Changing bearings of bandsaw wheel

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Forum topic by Gamuhz posted 04-03-2013 02:15 PM 2609 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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12 posts in 2267 days

04-03-2013 02:15 PM

Hi all

I’m going to change the bearings of my 14” bandsaw and I have a question for you.

The original bearings are 6203 ZE. That means that it has one shield (Z), low noise for electrical equipment (E) but it has no seals.
Could it be better if a put sealed bearings?

My bandsaw is made in México by a manufacturer called CELA.

Thanks for your answers.

-- Octavio, Puebla, México

5 replies so far

View Duojoe's profile


21 posts in 2053 days

#1 posted 04-03-2013 02:30 PM


long tiem ago, I worked as a development engineer for a bearing company; so, let’s see, how much I still remember:

The bearing designations are not really standardized; I would not be sure about the meaning of the E (oftentimes this just means “modernized design”

but the Z is clear: it is a metal dustshield – non contacting – instead of a contacting thin rubber lip sear (RS designation.

The rubber seal is the better seal, but it increases friction and generates heat, and thus reduces the life of the grease load in the bearing.

In the bandsaw, I would not worry too much about the heat (due to the low speed and small diameter, but these little rubber seals are not worth a whole lot – and in the bandsaw environment, the sawdust will act as an abrasive and wear down the rubber seal quickly .

I would recommend that you use beariings with 2 metal shields (2Z designation or something like that) – and pack a lot of grease outside the bearing (maybe, add some kind of sheetmetal or wood baffle to hold the grease in place.

The grease will act like a sponge, absorbing saw -dust and preventing it from getting into the bearing. – and maybe, once a year you could replace that grease (depending on how much you use the saw.

By the way – if the bearing arrangement has a grease nipple between the bearings you MUST NOT use bearings with rubber seals – they would be forced out by the pressure of the grease, and get chewed up somewhere between the components of your drive.

Any other questions (related to bearings or seals) -just let me know (I also have been a seal and gasket development engineer for quite a few years ;-)



View Duojoe's profile


21 posts in 2053 days

#2 posted 04-03-2013 02:37 PM

afterthought: I just checked the SKF catalogue: this confirmed: E= optimized internal geometry, i.e. higher load bearing capacity – but, I think that the loads on your bandswa are not too great – so a bearing without the E should not pose a big problem.

Just make sure you buy a good brand replacement bearing (SKF, FAG, INA or a japanese brand)

And: if your existing bearing has a C3 or even C4 suffix, that would be very important (C3 means higher than normal internal clearance, C4 means even more play) )- if your saw is already a bit older, using a C3 clearance would not hurt in any case.


View Surfside's profile


3389 posts in 2345 days

#3 posted 04-03-2013 03:53 PM

In my opinion, sealed bearings are great.

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View Gamuhz's profile


12 posts in 2267 days

#4 posted 04-03-2013 07:33 PM

Thank you very much for your answers.
Duojoe I am very grateful that you have taken the time for this great explanation.
I will follow your advices.


-- Octavio, Puebla, México

View Grandpa's profile


3261 posts in 2847 days

#5 posted 04-03-2013 07:42 PM

Shielded bearinbgs should be fine for a band saw. The secret to longer bearing life is keep the lubricant in or be able to add lubricant. That is the bes but not possible on my saw. I have seen farm equipment that used sealed bearing because of the dust. The outer shield was drilled and and the bearing was totally filled with grease from a gun using a needle type device. This made the bearings last longer in the dirt when filled and left open that the ones put in with no additional grease. I found this interesting. A good shielded bearing should do a good job on a band saw. We usually get what we pay for.

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