How to Buy Bearings: A Comprehensive Guide

Your Guide to buying the best Bearings


An introduction to buying bearings can be a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be. There are a few key aspects to consider when purchasing bearings, such as type, material, size, load, and speed rating. With these considerations in mind, this guide will provide an overview of all the different types of bearings available, offer advice on how to select the right bearing for your application, and provide helpful tips on how to properly install and maintain your bearings.

Key features

  1. Bearing Type - Customers should consider the type of bearing they need, such as ball bearings, roller bearings, needle bearings, or bushings.
  2. Load Capacity - Customers should evaluate the load capacity needed for the bearing, which will be based on the application.
  3. Material - The material used for the bearing should be selected based on the properties needed for the application, such as strength, durability, corrosion resistance, or heat resistance.
  4. Size - The size of the bearing is an important factor to consider, based on the size and weight of the components it will be used with.
  5. Tolerance - Customers should consider the tolerance requirements for the bearing, as this will affect the accuracy of the fit of the bearing.
  6. Accuracy Class - Customers should also look at the accuracy class of the bearing to ensure it is suitable for their requirements.
  7. Price - The price of the bearing should be taken into account when making a purchasing decision.

See the most popular Bearings on Amazon

Important considerations


  • Precision - Bearings are designed with a high level of precision, allowing them to fit into tight spaces with accurate movement.
  • Durability - Bearings are designed to withstand heavy loads and a wide range of temperatures, making them ideal for long-term use.
  • Low Maintenance - Bearings require minimal maintenance, making them an ideal choice for applications where regular maintenance would be time-consuming and costly.
  • Cost-Effective - When compared to other mechanical components, bearings are relatively inexpensive and cost-effective.
  • Long Life Span - When properly maintained, bearings can last for many years, maximizing the return on investment.
  • Noise Reduction - Bearings are designed to reduce friction and minimize noise levels, making them ideal for use in quiet environments.
  • Versatility - Bearings are available in a wide range of sizes and configurations, making them suitable for a variety of applications.


  • Cost: Bearings can be expensive, depending on the type and size.
  • Durability: Bearings also tend to wear out over time, so they must be regularly maintained and/or replaced.
  • Installation: Installing bearings can be a complex, time consuming process depending on the type and size.
  • Accuracy: Bearings typically require a high degree of precision in order to work properly.
  • Maintenance: Bearings often require regular maintenance to ensure proper functioning and to prevent wear and tear.

Best alternatives

  1. Roller Chain - An alternative to bearings used in power transmission.
  2. Plain Bearings - Made from bronze or other metals, these are used to reduce friction in rotating applications.
  3. Fluid Bearings - Bearings that use a fluid film to reduce friction in rotating applications.
  4. Linear Slides - An alternative to bearings used in linear motion applications, such as slides and carriages.
  5. Needle Roller Bearings - Small bearings used in high-speed applications.
  6. Thrust Bearings - Bearings used to provide axial support.
  7. Ball Bearings - The most common type of bearing used in a wide range of applications.

Related tools, supplies, and accessories

    Bearing Grease - lubricant used to reduce friction and wear between moving parts. Circular-Cut Steel Washers - flat metal rings which help distribute the load of a threaded fastener such as a nut or bolt. Seals - rubber or plastic rings that prevent grease leakage and reduce dust and dirt from entering the bearing. Snap Rings - thin pieces of metal used to secure a bearing to another object. Bearing Puller - tool used to remove bearings from a rotating shaft. Retaining Rings - thin metal rings that fit into grooves in a bearing and keep the bearing in its correct position. Bearing Spacers - washers placed between two parts to keep a bearing in its correct location. Oil Seals - rubber or synthetic seals that keep oil in and contaminants out of a bearing. Bearing Mounts - brackets or blocks that are used to securely mount a bearing in place.

Common questions

  1. What types of bearings are available?
    • The most common types of bearings are ball bearings, roller bearings, and sleeve bearings.
  2. What are ball bearings used for?
    • Ball bearings are used in a wide range of applications where rotational motion needs to be supported, including electric motors, car axles, and other rotating parts.
  3. What are roller bearings used for?
    • Roller bearings are typically used in applications that require heavy loads, such as large machinery, and are often found in conveyor systems, agricultural equipment, and construction machinery.
  4. What are sleeve bearings used for?
    • Sleeve bearings are primarily used for low-load applications, such as fans and pumps, where they can reduce noise and improve efficiency.
  5. What is the difference between radial and thrust bearings?
    • Radial bearings are designed to support radial loads, whereas thrust bearings are designed to support axial loads.
  6. What is the purpose of a bearing seal?
    • Bearing seals are designed to protect the bearing from contaminants while also trapping lubricants in the bearing to reduce friction.
  7. What are pre-lubricated bearings?
    • Pre-lubricated bearings are bearings that have been pre-coated with a lubricant to reduce friction and protect against corrosion during use.
  8. How do I determine the size of bearing I need?
    • The size of the bearing you need will depend on the application and the load it will


A popular legend about bearings is that they were invented by Leonardo Da Vinci! According to the legend, Da Vinci designed a type of ball bearing while he was helping the Duke of Milan in the 15th century. It is said that he proposed it as part of a bridge construction project, but it was never used. Whether true or not, this story has been popularly passed around through the centuries. Source: History of Bearings.

Disclaimer: This buying guide was not created by humans, and it is possible that some of it's content is inaccurate or incomplete. We do not guarantee or take any liability for the accuracy of this buying guide. Additionally, the images on this page were generated by AI and may not accurately represent the product that is being discussed. We have tried to convey useful information, but it is our subjective opinion and should not be taken as complete or factual.