Some job shops specialize in small-batch, highly customized orders, but the challenges they face are immense. These production requirements are constantly changing, driving each team member to wear many hats and forcing someone like the shop owner to pull double duty in client outreach and daily management. When sales are strong, scheduling is yet another struggle. Working around tight customer deadlines with limited machines, space, and staff — all the while still trying to turn a profit. 

That’s why the efficient use of money and shop resources whenever possible is critical for small job shops. At times, managers may try to cut back by using less expensive cutting fluid. However, these fluids typically have higher consumption rates and shorter sump life costing operations more in fluid spend and production costs in the long run. 

Here’s how to identify the best cutting fluid for your job shop. Keep in mind that choosing the correct fluid helps to boost productivity, minimize wear on tools, align with customer values — and even save money over time. 

Versatility — Works With a Wide Range of Metals

Part of the challenge (and fun!) of a job shop is you never know what kind of project a customer will bring through the doors. On any given day, operators might work with aluminum for a project in the morning, and brass, steel, stainless, or iron in the afternoon. Many cutting fluids lack the versatility to cool and lubricate various metals and materials. Some coolants may even stain or corrode workpieces that they’re not compatible with.

There’s always the option of using specialized coolants and minimizing changeouts by scheduling and batching compatible jobs, but this might become a tedious process. The most effective solution is to choose a versatile cutting fluid like TRIM® MicroSol® 585XT that’s compatible with most metals and provides enough lubricity and cooling for every material in your shop. 

Job Shops should also consider selecting a fluid such as TRIM MicroSol 585XT or 590XT that offer broad OEM approvals from multiple manufacturers and industries. This allows shops to switch between jobs without changing fluids, and also offers the capability of using one fluid for all machines that meet all their customer requirements. This greatly reduces machine downtime and increases productivity. 

Job shops can improve shop productivity and throughput by selecting better quality, high performance coolants. Producing more parts with the same equipment may mean avoiding significant costs such as new capital equipment purchases and hiring additional personnel to run the new machines. Higher quality coolant such as TRIM MicroSol 692XT allow shops to explore lights out manufacturing by improving cleanliness, reducing foam, and improving tool life. Job shops can turbo charge their productivity with a high performance coolant. 

Minimizes Wear on Cutting Tools

Cutting various types of metals can lead shops to use universal cutting tools. And on difficult materials, this might require frequent tool changes. Using the right coolant can eliminate this problem and greatly extend tool life

The higher price tag associated with a quality, high-lubricity fluid might initially seem like too much to spare, but in the long run, it will save money by minimizing tool costs and improving overall efficiency.  

Offers a Long Sump Life

Low-quality cutting fluids sometimes only survive in the sump with the help of expensive biocide and fungicide additives to prevent bacteria growth. High-quality coolants are formulated to last longer without any additional products, saving time and money. 

Longer sump life minimizes coolant consumption and coolant spend. Coolants in the TRIM catalog offer lower carry off than many other fluids, so machine sumps won’t need to be refilled as often. As a bonus, the machines, parts, and chips will have less residues and be easier to clean or even sell chips for scrap metal as another way to increase revenue for your shop. 

Aligns With Your Customers’ Values

Supply chain sustainability is a major topic today — and this includes the cutting fluids used in manufacturing. High-quality fluids last longer and minimize waste, which lowers the environmental impact of your shop. Newer solutions on the market, such as biobased cutting fluids like our new TRIM HyperSol 888NXT, are made with ester oils instead of petroleum, minimizing carbon emissions. 

Some customers choose to work with job shops because of the level of control and customization it gives them over their projects. Consider this when it comes to your coolant choice. If your job shop is operating in a competitive market, this type of differentiation or value-add could give you an edge over the other shops in your area. 

To find the best coolant for your shop, call +1 800-537-3365 or email us at info@masterchemical.com.