Roller Bearing vs. Ball Bearing: Which Is Right for Your Project?

February 27, 2021

Have you ever tried to glide across the carpet with your shoes on? If you have, you probably experienced a lot of friction and probably didn't get very far.

But what if you tried that with socks instead? That's what bearings are like; they help to reduce a lot of friction so you can easily move things.

There are two types of bearings: roller bearing vs ball bearing. But what are the differences? Keep reading to find out!

Roller Bearings

Roller bearings are created so that they have one continuous line of contact with something else, rather than just connecting at one point. Because of this they can absorb more shock and can handle a greater capacity of resistance.

These types of bearings can come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. You can buy them in a needle-shape, cylindrical, tapered, or spherical. However, each of these has different functions.

For example, a spherical roller bearing can help to give more thrust and manage heavier loads. A cylindrical roller bearing, on the other hand, can only manage loads with limited thrust.

Ball Bearings

Ball bearings, like an NKB, are great at handling small amounts of weight. These are the more common types of bearings, and they can handle radial or thrust loads.

A lot of engineers like to use these because when they're in motion, they can transfer the load smoothly. You can normally find these in a lot of common, everyday things like fidget spinners, hard drives, washing machines, dishwashers, blenders, and small wheels.

Roller Bearing and Ball Bearing Difference

Even though they work to accomplish the same thing, there is a difference between roller bearing and ball bearing.

Ball bearings are a lot more common than roller bearings, and they can provide a small to medium amount of support. However, roller bearings will hold a lot more weight, which makes them great for bigger or heavier projects.

While ball bearings are normally found in everyday things, roller bearings are normally reserved for large, industrial projects like conveyor belts or other factory equipment.

Another difference between the two is the shape. A ball bearing is normally only spherical, and a roller bearing is generally cylindrical. However, a roller bearing can be all kinds of other shapes as well.

Lastly, a ball bearing can operate faster than a roller bearing. The friction ball bearings make is less than the roller bearings since they have less contact.

Learn More About Roller Bearing vs Ball Bearing

These are only a few of the differences between roller bearing vs ball bearing, but there are many more things to know when trying to decide between the two!

We know that trying to build new things can be stressful and confusing at times, but we're here to walk you through the process!

If you enjoyed this article, make sure that you explore our website to find more articles just like this one.


I believe in making the impossible possible because there’s no fun in giving up. Travel, design, fashion and current trends in the field of industrial construction are topics that I enjoy writing about.

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