Pumped Up

It has become apparent of late that I needed an oil gun for the ways on a couple of machines, more notably the milling machine and the Wadkin tablesaw. The milling machine has it’s own manual lube pump, however there are spots here and there where I could usefully apply oil, and sticking my finger into the end of an oil canister to obtain a smear was proving less entertaining as time wore on. The Wadkin saw is supposed to have oil on both of its trunnion quadrants (the parts supporting the tilt of the trunnion and blade), as well as the ways within the trunnion giving up/down control of the blade. Both of these spots, according to the manual, are supposed to be accessible once one has slid the sliding table forward, however in reality they are not, and incredibly, in order to lubricate the raise/lower sliding points one would actually have to remove the main table of the machine.

That is sufficiently crazy in design terms to win some sort of award. My plan is to add a hand pump oiler to the machine and plumb in hydraulic lines to at least the raise/lower ways. In the meantime, a hand pump oiler seemed worthwhile to obtain.

Now sure, I could have headed down to my local Harbor Freight, where most everything in the store comes from China, or looked on Amazon to find out what scintillating product they might recommend, also most likely to be made in China. And for something used on the more infrequent side, either of those avenues would likely have gotten me something hopefully halfway functional, if only for as long as the warranty lasted. We all know the scene.

Instead, I looked around a bit more and found a much higher quality product from Switzerland, made by Reilang:

This arrived in the past couple of days. The packaging was not the best, and the tip of the oiler was starting to poke through the cardboard box, but all was intact otherwise. Possibly they are not used to shipping their stuff overseas.

Now, an oiler is in most respects a rather mundane seeming sort of thing, but this item is a total gem. It oozes quality as soon as you see and handle it.

Another view:

The aluminum tank is thick-walled, and all the parts are cleanly finished and faultless as far as I can tell.

Internals comprise a brass tube with a swiveling pickup:

The swiveling pickup is a smart idea, as it means the end of the pickup is always going to be sitting at the bottom regardless of how the pump is oriented in your hand.

I filled it up with Mobil Vactra #2 way oil, and pumped the finger lever until it delivered oil out the tip, which, unsurprisingly, came in nice discrete bursts. Nothing leaked. I almost wanted to take it home and place it on the mantle, not that most observers of it would have any clue why I might feel that way.

Sure, I paid likely 10x more for this than a Chinese or Indian made item, and I have not the slightest regret about that expenditure. It feels good to have acquired a tool one knows right away is going to be a lifetime ownership piece. Based on this, I would highly recommend anything Reilang makes.

6 thoughts on “Pumped Up

  1. Nice to know that someone can make a decent oiler. I would be more than happy to swap you half a dozen of my crap ones for any time. Oilers are the most frustrating things, all of the ones that i have are junk and leak, don’t work too well, to a point i was considering making my own.Thanks for the info on a quality one.

    1. It is nice to know that, I agree. Believe me, I had to restrain myself from getting on a box and lambasting the usual options out there, for some of the reasons you cite. I’m pleased to have obtained something which ends the search, brief as it may have been.

  2. That looks exceptional. If you want a less expensive, pretty good oiler made in the USA, I can recommend those from Dutton-Lainson. I have three different styles, all pump well, but I have to say they do leak a bit around the cap gasket.

    1. Gary, thanks for chiming in and suggesting another product. Perhaps that will be helpful some readers who are looking for something better than the usual offshore stuff.

  3. I have been looking for a good oiler for some time now. I now have have options. Thank you Chris and Gary.

    As always, thank you for your blog, Chris. I don’t always have time to read everything, but I do enjoy reading it when I can.

Anything to add?