What’s the Difference Between Plummer Block Bearings and Pillow Block Bearings?

Plummer block bearings and pillow block bearings are very similar, but if you aren’t familiar with power transmission products, they can be confusing. There are so many different options to choose from, but when you are in a tight pinch, sometimes all you are looking for is a solution. The most confusing part is that some people use their names interchangeably. Before we discuss how they are different, let’s talk about how they are similar.

How are Plummer Block Bearings and Pillow Block Bearings Similar?

The most important thing to note is that they are used for the same process and built very similarly. Plummer blocks and pillow blocks are designed to safely mount a bearing. They do this by making sure the outer ring does not move while allowing the inner ring to rotate. They both consist of a mounting block which houses a bearing. The block is then mounted to a foundation and a shaft is inserted allowing the inner part of the bearing / shaft to rotate. This antifriction application is mounted to a surface parallel to the inserted shaft. This is in contrast to flange blocks and units.

How are Plummer Block Bearings and Pillow Block Bearings Different?

Plummer blocks and pillow blocks have a similar design and both use the same types of bearing. They do differ in respect to their applications. Pillow blocks are used for more lightweight applications and plummer blocks are used to transfer high power and support heavy industrial loads.

Shown in our graphics below, because a plummer block is used for heavier loads it can have that extra set of nuts and bolts. Because a pillow block does not have this extra set, it is typically more light weight.


Pillow Block Bearing

Pillow Block Bearing

Plummer Block Bearing

Plummer Block Bearing

How We Can Help

Do you need a bearing for your next project? Let our team at MDS help. If you don’t see what you need in our online store or if you have any additional questions, call us at (616) 669-0600 8am – 5pm EST or contact us here. We can search our full inventory or provide a custom solution for you and your team.

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