I am currently owner of a wholesale bearing distributor with captive manufacturing off shore. I have experience in all facets of the bearing world including ABEC 9 bearings down to stamped bearings and all in between. I would be willing to share my vast experience, which includes gyros and missile applications down to conveyors and other low tech applications. Job history includes direct employ by New Hampshire Ball Bearings and as an independent manufacturers' representative for Peer Bearing, General Bearings, Frantz Manufacturing, National Bearings, Huxing Bearings, Roberts Bearings, Kubar/Pacamor Bearings and now own a wholesale distribution company.

Time is 12:36 PM...taking a break

Comments: 356 • Responses: 68  • Date: 

bear_claw76105 karma

When i saw "bearing industry" i honestly thought you farmed bears or something, i think its still to early. Anyways what kind of bear is your favorite and why.

Bearingman28 karma

Smokey The Bear!

fa5329 karma

Would you say it's all ball bearings nowadays?

Bearingman22 karma

Yes, just about all moving products use some type of bearing, whether it be ball type bearings, roller bearings, needle bearing, etc. Most products you purchase probably were conveyed on a conveyor utilizing stamped bearings in the rollers. Your automobile has all types of bearings; and so it goes...

Bagelson6 karma

But are ball bearings much more common than other types? And what about bearings with moving parts compared to fluid/magnetic bearings, or plain bearings?

SGoogs17805 karma

I can't speak to any industry other than Marine Engineering, but ball bearings aren't particularly common at all in my field. They don't handle axial loads very well, and I tend to come across shafts that carry pretty high thrust loads in addition to torque loads. The obvious example being propeller shafts. Not to mention I deal with water-tight bearings pretty frequently, and ball bearings are definitely not water-tight.

Bearingman7 karma

Agreed. Many automotive and marine applications involved roller bearings and needle bearings. There are also stainless steel ball bearings which have some corrosion resistance (300 Series), but you are correct, these cannot be sealed from moisture unless contained in a water-tight housing of some kind.

RoboNinjaPirate25 karma

I feel like you put a lot of work into that intro, but I really can't think of many useful questions about bearings.

What are the applications for the smallest bearings and largest bearings you have ever worked with.

Any good Bearing related jokes?

What's the most catastrophic failure you have ever seen from poorly maintained or broken bearings?

Bearingman27 karma

Smallest bearing; an NHBB SR09. It has (or had - not sure if it's still manufactured) an outside diameter of approximately .125", as I recall. The bearing consisted of an outside ring and inside ring and balls. The most catastrophic failure I can recall is main shaft bearing failure in jet engines. Much of this has been drastically eliminated with the introduction of sensors; sensing micro-pieces of metal shavings in the lubrication system. These would show degradation of the metal utilized in the bearings.

fullautophx18 karma

I need a bunch of large (1/2"+) ball bearing balls (just the balls) for a ball mill. I'm having a hard time finding them, even used from places like trasmission shops. Any leads where I could get some in AZ?

Bearingman27 karma

I know of a company, Abbott Ball in Connecticut. Also, there is Hoover Ball, Division of Tsubaki, located in Indiana. You may also try Thomson Ball in Unionville, CT.

tuckeroo1232 karma

I hope you're not an independent rep for Frantz Mfg anymore, since you neglected to mention Sterling Steel Ball (div of Frantz)

Bearingman6 karma

We are no longer their stocking distributor or rep because of their policies as well their quality and pricing.


As a skateboarder, I'm just gonna say bearings are pretty damn cool.

Bearingman20 karma

Yes, I know, but you are being ripped off if you pay so much for an ABEC 5 bearing from one of the specialty houses. You can accomplish the same performance if you go to a local bearing distributor and purchase an ABEC 1 bearing and press them in yourself. I am aware of some of the specialty companies and what they charge is horrible.

SadWriter7 karma

Are these considered overpriced at $15?

Bearingman15 karma


Bearingman7 karma

I am not a skateboarder, but I think it's overkill. We do not carry these type bearings, but your local bearing distributor would probably sell these to you (not ceramic, but 52100 chrome steel - which will rust however) for around $2-5 each, depending on the specific size.

