Since you’ve been roller skating for a while, you might notice that your skates move slower. If so, you might want to find out how to clean roller skate bearings. But first, you need to learn how to take the bearings out of the wheels of your roller skates so you can either replace them with new bearings or clean them.
To start, you need good, clean bearings in the wheels of your roller skates if you want to roller skate. And if you don’t take good care of them, dirt and other debris can get stuck in them and slow you down, as well as damage the bearings.
Don’t worry if you can’t get the bearings out of your roller skate wheels or if you have a hard-to-handle bearing spacer. I’ve put together some suggestions to help you. With some patience and hard work, you’ll be able to get those bearings out in no time.
What Tools Will You Need?
You’ll need a few basic tools before you can start:
A socket wrench set, an Allen wrench, a socket screwdriver, or a wrench: You will use one of these tools to take off the axle nuts that hold the quad wheel to the skate axle. To remove the axle screw that holds your inline skate wheel in place, you’ll need an Allen wrench and inline skates.
Then, choose one of these sets of tools:
A bearing puller: This is a special tool for removing bearings from skate wheels.
A bearing press : special skate tool that makes it much easier to put in and take out skate bearings.
A hammer and a screwdriver with a flat tip: You’ll use the flathead screwdriver and the hammer to gently tap the bearing out of the wheel.
Or you can skip all the other tools and just use the axle from your skate! (for quads only)
Lastly, grab an old rag or some paper towels because removing bearings is messy and greasy.
How to remove bearings from roller skate wheels?
We can start now that you have everything you need. Here are four ways to take the bearings out of the wheels of roller skates:
- Use a puller for bearings
This is the most common way to take out roller skate wheel bearings. A bearing puller is a tool that grabs the bearing and pulls it out of the wheel. It can also help put the bearing back into the wheel by pushing on it.
Step 1: Take your skates’ wheels off.
First, use your wrench or socket screwdriver to take off your skates’ axle nut or screw. Turn it the other way to loosen it. Then, take your skate’s wheel off.
Step 2: Put the bearing puller in place.
Next, take your bearing puller and push down on the button on top of it. This makes the two prongs on the bottom of the tool pull in, so you can put the puller inside the first bearing in your wheel.
Remember that each wheel has two bearings. Let go of the button on top of the tool once the tool is in place. You can now get a vice-like grip on the bearing tool by pressing out the two prongs.
Step 3: Twist and pull.
Now comes the hard work! With one hand on the wheel and the other on the bearing puller, twist and pull on the puller until the bearing comes out.
Depending on how tight your wheel bearings are, this could take a little work. Sometimes they’re easy to get out, but sometimes they’re a real pain. Just turn and pull slowly until they let go.
Once you’ve taken out the first bearing, turn the wheel over and do the same thing on the other side. Do this with each wheel until you have taken out all of the bearings.
- Get a Bearing Press
A bearing press is another great way to get the bearings out of skate wheels. The Sure-Grip Bearing Press is a good skate tool that not only lets you take out bearings, but also makes it easy to put them back in.
The little hook on the front of the bearing press can be used to pull the bearing out of the wheel.
Then, the inside of the press has a part that has a swinging arm. You put a bearing on the press, then your wheel (which doesn’t have any bearings in it), and then you put a second bearing on the press. You pull down on the handle and then push down on the arm, and voilà! You press the bearings into the wheel.
It’s a useful tool that can fit in most skate bags because it’s small. I keep it in mine and bring it with me whenever I go skating, just in case.
3: Back to school! Use a hammer and a screwdriver to fix it.
The good old hammer and screwdriver method is another common way to get the bearings out of roller skate wheels. This is how I used to take out bearings when I was younger… and it works great even now. You do need to be careful not to hammer too hard, or the bearings could get damaged.
Step 1: Take off your skates’ wheels.
First, use a wrench to take the wheel off your skates. Put the wheel on the ground or a table so that it is flat.
Step 2: Put the screwdriver into the hole for the bearing.
Then, slide the screwdriver through the top bearing and down to the bottom bearing. I find that it works best to put the flat part of the screwdriver against the bearing on the bottom of the wheel. Check to see that the screwdriver isn’t moving.
Step 3: hit the screwdriver with a hammer.
Now is the time to start swinging the hammer. Hold the screwdriver in place and lightly tap it with the hammer a few times. The goal is to push the bottom bearing out of the wheel.
Start with a light tap. If you can’t get it off, tap it with more force. The important thing is not to hit it so hard that you damage the bearing, unless you are going to throw these out and get new ones. Then go ahead and pound away! 4. Take off the bearing.
The bearing will start to come out after a few good hits. Tap it until it comes out all the way.
4: Use the axle of your skates (Quads Only)
You can take the bearings out of roller skate wheels without any tools if you have to. Here is a good video from Roller Skate Nation that shows how to do this on skates.
Basically, you use the axle of your quad skate as a tool to pry the bearing out of your wheel.
I personally prefer to use one of the three methods above, but this works too if you need to get a bearing out of a wheel but don’t have any tools with you.
What Obstacles Do I Have to Get Past?
Taking the bearings out of roller skate wheels can be tricky, but you can do it with a little patience. Here are some things you should remember:
Make sure you have what you need to do the job. The most common tools for this job are a bearing puller, a bearing press, a hammer, and a screwdriver.
Don’t rush. Taking out bearings can be tricky, but you can do it if you take your time.
Never use heat to try to remove or clean a bearing. Don’t use a hair dryer or any other heating element near bearings because it can damage them.
With a little patience and the right tools, you’ll be able to take bearings out of roller skate wheels like a pro!