Sealed Ball Bearing, or ?

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Forum topic by bubinga posted 04-30-2011 08:05 PM 2560 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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864 posts in 3955 days

04-30-2011 08:05 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question bandsaw ball bearing

What’s the difference between a sealed ball bearing, and a shielded ball bearing?
EDIT: Looking to replace band saw bearings

-- E J ------- Always Keep a Firm Grip on Your Tool

7 replies so far

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 4258 days

#1 posted 04-30-2011 08:26 PM

A sealed bearing has rubber or other similar elastomeric seals that are fixed to the bearing and rub on the shaft.
A shielded bearing has metal labyrinth shields , like over-lapping washers, attached to the inner and outer races, but not actually touching each other.
The shielded bearing will have less friction, but is not as well protected from contamination.

View bubinga's profile


864 posts in 3955 days

#2 posted 04-30-2011 08:41 PM



-- E J ------- Always Keep a Firm Grip on Your Tool

View karlhead's profile


6 posts in 3981 days

#3 posted 04-30-2011 08:48 PM

A sealed bearing is designed to seal against all contaminates especially liquids. whereas a shielded bearing is designed to prevent contamination from particulate matter.

View D_Allen's profile


495 posts in 4072 days

#4 posted 04-30-2011 10:55 PM

Keep in mind that there are ‘cheap’ ones of both.
One main feature is the amount of lube they put into them.
Some I have seen seem to have had very little lube and go bad quickly.

-- Website is finally up and

View Minorhero's profile


373 posts in 3893 days

#5 posted 05-01-2011 05:23 AM

I visit the old wood working machine forum ( on a fairly regular basis. The folks on that forum are pretty much universally of the opinion that when replacing bearings on a machine it is always better to go with sealed bearings. I have done a handful of restores myself and followed this philosophy every time with only good things to say about sealed bearings.

View Grandpa's profile


3264 posts in 3963 days

#6 posted 05-02-2011 01:45 AM

I agree that some bearings have more lubrication in them. I have seen this in a lot of areas especially in farm equipment. Ditto on the difference between the shileded and sealed bearings. I think I would go with the sealed if I could get them.

View swirt's profile


6823 posts in 4259 days

#7 posted 05-02-2011 04:53 AM

THanks for asking this Bubinga… all good information I am taking in here.

-- Galootish log blog,

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