How to Oil Skateboard Bearings
Skateboard bearings are the parts inside the skateboard wheels that allow them spin. Over time, bearings can collect dirt and dust, which will slow the wheels and damage the bearings. Occasionally cleaning and oiling your skateboard bearings will keep them in good shape, and keep your wheels rolling quickly and smoothly. There are different types of skateboard bearings. The method you use for oiling your bearings will depend on the type of bearings you have. Some bearings are sealed and are not meant to be opened for oiling. Other bearings have removable shields made of metal or rubber. There is a basic method of cleaning and oiling skateboard bearings that have removable shields.
Oil the Bearings
Remove the skateboard wheels from the trucks. The trucks house the axles and hold the wheels to the skateboard. Remove the hex nuts from the ends of the axles and take off the wheels.
Remove the bearings from the wheels. Use a small flat-head screwdriver to gently pry the bearings out of the wheels. Each wheel has two bearings. Remove all eight bearings.
Remove the shields from the bearings. In some bearings, the shields are held in place with a thin c-ring. If your bearings have c-rings, pry them out with your screwdriver. Pop the shield out by gently poking it from the other side of the bearing with a straight pin. Be careful not to damage the shields.
Soak the bearings. Place all eight bearings, as well as the c-rings and shields, in a bowl with either a solvent, such as acetone, or a biodegradable detergent. Use enough solvent or detergent to completely cover the bearings. Allow the bearings to soak until they are clean.
Allow the bearings to dry. Once the bearings are clean, remove them from the solvent and place them on a paper towel to dry completely. If you used a detergent, rinse the bearings thoroughly with water, and then set them out to dry.
Oil the bearings. Add only a few drops of lubricating oil in the spaces between the ball bearings. Roll the ball bearings around with your finger to make sure oil is evenly applied. The type of oil you use is up to you.
Reassemble the bearings. Put the shields and c-rings back in the bearings, put the bearings back the in wheels, and put the wheels back on the trucks.
You can speed up the drying time after you have removed the bearings from the solvent by using a hair dryer on them. Grease can be used instead of oil; however, bearings lubricated with grease tend not to spin as fast, according to SkateLog.com. Oil intended specifically for use on skateboard bearings is available.
WD-40 and 3-in-1 oil are not recommended for oiling skateboard bearings. Do not use too much oil on the bearings. Besides being wasteful, too much oil may create a sticky film on your bearings.
- You can speed up the drying time after you have removed the bearings from the solvent by using a hair dryer on them.
- Grease can be used instead of oil; however, bearings lubricated with grease tend not to spin as fast, according to SkateLog.com.
- Oil intended specifically for use on skateboard bearings is available.
- WD-40 and 3-in-1 oil are not recommended for oiling skateboard bearings.
- Do not use too much oil on the bearings. Besides being wasteful, too much oil may create a sticky film on your bearings.
Keith Vaughn is an artist and writer in Asheville, NC. Vaughn regularly writes essays and fine art reviews for Bees And Trees Blog. He also paints and exhibits his work regularly. He holds a Master of Fine Arts from the Cranbrook Academy of Art.