Mar 14, 2017
Hand spinners are one of the newest phenomenons in the fidget community. A simple device made up of a bearing, set among weights with a little help from physics. To think that such a simple device can provide an endless amount of enjoyment is fascinating by itself. But in retrospect a lot of thought and effort goes into the design of each spinner.
Common Bearing Sizes
The most critical component of a hand spinner is the bearing. There is no particular size that is required with hand spinners, a spinner can be designed around any size bearing the creator wants, but with so many different options to choose from it can be overwhelming to decide which is best suited. The most commonly used bearing sizes for spinners are the 608 (8x22x7 mm) and the R188 (1/4x1/2x1/8 IN). The 608 bearing also happens to be the standard bearing size used in rollerblades, cruisers, and skateboards, making them relatively easy to come by.
Now that the bearing size has been selected the material is next. Bearings are traditionally made out of a standard chrome steel, stainless steel, or ceramic. With each one having benefits, the most cost effective option is often a chrome steel or stainless steel bearings. The most common bearing used in quality spinners is a ceramic hybrid bearing. These bearings utilizes stainless steel races and ceramic balls making them a better choice for the average user, they can operate without lubrication and will have a much smoother and longer spin time than a steel bearing thanks to the ceramic balls. For the absolute best performance full ceramic bearings have a lower coefficient of friction and zero chance of corrosion allowing them to perform better than a ceramic hybrid. They also operate without lubrication.
Unlike traditional bearing applications, the bearing in a hand spinner should be run free of grease or oil. This is due to the fact that lubrication actually slows down the spin of a bearing. In order to remove lubrication from a bearing, first the rubber seals need to be removed. This can be achieved with a small flat head screwdriver. The next step is determined by the composition of the lubricant. If the bearing contains grease it should be cleaned in an ultrasonic machine. If the bearing contains oil, soaking the bearing in mineral spirits is a sufficient way to clean them. The final step for either one is to blow out the bearing using compressed air.
Bearings most commonly come with one of three different enclosure options. These include rubber seals, metal shields, or open, which refers to the lack of enclosure where the ball and races of the bearing are exposed. For the purpose of making a hand spinner an open bearing is the best option due to the fact that it creates the least resistance, no added friction from a rubber seal or metal shield. Additionally an open bearing is easier to clean than either of the other options.
These are just some of the many factors that are necessary to consider when creating a hand spinner. With so many different options it paves way for new ideas and innovation despite the simplicity of the mechanics involved, and that is something that we at Boca Bearings take pride in.