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Roller Bearing Vs Ball Bearing Vs Plain Bearing

by Allen 14 Dec 2022 11:16 GMT
The three most common types of bearings found in a sailing block © Allen

The three most common types of bearings found in a sailing block/ pulley are plain bearings, ball bearings and roller bearings.

But, whats the difference between the three and why should you choose one over the other? Making the correct choice can help your rope system run more efficiently and to the desired performance.

Jump to

What is a bearing?

Plain Bearings

Ball Bearings

Roller Bearings


But first, what is a bearing?

A bearing essentially assists in the rotation of an object and is used in many different applications to help reduce friction and wear. Bearings can be used in many different items including bikes, cars, air conditioning units, washing machines, and many other everyday objects. In all of these products, a bearing allows two parts to move separately from each other whilst still remaining in contact.

Bearings in sailing pulleys have two major functions, to reduce friction and save energy.

If you rub two materials together you get friction. Friction causes wear over time as well as creates a loss of energy.

60mm Tii-On High Roller Single
60mm Tii-On High Roller Single
30mm Plain Bearing Single
30mm Plain Bearing Single
50mm Dynamic Single
50mm Dynamic Single
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