Where to get small 52100 roller and ball bearings?

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by Will52100, Jun 16, 2019.

  1. Will52100


    Dec 4, 2001
    Looking to do a canister of a mix of sizes of ball and roller bearings and 1084. I did this one time before and apparently the salvaged bearings I was using had quite a few air hardening stainless ones in it.

    Is the "Chrome Steel" advertised 52100 or a non stainless carbon steel?

  2. dirc


    Jan 31, 2018

    it's only got about 1.5% Cr, so it's nowhere near stainless, it should act mostly as other high carbon steels like 1095
    who knows what they advertise when they say 'chrome steel', ... call the mfg (they might know) ... but best to just use known steel

    buying 52100 bearings I expect would cost quite a bit more per pound than buying annealed 52100 plate/sheet/bar, so if you're throwing it in a canister anyway, why pay for hardened & polished finished bearings which you'll just melt down?

    (honest question, I'm not trying to sound like a smart azz)
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2019
  3. Natlek


    Jun 9, 2015
    Bearing from Stainless steel have a special label, for example SKF mark them with W .. .. .
    for example 61900 are ordinary one .....W61900 is from stainless steel
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
    Will52100 likes this.
  4. Will52100


    Dec 4, 2001
    Mainly the reason to use bearings is the pattern due to their shape.

    Good to know Natlek.

    Frankly I'm not overly concerned about it being "52100", just so long as it's a high chrome/nickel steel that will etch bright in contrast to 1084 and has enough carbon to harden without so much chrome that it air hardens and takes days in the oven to anneal.
  5. argel55


    Oct 30, 2005
    Bearingballstore.com is a source.
  6. Will52100


    Dec 4, 2001
    thanks, will give them a try
  7. godogs57


    Apr 16, 2004
    I got a bucket full of em if anybody needs some. Dang things are heavy....
  8. Will52100


    Dec 4, 2001
    That's what got me into trouble the last go round, I took a bunch of old trailer bearings apart and it seems a bunch were air hardening stainless or tungsten and not 52100.

    I've got a stash of Timken roller bearings from a 14P mud pump, about 1 1/2" x 4" long. Took several flights from Australia to get them all home, and got some funny looks at the airport.
  9. Sam Dean

    Sam Dean Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 3, 2012
  10. Nick Dunham

    Nick Dunham

    Feb 15, 2018
    I haven't purchased any, but I've found several sellers with non-bearing-grade 52100 balls for $10-20/lb by searching "52100 steel shot". They're largely targeted to canister Damascus.
    I can't vouch for the quality, but it ought to be a more consistent alloy than a bucket of scrap. It makes sense that the price could be lower; bearing precision isn't exactly cheap to achieve.
  11. Will52100


    Dec 4, 2001
    Good suggestions, thanks I appreciate it.
  12. 12345678910


    Jul 13, 2009
    Will52100 likes this.

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