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Dave Walden

Precision Linear Bearings vs. Compensated Linear Bearings

August 02, 2011 - Rockford, IL  -  Posted by Dave Walden

In the Simplicity linear bearings, Precision and Compensated are referring to the two classes of running clearance that are available.  It is important to understand the difference when designing and installing to ensure they will perform properly.

-          Precision Simplicity Linear Bearings

  • Use the prefix “FL” in the part number
  • Has the tightest running clearance (approximately .001” or .025mm total)
  • Recommended for applications that require tighter tolerances and stiffened assemblies
  • Not recommended for parallel shaft applications where misalignment can lead to binding issuesLinear Bearing Clearance


-          Compensated Simplicity Linear Bearings

  • Use the prefix “FLC” in the part number
  • All dimensions the same as Precision bearings, except for more clearance in the I.D. between the shaft and bearing (approximately .003” or .07mm total)
  • Ideally suited for parallel shaft applications

Note that many parallel shaft applications will run with an “FL” (Precision) bearing on one rail and “FLC” (Compensated) bearings on the opposite rail to accommodate for slight misalignments.

If you are building a linear slide system or replacing existing bearings, a simple way to check for the difference between a Precision and a Compensated bearing is to place each on a shaft.  In this side-by-side comparison, you will distinctly feel more play caused by the greater clearance in the Compensated bearing.



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