The photo above shows a simple illustration of how a ball bearing looks like. Basically, a ball bearing consists of three parts: The ball bearings, the outer ring and the inner ring. The balls allow the outer and inner rings to rotate freely. There are three different types of bearings: Steel, ceramic and hybrid.
Steel / Chrome Steel Bearings
Steel or chrome steel bearings are the most popular type of bearing, most of us should be familiar with this. Almost every part of the bearing is made with steel. They are usually less costly and mass manufactured. A popular version of this bearing is the R188 bearing which we will talk more about below.
Pros: Less costly, wide range of variety and commonly available
Cons: Heavy, noisy, may lack chemical resistance to rust
Ceramic or full ceramic bearings are made fully with ceramic, zirconium oxide, and are fully white. They are very costly and most spinners will not use them due to their price.
Pros: High acceleration and speed capacity, light, low maintenance for lubrication, little vibration
Cons: High cost
Hybrid Ceramic Bearings
Hybrid ceramic bearings are bearings with steel inner and outer rings while the balls are made of ceramic, hence the name. They are much softer in noise due to the reduction of steel to steel and it also requires lower maintenance.
Pros: Lighter weight compared to full steel bearings, more resistant to corrosion, less noise and vibration within the bearing
The bearing sizes differ for various spinners. The size is measured by: Inner Ring Diameter (mm) x Outer Ring Diameter (mm) x Width (mm).
- 606 – 6 mm x 17 mm x 6 mm
- 688 – 8 mm x 16 mm x 4 mm
- R188 – 6.35 mm x 12.7 mm x 3.175 mm
- R188ZZ – 6.35 mm x 12.7 mm x 4.762 mm
Caged, Uncaged and Sealed
- Caged Bearing – A caged bearing as shown above, has a shield or cage that cover and protect the balls. This cage prevents dirt from getting into the balls but because it is not fully sealed, dirt can still enter. Although this cage can be removed, it is advisable not to.
- Uncaged Bearing – As you can see, an uncaged bearing does not have the cage over the balls. They are aesthetically better looking and easier to clean without the cage. However, dirt will get accumulated much quicker compared to the caged ones.
- Sealed Bearing – A sealed bearing consists of a seal to seal the balls fully and they are not removable. A good thing is that dirt will not be able to enter. The con, however, is that the ball bearings inside are mostly lubed in a big amount of lubricant. This is not a good thing for spinners and you cannot clean it off since it is sealed.
We hope that this info is helpful for you people out there, once again click here to check out our premium fidget spinners and keep spinning! 🙂