Has anyone tried bearings from McMasterCarr?

They’re probably not as good as ball bearings designed for the load and speed of a yoyo, being just general purpose bearings.  I’m curious if anyone has tried them though, and has any thoughts?

I think McMaster sometimes changes models/suppliers for parts, which is why they don’t have pictures or detailed descriptions.  At any point they can just pick up a different bearing (or other product) manufacturer without changing their website, as long as the specifications are the same.

I’m getting some hardware from them, and was thinking about picking one or two up just to play around with.

mcmastercarr in this case will probably give you a fairly random supplier… most likely cheap and chinese made.

The bearings we use in yoyos aren’t really designed for yo-yos… some have specialty shapes fitted to the outer races but that’s about as custom as they get for us.

Bearings from mcmaster are likely to be exactly average.


There are no ball bearings designed for the load and speed of a yoyo. To the best of my knowledge (which is not exhaustive), there’s no such thing as a factory that makes bearings specifically for yoyo. They are purchased in bulk and packaged/marketed for yoyo, but not specifically designed and made FOR yoyo.

Most bearings outperform the needs of a yoyo by very large margins. The load and sustained high RPM performance far exceed throwing a combo with a relatively slow yoyo hanging by a string (barely any load at all).

If you find the right dimensions, the cage and factory lube/oil are the other things to consider.

NINJA’D by Kyo. :slight_smile: But I’mma post anyhow because Greg.

There are no bearings specifically designed for yoyos. Parts is parts. :wink:

Can I get some reading comprehension in here?

I’m not saying “bearings for a yoyo”.

I’m saying “load and speed”. As in low strength, low rpm, high emphasis on smoothness.

The generic C bearing is a pretty standard size, but there’s a lot of different applications. You may use a different bearing for supporting a 2000lb conveyor belt moving slowly through a factory than you would a spindle on a ultra high speed tool.

And bearing manufacturers make different models for these types of things. So a yoyo company wouldn’t be like “lol manufacture me custom stuff”, they would shop for the appropriate spec. The ones MMC has are probably as generic spec as you can get.

And thank you all for trying to educate me, but none of you bothered to answer my question of if you have at least tried it. I’ll assume not.

In particular, MMC carries a $17 ABEC-7 spec bearing. I’m curious how smooth that would be to a Buddha or similar

The ABEC rating really doesn’t have a lot to do with the quality or smoothness of the bearing.



All the flavours in the world…

and you chose “salty”. :wink:

Reading comprehension is something that Kyo and I have in abundance. The phrase “They’re probably not as good as ball bearings designed for the load and speed of a yoyo” can be reduced to “designed for a yoyo.” Only after clarification is it apparent that you meant to say, “designed for applications with similar touchstones as a yoyo.” But you didn’t say that. Purely grammatically speaking, you said “designed for the load of a yoyo and the speed of a yoyo.” Of a yoyo.

You also didn’t mention anything about smoothness. If there is a spec for quantifying smoothness I guess you’ll have to dig it out on the stat sheet.

Your assumption was probably right. I don’t know of anybody who has bothered to try bearings from MMC. If anyone has, it’s more likely to be Kyo, but definitely I have not. There would be no real point to it. So, I engaged the conversation from the perspective of: “If they’re the right dimensions, they will work, just have a look at the cages (weird polymer cages might not be great) and the amount of factory lube (which you would have to clean out if they’re packed in oil)”. This addressed your own FINAL statement of “was thinking about picking one or two up just to play around with.” I was saying, “Go for it! Why not?”

I think you lied. You don’t appreciate our attempts to educate you. Hahah! ;D

Loosen up! Enjoy the dynamic nature of conversation and accept that once a conversation is out in the wild, you lose your tightly controlled grip on it. It’s fine. Life is good. Kyo (and I think myself) are helpful guys and you’re getting upset that we provided helpful information. The alternative was to either see a bunch of “nope” replies (useless) or not replies at all. I suspect given your salty nature that in the former case you would have been all, “If all you have to say is ‘no’, why bother??” and in the latter you would have been all “why am I being ignored? I thought this place was supposed to be friendly!?”

Enjoy the fact that you have found a community of people interested in our silly hobby and maybe rethink your approach to interacting within it…

An additional bit of information that is not directly answering a question of yours: ABEC rating will not translate into yoyo-relevant performance. At all. [dangit, ninja’d by jhb!]


The wikipedia article you linked itself notes that ABEC defines eccentricity tolerances, and this would affect vibration of the rotating object.

Probably to a lower effect than the quality of the throw you’re using and the manufacturing tolerances of that, but it’s not completely dismissible.

It is tolerances and just that. There are other factors that go into a bearing such as the roundness of the balls themselves, the crowns or cages, etc.

That said, in my experience with bearings of the non-yoyo variety, higher abec rated bearings generally felt smoother.

I’m sorry you find that “salty”. It was not intended to be. I guess I could have phrased my initial question better, but I didn’t think people would start picking words out of the sentence, then discussing the modified sentence, rather than just answering my question.

As to the “no real point to it” - well, there is a point. If, theoretically speaking, you were an amazing thrower (which I admittedly am not), and had an infinite budget (which, again, I do not), it’s pretty darn likely you could find an off the shelf bearing upgrade better than anything sold by a yoyo company. I buy a lot of small bits and bobs from MMC, and have bought bearings there before (and been impressed with the quality), so I figure there’s at least a small chance this $17 option might be better than some of the $10 options currently offered on the market. Would it be enough of an improvement for me, an intermediate player to actually care? No. But I am curious.

I neither picked words out of your sentence nor answered a “modified sentence”.