Turbofurball5 karma

Yeah when I found out I could use any old 608 2RS bearing it was a happy day ... unfortunately the cheap ones come pre-greased for high rpm applications, which is a PITA to clean out and replace with thin oil :-/

Bearingman7 karma

You can also use a molybdenum disulfide "dry" lubricant which could have great results for you.

livelifedownhill4 karma

can you expand on this? what lubricant would be the best for skate bearings in your opinion? Right now, most of us use this.

what brand of "molybdnum disulfide" would you get? why is dry better?

Bearingman7 karma

There are several brands. try your local bearing distributor store - they should have it. Dry is better because contaminants will not adhere to the component as oil or grease will, plus they do not degrade as quickly.

Bearingman3 karma

Are you with BDI-USA?

tanmanX3 karma

No, but i think i recall seeing them in the results more than once. If i took the time i might have crafted a more inclusive list of places that sell bearings.

I work in an electric motor shop.

Bearingman7 karma

If you are replacing bearings in an electric motor make sure you specify "Motor Grade" bearings. These have honed or polished raceways for better performance.

gunslinger_00613 karma

Hey bearing guy: In the harley community, its well known that a few years ago Harley started sourcing different wheel bearings, and now pretty much all HD wheel bearings are only good for about 25K miles tops.

Most of us are using replacment bearings from a company called All Balls Racing (http://www.allballsracing.com/). They are apparently made in China but to much higher specs.

Do you know anything about All Balls Racing? Can you possibly recommend another source for Harley Davidson wheel bearings that is of higher quality?


Bearingman7 karma

I once sold Harley in York, PA wheel bearings (ball) and transmission bearings (needle). The ones I sold were off shore and at the time were not of high quality as it turned out. Most manufacturers are price sensitive, so generally the lowest bidder gets the job. I am not familiar with the company you mention, but I would seek Timken as a good domestic provider, probably through a local bearing distributor (such as Motion Ind., Applied Indust. Tech., Kaman, BDI, etc.)

All_the_other_kids11 karma

What is the largest bearing you know of and it's application?

Bearingman20 karma

The largest I am aware of is a bearing specially produced for a house, I believe in New England, where the owner wanted the house to rotate 360 degrees. I believe that particular bearing was 12 feet in diameter.

There are also bearings produced for huge turret lathes which, as I understand it, can go as large as 10 meters in diameter. Also, there is a group of large bearings, entitled "Thinex" bearings. These have a small cross section, yet large OD and ID and are utilized in the power generating windmills seen across the countryside.

dt117310 karma

As someone unfamiliar, could you explain exactly what bearings are and their modern uses?

Bearingman14 karma

Bearings come in various varieties: ball bearings, roller bearings, tapered roller bearings, needle bearings, spherical bearings, etc. Modern uses range from stamped bearings used in material handling applications (i.e., conveyors) to "jewels" or high precision bearings used in aerospace gyros and dental hand pieces. They can be found in some form is just about every moving apparatus such as you automobile, home blenders and mixers, concrete trucks, etc.; all too numerous to mention.

Pjmcphats9 karma

What's the most expensive bearing you've come across?

Bearingman19 karma

Bearings applied to the astronauts backpacks.

1959-ford-skyliner7 karma

I am a mechanic and have been wondering this for a while now: at the auto parts store there are several levels of quality in wheel bearings ( tapered or press bearings ) is there honestly a difference in quality between the two? Is that difference worth the extra 10-20$ for increased strength and reliability?.

Bearingman7 karma

Generally the domestic manufacturers hold tighter tolerances, use qualified raw materials, and quality standards higher than the imports; however, you must pay for those advantaged attributes.

JodiMichelle7 karma

How are the steel balls made?

Bearingman10 karma

Steel balls start out in a cold heading machine. Wire or rod is fed into a cold heading machine, two dies come together and a rough sphere emerges. The sphere has an "ear" on it; sort of looks like Saturn, with a ring around it. Then the sphere is placed in two opposite rotating dies which sort of resemble an old record (with grooves) and eventually machined down to size. Other processes involved for sizing, tolerance levels determined, etc., but this is the primary process.

DasMunch7 karma

Do we have anything coming down the pipe that is a potential replacement for bearings? Is frictionless magnetic bearings a possibility?

Bearingman9 karma

Yes, I've heard of magnetic bearings, but also gas lubricated bearings. I'm not too familiar with either, though. I've also heard of air bearings which utilize air as a lubricant.

mister_sleepy6 karma

My dad works for a law firm who had a watershed anti-dumping case involving ball bearing sales in China. How aware are you of these types of cases, and if so did they effect your business at all (for better or worse)?

Bearingman4 karma

Yes, I am fully aware of the dumping charges. And, in my opinion, they were justified. That being said, for one type of bearing we searched for literally years for a domestic supplier and came up dry. So now we are forced to go off shore and we are penalized for something we had no role.

KZSpectre5 karma

What are the harshest conditions (that you are aware of) that your brand's bearings have been used in?

Bearingman8 karma

There are some very high temperature and caustic environments which can only be serviced by high temperature ceramics. Chemical processing comes to mind first.

jamessargeant5 karma

coming from a skateboarder's perspective, are ceramic bearings better/worth it compared to a basic set up?

Bearingman5 karma

Probably better, but still susceptible to corrosion by dust, etc.

sethamphetamine5 karma

I saw a documentary on WWII as a certain bombing campaign in Germany picked a bearing factor as a primary target because it effected all industries. Can you elaborate on the trickle down effect of taking out that target?

Bearingman8 karma

Wow, I can! My Dad, who was in the 8th Army Air Force (396th Bomb Group) was actually on that bombing mission! It's amazing you asked that question! Yes, it was strategically one of the most important targets of the War. My Dad flew 40 combat missions (the life expectancy was like 8.3 or something, plus one could go home after 25, but he re-upped). Yes, at the time ball bearings held the key to many advances including avionics, radar and other war related equipment.
As well, the Germans developed four 50,000 ton forging presses which were applicable to huge aircraft improvements. After the war, as I understand it, two were left operable, one totally sound the other requiring repair. One of the rushes into Germany by the US and Russians were to acquire these. I worked for ALCOA who got one and the Russians the other. I recall these one at ALCOA was three stories above ground and three above ground - huge. Very interesting.

karnim4 karma

As a metallurgist, when you say you have off-short manufacturing, it worries me. Chinese metals tend to be of considerably lower quality with higher impurities, in my experience. How accurate are the specs on your bearings, and how often do you test the alloys for accuracy?

Also, do you do research? Metallurgy jobs are slim out there, even for PhD candidates....

Bearingman5 karma

I agree 100%. The quality of off shore products has been inferior; however, with time, as was the case with the Japanese in the 50's and 60's, improvements are in process. We source some products off shore and we have had very few quality problems so far. The problem is, there are so few manufacturers left in the US sourcing is a necessity now. Many of the off shore manufacturers must now comply with international quality specifications and are now monitored by government agencies.

MpVpRb4 karma

Are modern bearings better or worse than older ones?

In other words, had technological advance been used to increase quality, or reduce cost?

Bearingman8 karma

Currently the average bearing is manufactured off shore and is ridiculously inexpensive. These are bearings used primarily in automotive and electric motor applications. In many cases the domestic cost to produce these may be 10 times greater than the selling price. The Chinese have captured this market. For example, 30 years ago a 6203 bearing would sell in the area of $2.00 to $4.00 depending on the attributes. Now they sell, landed, I've seen for in the 15 cent range! As far as improvements, I would have to say severe environment applications regarding materials used have improved drastically. When was the last time you heard of a jet engine failure?

Dillithium4 karma

Hi, thanks for doing this ama.

  • How do you calculate pre-load on bearings?
  • In the automotive industry, the brand timken is dropped a lot. If I had to replace wheelbearings or any kind of automotive bearing, what do you recommend?
  • Lastly, ballbearings seem to be at a point where they're no longer being researched/changed. Ball bearings are simply ballbearings. Is there any room left for further development?

