Different Styles of Ball Bearings

I have heard a lot of good things about the KonKave bearings, but I have never tried one. I really enjoy centertrac. Suggestions and personal favorites?

I like the KonKave. I have them in a number of yoyos. They keep the string centered nicely. But then I have a lot of stuff with flat bearings as well.

If you’ve never tried a one drop 10 ball then you definitely should

Sooo, do 10 ball bearings make the yoyo play smoother?

If you like the CT shape, you should try the CTX. It’ll be smoother than the 8-ball version

But it doesn’t come close to the smoothness of a 10-ball

I personally am not as sensitive to being able to feel the bearing, as many claim to be. I’ve had some incredibly smooth eight ball bearings as well as rough, I’ve had some incredibly smooth ten ball bearings as well as rough. Could I tell which bearing was in a yoyo if I hadn’t placed the bearing in the yoyo? I doubt it. However after playing a centering type of bearing for a few throws I can tell it is a centering bearing because the string stays away from the sides.

I guess what I’m saying is that as long as the bearing is functioning properly it doesn’t matter all that much to me what it is.

I wonder sometimes if there aren’t more people like me, they just wont admit that they don’t really feel a difference. Then again maybe they can or maybe there is a placebo effect. In the end it’s about personal preference.

The KonKaves are great and I have been using one as a “Daily Throw” for the past month or so…Great spin times, centers the string, long-lasting, requires minimal maintenance, has definitely helped me learn a number of tricks. I have heard great things about the Center Trac X’s and the 10-Ball by One Drops as well.

Centering bearings can help with so-so technique. My guess is that you may not have that problem. 8)

Centering bearings and technique are barely related, in my opinion. All the technique in the world has no chance of fighting precessing that is caused by flat bearings. It’s just physics.

There is also no such thing as a throw that will guarantee the string will be in the middle of a flat bearing. If you prefer to keep the string from touching the walls or response area, a centering bearing will accomplish this.

If it was all about technique, most of the pros would just use flat bearings. But they don’t. The majority of the pros out there are using profiled bearings; either KK or CT(x). Majority doesn’t mean “all”, so of course you will find examples of amazing players doing just fine with flat. That’s not my point. My point is that profiled bearings are not simply a crutch to compensate for ‘bad technique’.

I can’t feel a difference in the ways some people claim. “Oh, the profiled ones bunch up more” (I tested all evening once and found this to be BS, at least for the tricks I do) or “Flat bearings give a nicer bind” (also turned out to be BS).

However, profiled bearings DO help with precession and tilt. And no matter what the profile is, the build quality of KK and NSK bearings “works” for me. Ditto for the build quality of OD 10-balls, actually, it’s just that I hate how I’ve had a screeching period in every single one. Drives me nuts.

Regarding 10- vs 8-balls, there is probably a reason based in physics for 10-balls to be generally quieter, but it’s not a rule. My NSK bearings have 8 balls and they are way quieter than any 10-ball I’ve ever tried, including the OD 10-ball. I believe the tolerances have more to do with it than the bearing count, and OD 10-balls probably also have fairly high machining tolerances. (side note: interesting term! Counter-intuitive to me, since what it means is that deviations are NOT tolerated… semantically, I would think there should be LOW tolerance in a high-quality bearing… but that’s not how the term is actually used!)

Brand matters only when they are new, dif KK are holy-smooth when new but that’s about the playable difference compared to no brand bearings which are already smooth for general play anyway. It’s not like a game changer and in the end it’s down to how good you clean the bearing. A no brand bearing properly maintained is better than any name brand that is not treated with care. The only bad thing about no brand bearings is, there are some that are not entirely stainless, I mean I’ve seen ones where the outer part is stainless but the inner part is not.
Shape wise flat vs concave sure have different “feel” but they don’t affect performance at all, not one inferior or superior over another, to put in words, flat feels more “slidey” while concave is more like “neat” on the string. About the string rubbing the yoyo side thing, I don’t think it’s even an issue because there is usually more friction from the string layers rubbing the yoyo while doing tricks, rather than from the string not being centered. Unless if you plan to throw the yoyo and stare at it until it stops spinning it shouldn’t be a problem.

