Graphite as lube

My yo-yo was loud and spun worse so I put graphite in it and now it’s responsive please tell me what to do

You need to thoroughly clean the bearing and don’t use graphite lube. There are plenty of threads here explaining how and there are videos showing you how to maintain and clean a yoyo bearing

Tank you soooo much

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Graphite can be good and bad, depending on application.

Graphite can be good when used on Load bearing’ bearings. An example would be Skateboard bearings. Obviously all the parts of a bearing come in direct contact with each other. But let’s say for example, that the Skateboarder is 6 feet tall and weighs 235 pounds. And he POUNDS the streets and rides railings and then slams the ground…. Hops curbs and banks off walls, etc. <Those are ‘load bearing’ situations.

Graphite ‘alone’ is not really meant for effectively lubing bearings. Load bearing Graphite is usually alloyed with small amounts of copper or Babbitt and/or a few other metal micro-bits to bolster its functionality. A graphite/alloy lube will assist in lowering friction. By lowering friction, it lowers temperature of component parts and can increase the performance curve and life of the bearings.

Now… on to yo-yo bearings. They are not ‘Load bearing’. They are not subjected to the weight of the yo-yo player. There is no downward pressure pushing the outer race against the bearing balls and forcing them against the inner race.

Quite the opposite. The force is outwards. You are only dealing with the weight of the yo-yo and the friction created by the rpm and power of each throw and the centrifugal force generated as a direct result of the power. There is still friction but it is not direct load friction.

Graphite has few attributes to justify its use in a yo-yo bearing.

All bearings will have an unknown service life. Bearing performance varies from bearing to bearing, even if you buy a tube of 10 identical bearings with ratings from ABEC 1 TO ABEC 7. Good luck getting the same amount of play out of all 10 of them, lol.

Even if you run bearings dry, you have to periodically clean them to remove the degraded bits that result from standard bearing wear. If you don’t remove the particles, then they just stay in the bearing and help erode performance.

Thin and/or thick lube can be used, depending on your specific need. Both will cause various amounts of drag, but might be useful to alter the friction coefficient and assist in longer bearing life. Lubes don’t always increase performance.

There are as many opinions on the subject of lubing as there are yo-yo players.

The effectiveness of lubes can vary because of so many contributing factors, whatever you do or don’t use, will be dictated on what ends up working for you.

Yo-yos with different weight distributions, different gap widths, different bearing types, different response systems/pads/rings/nothing, different types of string, etc.

Lube is only one part of a ‘recipe’.

You may put one small drop of thin synthetic lube on a certain yo-yo and it plays so much better, you would think a Miracle occurred.

A week later you try it on a different yo-yo and the results are horrible.

…… Two guys are using the same lube. They are practicing together. Before they start, one guy puts a drop of lube on his bearing. Then, he hands the lube to his friend who also puts a drop of lube on his bearing.

They start throwing and within a minute the first guys yo-yo is rolling right along…… spinning long, pretty unresponsive and binding just right.

The second guys yo-yo seems kinda responsive, is not spinning very long and comes back without even binding. What the heck is going on?

They both decide to take their yo-yos apart. The first guy happens to have an unshielded bearing. Because of that, the centrifugal force causes much of the lube to be thrown out of the bearing. The bearing parts are still coated, but most of the micro-drag is not there, because the lube is not there, lol.

The second guy had both shields in place. So even though some of the lube leaches out past the shields(depending on viscosity) most of the lube is captive in the bearing causing a more responsive situation.

That explanation should be clear as mud, I’m guessing.

My opinion…. Don’t bother with graphite. It would be my last choice. I think I would try Best Foods Mayonnaise before I would put graphite in a yo-yo bearing.

Clean the bearing with either: 91+ Alcohol…. Acetone or lighter fluid. Dry the bearing with a hair dryer and either run it dry or put a small drop of thin synthetic oil on it.


Thank yo so much for the info