This depends on what you’re using the bearings for. Requirements for speed, load, temperature, noise levels, water resistance or food safety approval are just some of the factors you need to consider. Try our “choose your grease” quiz to help narrow down your options.

For most applications, it’s important that the bearings spin easily with low frictional torque and minimal heat generation. For this, mineral or synthetic based lubricants are the most commonly used and are designed for general and high-speed use. Oils permit high speed with very low resistance but don't stay in place. Oil lubricated bearings are often used in instruments where rotation is slower or intermittent. For higher speeds, unless you can apply oil continuously by use of an oil spray or oil bath, you should consider a grease lubricated bearing.

There are many different types of bearing grease. Finely filtered versions are used for low noise applications. There are water and chemical resistant greases or low/high temperature options as well as fortified high-load greases. We stock many specialist lubricants and for more information on some of more popular types, please see our lubricant tables.

Remember, it’s not just the type of lubrication that matters, but how much you use. Too much grease can be bad for a bearing, resulting in greater rolling resistance (higher frictional torque) which may not be suitable for many applications. This increases the risk of heat build-up – a big no-no for bearings. The standard fill is 25 to 35 per cent of internal space, but this can be varied if required.

For more information on bearing lubrication, contact the team on +44 (0) 1993 842 555 or

Our determination to remain specialised gives us a high level of product knowledge, providing bearing and lubrication solutions to existing or potential customers, whether individuals or large corporations. We don’t just sell bearings, we help to solve your problems. - Chris Johnson, managing director of SMB Bearings.