Valve Oil What are the differences?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by kctrumpeteer, Aug 27, 2010.

  1. kctrumpeteer

    kctrumpeteer Piano User

    Dec 23, 2009
    My instructor that I am taking private lessons with suggested tonight that I try out Hetmans valve oil which is a synthetic valve oil that has different grades based on the type of horn that you have or at least based on the tolerance level of the valves...I have been experiencing issues where the valves have seemed to be sticking on a regular basis although I have cleaned it (the trumpet) on several occassions.

    Wondering what others experience with valve oil has been as I see lots of options out there including everything such as: Blue juice, Al Cass valve oil, Bach valve oil .... and I presume most of them are effectively the same thing.. or are they??
  2. keehun

    keehun Piano User

    Feb 4, 2010
    Well, I think petroleum based products have mineral deposites and when the oil evaporates, it leaves behind mineral deposites and that's what is causing your valves to stick, most likely.

    Synthetic valve oil has no mineral deposites and that's why they can be "superior".

    I know professors (well known, too) that don't seem to have a qualm about using Al Cass.

    However, I think I've read that Kanstul and Monette, both two terrific trumpet makers advocate for Ultra Pure Valve oil.

    Correct me if I'm wrong.

    Ultra Pure is a synthetic valve oil like you said. I don't know what makes Ultra Pure more superior to other synthetic valve oils (if it is).
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    The differences are what you pay, how it reacts with your spit and how long it lasts.

    ALL OILS if properly applied - often enough (!) do an identical job of protecting and lubricating. Thinner ones feel "faster" but may not last as long.
  4. mrsemman

    mrsemman Piano User

    Apr 8, 2010
    I agree with rowuk. I just switched from Al Cass, which I have been using for years, to the Ultra Pure. The Ultra Pure seems much thinner. I have also begun to use the oil prior to practice and after practice, which means that I am now using more oil, more often. It seems to do the trick in one of my horns, but in the other, my first valve is sticking more. I may have to reclean the casing, and try it again, to see if it was just a dirty casing.
  5. kctrumpeteer

    kctrumpeteer Piano User

    Dec 23, 2009
    I just ordered the Hetman #1 synthetic valve oil and can follow up as to how well it works after I receive it... from what I am seeing Hetman makes different lubricants based on the clearances and since my pro horn has tighter tolerances it actually appears to get gummed up easier. I have a couple of older horns that seem to hardly ever get gummed up but one of my newly purchased classic horns has a ton of clearance in the valve section.

    I suppose the conversation could break off into slide grease as well. :-P I had some slide grease that has a red color to it made by Selmer that you squeeze out of a bottle and newer slide grease that is the kind you apply out of a container with your finger that is clear in color. They both seem effective but of course everyone typically has an opinion on products to use to maintain your horn.
  6. gdong

    gdong Piano User

    Jun 7, 2008
    LA/Lake Tahoe/NYC
    After 6+ years of trying to find the best oil, and with moderate success, I finally went back to good old Al Cas.

    Many of the oils i tried were good on one horn but not on another. Many of the oils i tried were expensive and required constant wiping and removing of deposits. Many of the oils I tried were inconsistent (And made me think my valves were somehow at fault).

    Al Cas never fails, is good on every horn I own, is always consistent, and is dirt cheap. Additionally i throw some Al Cas with vaseline on my fast slides and they work like a dream with no breaking in needed!
  7. s.coomer

    s.coomer Forte User

    Mar 25, 2005
    Indianapolis, In
    I agree many oils are alike. However, after trying Ultra Pure I will not go back to any other. I find their oil far superior to anything else out there. I also use their slide grease and find it to work quite well. I had a slide on my piccolo that I could never get to work properly no matter what I used. After using Ultra Pure it works like a dream.
  8. Satchmo Brecker

    Satchmo Brecker Piano User

    Jul 19, 2010
    Al Cass Fast seems to work good for me, on a student model horn.

    Side question though - how often (on average) do you oil valves? Like before every practice session? Once a week? Only when needed?
  9. fraserhutch

    fraserhutch Mezzo Piano User

    Jan 23, 2004
    Novato, CA, USA
    As I understand it, in addition to lubricating your valves, the valve oil should clean and protect your valves. So, it stands to reason the more often you oil your valves, the cleaner you keep, and the better off you'll be.
  10. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    Here's my experience with oils:
    I used Al Cass for decades
    I then switched to Ultrapure
    Now I use Binak.
    Fingering methods and the amount of playing coupled with the type of spit makes evaluating oils a very personal thing. This isn't a recommendation, this is simply what works for me.
    The Al Cass was OK but (for me) it wasn't slick enough.
    The Ultrapure was very slick but wore out quicker.
    The Binak seems to work the best at keeping the valves working and not wearing out too fast.
    Hope this helps

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