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Thread: Comprehensive Grease and Lube Thread

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    Flashaholic* Tekno_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Default Comprehensive Grease and Lube Thread

    Comprehensive Grease and Lube Thread


    Due to the dozens of grease and lube threads that pop up on an almost daily basis, some of us came up with an idea for a comprehensive grease thread to help ease the confusion surrounding the topic.

    Rules

    Please keep the thread on topic, and be courteous.

    There will be no advertising allowed. Members may respond to a post that asks where a product can be purchased, but nothing more than that will be allowed, as it would be a violation of forum rules.

    Moderation will be strict in this thread. Shills, and dealers who violate Rule 6 and CPF Advertising Policies, will be suspended. Offending posts will be deleted.

    More rules may be added later, if problems develop.


    Cleaning

    Please wear proper safety equipment when cleaning and lubing your lights.
    Recommended equipment includes safety glasses and latex/nitrile gloves.

    Even more important than the lube you use is the prep work you do before lubing your light. If you don't have clean threads, the best lube in the world isn't going to make them feel smooth.

    The easiest way I have found to clean threads is with a microfiber towel and isopropyl alcohol. I also use cotton swabs for internal threads, being careful not to leave any fibers behind, as they can cause problems down the road.

    Do not use paper products to clean any part of your lights. Paper is more abrasive than you think.

    While cleaning is important, you usually only need to do it 2-3 times per year with normal use. Of course if you're using it in the mud or sand, you'll want to clean it more often, but here's where common sense is put to good use.


    Lubing

    The amount of lube you use is pretty important too. I try to stick with a “less is more” approach. There is usually no need to slather the threads with lube. A small bit of lube usually goes quite a long way.

    The first thing I do is put a tiny amount of grease under the o-ring, and then twist the o-ring. I then spread a tiny amount of lube on the surface of the o-ring. This makes the twisting action of the light much smoother in most cases.

    Next up is a small amount of grease spread evenly along the leading edge of the inside threads. I use a nitrile glove to spread the lube, but a well-washed finger usually does the trick too.

    Last, but not least is to assemble the light and work the lube into the threads. Different lubes will take a different amount of working to get evenly spread.


    Lubes

    Now on to the list of lubes. It will be divided into 4 sections: Very Good lubes, Good Lubes, Poor Lubes, and Bad Lubes.

    Very Good Lubes will hold the best of the best, lubes you can use without hesitation on any light. A lube will only be added to this section if several members agree that it belongs there. All candidates will first be added to the Good Lubes section.

    Good Lubes will hold lubes that are safe for use, and will perform well, but may not be ideal for all applications.

    Poor Lubes will hold lubes that would work in a pinch, but should generally not be used on flashlights. These lubes may be lubes that are excellent for other applications, just not the ones relevant to this thread.

    Bad Lubes will hold the lubes that should never be used. This section will also act as a “Wall of Shame” Any suggestions that get added to this section will also have the username of the poster listed with it.

    Something to note: When using PTFE(teflon) or silicone lubes, the quality can vary greatly dependent on the quality of the thickener used, and the quality of the base oil. One can work very well, while another of the same type can perform horribly.

    O-Ring Compatibility

    Use caution when using petroleum products, as they can damage some types of o-rings.
    Don't use silicone lubes on silicone o-rings. The o-rings can swell and make your light almost impossible to get open.

    O-Ring Material Guide


    Very Good Lubes

    Nyogel: This lube is used by Surefire, and can be purchased from Lighthound. This lube tends to change color slightly, but that should not affect it's lubrication properties. 759G/760G is tuned more for threads, 779ZC is tuned more for o-rings. Here's a good review.

    Super-Lube: A cost-effective teflon-based lube that provides very smooth action. Both the grease and the oil perform well. It can be purchased from many hardware stores and online retailers, such as MSC.

    NO-OX-ID: A wax-based lube with excellent anti-oxidation properties. It's been around for about 50 years.

    Krytox: One of the best lubes out there. This is a fluorinated grease that is very non-reactive and is safe for just about any application. This lube works exceptionally well on Ti lights. It is available in many different varieties, and has several re-branded names. It has been discovered that the sodium nitrate additive in the anti-oxidation varieties of Krytox can reduce the wear-resistance of Krytox on Ti and bare Al. The difference is small, but it is something to make a note of. It can be purchased from Amazon or directly from a DuPont distributor.
    Krytox Variations and Re-Brands: Finish Line Extreme Flouro, Loctite PFPE Grease, Chris Reeve Knifes Flourinated Grease, Sandwich Shoppe 50/50 mix
    Nano-Oil: A highly-recommended lube by forum members. The lube uses oil as a carrier for nano-particles that are designed to act as a bearing surface. Also comes in a grease.
    Mobil-1 Red Synthetic Grease: Highly recommended by several forum members. Performs well, and is very cost effective, but has a noticeable odor.

