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ISO 9001:2000 Certified Quality Management System

Dental Bearings: Radial Vs Angular Contact

Posted By: Nancy Cogliandro, Marketing Director, PKB (Nancy, pacamor at msn dot com)   04/18/2008


Some dental handpiece manufacturers and repair technicians swear by radial bearings and others prefer angular contacts.  Many, don't see any difference at all.  PKB manufactures and assembles radial dental bearings at our ISO 9001:2000 and AS 9100:2004 certified factory in Troy, NY.  We would manufacture angular contact dental bearings if we thought that the design offered a distinguishable advantage to our popular radial dental bearings. 

Occasionally, someone will ask us the advantages of a radial bearing design over an angular contact bearing.  It seems that, lately, we are getting that question more and more frequently.  To that end, PKB invites you to consider: 

Top 10 Reasons Why Radial Is Better Than Angular Contact (special thanks to David Letterman).

1)  Angular contact bearings have a retainer that envelops the balls.  This complete covering by the retainer prevents the bearing balls from completely drying after autoclave.  Residual water in the bearing can degrade the lubricant, invite contamination, and promote rust.   

2)  PKB's radial retainer allows for more thorough drying of internal bearing components after autoclave.

3)  All dental bearings were radial design up until some handpiece manufacturers realized a need to protect their aftermarket.  One solution provided by bearing manufactures, was to change the popular radial bearing design to an angular contact design.  This was a marketing decision more than a design decision. 

4)  Many highly respected bearing companies that compete with PKB also manufacture radial dental bearings.  Several designs are widely accepted as premium dental bearings and are sold at much higher prices than PKB radial dental bearings.

5)  Radial bearings are less expensive to manufacture, resulting in lower cost for radial bearings in the same volume 

6)  Recessed shield and wires in radial bearings don't rub or overheat the bearing or dislodge and fall out during operation.

7)  Angular contact bearings often fall apart due to mishandling during installation.

8)  PKB radial dental bearings are more forgiving of mishandling during installation.

9)  Radial bearing designs are more amenable to design changes.  This reduces project lead time for a new handpiece.

10)  Production time is shorter, so time to market with new designs is faster.


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Posted by: George W., Dirctor (georgew@hotmail.com), 2008-10-13 00:53:06

I don\'t agree with you. A/C is better than radial if I can offord. George - You will be pleased to know that PKB now manufactures a full line of Angular Contact (A/C), Thin Section, and Full Complement Ball Bearings. 8-27-13 Admin Note


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