Shields or No Shields - How do you use your bearings?

I use shields and recommend to do so with any bearing, there is a reason they come with them.

i dont see any reason not to… dont really see the point…

In my opinion bearings are disposable. When I receive a yo, if the bearing is shielded I play it with shields, if it arrives without shields I play it without.

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I have done both. I have removed the shields to more easily lube the bearing. However, i have found this to significantly reduce the life of my bearing, which destroys the point of lubing the bearing.

how are bearings disposable??? I agree with playing it how it comes but… no wonder some people are so opposed to the more expensive bearing with that mindset…

Buddha whipples are all I need :slight_smile:

I like my bearings to be shielded. I like things to be all “buttoned up”, even if you can’t see it. Of course, not all my yoyos came with shielded bearings(seriously, even new).

For me, I’m going through my yoyos and cleaning bearings, replacing bearings that don’t “make my grade” and replacing them with either Terrapin X bearing, or Dry Play treating them.

I find them pointless. They are a nuisance and don’t affect the feel or play in any way for me. I remove them once and throw them out.

If I have problems with a bearing I clean it, if the problem persists I clean it one more time, more carefully, if it still doesn’t work I dispose of it. Pretty simple really, I’m not interested in wasting time with it. Even with my mind set, I spend way more on string, silicone, and response pads than I ever do on bearings. As far as more expensive bearings, I’m not opposed to them, I have some, it’s not a big deal they’re just bearings.

Maybe I’m just use to replacing bearings on other things. I take care of them but still expect them to fail and do replace them when they cause me problems. It’s no big deal, for me at least.

Once I can sit down (probably with my dad, LOL) and figure out how to deshield these things, I will probably play all of the yoyos in my case shieldless. I like shieldless bearings because I can clean them.

BTW, can you clean a bearing with the shields? LOL.

A thumbtack is all it takes. The shields are held on with a C-clip. Find the gap in the clip and use the thumbtack to pry it out.

You can clean a shielded bearing, but it won’t work as well seeing as the debris can’t escape very easily. That’s why some will suggest deshielding your bearing, cleaning it, lubing it, and then reshielding it. Which IMO, seems like a lot of work for not much reward.

All my bearings are deshielded. Easier for cleaning and I haven’t noticed any drop in lifespan.


I’ve noticed that bearings with the shields removed seem to play quieter than a shielded bearing.

I tend to keep shielded bearings shielded. Like Studio42 mentioned, it’s nothing more than enjoying the feeling of things being “buttoned up”.

That said, recently I haven’t bothered re-shielding a few times. I was working on problem bearings and didn’t trust that they’d work right. As it turns out, they came out fine… and I just put the shields in a baggie instead of opening the yoyo back up and putting them in.

Might be a trend for me. :wink: Have to admit, in those cases I still didn’t just bin the shields. Every bearing I’ve ever had that came with shields still has the shields available to them somewhere in my kit.

andy569: Whipples for the win! Really liking the high-performance low-headache low-costness of these bearings.

I have found that certain bearings are much more difficult to de-shield than others. Without naming any brand names, the bearings that are ridiculously difficult to remove the shields on, I leave un-shielded once I manage to remove the shields.

Most bearing though have a higher quality C-Clip that is simple to remove and re-apply, and on those bearings I continue to use the shields.

I will say that I have never noticed any life span degradation from not using a shield though.

Not terribly fussed if the bearings are shielded or unshielded. If they come shielded, I’ll play them that way until some grit gets in and the shields need to come off for some cleaning. Once they’re out though, they stay out.


On my ceramic KonKave bearings, I keep one shield off for easy cleaning with my air compressor. For steel bearings I keep the shield on in general.

I agree they seem to play quieter and they are easier to clean. The first thing I do with every bearing I get is remove the shields.

Same; all of my bearing are shield less and treated w dry (terrapin) lube. Makes them easier to clean as well.

Whipple bearings are a hassle-free alternative. Also; they are amazing. (When treated & maintained properly)

This exactly. No sense in spending the time and effort to put shields back on, especially since improperly installed ones will cause way more issues than the lack of them ever will and as far as i can tell they do nothing, or at least not much, to keep the bearing clean.