Greases Explained

First of all - grease is NOT interchangeable!

When choosing the grease for your vehicle/machinery, you must take into account that there are different formulations for different applications.

Starting Point

If you have a manual, then check it!

Any assembly diagram should have a symbol that looks a bit like a grease gun (something like the example figure shown below) and a key similar to the following:

    Grease Gun Symbol Example
  • GREASE - Multi-purpose lithium-based grease
  • M -Molybdenum disulfide (moly) grease with at least 3% moly content
  • MP - Molybdenum disulfide (moly) paste with at least 40% moly content
  • S - Silicone grease

You should follow the instructions for which grease to use as specified by the manufacturer of your machine exactly.

I don't have a manual ...

For those who do not have a manual to tell them exactly what type of grease to use, the following is a general guide to the different types of greases available and when and where to use them.

Multi-purpose Lithium-based Grease

Lithium grease is used in bearings where there are rollers, or balls under the load.

Grease made with lithium soap (lithium grease) sticks particularly well to metal, is non-corrosive, can be used under heavy loads, and has good temperature tolerance. With its resistance to moisture, it is commonly used as lubricant in household products, such as electric garage doors, as well as in automotive applications, such as Constant Velocity (CV) Joints.

In general terms, light vehicle wheel bearings are adequately lubricated with a National Lubricating Grease Institute (NLGI) Grade 2 multipurpose, or Extreme Pressure (EP) grease with a base oil viscosity of approximately 200 centistokes and meeting NLGI Service Category GC, which covers service typical of wheel bearings operated in passenger cars, trucks and other vehicles under mild to severe duty.

Tyne and Wear Oils recommend: Our 12.5kg EP2 Grease Keg

Moly Grease

Moly grease is generally used for high pressure metal sliding against metal situations.

Greases containing moly are recommended for roller bearings subjected to very heavy loads and shock loading, especially in slow, or oscillating motion such as found in universal joints and CV joints.

If such greases are used in high-speed bearings, problems can be experienced with roller "skidding" where the bearing roller fails to rotate through the full 360 degrees due to reduced friction. As a result, the roller develops flat spots, and its service life is reduced.

In addition, CV joint/Moly grease is often manufactured to NLGI Grade 1 and would therefore not be suitable for automotive wheel bearings.

Tyne and Wear Oils recommend: Our 12.5kg Moly Grease Keg

Fifth Wheel Grease

Fifth Wheel Grease is also written or known as 5th Wheel Grease.

The 'fifth wheel' of a truck is (generally) the coupling between the trailer and the pulling vehicle. On this round wheel-like locking mechanism you are looking for a grease that stays put (and does not wash-out or scrape off easily), and protects against corrosion and wear.

Our fifth wheel grease is a premium quality graphite compound for anti-seize applications where low chlorine and sulphur levels are required and where a nickel containing product is to be avoided. It is primarily suitable for stainless steel fasteners.

Other uses for Fifth Wheel Grease include assembly and running-in purposes. The compound is designed to prevent damage during start up and protects against wear in adverse operating conditions.

Tyne and Wear Oils recommend: Our 12.5kg 5th Wheel Grease Keg

Graphite Grease

Graphite, along with Molybdenum Disulfide, are the 2 types of 'dry' or 'solid' lubricants - quite literally non-liquid! Both will reduce friction between two surfaces sliding against one another, but as we have already seen, different applications require different greases:

Graphite grease will be most suitable for:

  • air compressors
  • open gears
  • ball bearings
  • machine-shop works.

Top tip: It is also useful for lubricating locks, since a liquid lubricant allows particles to get stuck in the lock, and that can worsen the problem!

Moly grease has a higher specification than graphite grease, and can also operate in a vacuum. Moly grease (as described earlier) would be most commonly used in CV joints.

Copper Anti-seize Grease.

Copper Anti-seize grease, as the name suggests, is lead-free grease for use on the threaded connections of pipes, flanges and threaded fasteners that are subject to high temperatures and/or corrosive environments. The compound overcomes galling (wear caused by stickiness between sliding surfaces) on assembly and greatly reduces dismantling torque, enabling fast and easy dismantling of components. It is suitable for use as an anti-seize up to 1100°C and protects against seizure in conditions of high corrosion and chemical attack.

Although the term grease is used, it is perhaps more accurately lubrication.

Such is the specification, our copper anti-seize grease can be used in the chemical and petrochemical industries.

In a nutshell: Grease is for bearings; anti-seize is for fasteners.

Popular Greases in our Range

EP00 Grease

EP00 grease is a multi-purpose extreme pressure grease, our EP00 grease is a semi-fluid grease suitable for automatic greasing units (gearboxes designed to operate with a semi-fluid slumping grease) and as an alternative to industrial gear oils to prevent leakage.

EP00 grease can be used in all anti-friction settings and where plain bearings are subjected to high load conditions.

This is a very popular grease within the industrial and automotive sectors.

Tyne and Wear Oils recommend: Our 12.5kg EP00 Grease Keg

Tyne and Wear Oils stock these greases (and more) as standard for either overnight delivery, or immediate pick up from our trade counter.

We also offer a local delivery and advisory service.

If you have an immediate industrial lubrication or fluid requirement, then please get in touch now for immediate, free, no obligation advice.