Under spinning conditions, lubricant on islandic spot patterned M2 steel disc experiences centrifugal and tangential force components. Depending upon the relative position of the spots and the flow of lubricant, accumulation of lubricant in front of patterned islandic spots creates thrusting to mating part and subsequently reduces contact between the mating couple. Whilst wear debris is likely to be spun off the plateau of the spots to their neighbouring valleys so as to reduce wear. Hence, it gives favorable tribological characteristics. Aiming at verifying such mechanisms, studies were performed on M2 steel disc specimens slid with ASSAB 17 tool steel pin. The M2 steel disc specimens were respectively (i) machined with non-patterned (NP), (ii) etched to produce in-lined (INE) islandic patterns, and (iii) etched to produce staggered (STE) islandic spot patterns. Results indicated that the INE patterned discs gave most favorable wear characteristics, the NP of the worse characteristics whilst the STE ranged in the middle. However, the actual contact mechanism leads to the descending sequence of favorable friction behaviors nominally as: NP, INE and STE. © 2008 Wuhan University of Technology and Springer-Verlag GmbH.