Bearings are common machine elements found in a large number of applications and assemblies, generally serving to bear loads and forces while facilitating the movement between surfaces with friction reduction. While bearings are useful elements that many vehicles and machinery could not do without, they still face standard wear and tear over time and will need to eventually be replaced. To guarantee an easy and safe removal of any bearing, one will generally want to use a bearing puller, which is a tool that can remove a bearing from a recess with ease. As there are various types of bearing pullers that one may take advantage of, it can be useful to have a general understanding of each.
While there may be other ways to remove a bearing from an assembly, the bearing puller is the most reliable method to avoid any accidental damage to parts or injuries to personnel. Additionally, if a bearing happens to be stuck in an assembly and is hard to remove, a bearing puller can easily remove the bearing with little effort, all while ensuring no damage to surrounding parts. As a result, it is generally discouraged to use methods such as brute force or naked flames when attempting to remove a bearing.
Across varying types of bearing pullers, most fall under the classification of being either an external or internal bearing puller. If the bearing that is to be removed is mounted onto a shaft, then the external bearing puller is the best choice. These tools feature jaws that clamp onto the outer diameter of the bearing to be removed while a screw is pressed onto the end of the shaft. By tightening the screw, the jaws will begin to force the bearing along the shaft to detach it from an assembly.
Bearing pullers require some form of power, and external bearing pullers may be manually operated or use hydraulic power. The hydraulic bearing puller is the best choice for heavy-duty applications or for when many bearings are being removed at one time as they require little effort to use. Despite this, they can often be more expensive as compared to their manually operated counterparts.
Internal bearing pullers, also known as blind bearing pullers, are tools that are best used when the bearing is situated within a recess. These bearings often feature an opening in their inner diameter, and the puller is able to be inserted into that opening to establish a grasp on the component. From there, the bearing puller can then remove the bearing with ease, whether through the use of claws or expansion to maintain a grip.
When deciding upon which tool is best fit for your needs, it is beneficial to determine the location of most bearings in your application to see whether an external or internal bearing puller is the best choice. Additionally, one may even be able to take advantage of a reversible bearing puller, that of which is a specialized type of tool that can perform internal and external pulling with the use of reversible arms. Nevertheless, if one wants a simple option, external bearing pullers are the most common due to the wide-use of mounted bearings.
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