Flat Bearing

Why must all One Drop yoyos come with that dreaded flat bearing? It spins great, but flat bearings are such a pain to play with in my opinion. Is there some story behind it, or it just a matter of personal preference?


iirc David and Shawn have said they wish to respect the spirit of Frank Difeo’s konkave patent, i.e. string-centering bearing


As TMA-2 said, the main reason is that we respect Frank Difeo’s patent. We have also had the same bearing for 12 years and we like it. Really it comes down to personal preference. Half like it one and half like it the other.

What we focus on is doing our best to have the bearing posts not be tight so that it’s easy to change it to the bearing you prefer. I think this approach works better in the long run.


For the record, this is one of my favorite design aspects of your yoyos, looser bearing seats



I like the flat bearing depending on the throw. 9 times out of ten, if it’s organic, the flat bearing stays. Something about that combo is just fantastic. Other more angular or “competition” throws lend to a centering bearing for me. I respect the hell out of you guys for shipping all of your yoyos with the flat bearing, it fits with the old school “human” vibe at One Drop.


something about that flat bearing is magical

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The innovation and engineering from Mr. Difeo has contributed and influenced yoyo design for nearly 20 years now. It’s good to see his work respected.




I have heard this justification before. What has always puzzled me was that concave and grooved bearings are available generally, from most manufacturers - for any application; with no royalties.

Apparently, the patent only applies when this curved bearing is applied to a yo-yo:


If so, what exactly are we “respecting” here? From what I can find, Mr. Difeo did not invent the concave or curved bearing, he merely patented the use of that type of bearing in a yo-yo. What are we possibly “respecting” about that? That we have all been forced to use flat-bearings in our yo-o’s because Mr. Difeo decided to patent the use of generally available bearings years ago? What investment or engineering resources did he use that needs to be recovered through royalties on this ground-breaking idea?

Please forgive me if I find this more of a scam than something to be “respected”.


Naturally, of course, as always, you think the worst of us. That will never change :slight_smile: Not sure why I’m even responding here.

The patent was very specific in that it defined an arc so the easy workaround is to make a different shape and that is what has been done and Difeo realized he wouldn’t be able to fight it.

From our perspective, Difeo invented the idea of a concave bearing in a yoyo and we are respecting the spirit of that. Just because there are technical legal workarounds, doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do.

How is this possibly a “scam”? It’s a scam that we are not offering something that some customers want and something we could sell? Your idea of a scam is warped. We get offered these bearings at really great wholesale prices from China all the time. We could easily do this. But go ahead with scam. Sure. Whatever.


da5id, dude, move on bro. Are you actually going to try and inform Matt here what respect is? Yeah, lost cause man.


I disagree with the statement that it is a “technical legal workaround” – I don’t think full concave is that great of an idea in practice. Flat with angled edges (aka CenterTrac) is a superior technical solution that offers similar benefits (namely, nudging the string away from the edges for better spin time) while crucially allowing more string wrapping without arbitrarily forcing center all the time.

This isn’t a “technical legal workaround” – it is a better design.

However I certainly would not say that Frank Difeo is scamming anyone, either!


But when did the concept of a string centering bearing began? If it came from Frank having the idea first, then every string centering bearing that exists today thanks to that, and wanting to respect that is nice imo.


That’s… not how patents work, my friend. You don’t patent the “idea” of something, you patent a specific implementation of it.

Oh sure. Its not like anyone has any legal obligation to do that, im just saying that they wanting to do that just out of respect is nice.


I think that is certainly a matter of opinion! The KonKave nudges the string to the center, but it doesn’t lock it in. It does it “gently”. As far as performance/desirable play, I think it often depends on the yoyo.

I think the patent expires in about 5 years?

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Another question to add to the mix: why not just buy and use Difeo bearings?


I asked this a while back, and the answer was, “We like our 10 Ball bearings!”


Fair enough!

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I don’t think it is a matter of opinion, but rather the observed behavior of the string in play. The differences in the two approaches are stark:

  • I want to force the string to the center at all times


  • I want the string to generally stay away from the edges, but I don’t care if it is perfectly centered all the time

These aren’t even the same goals!