Mystery of the bearing

(Waylon) #1

I have a persistent problem - I clean my bearings in acetone, some of the are treated in dry play. Often, after an hour or so of play, the string starts chasing and snagginess ensues. It’s driving me crazy. I clean again and the problem goes away for a bit then comes back. I use a variety if bearings from generic to name brand. Only a few that I have are without this issue. What gives?


I have this same issue. I’ve also tried using some yyj thin lube, but it doesn’t help.


Same. My bearings go wonky so easily. WHY?!


Don’t clean your bearings. Put a drop of thin lube in them when they’re brand new then start playing.

(Waylon) #5

What if I put a drop of thin lube in now and start playing?


Just put them in a time out chair until they’ve learned there lesson. Um maybe try throwing excessively. Is it always the same brand or same type of bearing? is it in the same yo-yo?


For me it’s different bearings, different throws, and different brands.

(M.DeV1) #8

For me it’s a stage of breaking in you just have to play through. I have found doing numerous Gyroscopic flops seems to quicken the process.


All I can say is “Thank the powers that be that I’m not alone”. Had a perfectly-playing bearing in my DM2 then suddenly last night the string started chasing. I was all, “why the HECK can’t I just have a bearing that I don’t have to fart around with?”

I have already had a couple of plain old “bad” bearings in my lineup already. Starting to feel unlucky.

When my 10-ball arrives, 1 drop of thin lube and play. We’ll see how that goes.


Probably a good thing. Can’t hurt to try.

(Waylon) #11

Ill have to order some when I get my son his Xmas present. In the meantime, ill see if playing through it does any good.


I don’t know if this is useful or not but cleaning in strong solvents like acetone can sometimes be a curse. Solvents like acetone and methanol (a hexane followed by methanol wash would be my suggestion for a perfect bearing cleaning - although normally I use far more mundane methods) will readily dissolve any trace constituents around and will happily transfer them directly on to your bearing. An example of this would be residual ink or anything like that. Because acetone evaporates so quickly it will leave an uneven coating of this on any bearing. Equally, most acetone or methanol that one can readily obtain actually dries leaving a very fine film of trace matter (normally water with other species) because it is not as pure as it could be. Whilst this in most cases is preferable to dust in the bearing (or other day to day junk) it may cause a problem over time - I haven’t tested this but it’s likely true. My final point is that acetone typically dissolves organics - oil and the like, but often will not remove more solid particulate or inorganic compounds without further cleaning. For example, it is far better to run acetone through the bearing than to simply put the bearing in a jar of solvent. This may well not have any ‘bearing’ on the current discussion of lagging during play, but is worth considering all the same. I would therefore suggest that a small amount of lube with shields to the bearing is a good alternative to frequent cleaning.

Feel I have to add, if cleaning in chemicals, be it acetone or anything else, please read and understand all hazards, and only use in well ventilated areas and with suitable supervision if required.


I know this problem. It happens whether you put lube in it or not. If i use an air compressor to blow out the bearing after i clean it never happens. If you dont use an air compressor though… it stops snagging eventually anyways. Just be patient… dont get angry that the string is snagging and run and clean it. Just keep playing it. Throw some real hard sleepers if it doesnt stop. It will stop eventually and most likely wont happen again.

This is my experience with cleaning with acetone, so it may be different for you.

(M.DeV1) #14

Exactly. It’s just a stage in breaking in a freshly cleaned bearing.

(Waylon) #15

I appreciate the info, guys. I throw wood fairly often. I’m no stranger to knuckle busting. But, I recently/accidentally started playing around with IRGs. Having your aluminum yoyo snag on a hard sleeper during a throwhand thumb grind is pretty uncomfortable.


Yup. It’s no kind of fun at all.


There is really no mystery to bearings…
Some are ABEC rated and most are not…
You get the luck of the draw…
All TX bearings are rated 5 or over.

(Waylon) #18

Free plug: I bought one tx bearing over a year ago. I have not had to do even one little thing to it. I intend to slowly start replacing my inconsistent bearings with them.


Yep, Terrapin X bearings rock. But really, I never have problems with any bearings breaking in. I clean them differently than normal, and much more thoroughly. Seriously, chances are, that one crappy bearing you have, just needs a more thorough cleaning than just a dip in mineral spirits or acetone. Once clean, I lube them with Terrapin X Dry Play lube. Needs practically no break in time. Like literally 3 throws and I’m set. Bearings are only as good as the amount of care you put into them.


If you don’t mind me asking, what do you do to clean them then? I don’t tend to have these problems, but I thought I’d ask for the sake of the people on this thread.