Do you mean precessing like when the yoyo starts tilting one way and/or turning? if it is then I have to disagree because it IS very controllable…

Then about keeping the string in the middle of the bearing it is not necessary at all. Say you do a trapeze, the string attached might stay in the center, but the weight of the yoyo is actually supported on the mounted part of the string which will be in either random side, and then when you pop out the yoyo will be supported on the attached string part until the next mount. Not to mention when doing tricks, you never mount the yoyo exactly with pin point precision on the bearing, rather the string is and will always rub the yoyo body causing frictions, making string centering rather pointless. It’s easy to prove, when doing tricks the yoyo slows down faster than when doing sleeper… It is only an issue when you stop for too long without any correction.

I personally like the center track x

It is very smooth and keeps the string centered nicely. I have tried konkave bearing but like center track bearing slightly more. Though konkave’s are great bearings still

Terrapin delta cut ceramics.
But if you like flat bearings the wing cut have a very smooth centering effect.

I’m a big fan of pretty much any centering bearing.

First kind that I tried was a standard CT. They’re noisy, but get the job done plenty well. Fairly cheap too for the performance you get.

Next kind I tried was the Crucial Grooved that came with my Bapezilla.2. This one is also fairly loud. It’s a curved face with a groove in the center. Overall I really like this bearing, because the groove keeps the string dead center, and the curve keeps layers of during more towards the middle as well. I’d really like to get some Twisted Trifecta bearings, because they’re the same shape, but have 10 balls instead of just 8, so probably smoother and quieter.

Next, billybobs.

Last, I just got some CTX bearings with the throws in my Collector’s mystery box. These might be my new favorite bearing. Very smooth and not very loud even without lube. Not sure if I’ll buy any more though, as I’d rather buy the Ceramic Whipple 4 pack because it’s much cheaper per bearing.

Besides centering bearings, I’ve only tried 3 flat bearings.

First, YYF Spec bearings. These are pretty terrible in my opinion. They’re okay in a pinch, but if any throw comes with them, I look to upgrade it immediately. When properly cleaned they have decent spin times, but still don’t compare to anything else I’ve used. They’re also really loud.

Next, the highly regarded OD 10 ball. As far as I’m concerned, if you’re looking for a flat bearing, look no further. Very smooth, and darn near silent when freshly cleaned and lubed. I don’t really like using them because they’re flat, but I keep one in my Cascade for shiggles or whenever I feel like or need to use a quiet throw. It’s almost mesmerizing when using it, because there is no sound, yet the Cascade is clearly spinning rapidly thanks to the high contrast splash it has. I don’t use these in my plain colored throws, because then there’s really no indication of how much spin is left, they’re that quiet.

Last of the flat bearings is some brand that I don’t recognize, I got it in a traded throw. It’s an 8 ball, but is as smooth or smoother than my CTX or Ceramic Whipple bearings. I’d really like to know what it is, but I doubt anybody could pin down what exactly it is even with a picture. Oh well.

In the future, I’ll likely continue buying Ceramic Whipple 4 packs, because the value can’t really be matched. I’d like to try all of the super premium bearings eventually, but right now I’d rather spend the money on throws. Eventually I’ll probably end up buying at least one of the following: Dif-e-yo KK, Gen yo Aigr, gold CT, each kind of Terrapin, and each NSK. I doubt any of them will blow my mind where I’ll want to buy a bunch to put in every throw, but I’d still like to have at least one of each.

Overall, proper maintenance is the biggest factor in bearing performance. Others here have said so, a generic bearing properly maintained will outperform any high end bearing that’s not maintained. I’m a maintenance junkie on pretty much anything I own, so my bearings are always running in tip-top shape. If they get the slightest bit dirty, I sideline them until I have time to clean them properly. Because of that, my bearings all perform well beyond my abilities, as there isn’t any combo that I’ll run out of spin with. That’s why I’m fine sticking to cheaper bearings for now.

