Sometimes you just need to get a tiny drop of oil into a really tight spot. For those situations, a precision oiler like a needle-tipped bottle can work well. Fill it with a little light machine oil, place the tip where you need lubrication, and carefully give the bottle a gentle squeeze.
It just so happens that I needed such a tool the other day and didn’t have it. My folding utility knife was getting hard to open using the thumb stud and I figured that it just needed a little lubrication.
Instead of taking the whole knife apart, I thought I could just loosen the pivot screw and place a few drops of oil on the pivot. Unfortunately I didn’t have anything small enough to get the oil where I needed it.
This isn’t the first time I’ve need to get oil into a small space. I used to have a precision oil pen, but I found that it leaked after a while. So I was looking for something to apply oil without making a mess and to store it without leaking.
Browsing through the many options on Amazon, I found a simple needle tipped bottle from Racer’s Edge, an RC model accessory company. For $5 shipped, I purchased the simple 1/2 ounce bottle with capped needle tip.
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When I got the bottle a few days later, I filled it with some air tool oil (it was the closest thing on hand), and applied it to the pivot. After tightening the pivot screw and a few openings and closings, the knife opened better than new.
Applicators like this have flat-shaped tips, but can still be dangerous. Be sure to cap the needle and store the bottle in a safe place.
There are also applicator bottles and syringes with Luer Lock fittings that can work with industrial (flat-tipped) dispensing needles or attachments. This gives you the option of picking the best dispensing tip for your needs, whether short or long, straight or angled, small or large, plastic or stainless steel, disposable or reusable. Amazon carries a couple of Luer Lock bottle and needle combos, but McMaster Carr and other industrial or specialty suppliers have far more options.