I have a feeling this has been asked a million times, but I’m new around here. Anyway, what brand of bearings does everyone prefer?
NSK. They make their own product but are also the manufacturer for the YYF Gold Center Trac and the YYR DSB bearings. They are great in each of these applications.
But you get very diminished returns for your investment. I don’t mind paying the premium because they are so quiet and smooth, two things that really enhance the yoyoing experience for me. If you just want long-spinning and reliable, there are cheaper options.
I have not tried NSK yet…but, all the others I’ve tried…out of all the bearings except NSK…Ok? Terrapin X bearings with the delta or wing cut are awesome man…I also like to use the Wrath/Rage bearings from G-squared…and once in a while a Kon Kave bearing…
Hmmm, didn’t know that they make the YYF Gold Center Trac. that would explain why I like the one that I have, but haven’t cared for the standard YYF CT.
Love the DS and the NSK bearings. Usually get the DS, but have a couple NSK.
I like Dif-e-Yo KonKave bearings… Very smooth and quiet.
Terrapin X Wing cut or DSB golds first, platinums second.
Time to un-derail this thread!
From my experience:
Center trac: spins great, but not the best. EXTREMELY RELIABLE, best value
CTX: spins much better and smoother than normal Center trac but a bit less reliable
KonKave: spins better than the center trac, but less reliable
ceramic KK: dead smooth… for the first few hours. Then it starts acting up, but that will stop after a bit. If you attempt to do any sort of maintenance, it is game over
Gold Center Trac: not much better than normal center trac; it’s an unnecessary premium
One Drop 10ball: the only flat bearing that really stands out
Other flat bearings: responsive, UNLESS it is spinning the longest it can and/or you need new silicone
I prefer CTX, but I will settle for pretty much any string centering bearing
I used to be into trying all the different bearings available, and I’d say, when working properly, the OneDrop 10ball bearing spins the quietest and smoothest, but all of the ones i’ve used have had issues screeching and locking up frequently. I liked the Terrapin X bearing I had a while back, but I can’t justify the cost of it when there are perfectly good and usable flat bearings online that you can get for a dollar or two a piece. IMO, there’s no logical reason to buy better bearings other than “i have the money and i like it” if you’re not an active and serious competitor. You can learn and master all of the tricks in the world on a crappy bearing. No need to spend 3-5x more on a part when the one you’ve already got in there is probably good enough to get you 95% percent of the way up yoyo-tricks-mountain.
That said, Konkaves are also nice.
Buddha bearing whipple. Just got them, super cheap and I find them to be good to go and on par with my other 10 ball string centerers
Center Trac: Plays quite decently, bit too gritty for my taste, but will get the job done.
Kk: Very smooth & quiet. Spins for hecka long too.
Yoyofficer grooved 10 ball: Smoother than the Kk, quieter as well.
Spec X: Very smooth, but really loud.
OD 10 ball: By far my favourite bearing. Super smooth & (depending on the bearing) quiet. Some do get loud after a while, but cleaning them gets them back to being quiet.
Just exactly as smooth as the YYO grooved bearing. But I prefer the OD 10 ball because I prefer flat bearings.
The DS gold and platinums are the same exact bearing. The only difference is color…however, I prefer the platinum over the gold because the gold tends to flake off quickly which makes the bearing look like crap! The platinum ones don’t do that.
I honestly don’t get too caught up on bearings… I like the grooved ones because they look nicer to me (literally just because of looks), but I never notice a big enough difference in play from bearing to bearing to justify spending much on any of them. I would recommend a centering bearing, other than that, don’t worry too much about it.
I just use the stock bearing shipped with the yoyo, 99% of the time I don’t feel the need to change it unless it’s broken beyond repair.
I know there is a difference, mostly in how they feel on the string, but performance wise there isn’t enough for me to justify buying yet another bearing. They practically never break too if you take care of it seriously.
Now I just realized I’ve never bought any new bearing separately in my life. The last time I got separate bearings was by trading some strings for my friend’s locked bearings and fix them up.
Difeyo Konkave is great though.
I remember talking to Boyd one year at nats and I asked him what bearing do you use and he told me “what ever they ship me” works for me.
