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Thread: keeping o-rings lubed up, what to use?

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    Default keeping o-rings lubed up, what to use?

    what's the best stuff to use to keep the o-rings in my flashlights lubed up and running smoothly, most manufacturers say to use silicone grease/lube, but where can i find it, can i use petroleum jelly (Vaseline) instead?

    the lights are Mag instrument products, the Inova X series, and a SureFire 6P and G2

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    Flashaholic* Yooper's Avatar
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    Default Re: keeping o-rings lubed up, what to use?

    No, use silicone grease. Try Ace Hardware.


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    *Flashaholic* KevinL's Avatar
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    Default Re: keeping o-rings lubed up, what to use?

    Nyogel from lighthound.com.
    Celebrating the ROP.. 5 years of history

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    Flashaholic* ksbman's Avatar
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    Default Re: keeping o-rings lubed up, what to use?

    Parker-O-Lube, an aircraft quality o-ring lubricant.

    'Got' it from work.
    Last edited by ksbman; 12-11-2005 at 10:54 PM.
    Keith

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    Flashaholic* Arkayne's Avatar
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    Default Re: keeping o-rings lubed up, what to use?

    Or check any dive shop or boat shop.

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    Default Re: keeping o-rings lubed up, what to use?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yooper
    No, use silicone grease. Try Ace Hardware.

    Aha!, and there's an Ace just down the road, brilliant!, time for a road trip....

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    Flashaholic* parnass's Avatar
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    Default Re: keeping o-rings lubed up, what to use?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yooper
    No, use silicone grease. Try Ace Hardware.

    I bought the same type silicone grease in the plumbing department at Home Depot. It was sold in the same style container as the Ace grease in your photo.

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    Default Re: keeping o-rings lubed up, what to use?

    Heh, where to go then, both Ace and Home Despot are the same travel time away (in opposite directions)

    Ace is a small local shop, i prefer supporting local business if i can, however Ace is in Maine, and as such, i'd have to pay the 5% sales tax

    Home Despot is in New Hampshire, has no sales tax, but is a faceless, soulless megacorporation, hence evil (less evil than wally-world, but stil evil)

    i think it's worth it to hit Ace, just to put the screws to a megacorp....

    yes, yes, i know, Ace is *also* a chain store, but not evil.....

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    Flashaholic Literator's Avatar
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    Default Re: keeping o-rings lubed up, what to use?

    Don McLeish (McGizmo) swears by this stuff for his McLuxIII-PD:


    http://theledguy.chainreactionweb.c...products_id=710

    Might want to give it a try. Wayne is just beginning to offer it, since it is really hard to find.

    --Bob

    P.S. Just verified the site, and it shows up as "Product Not Found." Check back later to see if Wayne has restocked. It's called Krytox 50/50.
    Last edited by Literator; 12-10-2005 at 04:00 PM.

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    Flashaholic* Yooper's Avatar
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    Default Re: keeping o-rings lubed up, what to use?

    The URL doesn't work. This one does:

    http://theledguy.chainreactionweb.co...1cb54d93145547

    EDIT: nevermind, different product, don't know what's it for...

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    Flashaholic Literator's Avatar
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    Default Re: keeping o-rings lubed up, what to use?

    Quote Originally Posted by Literator
    Don McLeish (McGizmo) swears by this stuff for his McLuxIII-PD:


    http://theledguy.chainreactionweb.c...products_id=710

    Might want to give it a try. Wayne is just beginning to offer it, since it is really hard to find.

    --Bob

    P.S. Just verified the site, and it shows up as "Product Not Found." Check back later to see if Wayne has restocked. It's called Krytox 50/50.
    Krytox 50/50 back in stock! Click on the link above.

    --Bob

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    Flashaholic* Arkayne's Avatar
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    Default Re: keeping o-rings lubed up, what to use?

    I use this. $17 from West Marine boating supply. It's expensive but it'll probably last forever!

    http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs...roductId=98285

    Last edited by Arkayne; 12-11-2005 at 01:04 PM.

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    Flashaholic* Numbers's Avatar
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    Default Re: keeping o-rings lubed up, what to use?

    I seem to remember researching this a few years ago when I first joined the cpf forums. My recollection is that a teflon based product is better than a slicone product (which I thought, to my recollection, could adversely affect rubber o rings). Any way I have been using something called "syncolon" that I bought at radio shack with good results.
    Did I get it wrong back then or has something changed in the interim?

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    Flashaholic* Sub_Umbra's Avatar
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    Default Re: keeping o-rings lubed up, what to use?

    I've been using the run of the mill silicone grease from Ace Hardware for a couple years. I have had no problem with it except that the container it comes in really sucks. One day I saw a few different lip balmy products right next to the cash register at the drug store. The containers were made of heavy glass and the right size so I bought one and cleaned it out and put the grease from Ace in it. It cost me about $1.25 which is still less than shipping would be for a different brand.