I modified it only as a demonstration that we answered exactly what you asked with your ORIGINAL sentence. It’s a common and appropriate technique especially when identifying which modifiers are applied to which words in order to see the core sentence/question.

But since it wasn’t clearly written, and we didn’t answer what you THOUGHT you asked, you called us out for lack of reading comprehension… which was indeed “salty”. :wink:

To your final point, I don’t disagree. Which is why I cheerfully suggested you should give it a try! Not all bearings are equal. Some supposedly “inferior” bearings will work better for yoyo. Some high-precision bearings may be able to deliver what you want. Some may be high-precision and yet utterly unsuited to the task. Who knows? I do know the high-precision NSK bearings I’ve used are the best bearings I’ve used for the purpose of unresponsive yoyoing, so I am definitely not someone who will flippantly say “all bearings are the same”.

I have some abec 7 bearings I bought previously. I put one in my new Hitman X and quite frankly I can’t tell any difference from the stock YYJ bearing it came with.

On a further note, from another time and place…

[quote=Atomic Cow]BAC ABEC 7 vs stock Bearing Challenge results
As many of you already know, Nathan and I were chatting a month or so ago about having a bearing challenge where we would pit the cocky upstart ABEC 7 bearing against the aging champ stock bearing. It was decided that we should have two yo-yos that were as similar as possible and install these two different kinds of bearings and let the yoers themselves decide which was which.

As a precaution, neither Nathan nor I nor anyone else knew during the test which was which. Nathan provided the clean dry bearings which he’d marked for later identification. I took them not knowing which was which and installed each into an identical all black Lyn Fury without him knowing which was installed where. To allow the yoers to tell one from the other, one had blue slick 6 and the other had pink slick 6.

30 yoers at BAC accepted the bearing challenge. Thank you all for your help!

16 correctly identified the ABEC 7 in the yo with the blue string.
13 incorrectly thought the ABEC 7 was in the pink-stringed yo.
1 person couldn’t decide.

Many of the folk who misidentified which yo held the ABEC 7 are major players whom everyone would recognise.

I will not identify who was mistaken except for myself. That’s right I was fooled.

[quote=Kyo]BAC ABEC 7 vs stock Bearing Challenge results
This just further proves the point I and others have been making for years. There’s no incredible difference in play… it’s in your head.

You could say that all the results were a direct result of a 50/50 chance and that nobody really knew the difference one way or the other.

So yea, if you truly believe that the bearing makes such a huge difference, by all means use one if it makes you more confident. However, in reality, abec ratings do not effect the way a bearing plays.

yes, some bearings play better than others, but not because of an abec rating.

A big thanks to AC and Nathan on this, it’s about time somebody did this.


Salt is good on fries…

This thread has my interest because the consensus seems to be this…

Yet, when I am perusing for a new bearing, I read this…

[i]"These are not off the shelf Generic bearings with a shape machined into the outer race afterwards. They are Manufactured from scratch to Custom Tolerances with specific Higher Quality Parts and Stainless Steel Materials specified by Dif-e-Yo for Dif-e-Yo.

These Specifications are the result of trial and error with one purpose in mind. Create a bearing offering maximum performance Solely for use in a free spinning Yo-Yo. The specific Dimensions and Shape of the Patented KonKave bearing is also the final results after trial and error of different shapes in order to achieve consistent string reaction.[/i]"

So what’s the skinny?

Uh who cares? They seem really expensive compared to even expensive “yoyo” bearings lol so don’t even worry about it. Buy a bunch of bearings straight from China for a dollar a piece and be happy.

Marketing spin. No pun intended.

Dif bearings are ‘custom made’ for Dif, I have no doubt. Heck, you can see their name stamped onto the bearing shield. It might be that our literal black and white statement “it doesn’t happen” can be seen as having some grey area:

My guess (note the word “guess”) is that when Frank realized that track bearings could be used as string-centering bearings, he contacted a particular manufacturer to discuss making an order. They talked available options and minimum quantities to make it happen, and the order was made. So yeah, I guess they are made “for” yoyo one incremental step further than CBC Center Trac bearings and Auldey bearings are packaged and sold as “yoyo” bearings… Frank at least chose tolerances and had the bearing stamped with his brand name. But that factory made bearings of that exact shape and those exact dimensions (possibly in batches with the same tolerances) before they ever received Frank’s phone call.

So yeah. I suppose they’re “made for yoyo” in a sense. :wink:

And this isn’t to make light of Frank’s contribution. If he didn’t recognize the utility of bearings with that profile and market them to the yoyo enthusiast niche, I wouldn’t have my favourite bearings. I still prefer to buy the ones with “Dif” stamped on them, too. They really do have nice build quality.


I agree with Grep P, dif make great bearings, no I have not tried MMC bearings however for the best bearing experience I’d go with nsk. And for longevity and performance maybe try a ceramic dif?

Frank wanted shaped bearings, so he gets batchs of them made. The only real difference from any other bearing that was being made by that factory is that he had a concave outer race made for it.

That exact bearing exists in other sizes, he just had them done for yo-yo sizes.

The same goes for most of the other widely available shaped bearings… they’re just ordering them with a custom outer race a few thousand at a time.


If we’re going to talk about outer race, the Terrapin guy individually machines and polishes the outer race of his bearings for a TINY indentation that allegedly helps center the string on throw but still allows the string to push aside during layering.

Not saying it’s effective, just saying he does this “for yoyo”.

I don’t think either of those two examples really changes that they are bearings repurposed for yoyo, not bearings “made for yoyo”.

Check this out, track bearings: