Show us your bearings

Mtneer

Gold Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2003
Messages
511
One thing I love about knives is the intricate inner workings. Pretty much any knife that I plan to keep and use gets opened up at some point for cleaning and inspection. Even the loose IKBS bearings. Honestly I do it mostly just because I like to see the guts.

Anyway here are a few of mine. Let's see what your got

Shirogorov Custom Division Hati on roller bearings
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Shirogorov F3 on single row ball bearings.
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Reate Horizon D with captive ball bearings. Much easier to deal with than the loose Shiorgorov rollers or balls.
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Mtneer

Gold Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2003
Messages
511
I didn't even know about roller bearings. Those look really cool.

I love the rollers too, and that is just the mid level for Shirogorov. They have another version that are multi row rollers. Very cool, and very expensive.

This is not mine but a pic from a similar thread in a Shiro forum.

3135054d047de78c6115587d4fcf68ec.jpg


This is a picture of a multi row ball bearing set up in a Shirogorov Hati Club knife that I used to own.

48c627f84067555c0e7a18c93e51e8e0.jpg
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 4, 2014
Messages
305
Cool pics! I like the roller bearings. I appreciate the technology but I also like the simplicity of the Teflon washers on my Hinderer.
 

Sonnydaze

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Joined
Jul 6, 2009
Messages
11,274
"a multi row ball bearing set up in a Shirogorov Hati Club knife" is a very interesting design, that I've never seen before. I have NO idea how it performs compared to other bearing designs.
 
Joined
Feb 18, 2015
Messages
3,000
Most curious.... would roller cylinder bearings really be better than balls....

They should be because the knife blade only moves one way.

The roller bearing would probably be a bit more "sticky" because of theres more bearing surface in contact with the blade but it should also be stronger for the same reason.

OFC this is all guessing and smart people will probably be along shortly to tell me I'm wrong
 

GatorFlash1

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Joined
May 28, 2012
Messages
2,813
While it is interesting to see the various types of knife bearings, in my opinion bearings in a folding knife just to ease or speed the opening is a big stretch, excessive engineering from those who need a real job.

Bearings are great for something that has rotation, lots of it, think car wheels, or engine RPM, or chain saws.

For knives, I think they are so much fluff. You want a fast opening knife, buy an automatic or assisted knife, don't waste your money on a knife just because it has some variety of bearings.

I know I'll get blasted for my opinion. But, I want to know how many openings a year, or how fast it should open, or how smooth it should feel when opening a knife the knife bearing folks think it takes to really benefit from intricate roller or ball bearings in a knife.

Here is a great link to the American Bearings Organization that discusses their types and use.

http://www.americanbearings.org/?page=what_are_bearings

If you are a bearings lover or aficionado, I would be curious to know what type of lube you use to keep them clean and working properly.

I EDC a Spyderco Gayle Bradley and it works fine for my shop and yard duties. The prices is also reasonable. I obviously would not pay more for a knife that was more complicated and required special maintenance to keep it opening.

http://centavogear.blogspot.com/2012/05/spyderco-gayle-bradley-carbon-fiber.html
 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 25, 2016
Messages
26
I understand what GatorFlash1 is saying. The function of a knife is not just to be opened and closed. In terms of bearings, they work really well and give the smoothest opening and closing I have experienced. That is good as long as the forces on the blade are rotational, if there are lateral or sideways forces the bearing contact area is very small so the pressure on that point is very high, this implies more rapid wear. I am not sure if the bearings roll on the liner, looking at the ZT photo it looks like they do. Bearings under pressure in engines run on hardened steel bearing cups. You would think in the ZT at least they would have special steel cup inserts pressed into the liner. Bronze washers avoid some of these problems.
 

19-3ben

Basic Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2015
Messages
3,967
I love the rollers too, and that is just the mid level for Shirogorov. They have another version that are multi row rollers. Very cool, and very expensive.

This is not mine but a pic from a similar thread in a Shiro forum.

3135054d047de78c6115587d4fcf68ec.jpg


This is a picture of a multi row ball bearing set up in a Shirogorov Hati Club knife that I used to own.

48c627f84067555c0e7a18c93e51e8e0.jpg

Those multi-row setups are pretty cool looking. I hate to be "that guy" but I actually have a real question that I'm asking out of interest rather than to be a Debby Downer.... Do they actually make any difference? Is there any reason why multiple rows of bearings, or that cool looking radiating looking one would actually be smoother or stronger, or more reliable, or anything that a single row of bearings wouldn't?

Edit to add- I know that the debate between phosphate washers vs. bearings is one of those things that just causes wars (the knife equivalent of 9mm v. 45acp), and I really don't want to derail the thread with that. I'm asking because I've never seen bearings in a knife other than a single row.
 

Daniel Dorn

Gold Member
Joined
Apr 21, 1999
Messages
5,265
I'm all for engineering, for engineering's sake. It's a way to show off one's ability. No one (well not everyone) get's upset when a mechanical watch with 15 complications is created, and costs a fortune. A smartphone has 100 times the capabilities, and costs only a fraction of the watch. It's all about the art and ability of the creators. If you have the money to celebrate that, and purchase an over-engineered complex piece of art, more power to you. I know I would, if I could. :D
 
Joined
Feb 28, 2011
Messages
16,975
While it is interesting to see the various types of knife bearings, in my opinion bearings in a folding knife just to ease or speed the opening is a big stretch, excessive engineering from those who need a real job.

Bearings are great for something that has rotation, lots of it, think car wheels, or engine RPM, or chain saws.

For knives, I think they are so much fluff. You want a fast opening knife, buy an automatic or assisted knife, don't waste your money on a knife just because it has some variety of bearings.

I know I'll get blasted for my opinion. But, I want to know how many openings a year, or how fast it should open, or how smooth it should feel when opening a knife the knife bearing folks think it takes to really benefit from intricate roller or ball bearings in a knife.

Here is a great link to the American Bearings Organization that discusses their types and use.

http://www.americanbearings.org/?page=what_are_bearings

If you are a bearings lover or aficionado, I would be curious to know what type of lube you use to keep them clean and working properly.

I EDC a Spyderco Gayle Bradley and it works fine for my shop and yard duties. The prices is also reasonable. I obviously would not pay more for a knife that was more complicated and required special maintenance to keep it opening.

http://centavogear.blogspot.com/2012/05/spyderco-gayle-bradley-carbon-fiber.html
From a practical engineering perspective, I agree that bearing pivots are largely a solution in search of a problem. However, knives are a great deal more than simple tools for the majority of us and fun, flickability is a totally legitimate selling point. For that, bearings excel, so they absolutely serve a purpose.
 
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