    I've often thought that buying it in a plastic tube would be ideal as I could just poke a tiny hole in the end and squeeze it into place instead of using a toothpick.

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    Flashaholic* yaesumofo's Avatar
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    Default Re: keeping o-rings lubed up, what to use?

    Personally I use MAGNALUBE on everything. The stuff works great.

    Magnalube.com

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    *Flashaholic* carrot's Avatar
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    Default Re: keeping o-rings lubed up, what to use?

    Using this silicone grease stuff, can you keep your o-rings from drying out, cracking (and whatever else rubber is susceptible to) indefinitely?

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    Flashaholic Literator's Avatar
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    Default Re: keeping o-rings lubed up, what to use?

    Quote Originally Posted by yaesumofo
    Personally I use MAGNALUBE on everything. The stuff works great.

    Magnalube.com

    Yaesumofo
    I've used Magnalube as well, and it works well. You can pick up 4 small tubes of it (about a lifetime's worth!) at their website for a decent price.

    --Bob

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    Default Re: keeping o-rings lubed up, what to use?

    I use Bulb Grease which is available at most auto parts stores.
    Fenix L1P, L2D CE, L0P SE, Zebralight Q5 CREE headlamp, Huntlight ft02x, Tikka XP, PT Aurora & Eclipse 2, SL ProPoly 4aa Lux and Twintask 1L, Inova X1, Dorcy 1aaa, MagLED 2AA, Nuwai HLX-712L, Akoray K-106 AA, Rayovac 1AA headlamp.

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    Flashaholic* Sub_Umbra's Avatar
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    Default Re: keeping o-rings lubed up, what to use?

    Quote Originally Posted by carrot
    Using this silicone grease stuff, can you keep your o-rings from drying out, cracking (and whatever else rubber is susceptible to) indefinitely?
    Some of that, but probably not ALL of that. If you're using twisties in a sandy environment the o-rings will be sanded away at a greater or lesser rate, depending on how often you are willing to clean the abrasive material out. The same is somewhat true if you use your light(s) in weird places where the rings may be attacked by some chemicals present in those environments.

    In this Golden Era of the LED, with technological advances and new lights and light companies coming and going so quickly it's a good idea to take care of the o-rings in your lights the best way you can. When you need a new o-ring nothing else will do. If the company's out of business it can be a real PITA trying to find the right o-rings in small enough quantities.

    I usually order extra o-ring kits when I purchase the lights just in case they become unavailable in the future. (Nightcutter comes to mind)

    Anyway, I think that most would agree that while they won't last forever, caring for your o-rings will usually make them last much longer, especially in twisties.

    EDIT: The lube also can make all the difference in the world in the way the lights feel, too.
    Last edited by Sub_Umbra; 12-11-2005 at 03:38 PM.

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    Thinking Re: keeping o-rings lubed up, what to use?

    i am amost postive that silicons are the natural enemy of rubber and plastics, and thusly cause their eventual breakdown.

    most automotive stores sell 3m rubber protecter this will help preserve rubber but it dosn't provide long lasting lub (the stuff goes into the rubber it tries clean)

    the other stuff (non silicon) recomended here should work

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    Flashaholic* elgarak's Avatar
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    Default Re: keeping o-rings lubed up, what to use?

    photo2000a, it depends on the o-ring material, but the majority of rubbers (for instance Viton) breaks down with petroleum based lubes and solvents (ethanol, methanol, isopropanol [rubbing alcohol], petroleum jelly [vaseline]), whereas silicone based lubes have very few cross-indications for rubbers (which are mostly silicones themselves).

    The only manufacturer who recommends vaseline is MagLite.

    Surefire recommends and applies themselves NyoGel, which can be obtained from lighthound. It comes in two 'flavors', one being slightly better for conductive threads being part of the circuit, the other one can be used on o-rings or plastic bodied lights.

    Great stuff. My first choice for lubes. My second would be plumber's or automotive silicone lube (which I used before I discovered lighthound).

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    Flashaholic* Haz's Avatar
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    Default Re: keeping o-rings lubed up, what to use?

    I use Molykote 111 (also known as Dow Corning 111). It is the only one i found from Dow Corning that seems to be the most appropriate for o-rings. It is a pretty thick substance, that makes the connection more tighter, meaning more pressure needs to be applied when removing, especially when the joint already a snug fitting.

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    Flashaholic* Hondo's Avatar
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    Default Re: keeping o-rings lubed up, what to use?

    OK, I'll be the standout - I use vaseline. Since my first o-ring light, a first generation Minimag, it is all I have used. Threads like this make me want to run out and buy silicone lube and wipe all of my lights dry and "fix" them. BUT:

    Mag is not the only one recommending petroleum lubes, my branny new HDS EDC Basic 42GT instructions state to use "silicon or petroleum-based grease" on the o-rings and threads. I take that to include petroleum jelly.