    Good Lubes

    Pure Silicone grease: This is a very common lube that can be found just about anywhere. It is generally safe for use, with the only exception being use on silicone o-rings.

    Tri-Flow Clear Synthetic Grease: Similar to Super Lube. Will be moved to the Very Good section if there are more positive responses.

    Deoxit ProGold: Anti-Oxidation electrical contact conditioner. While not a lube, it can be a good addition to electrical contact points on lights.

    Parker Super O Lube: Silicone oil formulated to be used on o-rings. It would be a bad idea to use it on silicone o-rings though.

    Sil-Glyde: Grease designed for use on rubber or plastic seals.


    Poor Lubes

    Motor Oil: It may work, but it can damage o-rings. A full synthetic like AMSOil might be safe, but why take the chance when there are better lubes out there.

    Petroleum Jelly/Vaseline: Contains petroleum distillates, which can damage some types of o-rings.

    Moly Grease: While very useful for other applications, Molybdenum is toxic, and should not be used for handheld applications, such as flashlights.

    Lithium Grease: Contains petroleum distillates, which can damage some types of o-rings.


    Bad Lubes

    WD-40: It is a solvent, not a lube. It actually increases friction on the threads.

    Gatsby Moving Rubber Hair Wax: It's a hair wax, not a light lube.


    Other Lubes
    Loctite ViperLube
    FrogLube CLP
    Militec-1
    TiTi Twister
    Last edited by Tekno_Cowboy; 11-03-2013 at 10:51 PM.
    Due to my current schedule being pretty darn hectic, I will not be accepting new modding projects until things settle down.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Comprehensive Grease and Lube Thread

    How is NanoLube?
    Peace!
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  3. #3
    Flashaholic* DimeRazorback's Avatar
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    Default Re: Comprehensive Grease and Lube Thread

    Great post!

    This will be helpful to alot of people.


    ^^Click for my beamshots!!^^ My Flashlights

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    Default Re: Comprehensive Grease and Lube Thread

    ain't most o-rings made of silicone? *confused*
    I'm using pure silicone differential oil, its 5000cps, how does that sounds? Would it damage the o-rings?

    What about Vaseline, would it damage the o-rings?

    thank you heaps.
    Maglite 4D Incad., Solitaire, 3D LED Jetbeam Jet-I MKII R, Jet-III PRO Ti, Jet-Ti M, TC-R3 ,TC-10 Fenix LD01 SS Surefire C2 4Sevens Quark AA Ti, Quark Mini AA, Preon 0

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* Tekno_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Comprehensive Grease and Lube Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by sygyzy View Post
    How is NanoLube?
    I've used NanoLube and Nano-Oil, and it seems to work OK on Steel, but it didn't seem to work as well on Aluminum for me. IIRC it also uses a petroleum product base. These two things make me tend to lean toward the Poor category.

    Would anyone like to recommend it for a different section?
    Due to my current schedule being pretty darn hectic, I will not be accepting new modding projects until things settle down.

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    Flashaholic post tenebras's Avatar
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    Default Re: Comprehensive Grease and Lube Thread

    Awesome OP! It would be great to finally have one lube thread to rule them all.

    Vaseline should be in the poor lube category as it's petroleum base will damage o-rings.

    Nano-oil belongs in a "questionable lube" category whether or not it contains petroleum. It's a very effective lubricant, but the nano-particles are a potential serious health risk; conclusive medical research is pending.

    From Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanoparticle

    Safety issues

    Nanoparticles present possible dangers, both medically and environmentally.[20] Most of these are due to the high surface to volume ratio, which can make the particles very reactive or catalytic.[21] They are also able to pass through cell membranes in organisms, and their interactions with biological systems are relatively unknown.[22] However, free nanoparticles in the environment quickly tend to agglomerate and thus leave the nano-regime, and nature itself presents many nanoparticles to which organisms on earth may have evolved immunity (such as salt particulates from oceanaerosols, terpenes from plants, or dust from volcanic eruptions)[citation needed]. A fuller analysis is provided in the article on nanotechnology.

    According to the San Francisco Chronicle, "Animal studies have shown that some nanoparticles can penetrate cells and tissues, move through the body and brain and cause biochemical damage they also have shown to cause a risk factor in men for testicular cancer. But whether cosmetics and sunscreens containing nanomaterials pose health risks remains largely unknown, pending completion of long-range studies recently begun by the FDA and other agencies."[23] Diesel nanoparticles have been found to damage the cardiovascular system in a mouse model.[24]
    Last edited by post tenebras; 09-17-2009 at 02:26 PM. Reason: Wiki health risk citation

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    Flashaholic* Tekno_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Comprehensive Grease and Lube Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by berry580 View Post
    ain't most o-rings made of silicone? *confused*
    I'm using pure silicone differential oil, its 5000cps, how does that sounds? Would it damage the o-rings?

    What about Vaseline, would it damage the o-rings?

    thank you heaps.
    There are many different types of material used for o-rings. You'd have to check with the manufacturer to determine which are used on your lights.

    Vaseline is not something your should be putting on your lights.
    Due to my current schedule being pretty darn hectic, I will not be accepting new modding projects until things settle down.

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    Flashaholic post tenebras's Avatar
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    Default Re: Comprehensive Grease and Lube Thread

    Tri-Flow Clear Synthetic Grease belongs in the Very Good category. It's a teflon grease akin to Super Lube.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* Tekno_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Comprehensive Grease and Lube Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by post tenebras View Post
    Tri-Flow Clear Synthetic Grease belongs in the Very Good category. It's a teflon grease akin to Super Lube.
    Could you provide a link with more information on the lube?
    Due to my current schedule being pretty darn hectic, I will not be accepting new modding projects until things settle down.

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    Flashaholic* EngrPaul's Avatar
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    Default Re: Comprehensive Grease and Lube Thread

    I like to use Deoxit Gold for twisty lights, or lights with a button yet change mode by twisting, which have metal-metal conductive threads. It's nice and slippery and prevents flickering. It doesn't smell much and stays where it should, for as thin as it is.

    For twisties with anodized threads, I use silicone grease.

    Just about everything else I use Krytox, but what I have is rather thick and probably isn't as slippery as 50/50.
    Last edited by EngrPaul; 09-16-2009 at 05:37 PM.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Comprehensive Grease and Lube Thread

    How about adding this? http://www.sanchem.com/aSpecialE.html

    Gary has it for sale, but as far as I know it can't be obtained in any reasonably small quantities elsewhere (so would I count as advertising?)

    If any worth it's the "best thing i've come across since the sliced bread" be it o-rings, threads made of plastic, aluminum or steel

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* Tekno_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Comprehensive Grease and Lube Thread

    I'm thinking Deoxit Gold should go in the Good section. To my understanding though, it's not really a grease, so perhaps there should be a note with it?
    Due to my current schedule being pretty darn hectic, I will not be accepting new modding projects until things settle down.

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* RichS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Comprehensive Grease and Lube Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Tekno_Cowboy View Post
    Could you provide a link with more information on the lube?
    http://www.triflowlubricants.com/pro...ticgrease.html

    Description:
    Tri-Flow® Clear Synthetic Grease is a premium quality, extreme pressure, non-melting, waterproof formula that seals out water contaminants. It is available in handy squeeze tube for easy application and fits nicely in a grease gun. Our grease is compatible with most rubbers and plastic and stands up to extreme temperatures (-10° - +400° F). Guaranteed to optimize the performance of your equipment's moving parts, such as bearings and tracks, and will allow them to last longer and run quieter and smoother. Prevents rusting even when exposed to salt water! Formulated with P.T.F.E.

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* EngrPaul's Avatar
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    Default Re: Comprehensive Grease and Lube Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Tekno_Cowboy View Post
    I'm thinking Deoxit Gold should go in the Good section. To my understanding though, it's not really a grease, so perhaps there should be a note with it?

    It's a lubricant, though not a "grease".

    http://deoxitgold.com/?progold_info=1

    I recommend the little tubes, not the spray.

  15. #15
    Flashaholic* Tekno_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Comprehensive Grease and Lube Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Pekka View Post
    How about adding this? http://www.sanchem.com/aSpecialE.html

    Gary has it for sale, but as far as I know it can't be obtained in any reasonably small quantities elsewhere (so would I count as advertising?)

    If any worth it's the "best thing i've come across since the sliced bread" be it o-rings, threads made of plastic, aluminum or steel
    I've heard good things about this lube, and have been meaning to try it. I'll add it to the good section as a candidate for very good.

