Worm Drive Oil Substitutes: Are They Worth It?

Without proper lubrication, worm gears will perform poorly. There are plenty of drive oil options to eradicate that issue.

However, due to preference and price ranges, users often look for the best replacement. So, are you eager to know how to lubricate the worm gears without worm drive oil? Keep reading!

Let’s check out some of the best-selling substitutes so you can spend according to your budget and not one penny above!

Worm Drive Oil Alternatives

We’re confident you’re familiar with worm drive oils and their high-quality properties. However, if you’re unaware of this product, don’t worry.

There still may be a few alternatives to this product lying somewhere in your house or up for grabs in your nearby auto parts store.

 Either way, if you’re on the hunt for some worm drive oil alternatives, keep skimming. We will discuss the other options, their features, and why you can switch if you want!

  • Synthetic Gear Oils

Some of the best synthetic gear oils that work remarkably, even under challenging situations, are polyalkelene glycols and polyalphaolefins.

However, the most used synthetic lubricant out of these two is polyalphaolefins.

These have impressive combinations of high and low-temperature features and natural properties that can compliments plenty of mineral oils. The formulations for these pose antiwear minerals and organic ester, which can improve the lubrication qualities in worm gears.

On the other hand, polyalkylene glycols are also great alternatives for worm gears as they contain high lubrication specifications along with a combination of suitable high and low temperatures.

In PAGs, the viscosity is much higher than in other synthetic alternatives. With a low viscosity range initially, PAGs can improve efficiency and reduce the friction of the machinery.

There are certainly no huge disadvantages of utilizing PAOs instead of worm drive oils.

However, PAO seems to be a bit more on the high-end side but still provides top-notch care that positively affects the surface quality, lubrication, sliding speed, installation, and lead angles for the worm drive.

On the other hand, PAG’s only drawback seems to be its incompatibility with different formulations of fluids. Due to this inconsistency in property match, there are chances of polycarbonate glasses, seals, and paint attacks.

Some of the best-selling commercial oils for this genre are by Mobile Glycoyle HE and Shell Tivela.

  • EP Gear Oils

Now, this one’s no surprise to anybody as EP mineral oils are renowned for their substitution properties in worm gears. EP seems to have become quite popular amongst technically-savvy users, whether because of the anti-scuffing additives or high temperature and pressure.

The additive in EPs is mainly used to form a slippery and soft chemical-based layer that prevents friction and performs amazingly for welding and high lubrication.

Even though EP had sulfur-phosphorous-based additives earlier, the recently advanced formulation has brought down the corrosiveness of the ingredients, making it safer for use.

The best part about EP lubricants is that they work remarkably under shock loads. Moreover, EP oils can also work better than most compound oils due to their high lubricating features.

EP gear oils also work under 82-degree Celsius. And the generic recommendations for these are at AGMA 8 and 7 viscosity levels. You can find EP commercial oils from brands like Chevron, Mobilgear, Exxon, and Shell.

If you are more interested, watch this video!

  • Compounded Gear Oils

For extensive usage, compounded gear oils never disappoint because they have a wide range of applications other than seamlessly serving worm gears. Compounded oils have mineral base stocks that can naturally prevent oxidation and rust.

But that’s not all.

It also has 4 to 6 synthetic fatty acids and tallow percentages, which can activate the worm gear’s functionality. Furthermore, the agent has high lubricating and anti-slipping properties due to its surface-active compound specifications.

You will notice that most OEMs actually recommend and prefer compounded gear oils as an alternative to worm gear oils. This is because, initially, compounded oils worked to lubricate cylinder walls via steam. The temperature for these oils is thus around 82 degrees Celsius.

And since it’s challenging to pull out compounded oils from this given range, they can be the perfect replacement for EP and worm drive gear oils.

However, before purchasing compounded gear oil, ensure to review its viscosity specifications and recommendations as the selection should heavily depend on the operating temperature, speed, size, and type.

Similar to EP oils, compounded oils also have application recommendations of AGMA 8 and 7. However, in most cases, the 1000VG or 8A is used. You can find these recommended compounded oils from Chevron and Exxon.

Is Worm Drive Oil Worth It?

Worm Drive Oil
Worm Drive Oil

It’s a no-brainer that authentic worm drive oils have made it to the top. Since you know much about its alternatives now, let’s brush up on a few things about worm drive oils themselves.

Worm drive oils have a specific formulation that can extend the machine’s overall reach and handle.

Moreover, gear oils have a notorious reputation for getting gunky and dirty often, thus requiring frequent replacement over time.

Users find that the quicker replenishment cycles make fresh worm drive oils work equally as well as the alternatives.

Now, the sole purpose of worm drive oil is to enhance lubrication and reduce friction by a mile. And most users find pleasure in worm gear oils due to their high efficiency and unique lubricating presence even under challenging conditions.

With a synthetic base and recommended viscosity grade, worm drive oils have proven themselves to be the ultimate champion time and time again.

But don’t let that stop you from looking into worm drive oil alternatives that can potentially increase your worm drive’s functionality besides maintaining its top-tier condition and performance.

So, the bottom line is, it’s totally up to your preference on which product you should go for and why.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What oil can I use for a worm drive saw?

The most regularly used worm gears lubricants are synthetic, EP, and compound mineral oils. Each of these products has specialized features that blend well with worm gears.

Can you put motor oil in a worm drive saw?

Although worm drives come with their oil bath gearbox, they often require a replacement. It’s best to opt for synthetic-based oils for worm drive saws so that the performance remains top-notch.

What kind of oil goes in a skill saw?

Generally, you can acquire a non-detergent-based oil from any auto parts store for a skill saw. An 8-oz synthetic oil should do the trick of lubricating your skill saw seamlessly.

What oil do you use for brass gears?

Lubes or oil with high EP is best for brass alloys. Some users also prefer sulfur-based additive EPs, but these can destroy the brass synchronizers rapidly.


Let’s wrap things up. To boil it down, we all understand that worm drive oils will own the house once you purchase it.

However, this article focuses on those individuals who still love to have the flexibility of jotting down and trying out a few alternatives.

So, are worm drive oil substitutes worth it? Definitely! The best part is, now you can choose either the worm drive oil or alternatives that are just as good, and that’s a win-win!

Ralph Wade

Hey...Ralph is here! So, did you find this article useful? If so, please leave a comment and let me know. If not, please tell me how I can improve this article. Your feedback is always appreciated. Take love :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Recent Posts