Comprehensive Grease and Lube Thread

Wurkkos

Tekno_Cowboy

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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
 
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berry580

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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.
 

Tekno_Cowboy

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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?
 

post tenebras

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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]
 
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Tekno_Cowboy

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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.
 

EngrPaul

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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.
 
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Pekka

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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 :)
 

Tekno_Cowboy

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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?
 

RichS

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Could you provide a link with more information on the lube?

http://www.triflowlubricants.com/products/syntheticgrease.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.
 

Tekno_Cowboy

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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.

http://www.triflowlubricants.com/products/syntheticgrease.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.

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.
 

csshih

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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.
 

EngrPaul

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Make sure you put smelly ones in the bad list. :p

You can include whatever blue stuff comes on a nitecore PD ;)
 

darkzero

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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.:popcorn:
 
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