Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!
  • Students Click Here

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here


Standard Catalog Bearing Quality

Standard Catalog Bearing Quality

Standard Catalog Bearing Quality

Hello all-

How can I determine bearing quality and what ABEC precision level applies to standard catalog bearings?
For instance I am replacing several motor bearings that had double sealed Fafnir numbers which now cross over to #88506. The 88506 is available from NUMEROUS manufacturers, but pricing between say a Timken 88506 and an IKS 88506 are multiples apart, with other manufacturers like an MRC 88506 fall right in the middle. I know these are all good popular companies, but since I have nothing else to judge by, is price a fair representation of quality and ABEC precision? Or is one 88506 equal to any other 88506?

Incidentally, I have spent HOURS seeking information on line and making calls, but since I am not an equipment engineer, I can never get through to the technical bearing people.

Thanks for advising.

RE: Standard Catalog Bearing Quality

what ABEC precision do you need?

Looks like IKS offers ABEC-1 and 3.

In the US I'd call one of SKF's main numbers. The menu should offer a selection for technical questions. If not, late in the menu an operator should be available to direct your call.

RE: Standard Catalog Bearing Quality

Most manufacturers offer ABEC 1 as standard, however all the first world producers are much closer to ABEC 3.

So buy from Fafnir, SKF, FAG, Koyo, NSK or NTN and you will be fine unless this is a specialty application like a machine tool spindle.

For motor applications none of those names will disappoint.

RE: Standard Catalog Bearing Quality

In my experience the quality varies significantly between the major brands and the low-cost alternative brands. The best brands greatly exceed the required accuracy according to whatever international standards govern that bearing size. I'd quote factual data but I have only a couple of anecdotal experiences - we changed course immediately and have not had issues since.

It is further clouded by the fact that confirming the source of the low-cost brands gets really hairy, and the illegal knock-off bearings are lower quality still.

In most cases the machine design and track record is based on the performance using the premium brand bearing, and the performance using the low-cost alternative brand can be vastly poorer. At my company we have taken to using an allowable substitute list, so that we might allow SKF, FAG, NTN, NSK, but not just any random brand from the far east or eastern europe.


RE: Standard Catalog Bearing Quality

In my limited experience, price does roughly correlate to my happiness with a bearing's performance. ... and a { clerk's | salesman's | merchant's } assurance does not.

If a particular application can be satisfied with marbles rolling in a jar lid, then specifying by size alone and allowing unlimited source choice should be okay.

If a particular application caused you to drag out the _thick_ bearing book, then you probably need to use some kind of source control.

Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members!


Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close