It can be called the Falex test machine, the spinning bearing tester or most accurately, the “one-armed bandit”. We’ve all seen these machines at trade shows. It is a demonstration tool used to test the extreme pressure abilities of a variety of lubricants and additive products. Quite often an engine oil additive of dubious repute comes out looking like the world’s finest lubricant, right before your very eyes. Invariably there will be a shifty character operating said machine.

The Falex test machine is not an accepted test method by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and for good reason. As you’ll see in the video below, the variables of the test can appear to look constant, but the outcome of the test can be manipulated quite easily.