The quality of a Fidget Spinner depends fully on the quality of the ball bearings used. The center bearing is the most important, since it is the most frequently used. This is why the center bearing often has better quality than the ones used on the sides of the spinner. We at Original Fidget Spinner use often hybride ceramic bearings as centre bearings. We are glad to give you some more information about bearings in general below.
Types of bearings
Ball bearings themselves are fairly simple. There are several forms, but the simplest versions are made with only three parts: two rings, and the balls in between. But these are the most inexpensive bearings out there and of course the worst. The problem with this is, is that the balls can touch each other and thus may cause friction. And as something that you do not want in a ball bearing and definitely in a fidget spinner, that’s friction.
There are 3 types of standard bearings (and one which fortunately is not often used):
Steel bearing – These are the basic bearings where most people are familiar with. Each part of the bearing (or almost every part) is made of a type of steel. Bearings can be made with chrome steel, stainless steel, carbon or alloy steel. Sometimes it is the case of metal bearings, the cage (the part that holds the balls at a distance from each other) is made of nylon.
Hybrid ceramic bearings – These bearings are manufactured with ceramic balls, but steel inner and outer rings. The used bearing balls are black or white.
Ceramic bearing – Sometimes called “full ceramic” bearings, each part of ceramic bearing is made with ceramics. The most common material used here is silicon nitride.
Plastic bearings – plastic bearings are fully plastic / nylon made, sometimes performed with glass balls. They are inexpensive and light weight, but you really do not want to use in your spinner. They turn bad, and will only get worse, while the three above-mentioned bearings just going to run smoother with time.
Main advantages and disadvantages of each type
Advantages: Low cost, lots of variety and widely available
Cons: Heavy, noisy
Hybrid ceramic bearing
Benefits: Lighter weight than all-metal bearings, more resistant to corrosion, less noise, less vibration
Full ceramic bearing
Advantages: High speed and acceleration capacity, long-term, reduced need for lubrication, quiet, low vibration, light weight
Cons: Most expensive
Cons: Lots of friction, low speed, wear sensitive
Open, screened or sealed?
Open-style bearing – This is the kind of bearing, where the balls are to be seen. These are the easiest to clean, because there is nothing to remove to access the balls. But the disadvantage is that they can quickly be dirty because there is no protection against dirt from outside.
Sealed bearings – These have a shield on both sides of the bearing that the spheres protects against dirt from outside. They offer a good level of protection for the balls in the bearing, but they are not completely sealed, making it still possible for dirt from entering the bearing. However, the shield is removable so you still can clean under.
Sealed bearing – These also have a shield to protect the balls, but in this case, the caps are not removable. The bearing is completely sealed so no dirt can enter. This sounds of course super, but not for every fidget spinner user, it’s fun. Because these bearings are filled with lubricant, they are slower than the open bearings.
Cleaning of the bearings
Is your spinner still running shorter, then it may be time to clean your bearings. A good explanation for this can be found here.
This explanation is not just for our own spinners, but fidget spinners in general.