Lubricating Question

hi all,
I’m new to yo-yo play. I have a question about lubericating the bearings on my DMII yo-yo. I have DIF kon-kave bearings in it. I thought I was going to be a wise guy and throw in some thick lube, play it for a while and then throw in some thin lube to get it back to more unresponsive play. The thinning lube sped up the spin, some what, but the yoyo still grabs and returns when I try to do a plastic whip. Will the thin lube every bring it back to unresponsive or do i need to mineral spirit the bearings and run with no lube?
Any help would be…helpful.
Thanks! Johnny

Why would you put in the thick lube first? Also, how much thin lube did you put in?

If you want, and depending if you put too much lube or not, then you might want to clean the bearing with whatever you prefer (mineral spirits, acetone, lighter fluid, etc.).

However, if you put the right amount of lube in the bearing (one or two very small drops on the shield of the bearing), then keep playing with it. All bearings get a little responsive after some thin lube. Just keep playing with it and let the bearing break in.

I’m not certain how responsive your bearing is but it sounds like you put quite a bit of lube in it. Thick lube can be thinned with thin lube however, if you used a lot of thick lube it will take a lot of thin lube and then it will still be pretty responsive. I don’t usually suggest cleaning a bearing unless it needs it. Therefore, you will have to decide if there is to much lube in the bearing. I’d probably clean the bearing and then add a very small ammount of thin lube. You won’t even need a full drop of thin lube to do the job. Place the oil on a toothpick or let it run down a needle and just place it on one or two balls.

Thank you guys!
Being new and being a lot over zealous I’m pretty sure that you are both correct that I used to much thick. I think the best corse would be to clean it.

The reason I added the thick first was that one of the videos suggested thick to protect the bearings. Then use the thin lube to speed it back up. The clip didn’t mention how much, or better how little lube to use.

Thanks again!

clean… clean… clean… you want to get that lube out of there, trying to thin it out will take too long, and risk gumming it up…

I’d grab some electrical cleaner and spray it down - even better if you take shields off, but you can get away with spraying with shields on… run it for a while… I would just keep it that way, but if you want, with shields off take a straight pin and dip it onto your thin lube and let it drip (little drip) of lube on the bearing - do it 2 times…

here’s the details on the Electrical Cleaner - I like it better than the usual mineral spirits and harsh cleaners - it’s easier and safer…,35421.0.html

Thin lube by itself is enough to protect the balls.

Also, if the bearing is shielded, then add one or two very small drops on the shield. If it’s deshielded, then add a pinprick or two of lube on several of the balls (like how the others mentioned how to do it). Just to clarify.

I think what the OP is missing is the fact that lubrication, regardless of the method, is going to slow down the bearing. Thick lube is designed to be thick(go figure) and actually slow down the bearing to increase responsiveness. Even thin lube will slow down a bearing. While running a bearing dry is fine, it’s my recommendation to very sparingly use thin lube on a completely clean bearing for the purposes of maintenance and prolonging the bearing life.

We’re not doing an application where we’re trying to “float” something heavy on a bed covered with a grease.

For the most part, less lube is better. It’s better to add less than what yo need. You can always add more. Most of the time, we need less than we use. It’s better to use less and then add to it, rather than add too much and have to clean and start over.

Clean the bearing then take a small pin and get a drop of lube on it, let some drip off first then lightly touch every other ball and spin it. This is what I do to my bearings if they need lube.

I use thin lube to make yoyos unresponsive. Its all I use, cleaning bearing is ok if you have something stuck in there that is sticky, like the goo from response stickers.

Thin lube will break down thick lube I do it all the time. Just add two or three drops then play with it for a bit, you will notice lube getting on your string change that often. You need to remove the shields for the process. If you want your shields on the bearing put them back on after it is unresponsive again. Shields main design is to keep lube in, keep that in mind.

Depending on how much lube there is in there you are trying to break down, it could take 10 hours of play to have the thin lube do the trick.

Once it is back to unresponsive, I don’t lube unless my yoyo is responding when it shouldn’t. Then I add two big drops of thin lube from yoyojam, and my yoyo is responsive again for around 2 hours of play or less. Sometime only about 30 min. Then it is right back to unresponsive. I have done a drop test with bearing maintained like this, and I get about 7 min spin using the twisting method.

Don’t get me wrong how ever you decide to maintain your bearing is fine as long as it works, but what you are doing should work as long as you have removed the shields, and have used enough thin lube. Its how I have been doing it for years. At least 5, with zero bearing dieing on me. When I used to clean bearing I had to clean them a lot more often then I have to lube my bearings, the way I maintain them now. Really though just do what works for you don’t take this as me harping on you or your way of things. Everyone has their own way.

Any viscus lube will slow down a bearing.
Drag increases exponentially with speed.

Why did you put thick lube in? My opinion would be to just keep on using it, and after a while, the lube should ware off. I would say that One Drop lube, is the longest lasting, and best.

Any time you lube a bearing you’re going to get a decrease in spin time. Lube mostly decreases the noise, helps reduce friction in the bearing increasing its lifespan and protects against moisture which could create rust and kill the bearing.

When switching to a new type of lube you must always clean the bearing first, otherwise all you are doing is adding more and more lube decreasing your spin time and making the bearing responsive. No lube is going to increase spin time. The different viscosities you find only help to give you a choice of how you want the bearing to act while being lubed.

As others have stated, less lube is going to be better. I play my bearing dry mostly but when I do use lube I use the thinnest I have and apply it with a pin or toothpick directly to only a few of the balls after removing the shields.

Hope this helps! And remember, we were all “new” to this at some point!

I bet i know the reason for this… Andre in the modification video says “If your yo-yo is not coming back up to your hand as much as you want to, you get some thick lube on there. It’s going to shoot right back to your hand, it’s really going to work well for you. However, as you learn tricks, as you get better you want a yo-yo that’s not going to shoot back to you as fast. You want it to spin pretty smoothly at the bottom of the string, so the thin lube actually can go in and break down the original thick lube that you have in there. So if you put a couple of drops into the bearing here like so, you’ll notice now the bearing is spinning much smoother” I never ever agreed with this even when i first started and knew hardly anything about yoyoing. the thin lube wont really “break down” the thick lube… it will make it less viscus but its still more viscus than it should be… he even says to add a couple of drops… when, to run a bearing smoothly, should add a drop or less.

I prefer a clean dry bearing. No lube. Find it best for unresponsive play.


Definitely prefer a dry bearing in my daily throws. I use servo lube to store throws in my collection that I don’t play as often.