Penetrating oil is a must for any DIY tool kit. Although WD-40 is perhaps the most recognizable brand available, there are several other top-quality options to consider. Chief among these are PB Blaster and Liquid Wrench.
But which is best? Our head-to-head comparison looks at both these top penetrating oil brands in detail to give you the tools needed to make an informed decision. Here’s how PB Blaster and Liquid Wrench stack up.
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What You Need to Know: Penetrating Oil
Penetrating oil might seem like a simple concept. And, while it’s indeed straightforward, there’s a surprising amount of difference in the quality of the different brands available. An understanding of what to look for will help you make the right decision the first time you pull the trigger.
What Is Penetrating Oil?
Penetrating oil is a special type of low-viscosity oil. According to The Family Handyman, its purpose is to penetrate through very small cracks and openings to get inside hard-to-lubricate metal objects. For example, nuts and bolts that are rusted shut. These are difficult to remove or replace without a little extra help. Apply some penetrating oil to lubricate the nuts and bolts. At the same time, the oil will also help remove the rust and corrosion to make undoing these objects easier.
Engineering for Change states that one of the best benefits of penetrating oil is just how many different applications it boasts. In addition to penetrating and lubricating, penetrating oil is a top-notch cleaner. It not only cuts through rust and corrosion without missing a beat, but it also cleans remarkably well. Yet another benefit is long-term rust and corrosion prevention. Even just a little penetrating oil on a metal object will greatly help reduce the risk of rust or corrosion buildup.
Penetrating Oil Pros and Cons
The benefits of penetrating oil are numerous. At the top of this list is effectiveness – especially at the price. Penetrating oil is a great value “tool” to add to your toolbox. At roughly $10 for a 12oz bottle, penetrating oil is a much cheaper and simpler solution to undoing rusted nuts and bolts than other methods.
At the same time, it has multiple additional other uses. It can be used to clean any number of objects as well as prevent rust from building up in the future. The only downside to this product is smell and mess. Some brands have a strong smell (although some are specially designed to minimize smell). This video from Project Farm shows you a little more about how to find the best penetrating oil for your needs.
Penetrating Oil Showdown
Alright, let’s cut to the chase. Let’s dive right in and look at how PB Blaster and Liquid Wrench do in a head-to-head comparison. Here’s how they stack up:
PB Blaster Penetrating Oil
PB Blaster Penetrating Oil is a staple in tool kits around the globe.
First introduced in 1957, this product has been a consistent best seller since its release and has only gotten better since then. Performance is the key behind PB Blaster’s success. This penetrating oil penetrates exceedingly well, lubricating hard-to-reach areas. A highlight is the ability of the product to break free almost any material. Whether it’s heavy rust or corrosion, this oil will get the job done.
Not only that, but PB Blaster will continue to lubricate long after initial application. A major side benefit is its ability to prevent rust and corrosion into the future. The only real downside to this product is its odor. Since it’s a lot stronger than other penetrating oils, it’s slightly stronger-smelling and also can cause throat irritation. It’s best to use a mask when applying this product.
What We Like:
- Powerful and efficient
- Easy to use
- Trusted brand name
What We Don’t Like:
- Strong odor
Liquid Wrench Penetrating Oil
Liquid Wrench Penetrating Oil is another household name. It’s been around the block a time or two, receiving updates as needed, since its release in 1958.
Although Liquid Wrench is still a multi-purpose oil capable of cleaning and rust prevention, its main purpose is penetration and lubrication. And at these tasks it performs marvelously. Although not quite as potent as PB Blaster, it’s more than capable enough for most homeowners and DIYers.
Liquid Wrench can truly do it all – blast through rust, dissolve grease, loosen stuck nuts, and clean years of dirt from metal objects. Better yet, the penetrating oil is not only easy to use, but it’s almost completely odorless and far less irritating than PB Blaster.
What We Like:
- Great performance
- Easy to use
What We Don’t Like:
- Can be messy
You’ll be more than happy with either PB Blaster or Liquid Wrench in your DIY tool box. Both of these top-notch penetrating oils work incredibly well at lubricating hard-to-reach places and boast a variety of additional applications to boot. But despite the effectiveness of both brands, PB Blaster edges out Liquid Wrench by a hair. As one of the best-selling brands since its inception in 1957, PB Blaster not only has history on its side, but incredible performance as well.
Simply put, this penetrating oil works great. It breaks free almost any material, no matter how corroded or rusted. Best of all, it continues to penetrate the object long after application, to continue to prevent rust and corrosion in the future. That said, Liquid Wrench doesn’t fail to perform. It’s also an incredibly effective and high-performing penetrating oil, although it’s slightly less superior than PB Blaster.
The one area in which Liquid Wrench does shine, however, is smell. Although both brands are safe, PB Blaster has a strong odor that requires ventilation (or, even better, use outside). Liquid Wrench, on the other hand, has minimal odor. It can be safely used inside without much odor or any irritation. Finally, Liquid Wrench is slightly less expensive than PB Blaster. But since PB Blaster is just a hair over $10 for a 12oz bottle, neither brand costs much to begin with.
No matter the project at hand, PB Blaster and Liquid Wrench both have what it takes to get the job done. Are you team PB Blaster or Liquid Wrench? Sound off in the comments.