Bearingman5 karma

Define "preload" a bit more, please? Do you mean preloading duplexed bearings, or just determining the axial and radial loads? If I was replacing wheel bearings for my automobile, I would stay with Timken. There are off shore knock offs, quite a bit less expensive probably, but I would stay with Timken. In my opinion, there is a bit of "black magic" when it comes to bearing production. Heat treating, tolling life, ball or tapered roller production and material utilized come to mind first. There is a great deal of room for bearing development. In the arena of exotic metals still being developed, ceramics, plastics, etc. My opinion is the applications can always be improved and new applications added always.

karnim5 karma

I'm not OP, but Timken is a very reputable company. They've just recently built a large research center, so they are actively trying to improve their products, which is always nice to hear.

Bearingman3 karma

Timken is an excellent company providing top notch products, if you can pay their prices.

livelifedownhill4 karma

Hi, I longboard, and have used various types of bearings in my wheels over the years, and have never noticed to big a difference in any of them. Because as a skater, we put tons of different forces on the bearings that they normally wouldnt see, like huge sideloading forces and forces which move the outer ring with an opposing force to the inner ring. Things like arbitrary ABEc ratings arent the biggest concern for us (even though tighter tolerances cant be bad), its more how the bearing stands up to all the abuse over time. So i guess my question is, what do you think abut skateboard bearings and what aspects of the bearing have the biggest impact on how well a bearing for a skateboard performs over time? do you have any specific brand recommendations? Also, the idea of a full ceramic bearing (inner and outer races, cage, and balls) has been tossed around for a while (no rust) is there anything like that currently on the market? is it a viable option for skateboards?

Here is a really good video about skateboard bearing and why things like ABEC ratings arent necessarily the most important

Bearingman5 karma

In my opinion the failure mode for skateboard bearings is corrosion and introduction of invasive dirt, dust and the like. Ceramic bearings will not corrode as the normal 52100 chrome steel (standard material for ABEC 1 ball bearings), but still there is the problem of foreign matter destroying the capability of the bearing. The best seals still will not keep out dust; plus, if the seal is too tight, the starting torque increases dramatically.

djtodd2423 karma

Not sure if you'd have an opinion or not, but in higher end bicycle components (Bottom Brackets, wheel hubs) ceramic bearings are sometimes used in place of steel.

Any real benefit, or is it just voodoo to get us to spend more money?

Bearingman5 karma

Ceramics may be utilized for weight abatement. Also, ceramics are utilized in harsh chemical environments. It kind of depends what the manufacturer is attempting to accomplish.

fencerman3 karma

I only know about the whole ABEC rating system entirely through buying roller blades back in the 90s. What would you say is the most common application of your product that most people aren't aware of?

Bearingman6 karma

That's a good question, but I would have to say in the package handling conveyor systems. For example, the UPS Hub has over 135 MILES of conveyor. Multiply the number of slaved rollers, drive rollers, gravity rollers and the numbers are probably in the millions, just for that one location.

RandAybarra3 karma

Best ball bearing lubricant for automotive applications? How often should they be repacked?

Bearingman5 karma

I'm not real familiar with many automotive applications, but a good rule of thumb would be to check the lubricants operating parameters regarding temperature, etc. They can often be researched through military specifications such as for oil: MIL-L-6085 and for grease MIL-G-23827. These are utilized in many military environments.

_GabbyAgbolahor3 karma

My dad was the manager of a bearing company for specialist windows for 17 years, so any questions I have I've probably asked already. I went to the factory when I was about 12 and was amazed at the scale of the operation.

Have you experienced much variation in the scale of bearing manufacturing?

Bearingman3 karma

It appears there are fewer and fewer domestic manufacturers. Or, at the very least, the big guys are getting bigger through acquisition as it the case with many industries. Many companies have moved operations off shore as well.

NorthStarZero3 karma

Oh man, do I have one for you:

I have a 1993 Dodge Stealth (aka Mitsubishi 3000GT) and the transmission is in need of a rebuild.

