Alternative to 3-in-1 Oil

Hello dear CNCers,

Let start by saying that I have tried to look for this but have not found a clear answer.

It may sound strange but I just cannot find any 3-in-1 Oil where I live, I went to several places, Home Depot, HarborFreight, Auto Zone, Walmart and nothing. And to “help” on Amazon the cheapest is USD 12.50.

The only 3-in-1 available at my local stores is

My question is, would that work? And if not, what do you recommend in place of the 3-in-1 oil for the Onefinity rails and ball bearings?

Thank you in advance.

Any lightweight oil should be fine. The penetrating oil you linked isn’t exactly what you want as it contains additives to help break loose rusted fasteners.

SuperLube is a popular brand that big box stores sometimes carry. I expect that a low viscosity motor oil would not cause any issues if you can’t find anything else.

1 Like

Thank you Convenient, any recommendations on the motor oil to choose?

You’re near Houston, you should definitely be able to find 3 in 1 somewhere. I think I got mine at Lowe’s. ACE hardware is another likely source, or perhaps an auto parts store. I would try to locate a proper lite oil before resorting to motor oil. Even the thinnest of motor oils would have higher viscosity than 3 in 1 or similar. Like Nick mentioned, any light (lubricating, not penetrating) oil should be fine. I use WD-40. Not specifically for lubricating, but cleaning the rails & screws prior to lubricating with 3 in 1.

1 Like

You want the standard 3-in-1

The dry lube and penetrating versions aren’t the same. Sewing machine oil would work too - Joann’s, Michaels, etc. type of craft stores.


I would also look at bicycle chain lube. There are many types like wax based, but there are some that are oil based. Look for Tri-Flow at any bike shop.


Try Tractor Supply but that price is about right. It will last you a lifetime and cheaper than driving around trying to find it.

1 Like

Ultra you are so right, my can was purchased circa 1969 and still has over 75% in it!


I have used silicone spray in the past, would it be a good choice for 1f rails?

I found this online about it but was wondering if anyone had any specifics?
Can you use silicone spray for bearings?

Silicone lubricant can be used in the forms of an oil, which is non-reactive to most substances, maintains it’s greasiness in extreme temperature conditions and does not oxidize, or a silicone spray which is not only water resistant, but also allows you to lubricate those hard to reach places like mechanisms or

1 Like

Thank you all so much for your support and feedback so far.

I spoke with the CRC rep and he suggested CRC Ultra-Lite 3-36. It is a very fine dry lube. When my machine arrives I will try it. It lubricates, prevents rust and doesn’t attract dust.

1 Like

I personally use a 100% synthetic oil made specifically for clock and watch movements and is designed for constant motion of fine precision metal against metal. But this oil will not dry out, or gum up, is not too thick or thin and will technically last for years. I got the idea from a mechanical engineer who said if you use too thick of an oil, the bearings won’t move properly by not “rolling” in their chase, and too thin, there’s not enough protection.

I have used this with all of my 3D printers for years and it works perfect. I have fully disassembled the bearings (removing all ball bearings) in my 3D printers many times, and I have no doubt this clock oil has made them last this long. And with these machines we use having intended precision down to a mere few thousand’s of an inch/millimeter, I trust nothing else. Yes it’s more expensive but so are my machines, materials and tools these days. The exact brand I use is “Liberty Oil” and can be had via Amazon, but I’m sure there are other brands around the sphere.


Here’s another one I found. I haven’t used it so I can’t recommend it based on my experience, but I might try it.

1 Like

Has anyone tried CLP or ReelX? I have used Both on fishing reels and guns. I also have 3 in1 but I’m just curious if anyone has tried it or knows of reasons not to use either of the other 2.

Thank you everyone for the feedback.

I got these ones in the mean time

Super Lube 60004 H3 Lightweight Oil, Translucent Clear: Tools & Home Improvement

Super Lube 52004 Synthetic Lightweight Oil (ISO 68), Translucent: Industrial & Scientific

I wouldn’t use a dry lube on the ball screws. They make special oil for them.

Surprised you can’t find it in Texas; but be those supply chain issues again. Here’s the SDS, maybe you can find something similar:

I would think sewing machine oil or any light metal lubricating oil would work. An advantage of 3-in-1 is that it’s cheap and comes in a convenient dispenser.

1 Like

Note that there are multiple 3-in-one oil products, one being “motor oil” and another being “multi-purpose” oil. The Onefinity maintenance video recommends the multi-purpose oil. 3-in-one motor oil appears to be a SAE 20 (or ISO 68) weight oil. The recommended 3-in-one multi-purpose oil is a lighter weight oil with a viscosity of ISO 22 which appears to be around SAE 5 viscosity.

1 Like

Alternative to Oil Spout

I decided to use SuperLube oil due to availability and pricing. One thing it lacked though was the long spout that the 3-in-one oil had. Then I remembered I had some utility syringes / blunt needles in my garden stuff. Turns out a 3ml syringe and a 1.5-inch 14ga blunt needle is perfect for spot application of oil. You can get these on Amazon (e.g., BSTEAN store for about $8 for a 10-pack).

1 Like