Ballscrew grease/lube/oil? Yeah, seriously.

Researching seems to get me a lot of "use the manufacturer's recommendation", but I'm looking for some generic lube for "mystery" ballscrews. The ballscew runs at relatively low speed (~100 rpm, 1" dia), so I'm guessing there's something I can pick up from a local hardware store or McMaster, etc?
Cheers,
-Neil.

The "manufacturer's recommendation" for the five machines I have that need manual greasing on the ballscrews and linear ways is General Purpose Lithium Grease; I figure that is okay to use on an slow speed ballscrew.

Lubriplate makes good light body grease

Yep! Lubriplate usually IS white lithium grease.
CR.

Thanks. I've never used lithium grease before, but I'm picturing something with the consistency of toothpaste. However, McMaster lists some of the white lithium greases as "aerosol" (example). Can't see an aerosol being the correct thing.
They've got grease-gun cartridge versions also but with PTFE (example), and I'm assuming this is the better type to use...???
While I'm looking though, I'm thinking that it's possible that the recommendation may be because it's generally easily available. Since I'm going to pick this up from McMaster, is there anything better you'd recommend? On that same McMaster page, the Mobilux EP 111 sounds good for this purpose... it states "Mobilux EP 111— Made of thick oil and moly, these black greases are wear resistant and suitable for high-speed rotating couplings as well as low-speed open gears and plain bearings."
Cheers,
-Neil.

Thanks. I've never used lithium grease before, but I'm picturing something with the consistency of toothpaste.....

About the consistency of toothpaste but without the abrasive particles.
I suggest you do not get a grease with any additives such as moly. Additives are for extreme pressure or extreme heat neither of which apply in your case.

What about PTFE though? That couldn't be bad, right? Or should I just find some paste-type white lithium without PTFE elsewhere?

Just get general purpose lithium grease.
Ball screws, even on commercial equipment do not operate in a really harsh environment. They never get hot and they are not subject to extremes of pressure. The most common lubrication material for ballscrews if Mobile Vactra way oil and this does not contain extreme pressure additives; the additives that are included are to prevent corrosion and to give an adhesiveness so the oil does not readily drain out of the ballscrews or linear guides, but it does drain eventually which is why when this oil is used there is a continuous flow lubrication system. Grease is designed to not drain out of bearings and things which is why you use it on ballscrews and linear guides that are maniually lubricated, but you just need plain grease.

I just found the Lubriplate website too, but generic Lithium grease works for me. It's really a low-use machine. Much thanks!

Mobilith SHC 100 is there in McMaster. NLG-2 consistency is what you want. This would be a good synthetic to use. We use a ton of it on our production gymbal bearings.
Lubriplate would be mediocre in my opinion. The binder and oil always seems to separate.
Our ballscrews always come loaded with Lithium based NLG-2.

Only use grease in a very clean environment as it may hold chips, or grit and carry it into the ball nut. If the lithium soap you use dries out then it will be a good lube for the screw nut combo, as long as it is not sticky. I tried a molly grease on my ball screw and quickly found out it was a BOZO NO NO ! I prefer OIL now. The grease had enough sticktion to hold chips and carry them through the brush wiper and then I could hear and feel them being eaten within the ball nut. I proved it when I took my Z ball assy apart and cleaned it.

For a ballscrew use either Kluber GL-261 or Mobil EP0.

White lithium aerosol works great for the squeaky door hinges on my car. LOL
Dick Z

Just get general purpose lithium grease.
Ball screws, even on commercial equipment do not operate in a really harsh environment. They never get hot and they are not subject to extremes of pressure. The most common lubrication material for ballscrews if Mobile Vactra way oil and this does not contain extreme pressure additives; the additives that are included are to prevent corrosion and to give an adhesiveness so the oil does not readily drain out of the ballscrews or linear guides, but it does drain eventually which is why when this oil is used there is a continuous flow lubrication system. Grease is designed to not drain out of bearings and things which is why you use it on ballscrews and linear guides that are maniually lubricated, but you just need plain grease.

Geof, I'm curious. I'm used to the ballscrews getting lube from the way oiling system. Do you know why your machines prefer the grease?
Cheers,
BW

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