As in the title, what is the ideal oil for an electric razor, and why? I might add that the electric razor will only be used at room temperature.

What oil would an engineer select for their electric razor?

Throughout my life, I've always just used the cheapest "machine oil" or "sewing machine" oil (or similar) that I can get my hands on. I've often wondered, am I doing something wrong? Should I read up on this? It doesn't seem that easy to find information about, often I'd just end up watching a video with a random guy that makes no references to any papers, studies, or OEM specifications, nor any scientific terminology or concepts to substantiate why they use X or Y type of oil and it "works best for them".

I don't require an answer that refers to a randomized controlled trial or even a paper, but some reference to basic concepts involving lubrication in machine parts, would be nice. The more the merrier.

For anyone that understands engineering and oil, is it possible to say anything about what type of oil benefits a typical electric razor?

Should it have a certain viscosity, viscosity index? Heat resistance (maybe between the metal surfaces of the shaver head it gets quite hot?)? Oxidation properties? What about "additive package"? The "additive package" from what I understand can contain anti-wear agents, detergents, and a lot more. This seems interesting.

I don't claim to understand very well what any of these are (beyond a two sentence description), hence why I'm asking.

How about the fact that you'll be putting the shaver head against your skin afterwards and there might be residual oil even after wiping it away (?), are certain oils harmful for the skin?

Again, what would an engineer select for such an application?

  • $\begingroup$ use olive oil ... it does not have a bad smell ... it washes off easily ... etc. etc. $\endgroup$
    – jsotola
    Aug 27, 2023 at 19:56
  • $\begingroup$ What oil would an engineer select asks for an opinion ... that is off topic here $\endgroup$
    – jsotola
    Aug 27, 2023 at 19:57

1 Answer 1


Lubricating an electric hair-cutting device is an easy job for just about any liquid oil on the market- it is a noncritical application.

All you really need is an oil with low enough viscosity to wick its way in between the stationary cutter and the oscillating cutter. You also do not want the oil to polymerize into wax when the razor is not in use. So-called "sewing machine oil" is perfect for this purpose.


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