General Guide To Yo Yo Bearings

I have gone back through a few threads and found quite a bit of information about these wonderful bearings we have in our Yos. Some if this information is right, some of it is kind-of-right, and some of it I’m not sure where it came from.

I have done a lot of work with bearings over the the past two years in college and I want to share some general information that will help you understand whats going on under the string, and explain what actually happens when you clean and lubricate your Yo.

First off, bearings work as a method of reducing friction between two or more surfaces. This friction reduction results in less vibration, less heat build up, and less stress on the objects it connects. For a Yo-Yo this means smoother operation, longer spin times, and less stress on the axle and string.

The most important aspect to understand is the small balls inside the bearing itself. I wont go into the math, but these balls are what reduce the friction and allow such crazy spin times. The concept is, the easier it is for these balls to roll, the lower the resistance from the bearing, and the longer you can spin the Yo.

I don’t have access to all bearings made today, so I can’t speak on the way they all ship. Usually, however, brand new bearings are mostly dry. They may have a residue to protect during shipping, but this quickly dimishes. Unless you open the bearing and lube it, its completely dry.

Dry, CLEAN bearings will always spin the longest. Period. People who report anything different aren’t lying, there is just something in the bearing that is chaning the physics, or their throw changed. The simple truth is, if your bearing is actually dry and actually clean, it will spin longer than if it had lube.

Another important note is that even if you use a thin lubricant, too much will make your Yo responsive.

Here is the bottom line:

  1. If you want the longest spin time, run your bearing dry. The setback is that it will be noisy, and you run the risk of damaging the bearing if you don’t maintain it properly.

  2. If you want your bearing to last, but you need it to be unresponsive, use a small (no more than a pinhead) amount of YYJ Thin Lube.

  3. If you want your bearing to last, and want it to be responsive, use a small amount of YYJ Thick Lube.

  4. When you clean or lube your bearing, you MUST remove the shields. You cannot properly clean or lube a bearing if you cannot actually SEE the balls.

I hope this helps anyone who is having trouble with their bearings.

//This guide is not nessisarily 100% complete//


Nice guide! How do you remove the shields to see the balls?

I’d make a vid myself, but my cam sucks

Here though:


So, you mean that "If your yo-yo bearing is totally dry, then it spins long right?

What if your throw is exactly desame with a (before) undry bearing & (after) dry bearing?
but the spin time is desame.
is it has a bearing problem?

Assuming that we are talking about your throw being exactly the same twice (almost impossible) and the spin times exactly the same (again, almost impossible) then the dry bearing probably has some residue left from the cleaing agent. As long as the spin times are long enough for your liking, then there shouldn’t be a problem.