The 5 Types of Ball Bearings: What You Need to Know

Are you wondering what the 5 types of ball bearings have in common?

This guide will give you the lowdown on all things ball-bearing related.

From the sleek and slim radial bearings to deep groove ball bearings, we'll cover it all.

Ball bearings are used in many different machines and mechanisms to allow for frictionless motion.

There are five main types of ball bearings, each with its unique advantages and disadvantages.

Ball bearings are a type of roller bearing that use balls to maintain the separation between the moving parts.

They are used for low-friction applications such as in the wheels of cars and bicycles, the engines of airplanes and spacecraft, and even skateboards.

5 types of ball bearings:

1.Deep Groove Ball Bearings

2.Angular Contact Ball Bearings

3.Self-Aligning Ball Bearings

4.Thrust Ball Bearings

5.Miniature and Instrument Ball Bearings

This article discusses the five types of ball bearings, including their specifications, and the factors to consider when selecting a ball bearing that is fit for your application.

What is a ball bearing?

A ball bearing is a type of rolling-element bearing that uses balls to maintain the separation between the moving parts of the bearing.

The purpose of a ball bearing is to reduce rotational friction and support radial and axial loads.

It achieves this by using at least two races to contain the balls and transmit the loads through the balls.

In most applications, one race is stationary and the other is attached to the rotating assembly (e.g., a hub or shaft).

As one of the most widely used forms of machinery bearings, they can be found in various machines such as cars, skateboards, computers, bicycles, and more.

Ball bearings are made from various materials including chrome steel, ceramic and plastic polymers depending on their application requirements.

With proper lubrication and maintenance, ball bearings have a long operational life.

They are available in many different designs, sizes, and configurations depending on the application.

Some common types of ball bearings include radial, deep groove, angular contact, and thrust bearings.

Ball bearings are an essential component in many precision systems.

They provide smooth and efficient operation for a variety of applications.

As such, they have become one of the most popular types of bearings used.

5 Types of Ball Bearings

1.Deep Groove Ball Bearings

 Deep Groove Ball Bearings

Deep Groove Ball Bearings are one of the most widely used types of bearings in a variety of applications due to their robust construction, long life, and excellent performance.

They can accommodate both radial and axial loads, as well as support high-speed rotations.

Deep Groove Ball Bearings have deep raceways that are lined with grooves which enable them to hold more load than other types of bearings.

Additionally, they have balls that act as rolling elements between two rings and reduce friction during operation, allowing for smoother motion.

The design of Deep Groove Ball Bearings allows them to be used in various environments and operating conditions including low noise levels,

low-temperature applications, and even extreme heat environments when the right lubricants are applied.

In addition, they have low vibration levels and are resistant to shock loading, making them suitable for a variety of applications.

They can be used in motors, pumps, and other applications that require reliable motion.

Deep Groove Ball Bearings are available in various sizes and can be customized to meet the specific requirements of an application, such as special seals and lubricants.

They are also available in shielded and sealed configurations to protect them from dirt and debris.

Deep Groove Ball Bearings are a reliable, economical choice for many applications and are easy to install and maintain.

2.Angular Contact Ball Bearings

 Angular Contact Ball Bearings

Angular contact ball bearings are typically used in applications where the load is placed in a radial and axial direction.

The construction of these bearings allows for their ability to support high radial-axial loads at relatively low speeds.

Angular contact bearings also have higher accuracy, as they are designed with a greater capacity than other bearing types.

In addition to supporting heavy load capacities and providing accurate performance, angular contact ball bearings can be preloaded when necessary to reduce friction between internal components and improve efficiency.

They are popular within industries such as aerospace, automotive, manufacturing, and energy production due to their durability and effectiveness in challenging environments.

With proper maintenance, angular contact ball bearings can provide reliable performance even in harsh conditions.

When choosing an angular contact ball bearing, it is important to consider the size and type of load, as well as environmental conditions.

The design of angular contact ball bearings can be adjusted to provide the necessary level of stiffness and radial-axial load capacity depending on the application.

Additionally, it is important to use the correct lubrication for the bearing to ensure proper performance and longevity.

3.Self-Aligning Ball Bearings

 Self-Aligning Ball Bearings

Self-aligning ball bearings have an inner ring with two raceways and a common concave sphered outer ring.

This design allows the bearing to adjust freely in both directions, to accommodate misalignment, resulting in low friction and smooth operation.

The self-aligning capability of these bearings provides superior performance when compared to other types of roller bearings and is particularly suitable where high speed or temperature are factors.

Self-aligning ball bearings also provide excellent shock load resistance, as well as good static and dynamic capacity for radial loads.

Additionally, they offer superior corrosion protection due to their stainless steel construction and are widely used in applications such as agricultural machinery, electric motors, pumps, and more.

With their exceptional strength and durability, self-aligning ball bearings are an ideal choice for many applications.

They make it possible to operate with minimal maintenance and ensure long-term performance.

4.Thrust Ball Bearings

 Thrust Ball Bearings

Thrust Ball Bearings are designed to accommodate axial loads and can support relatively high axial forces in one direction.

