American Made Oil Skimmers

Understanding the Importance of Choosing the Right Tramp Oil Skimmer

Ensuring efficient and effective oil removal from industrial fluids is crucial in CNC manufacturing processes. An oil skimmer is pivotal in this regard, as it helps remove oil contaminants from the machine coolants and sump tank. This small step can go a long way to reducing the amount of coolant used in the manufacturing process while maintaining the integrity of the coolant.

However, with various available options, selecting the right tramp oil skimmer can take time and effort. This blog post will guide you through the key factors to consider when choosing an oil skimmer for your CNC manufacturing needs.

Types of Oil Skimmers: Exploring the Various Options Available

Oil skimmers each have unique strengths and here's a closer look at three common types:

1. Tube Oil Skimmer: Tube skimmers use a continuous loop of tubing that dips into the liquid, attracts oil due to its oleophilic (oil-loving) surface, and carries it away for collection.


  • Highly efficient: They can remove oil at a rapid rate, ideal for large tanks.
  • Versatile: Work well with various oil types and viscosities.
  • Minimal space requirements: No bulky components protrude into the tank, and the tube is highly flexible, allowing for acess to tight spaces.

  • Installation considerations: Tube path and mounting points need careful planning.

2. Belt Oil Skimmer: Picture a conveyor belt for oil. Belt skimmers use an endless belt coated with an oleophilic material that continuously rotates through the liquid, capturing oil and carrying it to a discharge point.


  • Compact and adaptable: Ideal for confined spaces and deep sumps
  • Easy to install and maintain: Simple design and readily accessible components.


  • Belt wear and tear: Requires regular inspection and belt replacement.
  • Temperature limitations: Some materials may not withstand high temperatures.

3. Disk Oil Skimmer: Think of a spinning oil magnet. Disk skimmers utilize a rotating disk coated with oleophilic material that dips into the liquid, attracting and scraping off oil onto a collection container.


  • Excellent for emulsions: Effective at separating oil from water and coolant mixtures.
  • Durable and reliable: Simple design with minimal moving parts.
  • Easy to clean and maintain: Readily accessible components for quick service.


  • Depth limitations: Not suitable for very deep tanks.
  • Space requirements: Disk skimmers are the largest skimmers discussed and require substantial space for mounting.

The ideal skimmer is like the perfect superhero for your specific oil-removal challenge. Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each type, along with your own unique application needs, will guide you towards making the most informed and effective choice.

Key Factors to Consider in Selecting an Oil Skimmer for your Industrial Needs

Choosing the right oil skimmer for your industrial CNC operation requires more than just skimming the surface. Here's a deeper dive into the key factors to consider:

1. Understanding Your Needs:

  • Operational Size: Are you a small machine shop or a large-scale production shop? Larger operations require greater removal capacity and wider coverage.
  • Oil Type & Volume: What type of oil are you dealing with? Light oils like machine coolant or heavy viscous oils like bunker fuel? Know the volume and frequency of oil contamination.
  • Operating Environment: Is it an open tank outdoors, a covered sump indoors, or a turbulent production line? Consider temperature, pH levels, presence of chemicals, and potential for emulsification.
  • Desired Efficiency: How quickly and thoroughly do you need the oil removed? Set realistic removal rate expectations based on your specific workflow.

2. Skimmer Options & Suitability:

  • Type of Skimmer: Belt, disc, tube, or something else? Each type has advantages and limitations for different applications. Match the skimmer's capabilities to your needs.
  • Material Compatibility: Will the skimmer's components withstand the specific oil type, chemicals, and temperature range in your environment?
  • Coverage & Deployment: Can the skimmer reach all your target areas? Consider fixed vs. portable options, lengths, and mounting configurations.
  • Capacity & Flow Rate: Does the skimmer have the capacity to handle your expected oil removal volume and removal rate efficiently?

3. Beyond the Skimmer Itself:

  • Maintenance Requirements: How often does the skimmer need cleaning and parts replacement? Factors include ease of access, cost of spare parts, and potential downtime for maintenance.
  • Installation & Integration: Can the skimmer be easily installed into your existing infrastructure? Are modifications or additional equipment needed?
  • Compatibility with Existing Systems: Can the skimmer's discharge system integrate seamlessly with your existing oil collection or recycling systems?
  • Power Source & Consumption: Consider energy efficiency and available power sources.

Additional Tips:

  • Seek Expert Advice: Don't hesitate to consult with oil skimmer manufacturers like Zebra Skimmers or industry professionals to get guidance based on your specific application.
  • Budget & Return on Investment: While cost is important, remember the long-term benefits of efficient oil removal, such as reduced disposal costs, environmental compliance, and improved operational efficiency.

By carefully considering these key factors, you can choose the optimal oil skimmer for your industrial needs, ensuring smooth operation, efficient oil removal, and a return on investment.

Remember, the perfect skimmer seamlessly integrates into your workflow, effectively tackles your oil challenges, and contributes to a smooth and efficient industrial operation.

Seeking Your Skimmer:

Don't embark on this quest alone! Consult with industry experts and skimmer manufacturers like Zebra Skimmers, who are familiar with your specific needs. They can provide invaluable insights, recommend ideal skimmer types, and help you navigate compliance.

Tailoring your oil skimmer choice to your industry's unique demands is the key to unlocking actual efficiency and effectiveness. By understanding the operational language, deciphering the oil's secrets, and seeking expert guidance, you'll find the perfect weapon to conquer your oily foe and ensure a smooth, compliant, and prosperous operation in your industrial realm.

For expert guidance and high-quality oil skimmers tailored to your needs, contact us at 1-888-249-4855.


About Zebra Skimmers:

Our mission has always been simple. It is to provide the metal working industry with the oil skimmers and metalworking fluid management systems they need to complete jobs quickly and efficiently. Innovative and affordable solutions have gained us many accolades. Our continued growth is due in no small part to our excellent customer service… Not to mention our satisfaction guarantees and the performance of our tools.

Among our diverse options of oil skimmers and metal working fluid management systems, you can expect to find: