Self-Aligning Ball Bearings


Self-aligning ball bearings are recommended for applications where aligning the shaft and housing is difficult or where the shaft may bend, such as with transmission shafts. The outer ring has a spherical raceway and its center of curvature coincides with that of the bearing, allowing the axis of the inner ring, balls, and cage to rotate freely around the bearing center.
Pressed steel cages are typically used for this type. Since they have a small contact angle, self-aligning ball bearings have low axial load capacity. Permissible dynamic misalignment is approximately 0.07 to 0.12 radian (4 to 7 degrees) under normal loads;
however, such angles may not be allowable depending on the surrounding structure.


  • Correct misalignment
    Self-aligning ball bearings have a spherical raceway in the outer ring with a center of curvature matched with the bearing center. This allows the inner ring, balls, and cage to rotate freely around the bearing center, maintaining alignment. Permissible dynamic misalignment is about 0.07 to 0.12 radian (4 to 7 degrees) under normal loads.
  • Ideal for difficult mountings
    Self-aligning ball bearings suit applications where shaft bending occurs and where it is difficult to align the shaft and housing (transmission shafts, etc.)


  • Gearboxes/speed reducers


2D/3D CAD data for NSK products is available through PARTcommunity.
This free service is provided by CADENAS GmbH.


  • How are self-aligning ball bearings and self-aligning roller bearings different?
    • Self-aligning roller bearings suit heavy loads with low-speed rotation, while self-aligning ball bearings suit light loads with high-speed rotation.
  • What greases are recommended for self-aligning ball bearings?
    • The recommended grease for self-aligning ball bearings depends on usage conditions.
      You can use the selection criteria for finding suitable grease for deep groove ball bearings with self-aligning ball bearings as well.
  • Can I use self-aligning ball bearings with thrust loads?
    • Because they have small contact angles, self-aligning ball bearings have extremely limited capacity for thrust loads.
      Please consider using thrust bearings with aligning seats if thrust loads are expected.

Related Industries

Papermaking Machinery


Food Processing Machinery

Medical Devices



Double Row Self Aligning Bearing