As tooling gets smaller, there are more concerns around prolonging tool life and performance. This is because the surface area of the tool has decreased, increasing friction. In cases where lubricant cannot be used, operators will notice a lot more premature wear from heat build-up. If lubricant can be used, it is highly recommended in order to extend the life of the tool.
Regardless of lubrication used, small expanders will require more preventative maintenance. In larger expanders, the cage has ample room for debris to naturally flush itself out. However, as the cage gets smaller, the amount of space for debris is limited. This can result in more buildup of tube material deposit or lubricant inside of the expander. One of the easiest methods for cleaning out an expander is with an ultra-sonic cleaner. Generally, tooling should be cleaned after every 50-70 expansions, but can vary depending on tube material. To reduce downtime due to cleaning, it can be beneficial to have two expanders ready to go so they can be swapped out for cleaning.
Overall, if you can keep your expander clean and cool, it will perform better and last longer on the job.