use as tufting gun oil is WD-40, but I don’t recommend it. WD-40 is not exactly a lubricant, and it’s used more for cleaning than anything else.

WD-40 is designed to displace water, which is super useful when repairing stuck bolts, but not so useful when you need to reduce friction between two moving parts.

It does dry fast and it’s non-greasy, so you won’t get as many yarn fibers stuck to your machine, but those aren’t really the features you should be looking for in a tufting gun oil.

Still, it’s useful to have around the house, and it can be used to unstick a stuck tufting machine if you let things get that far. It’s easy to find just about anywhere.

That’s it for our guide to the best tufting oils to keep your tufting gun in tip-top shape! Any more recommendations or questions? Drop them in the comments below.

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