The trans in this car was a small production run by Gertag. For the longest time, Mitsubishi wouldn't sell internal parts; the fix was a complete replacement transmission. Later, they started selling bearings and whatnot but (as you can probably imagine) such a small production run car didn't have a particularly large spare parts pool and now you can't buy parts from Mitsubishi.

But nobody designs their own bespoke bearings, right? Every bearing in that transmission has an off-the-shelf part number from somebodies bearing catalogue. The trick is figuring out which one.

What's the best way to reverse-engineer the bearings in my transmission and find new parts.

(and I could say the same for seals too)

Bearingman4 karma

I would say first measure the bearings (I assume needle bearings?). Then contact the distributors for their brand, such as most local bearing distributors. Once you have the dimensions and a fairly good description, most bearing houses have on their shelf a "Bearing Manual" which literally lists all bearings manufactured. from that you can derive a part number and source it.

Nickpno3 karma

I work in Inside Sales and Account Management for a bearing supply and distributor in Louisiana. My company is family owned and operated much like your company. Both owners have been in the industry for over 40 years. The owners of this company made most of their money in surplus. Each owner has a slight difference in opinion on how to continue to make their business successful. In my opinion both work but I fail to see them agreeing on things. We currently still work with a good bit of surplus but one owner is attempting to get rid of it all and only sell/distribute new products.

My questions are:

  1. How long have you been in the bearing industry?

  2. Do you sell/work with strictly bearing type products or do you also work with gearboxes, pulleys, and couplings?

  3. Have you ever worked with surplus items or do you/have you dealt with anyone who has?

  4. As stated before I think the two owners are at a cross with our Surplus stock. Would you have any advice or comment on this situation?

Thanks for doing this AMA! First time I've seen one in my field of work.

Bearingman3 karma

  1. 30 years
  2. Just bearings
  3. No, no surplus items
  4. Yes, be very careful. I've had surplus bearings come across my desk that I would not resell. Another aspect is the lubrication manufacturers generally only guarantee performance for 6 months.

Bagelson2 karma

Being a Swedish ME student, SKF is mentioned quite a lot, and as I understand it they're a relatively large ball bearing supplier. What's their reputation like out in the real life? And what's the reputation like of other big manufacturers? Are there any you would go to for bearings with a specific use in mind?

What's the biggest news in bearing science and development at the moment?

Bearingman3 karma

SKF is the largest bearing manufacturer. They recently purchased Peer Bearing company, mostly an importer, which is kind of puzzling, to be honest. They are more than likely looking to command the market. Others include RBC, Timken, Fafnir, NTN, Nachi, Koyo, etc.

fargochipper2 karma

Do you make or sell bearings such as these used in a small R/C helicopter?

Are they especially hard to produce?

Bearingman3 karma

No, we do not offer them, but you may try Boca Bearings in Boca Raton, FL.

gu1d3b0t2 karma

Why on earth does the bearing industry still use ABEC ratings? They are incredibly antiquated. And how come I can't find a 608 bearing that won't sieze up or slow down after a year?

Bearingman2 karma

ABEC ratings simply refer to tolerance levels. What is your application for the 608? This is a very common electric motor bearing, but there are variables which may be applied to different applications. Also, they can be produced in various steels with various lubricants depending on the applications.

borkedhelix2 karma

I've always wondered, is there some special manufacturing required for super high speed bearings like those used in turbochargers and turbine engines (100,000+ rpm) ?

Bearingman3 karma

Yes. The tolerances are quite strict. As well there are additional manufacturing aspects such as honing, polishing, etc., to make the bearing perform better. Also, higher temperature alloys are utilized.

psychodreamr2 karma

Most fishing reels have bearings. Some have 3, some have 5, some have 11. You can't explain dat! ...or can you?

Bearingman3 karma

As far as I know, there are ball bearings in the reel and may possibly be on the rod as well to alleviate friction.

Bora40802 karma

Hey there, I was once researching ball screws for a project I was working on. I got a quote from Nook for a 1/4" ball screw, approx 20" long, ball screw and shaft was over a thousand dollars. I found a website which had the same type ball screw and shaft for like 20 dollars. Same specs. and everything. Am I loosing any quality or durability between the two? I asked the same question to my sales rep at Nook, never heard back from him.

