What grease to use for linear rails?

  • What grease to use on linear rails to make them stick as little as possible? I've tried so far:

    • WD40 (let’s not start a discussion about that please),

    • silicon spray and

    • some bearing grease called ‘motorex’,

    but with all of them the rails stick quite much and don’t slide as easily as I’d hope.

    Can someone recommend some good grease for linear rails (specifically the hiwin type, 12-15mm)?

  • Don't use grease, it is better to use a light oil to lubricate the rods. A light oil will help flush out any dust and filament debris, grease will trap it.

    I've used both light machine oil (like used for sewing machines) and PTFE based spray (Teflon). Grease is thick and will collect and trap dust and particles more easily than light machine oil.

    Even high-end consumer printers use light machine oil, e.g. the Ultimaker 3 Extended I got came with a bottle of light machine oil for the linear guide rails. Their advice is to regularly add a drop of oil on each shaft once in a while (how frequent depends on how much your printer prints).

    And even with light oil or PTFE or silicone sprays, always wipe off excess.

    @CarlWitthoft Indeed, good to mention not to overdo the lubrication!

    A lot of machines are heavily lubed on the bearings, I'll admit I haven't actually ever lubed my machines and rarely have issues. Take a bearing apart and it will be heavy grease. But I also agree on the Valve oil.

    @JoelCoehoorn That oil may be designed for brass and so not contain the anti-corrosion additives for steel that some light machine oils might.

    Thin grease should be fine, also because linear rails have the bearings on the underside of the bar, so that collecting dirt is less likely. It has to be thin grease, however, not thick.

  • I have (what I thought was Silicon) spray that was given to me by the garage door installer to lube the rollers for my garage doors. I spray some on a paper towel and wipe the X, Y and Z bars with that. It is called Zep 70.


    Zep 70 is a soy-based penetrating lubricant that utilizes a renewable soy solvent. It provides excellent long-lasting lubrication, and superior water displacement properties. Zep 70 will penetrate quickly and clean dirt and grease. It will also protect against rust and corrosion. Zep 70 is packaged in a 24 oz. can with a net weight of 18 ounces.
    Utilizing a soy-based solvent, a renewable source, helps to conserve nonrenewable resources such as petroleum.
    Non-evaporative solvent extends life of the lubricant.
    Quickly penetrates parts frozen from rust or corrosion.
    Displaces moisture and condensation which can cause corrosion.
    Treated surfaces are protected from rust.
    Helps clean dirt and grease from metal surfaces.

    Reading the can contents, the Lubricant part seems to be TSRN-80100428-5003
    The guides seem to slide on the bars with this stuff. Can't find a google hit on it.

    I also made a polycarbonate enclosure around my printer to keep dust from settling on everything.

    This sounds like it is pretty much WD40

    Part of it does, yes. Really slippery stuff on the track bars.

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM

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