Choosing The Right Bearing

When choosing the right caster for your application, the choices can seem endless. Starting with multiple choices of mounting styles, followed by what seems to be endless amounts of  wheel materials and finishing with the confusing choices of what type of bearing to use in your wheel. It can be tough to ensure you are making the right decision on all of these choices but fear not, I am here to help! Today I would like to highlight the three most common selections of bearings that cover most non specialized caster and wheel applications.

To start, I would like to highlight the most basic bearing; the plain bearing. This bearing is essentially exactly what it sounds like.  A plain bearing, also referred to as a plain bore, means the bore of the wheel is riding directly on the spanner bushing or the caster axle. Plain bore wheels are used for light duty applications as well as rarely moved loads and where ease of starting and rolling is not an important consideration. This is the most cost effective option you can go with. These bearings have no recommended maintenance program.

The Delrin Bearing is the second type of bearing I will be highlighting in this entry. Delrin bearings are incredibly durable and hold up well under a broad range of temperature and humidity conditions. They are also very resistant to corrosion. Wheels with the Delrin bearings are well suited for applications where brine conditions, steam cleaning, or where excessive water or liquids are present. For maintenance on these bearings, light oil or grease lubrication is always recommended.


My third and final bearing highlighted in this entry is the straight roller bearing. These bearings are typically used in medium to heavy duty casters and wheels. Straight roller bearings consist of a cage roller assembly with an outer sleeve. These bearings turn on hardened and ground spanner bushings which provide a long wearing precision inner raceway. Flanges or thrust are pressed into the side of the wheel hub to hold the bearings in place. In most cases, a bushing goes in the bearing to size it down to fit the axle and provide a smooth rolling platform. Regular greasing done through the zerk on the axle is recommended to increase performance and life of the bearing.