Using Cutting Fluids for Steel Projects

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Using Cutting Fluids for Steel Projects

Many steel and metal projects can benefit greatly from the use of a cutting fluid during the process. Cutting fluids are types of coolants and lubricants made specifically to assist during metalworking projects, and they have a wide range of uses.

As one of the premier providers of steel online and in the Salt Lake City area, Wasatch Steel also carries several cutting fluid products to assist with all your steel project needs. What are some of the types and functions of cutting fluids?


Cooling: The primary function of cutting fluids are to help cool steel products during or after the work process. Metal cutting naturally generates heat through friction, and a coolant can speed the entire process up by cooling the metal plus reducing friction. The work surface often gets hot along with the steel during these projects, a process which can cause several problems if not addressed, and cutting fluids can help here as well.

Lubrication: A common issue with steel work is wear on cutting tools and metals alike, and cutting fluids help combat this. They reduce friction on cutting edges and lower heat, and they can also help chips from being welded into tools themselves. Not only will cutting fluid help cool your steel and assist with your project, it will keep your tools useful for longer.


Cutting fluid comes in several different forms, with varying preferences depending on the type of project you’re working on.

  • Liquids: Generally split into three types – mineral, semi-synthetic and synthetic. Liquids are the most common type of cutting fluid
  • Pastes or gels: Useful for drilling, taping and other hand-related processes.
  • Aerosols (spray mists)
  • Carbon dioxide coolant
  • Gas or air
  • Water: Uncommon today, but was frequently used in generations past


You always need to observe proper safety guidelines when working with steel, and there are a few specific things to keep in mind with cutting fluids. The chief concern here is skin – cutting fluids will often cause irritation or worse if it contacts the skin, and you need to take precautions (gloves, proper clothing, etc.) to make sure this doesn’t happen. Some oils will have harmful bacteria in them, so be sure to research your products and take the appropriate measures.

Want to learn more, or have any other custom steel questions? Wasatch Steel is a premier steel shop in Salt Lake City, and our experts are standing by.