A new development by Coo Space, a Japanese company, could mean higher efficiency for tools that use bearings—which is to say a LOT of power tools. The principle is simple: rather than using individual bearing retainers or cages to separate each bearing in a system, a new design places tiny divots in the track for the balls to roll over. When the balls hit these divots, they speed up and then slow down—ever so slightly. It’s the same effect as going over ra small speed bump, but the end results is that the balls within the bearing don’t collide. The net effect is greaseless bearings with 10x less friction than even a greased bearing. In fact, there’s no need for lubrication on these bearings—at least not for speed or performance (heat is another issue).
Greaseless Bearings to Reduce Friction
As this is just the beginning, it will be cool to see if additional advances will proceed to make the greaseless bearing concept even better. The use of ceramics comes to mind, as that would enable this idea to thrive under systems that generate a lot of heat from friction and (forced) high speed—like what you’ll find in many power tool applications.
Given the recent advances in battery technology (like the Bosch 6Ah battery pack and the EGO 7.5Ah 56V battery) the efficiency of motors is another great way to see even more run-time and performance from existing tool technology. The development of greaseless bearings and additional technology to make tools run longer and with greater efficiency will only serve to help the pro market.
We’ll try to stay on top of this as the technology develops.