Difference Between Roller Bearing And Cylindrical Roller Bearing

There are various characteristics of roller bearings and cylindrical roller bearings that makes them unique to be used for different applications and performing environments. To help you understand it in a better way, this blog covers how roller bearings are different from cylindrical roller bearings. At first glance, roller bearings and cylindrical roller bearings may look quite similar. However, there are actually several key differences between these two types of bearings that can impact their performance. In this article, we will explore the key differences between roller bearing and cylindrical roller bearing so that you can choose the right type of bearing for your needs.

What Is Roller Bearing?

Roller bearings are a type of bearing that uses rolling elements to support the loads on the shaft or journal. Roller bearings differ from other types of bearings, such as ball bearings, in several ways. One key difference is that roller bearings can handle both radial and thrust loads, while ball bearings can only handle radial loads.  Additionally, roller bearings typically have a higher load capacity than ball bearings. Another key difference is that roller bearing have a higher friction coefficient than ball bearings, meaning they are not as efficient in terms of energy usage. Finally, roller bearings tend to be more expensive than ball bearings.

How Roller Bearing is different from cylindrical roller bearing?

Roller bearings are one type of bearing that uses rolling elements to support loads. These rolling elements, called rollers, can be cylindrical, needle-shaped, or spherical. Roller bearings can support heavy radial loads and moderate thrust loads in either direction. Cylindrical roller bearings are a subset of roller bearings that have cylindrical-shaped rollers. These rollers are typically wider than they are long and they have a barrel-shaped profile. Cylindrical roller bearings can support heavy radial loads and high thrust loads in one direction.

Based on usage

Roller bearings are classified as either radial or thrust bearings based on their intended usage. Radial roller bearings handle mainly radial loads, while thrust roller bearings handle mainly axial loads. However, both types of roller bearings can accommodate some amount of mixed loading. Cylindrical roller bearings, on the other hand, are only designed to accommodate radial loads.

Based on the surface area

Roller bearings are classified as either spherical or cylindrical. The main difference between these two types of roller bearings is the surface area that comes into contact with the inner and outer rings. Spherical roller bearings have a greater surface area than cylindrical roller bearings. This gives them the ability to handle higher loads. However, this also makes them more expensive to manufacture.

Based on load capacity

Roller bearings are also classified as either single-row or double-row. This designation is based on the number of rows of rollers that come into contact with the inner and outer rings. Single-row roller bearings can handle lower loads than double-row roller bearings. Double-row roller bearings are more expensive to manufacture than single-row roller bearings.

Based on Reuse and Replacement

When it comes to roller bearings, there are two main types: roller bearings and cylindrical roller bearings. Both types of bearings have their own unique benefits and drawbacks that make them suitable for different applications. 

Key Difference Between Roller Bearing and Cylindrical Roller Bearing

Here’s a quick rundown of the key difference between roller bearing and cylindrical roller bearing that will help you understand the role of two different bearings without any doubt: Roller Bearings:
  1. Roller bearings are typically cheaper than cylindrical roller bearings.
  2. Roller bearings can be reused more easily than cylindrical roller bearings.
  3. Roller bearings generally have a shorter lifespan than cylindrical roller bearings.
  4. Roller bearings have greater stability and rigidity.
Cylindrical Roller Bearings:
  1. Cylindrical roller bearings can handle higher loads than roller bearings.
  2. Cylindrical roller bearings are less likely to suffer from misalignment issues than roller bearings.
  3. Cylindrical roller bearings typically have a longer lifespan than roller bearings.


In conclusion, roller bearings and cylindrical roller bearings are two types of bearings that serve different purposes. Roller bearings are designed for use in applications where there is a need for high load capacity and low speed, whereas cylindrical roller bearings are designed for use in high-speed applications.

Applications Of Roller Bearing In Heavy Machinery

The roller bearing is used in the mobilization of machinery to reduce friction between moving parts. The different types of roller bearings are used in heavy-duty machinery that supports radial, axial and thrust loads. This blog discusses various applications where roller bearings are used in heavy machinery.  The bearings are made to support complex mechanical systems and their vitality can be observed in their application in a multitude of machinery. Be it automobiles, aeronautics, railways, earthmoving or agriculture, the roller bearings can be used perfectly to match the needs of different heavy-duty applications.  While referring particularly to a roller bearing, they are designed in such a way to support performance in those applications where there are large axial and radial loads. The Roller Bearings consist of the outer ring, inner ring, and a window cage which works as a holder for the rollers.

Design of Roller Bearing – Supporting Heavy Machinery

Roller Bearing helps in support the large radial and axial loads in heavy-duty machinery. This works in one direction to guide the axial loads while complimenting bearings are also used simultaneously to support the load in other directions. These types of bearings can be widely used in those conditions where the temperature may vary between -30 degrees celsius to 120 degrees Celsius.

Applications of Roller Bearings in Heavy Machinery

There can be varied types of Heavy Machinery that might require heavy-duty applications. Here are some of the applications of roller bearings in heavy machinery:
  • Wind Turbine Generators for Energy Generation – Wind Turbine generators are usually installed in high-altitude areas which require a reliable bearing solution that can operate within the high-performance wind turbines in high-speed winds. In such conditions, the tapered roller bearing and spherical roller bearings can be installed in the main shaft of the wind turbine that receives the force and can pass on the rotation to the generator.
  • Use of Roller Bearing in Agriculture Machinery – The agriculture industry also demands heavy-duty machinery as it has to deal with heavy-duty applications on a day-to-day basis. While these applications range in a multitude of high-performance tasks, the bearings must be reliable and long-lasting as they have to be used in heavy dirt and mud conditions which might also impact the bearing life. The roller bearings are one such perfect solution that can be used in varied tasks which might require heavy radial or axial loads and they can get the work done with ease. The common type of bearing used in the agriculture industry is a tapered roller bearing.
  • Construction and Heavy Machinery – The construction industry requires varied earth-moving equipment for a high range of heavy-duty tasks. While there can be varied challenges while dealing with the applications of construction, the bearings are usually exposed to excessive working conditions as machines have to be deployed for high-performance tasks. In order to meet this demand, there is a need for different types of roller bearings such as spherical roller bearings, tapered roller bearings, cylindrical roller bearings, etc. which are designed to deliver the desired performance.
  • Use of Roller Bearings in Railways – The railways are considered one of the most reliable modes of transport worldwide. While there are different systems, trains, and tracks connected over wide networks, heavy-duty machines are used to facilitate day-to-day operations. The bearings in the railway industry are used in traction motors, drive units, wheel axles, etc. While the bearings have to work in extreme conditions of carrying heavy loads and adapting to high vibrations in drive units, varied roller bearings like tapered and spherical roller bearings are also widely used to support the mechanical system. Since the railway network is now moving towards high-speed trains, the roller bearings are also designed especially for double helical gears which can work for a longer duration without the need for lubrication.
  • Use of Spherical Roller Bearings in Marine Propulsion  – Marine propulsion can be referred to as a thrust system that is used to move a boat or a giant ship. While this is also considered in the category of heavy-duty application, the diesel engine of the ship is linked to the propeller which facilitates the movement through a complex system. Here, roller bearings can be used within the shaft or different mechanical systems as there can be conditions where the bearing has to adjust to radial or axial load while also complying with the scope of heavy misalignment. These kinds of bearings are designed to handle one-directional axial load and radial load at the same time while allowing shaft misalignment.
Conclusion While heavy-duty applications use bearings within the machinery, the complex working conditions can make bearings tough to work as desired. In such cases, the different types of roller bearings are used to facilitate high-performance working conditions ensuring the reliability and longevity of bearings in multiple ways.