Anatomy of a Bearing: 3 Key Components You Need to Know

When repairing heavy machinery or installing a new one, you must know what to look for and how to spot issues. Failing to do so could lead to further mechanical problems costing you money and time.

One of the most critical parts of a machine you must pay attention to is the bearing. There are several different bearing types, and each has many components.

But what are the parts of a bearing? Today, we’re giving you all the info you must know, so let’s get started!


Balls are critical bearing parts. Balls are used in rolling-element bearing applications and are shaped to fit the internal surface of the bearing and roll within it.

The balls come from a more durable material than the bearing, allowing them to roll with less friction. Due to their shape and surface finish, they provide a low coefficient of friction when compared with flat surfaces, making them an ideal component for bearings.

The balls are inside the cage, which contains the appropriate number of balls to provide the desired loading capacity. Also, it allows the bearing to rotate, send load, reduce noise, and resist shock. Select the balls used in a bearing to ensure they can support the weight and the environment.


Races are a critical part of a bearing, as they support the bearing’s rolling elements. Races are cylindrical and come in two pieces – the inner and outer races.

The inner race handles support the inner ring of the bearing while the outer race rotates against it. The raceway of the bearing is what guides the roller or ball bearings as they revolve on their axis.

The precision of the races determines the quality of the bearing and the lifetime of it. Races need to be machined to appropriate tolerances, and carbon or high-grade steel should be used to manufacture them to ensure a bearing’s longevity. Races are essential for bearing performance, and without them, bearings would fail.


A bearing is an essential component in many mechanical systems that enables the efficient and effective transfer of forces and motion. Cages are a vital component, providing it with its housing.

Cages allow the balls to roll, which reduces friction and thus increases the speed and accuracy of the rotation. The cages also play a vital role in preventing the ball bearings from colliding and interlocking, which could cause damage to the bearing and the rotation mechanism.

Furthermore, these cages are helpful in lubrication, allowing essential lubricants to be distributed across the entire bearing and providing long-term stability. All in all, cages are essential for protecting and housing the ball bearings allowing the bearing to perform.

Follow This Guide to Understanding the Parts of a Bearing

Bearings are an essential part of machinery. Knowing the three key bearing components, cage, race, and balls, is vital for maintaining and understanding the function of bearings.

Proper maintenance will ensure the bearings last for the lifetime of the unit. Learn more about the anatomy of various parts of a bearing to keep your machinery running at peak performance.

Did you find this article helpful? Check out our other articles for more information.

Yvan Lebrun
Yvan Lebrun

Yvan Lebrun is a trusted expert in the field of product & service reviews. With over a decade of experience analyzing and comparing services online, he shares his valuable experience with readers at GoodSitesLike so consumers can make educated decisions before making a purchase.