Q&A: Tef-Gel Versus Never-Seez

Question: I am intrigued by your high praise for Tef-Gel. I have not heard of it before, and in the past I have used ‘anti-seize’ for mooring shackles and installing stainless steel fasteners in aluminum. I am curious about your experience with ‘anti-seize’ versus Tef-Gel. In addition, I have had good luck using BP Blaster to loosen s/s fasteners in aluminum when there is some corrosion. What works for you when s/s fasteners are being stubborn?

Answer: I can’t say that I have really done any comparison between Tef-Gel and Never-Seez® (I assume you are talking of Never-Seez or one of its close cousins). We carry both on the boat and we tend to use the former on areas where stainless steel and aluminum meet and the latter for steel on steel interfaces. Both are good products and we have never had trouble removing a fastening that was treated with either.

As far as BP Blaster is concerned, I have used it a couple of times but not found it any better than anything else for loosening a seized fastening. In most cases, I have found that if a stainless steel fastening was installed dry into aluminum and is well and truly seized, about the only thing that will shift it without ringing off the fastening is heat. To that end we carry a MAPP gas (burns much hotter than propane) torch, although I have to say that, as we have owned the boat since 1991, have disassembled most everything on her in that time, and are scrupulous about always treating screws, it is not much of an issue anymore.

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Meet the Author

John

John was born and brought up in Bermuda and started sailing as a child, racing locally and offshore before turning to cruising. He has sailed over 100,000 miles, most of it on his McCurdy & Rhodes 56, Morgan's Cloud, including eight ocean races to Bermuda, culminating in winning his class twice in the Newport Bermuda Race. He has skippered a series of voyages in the North Atlantic, the majority of which have been to the high latitudes. John has been helping others go voyaging by sharing his experience for twenty years, first in yachting magazines and, for the last 12 years, as co-editor/publisher of AAC.

3 comments… add one
  • Dick Stevenson Oct 8, 2012, 3:51 pm

    Dear John, For those tempted to Never-Seize, it works great but the product dries to a grey semi soft powder which falls to the deck and gets tracked everywhere and or gets on your hands and tools and is transferred everywhere. Wiping up just results in spreading it into larger areas of grey. Great stuff if used only in workshops on concrete floors but we found it to be a nightmare on boats. Duralac has been our standby and we are about to try TufGel.
    Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy

    • John Oct 9, 2012, 9:08 am

      Hi Dick,

      I hear you on the mess of Never-Seize, but there are certain applications where it is the only right lubricant. For example Hall Spars and Navetec require it on the screw in sockets that form the top termination of our rod rigging. Only Never-Seize will absolutely guarantee that a stainless steal on SS threaded joint won’t gore and jamb irrevocably.

      The point being that Never-Seize, Duralac, and Tef-Gel have very different properties. And while there is some overlap, very different uses:

      • Never-Seize: Prevents gore between SS on SS joints and also good in high heat applications.
      • Tef-Gel: Great for isolating dissimilar metals, most notably SS fastenings into aluminium.
      • Duralac: Good for isolation, but also locks the thread against backing out from vibration

      Note that I think I’m right in saying that Duralac is the most toxic of the three, although Tef-Gel is very toxic if burned.

  • Dick Stevenson Oct 9, 2012, 2:15 pm

    John,
    Thanks for the good info differentiating similar products. Your comments suggest that Duralac is better for thread locking than TufGel. I have just started using TG as I could not find Duralac recently. Is the comment about toxicity and burning refering to when you might end up heating a fastener to get it apart and it has these agents on the threads?
    My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy

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