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Lubrication: Grease vs. Oil

If you want to extend the life of your machine and keep it running at top performance, lubrication is your answer. Lubricating your machines and bearings is the single most important thing you can do. It is so important, that the number one reason for bearing failure is improper lubrication. Not only is choosing the correct lubricant for your application important, but a schedule of lubrication maintenance is crucial as well.

Most people think lubricant is used just to make the machine parts move freely, while this is true, there are also many more advantages to using the right lubricant.

When applied properly, lubrication can:

  • Extend the life of your machine
  • Operate more efficiently
  • Components will work smoothly
  • Will decrease corrosion and rust
  • Decrease machine noise

There are different types of lubricants but we are going to focus on the advantages and disadvantages of grease vs. oil lubrication.

 Item Grease Lubrication Oil Lubrication
 Feeding Device Grease sealed bearing does not require relubrication for an extended period.
 Requires a device that continuously feeds oil (drip-feed, splash feed, recirculation system).
 Consumption Can be kept to the minimum necessary.
 Significant amount required.
 Lubrication System Simple. Complex.
 Leakage Unlikely because of its seal forming characteristics.
 Possible if sealing system is adequate.
 Use for high-speed application Limited. Yes.
 Contaminant removal No. Continual removal by filtration or centrifuge.
 Cooling Efficiency No cooling capacity High cooling capacity
 Friction Loss Generally high, but torque reduction can be achieved by channeling in roller bearings.
 Generally low.

Keep the following factors in mind when deciding between whether to use grease or oil:


  • Applications with lower operating speeds
  • Applications that require protection from moisture and contaminants
  • Applications where lubricant is needed to stay in place


  • Applications that require low torque
  • Applications with high speed and high temperatures
  • Applications where space needed to lubricate is limited

Using the correct type of lubricant is crucial to the longevity and efficiency of your machine tools. In addition, it can reduce energy consumption, which can save you money now and in the long run.

All World Machinery stocks grease syringes filled with either Kyodo Yushi Mutlitemp LRL No. 3, Citrax No. 2., or Kluber Lubrications ISOFLEX NBU 15. But that's not all. We also do custom grease syringes for custom machinery lubrication. When your bearing application calls for grease rather than oil, our bearing grease range is globally accepted by industry standards. Using the right bearing grease can be critical to minimize friction, prevent wear, and extend the life of your bearings.


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