Key Factors To Consider When Picking a Lubricant

When it comes to lubricants, selecting the right one for your equipment can be tricky. Choosing the wrong type of lubricant causes problems like increased wear and tear, overheating, and even equipment failure. The right lubricant protects the longevity and proper functioning of your machinery and prevents these issues. To help you make the best decision, here is a look at key factors to consider when picking a lubricant.

Equipment Specifications

The first factor to consider is the equipment specifications. Different types of equipment require different lubricants based on unique properties and operating conditions. Refer to the equipment manual for the exact specifications. Other specifications include temperature range, load, speed, and compatibility with seals and coatings. Lubricants that do not meet these specifications negatively affect your equipment’s performance.

Lubricant Type

Different types of lubricants include mineral oils, synthetic oils, greases, and dry lubricants. Dry lubricant doesn’t rely on oil or grease and could be a better option if your business designs parts for the automotive or aerospace industries. However, each type of lubricant offers specific advantages and disadvantages, depending on the type of equipment and application.

Mineral oils are cost-effective and suitable for most applications but have limited resistance to high temperatures and contaminants. Synthetic oils are more expensive but offer excellent thermal and oxidative stability and are suitable for high-temperature and high-pressure applications.

Greases are necessary for frequently used warehouse equipment. Ensure your gauge is compatible with grease oils. Dry lubricants work well in high-pressure environments.


Additives are added to lubricants to enhance their performance, friction, and corrosive wear. Some common additives include anti-wear, extreme pressure, viscosity index improvers, and detergents. However, certain extracts may not be suitable for some applications; if the wrong lubricant is applied, the additives in the material could damage the equipment. Consult an expert to learn what additives your equipment and applications need to avoid damage.

Environmental Considerations

Environmental considerations are also essential when selecting lubricants. For example, some lubricants, such as greases and mineral oils, may be environmentally hazardous. Lubricant formulas can be eco-friendly. For example, eco-friendly lubricants that are biodegradable and low-toxicity are available and offer excellent environmental performance. Consider your region’s climate and environmental regulations before selecting a lubricant.

Maintenance Requirements

The last factor to consider is maintenance requirements. Some equipment requires frequent relubrication, while others can run smoothly for extended periods before requiring lubrication. Choosing a lubricant compatible with your equipment maintenance schedule is crucial to prevent equipment failure or damage.

Selecting lubricant is essential for your equipment’s longevity and proper functioning. By considering the equipment specifications, lubricant type, additives, environmental considerations, and maintenance requirements, you can make a well-informed decision that meets your equipment’s unique requirements and enhances its performance. After learning the factors to consider for picking a lubricant, take this advice and go to a professional to learn your options.

Originally Published on

Michael Levitt Chief Burnout Officer

Michael D. Levitt is the founder & Chief Burnout Officer of The Breakfast Leadership Network, a San Diego and Toronto-based burnout consulting firm. He is a Keynote speaker on The Great Resignation, Quiet Quitting and Burnout. He is the host of the Breakfast Leadership show, a Certified NLP and CBT Therapist, a Fortune 500 consultant, and author of his latest book BURNOUT PROOF.