I’ve tried a bunch of bearings, and while I’ve had several favorites from time to time, they’ve all started to blend together and I don’t have much preference anymore. The only noticeable difference between them all is the noise they make and whether they’re centering or flat.
I’ll give a rundown of each bearing I can remember using off-hand:
YYF Spec: my least favorite. I’m not a big fan of flats to begin with, and these seem poorly constructed. Even thorough cleaning doesn’t seem to make them much better, and they have the worst spin times of any bearings I’ve tried. That being said, they still work, and they still spin long enough for pretty much any trick.
YYF CT: the workhorse bearing. These are kind of the bread and butter of the yo-yo world for bearings. They work, plain and simple, no frills. They usually don’t sound pretty (although I’ve had some pretty quiet and smooth ones), but they spin great and have enough centering to satisfy me.
YYF CTX: just a better version of the standard CT in my opinion. Smoother and quieter. However, they’re more finicky due to having 2 more balls and what I believe are tighter tolerances, so they gunk up quicker and therefore require more maintenance.
YYF/NSK gold CT: if the standard CT is a Suburban, the CTX is a Denali, and the gold CT is an Escalade. Doesn’t do anything much different, it’s just smoother, quieter, and more premium than its siblings. Only worth the price if you require quiet bearings.
YYF new CT: performs more like the CTX, smoother and quieter than the old CT. Not much else to say.
Crucial Grooved: I really like these, they’re on par with the smoothness and quietness of a CTX, but have a different profile that I enjoy.
G2’s bearing with same profile as the crucial grooved: like a very very smooth version of the crucial grooved. Very good bearing overall. Sorry I forgot the name, Jake.
G2’s flat bearing: again I forgot the name, but this is a good flat bearing. On par with the OD 10 ball for smoothness, only the tiniest bit noisier, and way less finicky in my experience. Probably my favorite flat bearing that I’ve used.
OD 10 ball: super quiet until you get absolutely anything into them. Comparable to bearings made by NSK in terms of smoothness and quietness. Otherwise, they’re great if you like flat bearings. I don’t really like flat bearings, so, yeah.
Buddha Whipple: nice centering V profile that works extremely well. Noisy and rougher like the old CT’s, but they get the job done and Buddha bearings are cheap which is great bang for your buck.
Buddha Whipple ceramic: pretty much the same as the regular Whipples, just no worries about not lubing your bearings. Also sightly louder.
Dif KK ceramic: really nice bearings. The one I got was really smooth and quiet right away. It’s gotten slightly louder after use and several cleanings, but it’s a satisfying and very smooth hissing noise, so it doesn’t sound bad. The smooth curved profile works very nicely for centering.
Terrapin X wing ceramic(I think): the most subtle centering bearing out there. You can barely tell it’s slightly concaved. Works best without lube, similar ceramic hiss to the Dif ceramic, just slightly louder and crunchier.
YYR/NSK DS platinum: very smooth and quiet like NSK’s are known for. High maintenance, but worth it if you like smooth and quiet. The centering shape is probably my favorite alongside the Dif KK shape.
Full ceramic concave: interesting bearing that I really like. Since it’s fully ceramic, there is absolutely no worry about rust, so you can just rinse it with water to clean it in a pinch, and you don’t need to worry about lube. It came with my Evora, but I like to keep it in my Sovereign for its ease of maintenance on the go, because that’s my everywhere/pocket throw.
Beyond that, I’ve gotten some others in trades/secret Santa that I’m unsure of, generic flats and generic KK’s. They’re usually acceptable but nothing special. Can’t really say one way or another, and it doesn’t matter because I can’t tell you what they were anyways.
But yeah, maintenance is king with bearings. Keep em clean and most bearings will treat you well. Don’t over-lube, and I suggest cleaning before you ever add more lube; unless you’re in a pinch and temporarily don’t have access to stuff to clean them properly. Beyond that, I prefer any sort of centering profile over flats, because flats always end up with the string rubbing against one side of the gap every handful of throws. Otherwise, they all get the job done.
The grooved one is the B.O.S.S. Rage and the flat is the B.O.S.S. Wrath.