Bearing and Maintenance questions

As a yoyo newbie, I have some questions about how to keep bearings working properly, so here goes. Answers would be greatly appreciated!

  1. Do I have to deshield the bearing to lubricate it?

  2. I have a friend who hates factory lube (the stuff you get in it when you buy a new yoyo). Is the stuff bad and should it be cleaned out?

  3. Is it good to lube a new yoyo right when you get it?

  4. What is the best thin lube sold on this site?

  5. I read somewhere that instrument oil could work as a lubricant, is this true? I have this trombone slide oil with the consistency of water, I wonder if this would work…

  1. You don’t have to deshield a bearing to lube it but it does make it a whole lot easier to get the tiny pin drop of lube you need in it.

  2. It really depends on just how much they’ve lubed the bearing at the factory. Some companies (like YYF) like to add quite a bit of lube before shipping out while others ship bearings out dry. It’s basically the same thin lube that you’d apply anyway so unless the bearing is acting responsive, there’s really no need to clean it out but there’s no harm in doing so if you wish.

  3. Same answer as question 2. Depends how much lube is already in there. Some people prefer a bit of lube to keep everything super quiet, others prefer to run dry bearings for that little bit extra spin (at the cost of a shortened bearing life span).

  4. Pretty much all the thin lube sold here will get the job done and a part of me thinks that they’re all the same, just in different bottles. I’ve heard of some people using sewing machine oil on their yoyo bearings but I haven’t tried that myself.

Hope that helps.


Probably not taking it off prevents overlubing. I’m not sure though.

I always take the shields off when im cleaning a bearing
If you do want to lube it you have to clean it first
If you put lube into a not perfectly clean bearing it will latch on to any dirt or dust in there and make it responsive (I work at a game store and see this wayyyy to much)
And if a bearing is new and unresponsive dont do anything to it until it doesnt play like you want it to

The purpose of cleaning/lubing a bearing is to make it play like you want it and how your style of play is

For me I do alot of whips and suicides so I want my bearing completly unresponsive (even if that means it has a bit of noise)
A fridend of my does mostly really fast tech things and wants his bearings silent and a tiny bit responsive

Just try cleaning and lubing a bunch of bearings differently and see what you like the best

You will also want something a little bit thicker than slide oil