1 Like

General-Yo 8 ball bearings are pretty nice; I like em a lot. Usually my OD ten balls are super quiet and smooth but Lately I’ve been having trouble with them. seriously though most bearings work very good when cleaned and lubed properly.

Agreed when we’re talking about the big picture. It shouldn’t make a “real” difference if you’re doing tricks and flowing from one position to the next. But strictly speaking, you can’t argue that a string is more likely to touch the sides of the yoyo either during a low-layer trick or during a trick with many layers. All layers being pushed towards the middle MUST keep them away from the walls more.

Precession is precession. It’s not tilt. And it’s extremely easy to witness: throw your yoyo. Watch it eventually “rotate” (not tilt). It happens more quickly with flat bearings. And as long as your tricks rely on the yoyo being mounted “sometimes” (ie. you’re not simply hopping the whole time) the cumulative effect will see you shifting your body to follow the yoyo. Whether this is a big deal to you or not is another discussion. :wink: But it is a fact of physics.

It’s not “pointless”, it’s about scale. Will it help you do tricks you wouldn’t otherwise be able to do? Doubtful. But as you already proved, friction of any sort will slow the yoyo down. Executing tricks will slow the yoyo down more than anything, but that doesn’t mean that there is ZERO net benefit.

I recognize that this is anecdotal and somewhat ad-populem, but it’s not a coincidence that many of the world’s top players use centering bearings. A tiny benefit is still a benefit to them.

For me? It’s mostly the precession factor. And maybe some of it is placebo effect; I’m not going to totally rule that out. But I definitely find myself almost always preferring a yoyo’s play characteristics when a KK is installed rather than a flat.

You mean when the yoyo “turn” (as like car wheels) instead of “tilt” right? I knew what you’re talking about and as I said, both can be controlled. One can “tilt” the yoyo on purpose, and one can “turn” the yoyo on purpose. Say someone yoyos while facing north, are you saying it is impossible to control the yoyo to gradually turn west or east, or even turn 180 degrees? it’s very very possible as long as the spin time still allows and the physics behind it is basically the same with tilting the yoyo, only it’s done vertically.
Unfortunately my dad bring the camera with him for the next few days, so I can only use my tablet camera which is suck. It’s possible to do this while doing tricks but it will just be too blurry with this cam. I can make a better one on request, this is just to prove my point.

VID_20141208_153153.mp4 (1.7 MB)

I would be very curious to see someone bothering to control precession in a way that’s useful. Just as watching a sleeper isn’t representative of yoyoing, anything I can imagine doing to control precession wouldn’t be representative.

I do know that with a flat bearing, I re-orient my body sometimes mid-combo. With a profiled bearing, not so much.

But, I enjoy being proven wrong, so bring it. :wink:

I attached a video in my previous post… seems like nobody knows it’s there lol
It’s not too much an effort in general just to keep yourself facing the same way every time. Turning or tilting on purpose maybe not “too useful” although it may look cool in a way, the point is to show if it is really possible. The real use of it in my case is simply keeping the yoyo plane steady and being able to predict how the yoyo will behave on certain condition. As I said it’s not much an effort, I believe many players who have been yoyoing for a while are able to do this unconsciously.
I found something quite interesting, if you are right handed and your trick that starts with breakaway gradually turning left, that means the yoyo is actually slightly tilted towards you, most likely without you knowing. If the trick gradually turn right, than means the yoyo is tilted away from you. It can be reproduced easily by keeping the yoyo tilted slightly on purpose and see where it goes, tilting towards you will precess to the left, while tilting away from you will precess to the right.
This way I don’t think I even need to make another video. :wink:

Watched the video-- so you are tilting the yoyo on purpose to create a more dramatic precession? Pretty cool, really!

What I’m more concerned about is the precession that happens without the yoyo even tilting. When I reorient my body, it’s definitely not on purpose or to look interesting, but out of necessity. If I can tilt a bit to fight the precession, maybe that’s worth investigating. :slight_smile: