Our hand spinners use 4 bearings. Functional central, and decorative outer bearings. All bearings are of 608 type which are mostly know as skate bearings. Bearings have bearing balls riding inside and usually held up by a metal or nylon cage.
On the outside bearings have rubber seals of various colors (usually black). These seals protect bearing from debris, however in hand spinners, they serve mostly decorative purpose.
Seals can be contact or non contact. Most bearings have contact seals, which slow down rotation very slightly. From the bearings we offer only our premium hybrid ceramic bearings have non-contact seals, which means they don’t affect spin duration.
Central bearings is the most important one as it’s actually what spins the fidget so let’s learn about this one first. There are total of 3 types that exist.
- First is chrome steel bearing. It’s a good bearing with low cost. Cleaned from grease or any other lubricant it can spin on average for 30-45 seconds. Nylon cage bearings spin longer than metal cage. Base on availability we always try to install nylon cage based bearings for in the center, however these are not always in stock. If you do require nylon cage steel bearing please let us know in the notes when ordering. We will let you know if they are not in stock.
- Second is ceramic hybrid bearings. These are more costly than steel bearings because they contain ceramic balls. Outer of the bearing is still metallic, and cage is nylon. There are two types of ceramic material used in these are either Silicone Nitride (Si3N4) or ZrO2 (zirconia). Si3N4 are grey/black in color. We used to offer these as only option for ceramic hybrids. These can spin for about a minute in our hand spinners.
Recently we discovered a very high performance (probably best on the market) hybrid ceramic bearings. When tested they outperformed our regular hybrid ceramics, and shockingly offered practically same exact spin times as super expensive fully ceramic bearings. They cost more than regular hybrid ceramics, and we call them “premium” hybrid ceramics. So if you want best bearing for your spinner, choose these!
- Finally there are fully ceramic bearings. These made almost entirely out of ceramic material and very light and fast. However they are very expensive. We acquired several samples of both Si3N4 and ZrO2 bearings, and tested how long they spin under normal conditions in our spinners. ZrO2 was spinning for 2 minutes, while Si3N4 span just few seconds longer. However we decided not to offer these, as we discovered that “premium” hybrid ceramics are basically identical in spin times, and cost a lot less…