There is some debate over whether to lubricate the tools used to install inserts for metal. Generally, however, it is recommended when tapping a hole and for some of the installation tools.
Oiling the STI or regular taps will help them ease their way through the hole, creating the threads as they go. Some varieties will not state this as necessary, because the process can still be carried out without a lubricant. However, this may be more difficult and could produce a lower standard of work.
A lubricant can also be used on some threaded driver tools before the insert is placed on it; this helps with the removal of the driver once the insert is installed.
When drilling metal, the use of a lubricant may be useful for creating a clean, secure hole.
What kind of tool lubricants are available?
There are different types of lubricant available, including specialised thread-cutting oils (fluids). These are generally suitable for use with most metals including steel, brass and aluminium.Their main component is known as mineral oil or paraffin. This is not a single product, but rather a term used to refer to a selection of non-vegetable sourced oil, usually distilled from petroleum.
There are other types of lubricant that can be used during the installation of threaded inserts. These also consist of a hydrocarbon base (a type of hydrocarbon is an alkane, which is what is found in mineral oils).