gold plated or ceramic bearing

hey i and thinking about that would be better gold vs ceramic, i understand there is a big debate if there bearing are worth it over all but i only want to know what would be better if you have the choice


explain your statement, i heard you cant lube a gold one and that would be less maintenance

who ever tells you that you cant lube a bearing is either ignorant or a liar.

They both have pros and cons. Gold will wear off over time, but ceramic is more prone to shock damage.

Both will be only marginally better than any steel, but they would both generally be better. usually not worth the cost, especially after reading you post that a dollar discount code would be “epic.” If money is a concern, dont bother with boutique bearings. After you have some more disposable income, try them all! I know i did. :slight_smile:


The biggest advantage to ceramics is longevity. As someone who recently chucked 40 bearings… its a welcome feature.

Is it just me, or am I the only one that’s never has a steel bearing wear out on?

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I have never worn one out either.

Advantage of longevity :-\ ? …Not if you drop it

I’ve had throws come with bad bearings but I’ve never had a good one just die. I’ve even committed the sin of cleaning them with soap and water and never had a problem. I have 2 gold bearings both by nsk. They work great but what I can’t figure out is, what advantage could coating a bearing in a soft metal like gold have?

^ Especially since it wears off so quick!

I’ve still got my original Spintastics Tornado and ProYo Bumble Bee’s, bearings are still fine they were from the mid 90’s.

I’ll toy around with bearing from time to time, most the time it really doesn’t matter. Have found some, for whatever reason changes the play of a yoyo. My Prescription has a DS Platinum bearing, so good in that. I put a DS Platinum in a Tundra, didn’t like it at all. Recently I was thinking of selling my Peak, put a couple different bearing in it, and I eventually put in this semi responsive flat bearing and my Peak became super smooth and is so much fun to play that I couldn’t sell it after that change.

But like Dust said, the benefit from a gold or ceramic is so minimal compared to your standard stainless steel bearing.

I believe, someone correct me if I’m wrong, a softer metal makes it smoother, almost acting as a built in lubricant.

I’m not 100% sure about the statement that ceramic bearings are prone to breaking, because they are also used in skateboards and bikes.
Is there any real test video to prove this point?

That is my understanding too. Sort of counter-intuitive.

Trust me…they can break. I am referring to “full ceramic” bearings. Hybrids are not as susceptible because the outer rings are made of steel.

I think some confusion has arisen because the NSK website somewhere says something about the tolerances being so tight that you should not lube them.

I’ve also heard that you don’t lube ceramics, but since I don’t have any, I don’t know.

As to the 40 bearings going out, I think he said in another thread that it was due to them sitting on a shelf and rusting, which makes sense.

I had an old journey do that after sitting for a long time.
Also, maybe he lives near the ocean?

Here’s what Mr. Frank Difeyo says…

I hadn’t seen that, thanks!

Precision bearing lubrication is a very complex issue. When, how and what are never easy to pin down. Add to this the fact that precision bearings in yo-yo applications, do not suffer from many of the wear and tear issues that the same bearings in a harsh environment might experience.

According to NSK; Lubrication in a precision bearing provides:

  1. Reduction of friction and wear
  2. Protection against rust
  3. Extension of life
  4. Dissipation of heat.

Clearly, the biggest factor for yo-yo bearing maintenance is going to be Reduction of friction. As the same document notes: there is a trade-off between the oil being too viscous and affecting bearing performance vs. too thin and affecting the friction and heat reduction. Care needs to be taken that the choice of lubricant does not detract from bearing performance.
Since all bearings are lubricated at the factory, one must assume that the designers have chosen a lubricant to maximize this performance in the bearing. This implies that cleaning will remove this lubricant in both its substance and quantity. Most importantly - no matter how hard you try, the bearing will never be as clean as it was at the factory.

Even if you manage to “clean” the bearing without introducing more foreign contaminants (which is virtually impossible); unless you know what lubricant to use as a replacement and in what quantities; this task is one that should not be undertaken without cause. Since there is no such thing as “universal” bearing lubricant; this is a difficult challenge with multiple bearing types and tolerances. What is good for one bearing might not work at well for another.

I have many NSK bearings. All are fast, smooth as glass and whisper quiet. Never had any issues with them. I have never cleaned or lubricated any NSK bearings; nor would I. If one got something inside the races - I would just replace it with a new one which would be… fast, smooth and whisper quiet.

My opinion; in a yo-yo; bearings should only cleaned and lubricated when its condition warrants it. There is no such thing as “maintenance” in a yo-yo bearing. That is for bearings that are subjected to conditions that might affect its life without intervention. Yo-yo bearings do not bear any load to speak of, they do not operate in harsh environments, or for extended periods of time. Any “maintenance” without hearing a crunching noise or some other obvious, outward expression of major malfunction - is simply unnecessary and may actually be harmful.

How long have you been throwing?

I have (had) 15-20 year old bearings in a lot of yoyos.

Same here. My original Bumble Bee and Tornado still have their original bearings, those got played hard and I’ve never done a thing to them.