    Quote Originally Posted by RichS View Post
    http://www.triflowlubricants.com/pro...ticgrease.html

    Description:
    Tri-Flow® Clear Synthetic Grease is a premium quality, extreme pressure, non-melting, waterproof formula that seals out water contaminants. It is available in handy squeeze tube for easy application and fits nicely in a grease gun. Our grease is compatible with most rubbers and plastic and stands up to extreme temperatures (-10° - +400° F). Guaranteed to optimize the performance of your equipment's moving parts, such as bearings and tracks, and will allow them to last longer and run quieter and smoother. Prevents rusting even when exposed to salt water! Formulated with P.T.F.E.
    I'll add it to the good section, it can always be moved later if it needs to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by EngrPaul View Post
    It's a lubricant, though not a "grease".

    http://deoxitgold.com/?progold_info=1

    I recommend the little tubes, not the spray.
    I stand corrected. I'll add it to the Good section.
    Due to my current schedule being pretty darn hectic, I will not be accepting new modding projects until things settle down.

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    Flashaholic* csshih's Avatar
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    Default Re: Comprehensive Grease and Lube Thread

    No-ox-id is indeed a nice lube.

    about nano-oil...odd, it seems to work well, if not better than the no-ox-id I've used. petroleum? is there a easy to to check if that's true?

    Then again, I haven't ever had a chance to try out lubes in the "very good" section.

  17. #17
    Flashaholic* EngrPaul's Avatar
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    Default Re: Comprehensive Grease and Lube Thread

    Make sure you put smelly ones in the bad list.

    You can include whatever blue stuff comes on a nitecore PD

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Comprehensive Grease and Lube Thread

    +1 for the No-ox-id!
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    Default Re: Comprehensive Grease and Lube Thread

    Aside from Nyogel (I've got loads of it so I might as well put good use to it)...
    I mainly use Parker Super O Lube. I even use it on theads on certain lights.
    Last edited by darkzero; 09-16-2009 at 06:44 PM.
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    Flashaholic* Tekno_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Comprehensive Grease and Lube Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by darkzero View Post
    Aside from Nyogel (I've got loads of it so I might as well put good use to it)...
    I mainly use Parker Super O Lube. I even use it on theads on certain lights.
    Can you provide a link to information on the lube?
    Due to my current schedule being pretty darn hectic, I will not be accepting new modding projects until things settle down.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Comprehensive Grease and Lube Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Tekno_Cowboy View Post
    Can you provide a link to information on the lube?
    It's mainly for orings/seals.

    http://www.wainbee.com/msds1/parker_SuperLube.pdf

    http://www.anchorrubber.com/specialty/parker_o-lube.pdf
    -Will-

    Sorry, I have retired from flashlight modding & I do not make custom flashlights. Thank you for your understanding.

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  22. #22

    Default Re: Comprehensive Grease and Lube Thread

    +1 for NO-OX-ID, it's great stuff!
    EagleTac's: 2 P100A2, P10A2, T100C2 Mark II - JETBeam Raptor RRT-1 - Romisen RC-G2 II

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    Flashaholic* hyperloop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Comprehensive Grease and Lube Thread

    Great thread, thanks for the pointers to places where i can get the lubes, spent some time in a local hardware shop, couldnt find any that's singapore for you (when it comes to flashaholicism)

    anyway, to chip in a bit here, i bought a set of these microfiber cloths for my wife to polish her patent leather shoes, it's cheap, not too big a size and free shipping too. You could just use one of the cloths to clean a whole load of lights and just chuck it, instead of having one of those huge microfiber cloths and have to store it and look for clean spots to use etc. For $1.80 its a steal.

    EDIT: technically this post isnt about grease or lubes but i'm thinking its ancillary to it, to be used in the cleaning process so that's why i think its relevant but feel free to delete it if you're of a different opinion
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    Flashaholic* Tekno_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Comprehensive Grease and Lube Thread

    I'll add it with a side-note that it's mainly for o-rings.
    Due to my current schedule being pretty darn hectic, I will not be accepting new modding projects until things settle down.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Comprehensive Grease and Lube Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by csshih View Post
    No-ox-id is indeed a nice lube.

    about nano-oil...odd, it seems to work well, if not better than the no-ox-id I've used. petroleum? is there a easy to to check if that's true?
    how do you know that nano-oil it is petroleum based? i just bought some and want to know whether i should be cautious using it, especially on expensive lights.
    thanks.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Comprehensive Grease and Lube Thread

    This thread has predictably taken off like a rocket, and many thanks are due to Tekno_Cowboy for shouldering this task, and others (Unforgiven, StarHalo, chmsam, McGizmo and others) for their input.