    I also just for grins removed and did a detailed inspection of the tailcap o-ring on my 25 year old Minimag, which has all original rings. No cracks, no surface degradation. Maybe a little stiffer than a new one, but it is 25 years old, for crying out loud!

    So I suppose it is possible my lights that have stood the test of time (there are many, the oldest being Mags) use a different compound of rubber in their o-rings which is more resistant to petroleum jelly than some others. To that end I would like to hear some stories of rotted rings from using petroleum jelly. But I like how smooth it makes my threads run, and the excess is easy to clean. Of course it is cheap and easy to find, too, which sometimes makes us think it must be bad .

    I must admit, it sounds a bit safer to be using silicone, so it is on my list to buy now, but really, anyone seen wrecked rings they are sure were killed by petroleum jelly?
    Last edited by Hondo; 12-11-2005 at 10:35 PM.

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    *Flashaholic* Flying Turtle's Avatar
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    Default Re: keeping o-rings lubed up, what to use?

    I've been using some Dow Corning silicon stopcock grease from work for years. No noticeable problems.

    Geoff

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    Flashaholic Learjet's Avatar
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    Default Re: keeping o-rings lubed up, what to use?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hondo
    OK, I'll be the standout - I use vaseline.
    Oh dear, me too! (I'm cheap)

    I think the main thing is to not let the rubber dry out. Back in my rubber powered wind up model airplane days we used castor oil and rubbed it into the rubber motors. But oils are probably a bit too runny for O rings so I like the thickness of vaseline. Heck I use that stuff for everything. Even used to put it in my hair once when I had some. Bald now though.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: keeping o-rings lubed up, what to use?

    Check this thread. Includes a description of an o-ring killed by a lub.

    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...ilicone+grease

  27. #27
    Flashaholic* zespectre's Avatar
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    Default Re: keeping o-rings lubed up, what to use?

    Quote Originally Posted by Arkayne
    I use this. $17 from West Marine boating supply. It's expensive but it'll probably last forever!

    http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs...roductId=98285

    And that stuff also works to keep your car doors from freezing in the winter (put a thin film on the door weatherstripping). Assuming that you live somewhere that your car doors freeze.
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    Flashaholic* leukos's Avatar
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    Default Re: keeping o-rings lubed up, what to use?

    Quote Originally Posted by Literator
    Don McLeish (McGizmo) swears by this stuff for his McLuxIII-PD:


    http://theledguy.chainreactionweb.c...products_id=710
    If you own any McGizmo creations, I think this is a must. Several varieties of silicone grease cause his o-rings to swell.

    The radio shack stuff works great on just about everything else I have though.
    Light is sweet and pleasing to the eyes....

  29. #29
    Flashaholic rmacias's Avatar
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    Default Re: keeping o-rings lubed up, what to use?

    Quote Originally Posted by MacTech
    what's the best stuff to use to keep the o-rings in my flashlights lubed up and running smoothly, most manufacturers say to use silicone grease/lube, but where can i find it, can i use petroleum jelly (Vaseline) instead?

    the lights are Mag instrument products, the Inova X series, and a SureFire 6P and G2
    I recently was in your shoes. There are so many different products to choose from and some of it is just personal preference. I decided to go with the NyoGel 759G from Lighthound.com. It seems to be doing a good job keeping the o-rings nice and lubed, no complaints here.

    RJM
    Solid State Rules!

  30. #30
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    Default Re: keeping o-rings lubed up, what to use?

    There are quite a few threads on this topic, so a search will provide more info.

    Topics covered before include:
    - what to use on which type of o-rings, and what not to use,
    - how to clean o-rings,
    - which lubes stay pliable and which "gunk up," and/or get thick and sticky,
    - which ingredients in lubes to watch out for,
    - what "di-electric" means and why you'd want to know,
    - how often to lube, and several other topics.

    Silicone lubes can be found with auto parts, plumbing supplies, scuba diving supplies, electronic parts, and others.

    Be price conscious -- often you will find the same product, and the same amount, in different packaging and at a different price. I once found these all in the same store -- silicone brake lube vs. silicone grease vs. silicone electric grease... same products, all in the same size and same looking tube, but each on a different blister pack, and different prices on each.

    You can drive yourself crazy with some of this stuff, and still haved fun doing it. This thread pops up often and frequently starts a hot debate.

    I have several types of pure silicone grease, and have found that sometimes the stuff in a small tube is easier to use, but for other jobs I like to use the stuff in a small tub.

    Another thing to remember is that o-rings are replaceable, and you can often find them in home hardware centers or on websites for several of the custom light guys who advertise here.

    Nothing says flashaholic more than when your wife walks in and finds the table covered with newspaper, several (many) lights disassembled, and various tubes, tubs, and jars.
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