Bearingman3 karma

Wow, that's a drastic difference. I would be wary, especially if they never made contact again.

aprettygoodguy2 karma

have you ever seen anyone cut off their fingers with the roller retainer on a taper bearing?

Bearingman3 karma


jared_number_two2 karma

How do high reliability machines seal their bearings from dust/sand intrusion (particularly military aviation)? I've heard of shielded, sealed, Teflon sealed, centrifugally sealed, oil bath.

Bearings are sized for a given life/reliability based on loads and the fatigue of the materials that they are made out of (440C for example). If 440C has a fatigue limit, isn't there a load that the bearing would be able to handle forever?

Bearingman2 karma

Mostly inner land riding, Teflon seals have the best sealing characteristics.

n3w72 karma

Can I have a job? Kthx.

Bearingman10 karma

Sure, we'll take free labor anytime!

MikeOxmaul1 karma

What is the largest/smallest ball bearing you've ever made/seen?

Bearingman2 karma

see previous response

0fficiallytr1 karma

What is the main benefit of ceramics over steel?

Bearingman2 karma

Corrosion resistance.

Awsomedude041 karma

My family started a bearing company in Valparaiso, IN. Just wondering if you ever come in contact with McGill ball bearings. (the company was purchased by Emerson in the early 90s.) If so could you possibly explain their significance and application. While my family certainly enjoys spending the ball bearing money, no one seems to know dick about balls, which I find peculiar considering my great-grandfather invented some. Thanks for your time and insights.

Bearingman2 karma

We have access to a competitive line to McGill. At one time they had market share. I still regard them as a primary source, even with the Emerson buy out. We have a conversion line, but I am not intimately familiar with McGill.

warlordcs1 karma

Let's say you have a boat. Is there a bearing that will let you put a rod thru the bottom of the boat and still keep the boat from taking on water?

Also where can I buy those tiny bearings that are on the tips of router bits. They are around 1/2 to 3/8 in size.

Bearingman2 karma

Not that I know of...

bythe8th1 karma

Back in the 70's I worked in my stepfathers specialty spindle and bearing shop. He was a go to guy for odds and ends major manufacturer's couldn't do affordably in small qty. Almost all our work, lathe and grinding was done on plain oil film bearing machine tools as they provided the roundest output. Even back then only Barden had his respect for US manufacturing, all the others had dropped in quality in his estimation as the MBA's took over manufacturing decisions.

Bearingman2 karma

I agree. When I worked for NHBB it was generally us against Barden (and possibly a couple others) selling to the spindle manufacturers. Our largest customer at the time was Bryant. There are few remaining like your step father; now they just throw them away and replace instead of repair.

SmooPaR1 karma

Aside from Jerry Seinfeld's, I'm pretty sure this is the longest time I've spent reading through an AMA.
How did you get to where you are? I can see how anyone from engineers and physicists, to machinists and auto mechanics could eventually specialize in bearings. What was your path?

Bearingman2 karma

Well, I went to college in NH and wanted to return, so I wrote to NHBB and was eventually hired. Then I went into business for myself and was exposed to all this "stuff". I had no formal training in my academic career.

Ba-Dum-Tiss1 karma

What is your opinion on the ADD/CVD penalties imposed upon bearings from abroad? Do you think this accurately protects American interests or needlessly complicates and hamstrings importers?

As it applies to military application, how do you feel about the ITAR regulations of bearings as military grade consumables and were you affected by the revision last year?

Bearingman2 karma

In answer to your first question there have been tariffs applied to many bearing types; the dilemma is many of these manufacturers no longer exist in the US, so it places a great deal of pressure on the importers. The tariffs, or dumping duties are supposed to be employed to protect the domestic manufacturing sector, but what are they protecting if there are none. We experienced a problem when we purchase a design and built product from England, the source misapplied the customs designation and we ended up selling a product for less than we paid. US Customs would awful to deal with and rejected our pleas. It was a horrible experience.

nate8001 karma

Where the hell can I get bearing cartridge liners!?