    I'm sticking it at the top of the page. Post #1 will obviously be updated from time to time, and it should eventually become the definitive lube reference thread here on CPF.

    It will take time to sort out the wheat from the chaff, and some posts may need to be removed, but so far it is looking good.
    Resistance is futile...

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    Default Re: Comprehensive Grease and Lube Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by berry580 View Post
    ain't most o-rings made of silicone ? *confused*
    Very understandable confusion. The answer is NO - silicone rubber is unsuitable for any application where friction might be a factor, i.e. flashlight O-rings. It is used in static (non-moving) sealing applications only. You therefore won't find any silicone O-rings in your flashlights. It is therefore OK to use silicone grease.

    What about Vaseline, would it damage the o-rings?
    Vaseline has a petroleum base, which will damage (eat) some O-rings. It is therefore NOT recommended.
    Resistance is futile...

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Comprehensive Grease and Lube Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Tekno_Cowboy View Post
    I've used NanoLube and Nano-Oil, and it seems to work OK on Steel, but it didn't seem to work as well on Aluminum for me. IIRC it also uses a petroleum product base. These two things make me tend to lean toward the Poor category.

    Would anyone like to recommend it for a different section?
    Two of our most highly respected and experienced CPFers are firm supporters of NanoLube - Milkyspit and LuxLuthor. You don't get much better than a recommendation from those 2 guys.

    I use it myself for some applications, and my Nanolube applicator pen is one of the most useful items in my tool-kit. Please note for the record that there is a very deliberate space between the words "pen" and "is" above, lol.

    I do not know whether or not Nanolube contains any petroleum derivatives. An authoritative post would be helpful in this regard; an uninformed debate would not.
    Resistance is futile...

  29. #29
    Flashaholic* R@ndom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Comprehensive Grease and Lube Thread

    How do lithium grease and moly grease fare? Blue lithium boating grease about the only grease that's available locally and comes in a ridiculously large tub. Is it the blue stuff on the Nitecore PD lights?

  30. #30
    Flashaholic* Tekno_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Comprehensive Grease and Lube Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by ivanchek View Post
    how do you know that nano-oil it is petroleum based? i just bought some and want to know whether i should be cautious using it, especially on expensive lights.
    thanks.
    IIRC it was stated in a thread discussing nano-oil a while back that got closed.

    Quote Originally Posted by DM51 View Post
    Very understandable confusion. The answer is NO - silicone rubber is unsuitable for any application where friction might be a factor, i.e. flashlight O-rings. It is used in static (non-moving) sealing applications only. You therefore won't find any silicone O-rings in your flashlights. It is therefore OK to use silicone grease.
    I agree that silicone o-rings should not be used in lights, but I've gotten several lights made in China with silicone o-rings.

    Quote Originally Posted by DM51 View Post
    Two of our most highly respected and experienced CPFers are firm supporters of NanoLube - Milkyspit and LuxLuthor. You don't get much better than a recommendation from those 2 guys.

    I use it myself for some applications, and my Nanolube applicator pen is one of the most useful items in my tool-kit. Please note for the record that there is a very deliberate space between the words "pen" and "is" above, lol.

    I do not know whether or not Nanolube contains any petroleum derivatives. An authoritative post would be helpful in this regard; an uninformed debate would not.
    +1 for an authoritative post.

    While there are some prominent members that use it, I can't give it a go-ahead for the good section without more recommendations, and knowing that it does not contain petroleum derivatives.

    I've personally had good luck with it on steel, but my results on Aluminum have been mixed. On annodized Al, I didn't have too many issues, but it didn't work too well for me on bare Al.

    Quote Originally Posted by R@ndom View Post
    How do lithium grease and moly grease fare? Blue lithium boating grease about the only grease that's available locally and comes in a ridiculously large tub. Is it the blue stuff on the Nitecore PD lights?
    I doubt that that is what Nitecore uses, but it could be.

    I've used lithium and moly grease before. They'll do the job, but I've noticed they tend to be messy, staining, and they don't perform as well as many other greases. You should be able to find some silicone grease locally, and several places will ship internationally.
    Due to my current schedule being pretty darn hectic, I will not be accepting new modding projects until things settle down.

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