Purchasing Ball Bearings

Where does everyone get there ball bearings? I’m looking to buy some sealed ball bearings for 3/8" axel

mcmaster-carr has bearings, probably a bit more expensive than you can find them on ebay but might be a bit more reliable?

https://sdp-si.com/eStore/ this is where i usualy get from, just know that delivery isnt the fastest ive ever seen.

I have bought bearings from both:

Skate Bearings: http://www.skatebearings.com/


VXB Bearings: http://www.vxb.com/

I have been happy with the quality of the bearings from both companies, however, these are import bearings not American made. All of the bearings on our robot this year (except for the ones that came with the AM gearboxes and IFI wheels) came from Skate Bearings and held up just fine. Bearing prices have really seemed to jump in the last few months. You can get really good deals on Ebay as well. VXB sells on Ebay cheaper than thier website if you buy like 10 of the same bearing. This Ebay store also seems to have a great selection and good prices.

We buy sealed ball bearings from mcmaster, and shielded ball bearings from www.smallparts.com

www.anydmark.biz sells both the 3/8" and 1/2" ID Sealed, Flanged Bearings. We have bought from them with no problems.

www.ifirobotics.com also sells them, which is what they supply with their traction wheels.

Prices are (roughly) equal between the two. Shipping speed will vary based on your location.

Hope this helps.


A word of advice - we have used both the 3/8" double-sealed ball bearings from McMaster and the 3/8" double-shielded ball bearings that can be purchased from IFI/AndyMark/elsewhere, and I can tell you that the double-shielded bearings are vastly superior in quality to the double-sealed ones. The inner race on the McMaster bearings feels loose and has a lot of movement, and we even destroyed a bearing completely during normal operation on a shaft having a fair but not excessive amount of sideload on it.

I prefer the shielded over the sealed bearings for our robots because they have less drag. The sealed bearings are better if you have a more hostile enviroment - water, grit, etc.

You also want to buy the correct grade bearing for your application. The unground inner race bearings are cheaper but can handle less load. ABEC-1 or better are fully ground and have higher load ratings. These usually have a bearing number such as R6 (3/8 ID) or FR6 (flanged 3/8 ID)