They consist of two washers, usually made from steel plates, with raceways in them and several rows of forged hardened steel balls placed between the raceways.

The washers are separated by a cage or retainer to stop the balls' movement and keep them evenly spaced.

Thrust Ball Bearings are particularly suited for low-speed applications that require high accuracy and minimal radial load capacity.

They operate at lower speeds than other bearing types so they can have higher precision and offer greater reliability in operation.

Additionally, Thrust Ball Bearings have a very low friction coefficient, allowing them to be used where lubrication is needed less often or for applications that require a maintenance-free operation.

They are used in a wide variety of industrial and engineering applications, including automotive, agricultural, and robotics.

5.Miniature and Instrument Ball Bearings

 Miniature and Instrument Ball Bearings

Miniature and Instrument Ball Bearings play an important role in providing support for rotary motion, allowing precise control and efficiency in a variety of machines.

They are typically composed of an outer ring, an inner ring, rolling elements such as balls, rollers, or needles, and a cage to contain the rolling elements.

Depending on their design features, Miniature and Instrument Ball Bearings can be used for high-speed and low-friction applications where space is at a premium.

When choosing Miniature and Instrument Ball Bearings it is important to consider several factors such as size, load capacity, bearing type (radial or thrust), speed rating, and more.

It is essential to ensure that the bearings selected have the right properties to perform as expected in the application.

The bearings should also provide a long service life, helping to reduce maintenance costs and downtime.

To help ensure that each bearing is matched to the right application, it is best to consult with an experienced bearing supplier.

4 Factors to Consider when Selecting Ball Bearings

Operating conditions

When selecting ball bearings, it is important to consider the operating conditions that the bearing will be exposed to.

This includes both external and internal elements, such as temperature and pressure.

The bearing should be able to withstand exposure to these conditions without failing or becoming damaged.

Furthermore, it is important to consider which type of lubrication the bearing requires for it to operate at its optimum level.

Depending on the application, different types of lubricants may need to be used to ensure proper operation and performance.

Finally, it is essential to ensure that the selection of ball bearings meets all applicable safety regulations and standards set forth by relevant authorities.

This ensures that they are fit for purpose and can perform their function reliably and effectively over time.

Load and speed requirements

When selecting ball bearings, load, and speed requirements should be taken into account.

The maximum load capacity of the bearing must meet or exceed the predicted loads that will bear down on it during operation for a given application.

This is dependent on the size and type of bearing chosen.

For example, if there is a need for high speeds, you may want to opt for angular contact ball bearings that have higher speed ratings than their radial counterparts.

Additionally, when considering operating speed, the maximum rotational frequency must be within the capabilities of the chosen bearing.

It is also important to consider whether the bearing requires lubrication and if so, which type best suits your application.

Furthermore, the environment in which the bearing will be used must also be taken into account.

If the bearing is going to be exposed to corrosive agents or humidity, a corrosion-resistant material is essential.

Finally, you should consider how much space the bearing will occupy and if there are any installation limitations.

All these considerations should be factored in when selecting a ball bearing to ensure optimum performance and reliability. 

Environmental factors

When selecting ball bearings, it is essential to also consider the environmental conditions in which the bearing will be used.

Temperature, humidity, and exposure to corrosive liquids or gases are all factors that need to be taken into consideration.

The bearing should also be able to withstand shock, vibration, and any other environmental stresses it may experience during use for an extended period.

Careful selection of both material type and lubrication can help ensure a successful installation and proper operation for a long-term solution.

Different materials offer different levels of corrosion resistance as well, so comparing phosphate finishes and plating options can help determine what will provide the best protection from the environment

. Additionally, some ball bearings may require special seals or shields to keep out contaminants such as dirt, dust, and moisture.

Taking the time to research and select bearings that can handle the environmental conditions in which they will be used is paramount for successful operation and long-term use.

Size and design

When selecting ball bearings, size and design must be considered carefully. Size refers to the internal diameter of the bearing, as well as its width.

The internal diameter is determined by the size of the shaft or axle upon which the bearing will be mounted.

It is important to ensure that the dimensions of both components are compatible before proceeding with selection.

In addition to size, design considerations also play an important role in determining which type of ball bearing is suitable for a particular application.

Ball bearings can be classified into several main categories based on their design features such as contact angle, internal clearance, and cage type.

Knowing the specific requirements for a given application can help narrow down suitable options from which to choose.

Finally, other factors such as load rating and operating environment should also be taken into account when selecting ball bearings.

It is important to select bearings that can handle the expected loads they will be subjected to while also being able to cope with the rigors of the operating environment.


Ball bearings are essential components in a wide variety of machinery and equipment.

They provide smooth, efficient operation, reduce noise and vibration levels, improve fuel efficiency, and reduce wear and tear on the machinery.

They are highly customizable to meet the needs of specific applications, making them invaluable components in engineering processes.

In conclusion, ball bearings are durable, and reliable, and provide many beneficial properties that make them an invaluable part of any machine or equipment.