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How do Roller Bearings Differ from Ball Bearings?

June 15, 2023by Marcbearing0

The main role of bearings is to reduce friction and ensure the smooth operation of a moving part. The two most common bearings are roller bearings and ball bearings. Though both are used for the same purpose, they notably differ.

Ball Bearings in India

Let’s get the answer to the question ‘how do roller bearings differ from ball bearings?

Load Capacity:

Roller bearings are designed to offer a higher load-carrying capacity in comparison to ball bearings. Due to the tapered or cylindrical shape, roller bearings can distribute the load over a larger surface area. So, these bearings are ideal for heavy-duty applications.

Design & Structure

Design and structure are the fundamental differences between roller bearings and ball bearings. As mentioned earlier, roller bearings are designed to use cylindrical or tapered rollers that distribute the load more evenly. On the other hand, ball bearings contain small spherical balls. These spherical balls are housed within the bearing. This design variation impacts their performance characteristics.

Speed & Friction

The friction and speed capabilities bring differences between roller bearings and ball bearings. Roller bearings offer a higher coefficient of friction because of their larger contact area. They’re unable to achieve the same high speeds as ball bearings. But, roller bearings are a better option to handle heavy loads and provide greater stability.

In addition, ball bearings typically exhibit lower friction. They can endure smoother rotation at higher speeds and are well suited for those applications (machinery or motors) where speed is a critical factor.

Radial and Axial Loads

Roller bearings have the capability to handle both radial and axial loads. They are designed to perform perpendicular to the shaft, whereas axial loads act parallel to the shaft. The design allows these bearings to bear both types of loads effectively.

On the other hand, ball bearings are mainly made to manage radial loads. They may not be effective when it comes to axial loads.

Different Applications:

Applications of both roller bearings and ball bearings are different. So, the decision to choose the right bearing depends on application requirements. While Roller bearings are the most suitable option for heavy construction equipment, machinery, industrial processes, and automotive applications, and, ball bearings are commonly ideal for high-speed machinery, like electric motors, bicycles, and fans.


After discussing the structure, design, load capacity, speed capabilities, and their applications, we have found major differences between roll bearings and ball bearings. Understanding these differences is essential for choosing the right type of bearing for your application. A lack of knowledge and ideal can lead to poor performance and wrong product selection.

If you want to buy roller bearings, ball bearings any other types of bearings, then Marc Bearings Pvt. Ltd. – Rajkot – Gujarat – India is the right name.

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