How about using Canola Oil in an in-line oiler for air driven meat saw?

by Ed Lagniappe
(San Antonkio, Tx)

91753 high speed saw

91753 high speed saw

This should be a new one for you.

Just bought a high speed metal saw from Harbor Freight ... item# 91753
and on page 2 of the customer reviews, "baxdir" praised it for use in cutting up deer & bear carcasses ... and goes on to say he uses canola oil to lube the saw so that the meat isn't contaminated by petroleum oils. AND afterwards he throws the high speed metal saw into his dishwasher!

It makes sense to me ... but I'm not fully sold on the dishwasher (not sure if that's going to ruin the tool) ... and don't know if the canola will lube adequately, or if it will gum up the works.

I guess the backup question is: Will using canola ALL THE TIME in an in-line oiler damage my other tools?

And, IF I'm gonna use this saw for butchering ... then I should probably NEVER use petroleum oils in it ... and use Canola from the outset, right? Otherwise every time I change over from metal cutting to butchering, the first bits of (& maybe all of the) meat will be contaminated.

Cuz if the Canola does damage the other tools, then I'd have to have 2 systems ... with 2 inline mist-oilers ... 1 with each type of oil. That shouldn't be a major problem if I put the oiler at the head of a short 5-6 ft line to attach at the end of my long compressor hose, eh?

It occurs to me that any type of vegie oil will tend to gum up as it deteriorates w/ bacterial action & oxidation. And that this tool might need to be oiled before being put up for storage & any canola used for such might have to be washed out again before saw usage.

Another possible fix ... is to use WD-40 as the lube oil (instead of canola) ... since it IS fish oil, very thin, can be nebulized, & is edible ... but I'm not sure if it'd lend a fishy taste to my wild game.

I just thought this was an unusual problem that you or your other readers might like to consider.
Hi there Ed. Very interesting question.

Local butchers handle deer and other meat carcasses with an electric bandsaw. I'm not in the meat cutting business so don't know if that is the norm, or other saws are used. However, an electric saw doesn't require lube.

The use of canola oil - or any veggie oil - to lube the vanes in the 91753 Harbor Freight saw would, I expect, operate satisfactorily for a while, but you hit on the problem with the oil going rancid. I also don't know how it would react to any heat buidlup in the tool.

It were me, I'd have the meat cutting saw kept separate from my other tools, lube all other tools with proper air tool lube oil, and, when the saw in which I was using Canola oil gummed up, I would tear it down and rebuild it to work again. I don't know how often you would have to do this.

Anyone else out there using an air saw to cut up game?


Comments for How about using Canola Oil in an in-line oiler for air driven meat saw?

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Jun 19, 2014
by: Doug in

Just a couple remarks on what you said:

"food grade" refers to purity - lack of contaminants.

While wd40 is largely perhaps fish oil, it's got several petroleum oils as well.

Long story short, I guess it depends mostly on how much spray from the exhaust would get on the meat.

I just went ahead and tasted the stuff off my finger, and I wouldn't want a film of it on food, but it might be OK in very small drops.

It doesn't taste real bad, but it's not good either.
I sure wouldn't want WD40 on my food. Nor would I taste it! If I want to flavor my food, I'll stick with salt & pepper! :-)


Jun 19, 2014
Thanks for your feedback guys
by: Ed Lagniappe

You've both kinda confirmed my thinking, suspicions, fears. Guess I've gotta evaluate how much ferrous metal is in this saw to determine if the dishwasher will hurt it. The review on the website says not ... so that's worth a try.

Yep, I know professional butchers use (& lose fingers to) bandsaws ... but I ain't gonna gum up my Shopsmith w/ bear fat :-) Whereas an air saw <$20 wouldn't be a huge loss if it didn't work. AND, to get meat onto a bandsaw ... you've first gotta cut it up into pieces you can lift & fit on the bandsaw anyway ... that's where this saw will do the initial work on the carcass.

As to a "food grade" WD40 ... it IS just fish oil ... and obviously also gaseous propellants.
Here's the MSDS sheet:

You'll note that on p3, item 11 ... it's not toxic. The hazards listed are primarily in case of aspiration (which is true of all oils, and why you can't find vaseline in hospitals anymore).

I just am not convinced it wouldn't affect the flavor of the meat. But I'd use it on a grill top in a heartbeat ... at least I'd know it'd burn off pretty quickly.

Hmmm ... you mentioned ungumming old vegie oil by overdosing it w/ lots more oil ... it occurs to me that WD-40 should also break up the gummed up oil ... maybe quicker (dunno ... gotta try it) ... and then the oil could be dripped into the tool in normal doses. Just a thought.

I WAS considering an inline oiler ... local friends tell me just to squirt a few drops up the butt every once in a while instead. An oiler at the tank won't lube a 50' hose ... and an oiler 3-6 ft away is just clumsy & hard to keep vertical. So if not using an inline oiler, I don't have to consider using only 1 type of oil on all my tools.

As to the function of the saw, mine works ok ... but I haven't put it to a hard test ... gotta cut up a shipping container with it ... I'll know for sure next month. From what I read, it's probably cheap manufacturing with poor QC ... so, if the first one you buy doesn't work ... return & try on another one. What I like is that you can use lots of types of blades & files in it ... and cut up bears & deer carcasses too! :-) I figure I will have gotten my money's worth if it survives to cut up that container ... anything beyond that is a bonus.

Thanks for your feedback guys ... at least it was an unusual question, eh?!

Most excellent question and discussion Ed. :-) Thank you!


Jun 15, 2014
91753 oil
by: Doug in

First off: is there food grade WD-40?
I wouldn't use it otherwise.

Since these things are <$20 right now, I'd at least consider getting a second one and dedicate it to food.

Depending on how much use it gets, you could use the old three drops every so often directly in the air intake, rather than mess with an oiler, at least until you establish a need for an oiler.

I think the dishwasher thing should be OK as well, so long as you lube and blow-dry it before any rust might set in.

I know from past experience that veggie oil will gum up after a time, but I also think that the gum can be blown out with a larger-than-normal dose of more veggie oil.

Does your copy of this work well, or poorly as some of the reviews state? I have it on my list, but not bought yet.

Thanks, and good luck. I hope you'll follow up with your findings.

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