Wheel Selection Tips

How to Pick Wheel Bearings? Bear These Tips in Mind.

A guide to Hamilton's wheel bearings, listed in order of popularity.

Precision Ball Bearings

Our most popular bearings are best suited for applications that require rolling ease, but where side thrust isn't a critical factor. Pre-lubricated and sealed at the factory, they reduce maintenance costs because greasing isn't needed. Double-sealed precision ball bearings feature steel-reinforced rubber seals securely fastened to a groove on the ring of both sides of the bearing.

Precision bearings now replace straight roller bearings in the majority of our wheels, and can be provided optionally on our other wheel types. Depending on the wheel type and application, we'll spec the 62 series precision ball bearings with a T-bushing, or a new precision flange-type ball bearing. These new one-piece bearings designed by Hamilton engineers work well for larger wheels.

Shielded Stainless Steel Ball Bearings

These bearings prevent rust and improve rollability in our stainless steel and solid urethane wheels. Can be custom spec'd in various sizes and configurations – including flanged, sealed square bores, extended inner raceways, and wide inner raceways with self-locking collars.

Precision Tapered Bearings

Recommended for heavy duty and power-towed applications, tapered bearings handle the most severe downward and side forces. Used in various wheels and swivel assemblies, they come in pairs – one on each hub side. Each consists of a cup (hardened and ground outer raceway) and cone (roller assembly). They extend overall wheel hub length by about ¼ of an inch.

Precision Tapered Roller Bearing Seals
Available with most casters and wheels that offer 3/4", 1" or 1-1/4" tapered bearings. Commonly features a snap-on steel case with a rubber lip securely clamped between the cone back face and shaft shoulder. The lip prevents dirt and debris from entering the bearing cavity (suffix –DS). For certain 1w" and larger tapered bearings, Hamilton provides a rubber seal and space (suffix –CRS).

Straight or Needle Roller Bearings

Traditional anti-friction bearing for industrial equipment. Features a cage-type roller assembly. Outer raceway may be separated or integrated.

Plastic Bearings

For environments detrimental to metal bearings, acetyl resin bearings offer chemical and corrosion resistance. Delrin® is standard in certain wheels, as either a sleeve or flange type bearing. Plastic bearings can be custom machined and installed in most other Hamilton wheels. Note: flange type bearings extend actual hub length of wheel by about 3/16 of an inch.

Oilless Sleeve Bearings

A sleeve, usually of sintered iron or oil-impregnated bronze, is press-fit into the wheel bore. While these bearings lack the rolling ease that anti-friction bearings provide, they are practical for light loads or applications where re-lubrication is a problem. (A light application of oil or graphite improves rollability and extends bearing life.)

Special or Custom Bearings

While standard bearings can handle most applications, some jobs may require bearings with special features, or a custom-engineered solution. For example, alloy bronze and ferrous alloy bearings withstand high heat. Teflon®-impregnated bronze bearings are self lubricating and roll in harsh environments. Roller clutch bearings allow a wheel to roll in only one direction and square bearings allow wheels to roll on a square shaft.

Compare wheels by ratings, features and benefits

Precision Ball Bearings


Precision Tapered Bearings


Straight or Needle Roller Bearings

Plastic Bearings


Oilless Sleeve Bearings

Special Bearings



Have an unusual or extreme application? Talk to a Hamilton sales engineer, and we'll find a solution.

WHEEL CHARACTERISTICS-Comparative Ratings1
Ordering Symbol
Ease of Rolling2
Quiet Operation
Floor Protection3
Cushioing (Resilience)
Impact Resistance
Moisture and Water Resistance
Abration Resistance
Relative Cost
Temperature Range4
Forged Steel
-FS
High
Very High
No
Poor
Low
High
High
Very High
High
-30°-600°
Metal
-M
High
High
No
Poor
Low
Low5
High
High
Low
-30°-600°
Stainless
-S
High
High
No
Poor
Low
Med .
High
High
High
-30°-600°
Plastex
-P
High
High
No
Fair
Low
Med.
Low
Med.
Low
-50°-300°8
Nylast™  -NY  High High  Yes  Good  Low  Med.  High  Med.  High  -30°-200°
Aqualite®
-A
High
Med.
No
Fair
Med.
Med.
High
Med.
Low
-20°-200°8
Unilast ™
-UY
High
Med.
Yes
Good8
Low
Med.
High
Med.
Med.
-50°-180°
Duralast® XC  -D70  High  Med. Yes  Good Med. Med. Med. High  High -50°-200°
Superlast® XC  -SY70  High  High Yes  Good Med. High Med. High  High -50°-200°
Super Ultralast™  -STR  Highest  High Yes Best Highest Med. Med. Med.  Highest -50°-200°
Swivel-EAZ®  -SWF  High  Low Yes Best High  High Med. Med.  High -50°-200°
Ultralast™  -TR  Highest Med.  Yes  Best  Highest  Med.  Med.  Med.  Highest  -50°-200°
Superlast®
-SY
Med.
High
Yes
Good8
High
Very High
Med.
High
High
-50°-200°
Duralast®
-D
Med.
High
Yes
Good8
Med.
Med.
Med.
High
High
-50°-200°
Poly-Soft®
-SP
High
Med
Yes
Very Good
High
High
Med.
High
High
-50°-175°
Polylast
-AY
Med.
Med.
Yes
Good8
Med.
Low
Med.
High
Med.
-50°-180°
Poly-Tech®
-NF
Med.
Med.
Yes
Good
Med.
Med.
High
High
Med.
-30°-180°
Ebonite
-E
High
Med.
No
Fair
Low
Low
High
Med.
Low
0°-130°
HD Semi-Pneumatic  -SPRT  Low High Yes Good Highest Highest Med. Low  Highest  -30°-120°
Flexonite
-F
Low
Low
Yes
Good
High
Med.
High
Low
Low
-40°-120°
Super-Flex ™
-SU
Very Low
Low
Yes
Good
Very High
High
Med.
Low
High
-40°-120°
Moldon Rubber
-R
Low
Low6
Yes
Good
High
High
Med7
Low
Med.
-70°-160°
 Rubber on Aluminum  -RA  Low Med.  Yes   Good  High  High  Med.  Low  Med.  -70°-160°
Vulcalite ™
-AR
Low
Low
Yes
Very Good
High
Med.
High7
Low
Med.
-70°-160°
Versa-Tech®
-TE
Low
Low
Yes
Very Good
High
Med.
High7
Low
Med.
-40°-180°
Ace-Tuf®
-AT
Low
Low
Yes
Good
High
High
High
Low
Low
-10°-160°
Pneumatic
-PR
Low
Low
Yes
Good
High
High
Med.
Low
High
-30°-120°  

1 Chart is intended only as a general comparison, and not as a recommendation for any particular wheel in a specific application. Unusual conditions may require more detailed consultation with factory. 2 On smooth floors without obstructions. 3 Excluding marking or staining (depending on type floor). 4 Fahrenheit. The ranges shown should be used only as a guide since wheel life, capacity and/or performance generally decline at elevated temperatures depending on length of exposure, etc. Not all bearing types will be suitable throughout the ranges given. 5 Steeltest Ductile Alloy or Forged Steel are available for higher impact resistance. 6 Extra-hard 90-durometer compound for higher capacity available on special order. 7 Neoprene oil-resistant compound should be specified for oily conditions. 8 Special high-temp compound available-consult factory.