Bearingman3 karma

Try Motion Industries, Applied Industrial technologies, Kaman, BDI, etc.

drewfo1 karma

Quick! Difference between a LLU and LLB on an NTN bearing! go!

Bearingman2 karma

I do not know...we don't sell any NTN's.

UnknownHinson21 karma

Would you say you're the most well rounded guy in the bearing industry? Just kidding, what I really want to know is why are modern vehicles coming with a hub assembly which cannot be greased as opposed to the spindle and roller bearing style which could easily be taken apart and repacked. If I were able to inject fresh grease into the new style would that increase the life of the modern sealed hub, or are the modern sealed hubs made with an inferior bearings which aren't worth repacking?

Bearingman2 karma

The one word answer is money. The resellers can demand more money for an assembly as opposed to a component.

Fardle1 karma

Historically, how did bearing used to be manufactured? By eye? A shot tower? I assume they need to be made to pretty high tolerances to work at all.

Also, a slightly more relevant question- is there a push for new tech from the oil industry? They must be operating at the limits all the time.


Bearingman2 karma

The most common ball bearing type is the Conrad style. You can Google that for an in depth definition. There are now many synthetic lubricants which far surpass operating parameters than the older oil based products. Dupont has some very high temperature products Krytox series), although quite expensive are a marked improvement.

StAcacius1 karma

What bearing does this have on my everyday life? Kidding.

Seriously, why do the bearings on my Saab 9-5 keep going bad?

Bearingman2 karma

Probably they're all from the same manufacturer, possibly the same manufacturing lot. Try a different source of supply.

KPexEAw1 karma

Do you ever have problems with your offshore manufacturer(s)?

Stories like this would make me not be able to sleep at night:

Fellowes, American Stationery Giant, Brought to Its Knees in China

Bearingman2 karma

Yes, I've heard many horror stories. However, our supplier has had a presence in the US for over 20 years supplying to most demanding OEM's. Just as was the case with the Japanese in the 50's and 60's the Chinese have vastly improved their quality in recent years. This is also due to many quality control specifications now adhered to as well as interface with US and European buyers. I am very confident as of late. I personally made several trips to China spanning 20 years. 20 years ago it was a primitive place. As of last June it's as modern a country as any place I've been.

toobnforjesus1 karma

Concerning bearings, what's up with browning's quality control. Literally every bearing the send has a kink in it almost

Bearingman2 karma

I don't know. Browning has always enjoyed an excellent reputation through the years.

drewfo1 karma


Bearingman2 karma

Yes, indeed. BDI is one of our customers.

jethroboom1 karma

I have a Flowboard, 14 wheeled skateboard. Damn thing barely rolls unless I'm on Death Wish Hill or some crap like that. Make it roll /u/bearingman!

Bearingman2 karma

Go out and purchase, from your local bearing distributor, not your local skateboard store, some ABEC 1 bearings and replace the ones on your board. The major failure mode is dirt. Dirty bearing fail very quickly.

AutoModerator1 karma

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Bearingman6 karma

I emailed the moderator. I own USDI (www.usdi.biz) and have left a Reddit message on our website for your viewing.

Slagathor911 karma

I'm currently a student studying Mechanical Engineering and my senior design project team is working on designing and building a small wind turbine (by small I mean the blades fit into a 45cm cube. Specifically, we are designing a vertical axis turbine. We need a bearing for our shaft and have no experience with this sort of thing. What kind of bearing should we get? And where should we buy it?

Bearingman3 karma

I don't know where you are located, but I would suggest you Google your local bearing distributor, supply them with a potential list of sizes (OD, ID and width) and I am certain they can help you.

JodiMichelle1 karma

How do you feel about powdered graphite as a lubricant as opposed to oil?

Bearingman3 karma

There are a few companies such as Spadone Alfa in CT which utilize graphite in combination with molybdenum disulfide and waxes to form plugs impregnated into bronze bushings for several toxic applications (such as paper mills). These type bearings will be the only ones that will survive any length of time.

eaterofdog1 karma

What's the skinny on ceramic bearings?

Bearingman2 karma

Kind of expensive, but the only way to go in certain applications.