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Comparing Chinese Bearings with Bearings Made in the USA


Hello, when shopping for Bearings, seals, races, and brakes it gets rather confusing because the wide range of prices between comparable products. For example, Etrailer sells a trailer bearing for $6.00 and the local auto parts store sells one for $25.00, that is such a huge price difference one would believe that the $25.00 bearing would be far superior to the $6.00 bearing. When shopping your site I notice that you dont list manufacturers on you bearings or races and they say made in China. I understand that everything is getting out sourced to other countries so how is one to know whats is quality and whats not. I believe the most important part of a trailer is your wheels, brakes, bearings and races and I would rather spend $60.00 for races and bearings instead of $250.00, but how is one to believe that the cheaper one is the same quality as one four times the price. Do you know if any manufacturer has ever done a test to see which would out perform each other, say Timken USA VS China manufacturer in a controlled lab test. I dont mind paying top dollar for top of the line but I dont like to pay top dollar for a product that is no better than one made in China and I dont like being broke down on the side of the road because I choose a $6.00 bearing over a $25.00 one. The old saying, you get what you pay for used to be true back in the fifties but today who knows. Thanks for any advice you could give us


Helpful Expert Reply:

A bearing, no matter where it is made, has to meet certain standards for use in the United States. With that said there are some cases where despite having to meet these standards, the US made product is better.

When it comes to bearings though I have seen USA made bearings fail as much as Chinese bearings. And I have seen each perform well. The key is to keep the bearings properly lubricated, packed with grease. If someone neglects basic maintenance then they will have trouble, no matter where the bearing is made.

I am not aware of any head to head test but if you go looking for one, make sure it is done by a third party, non-biased entity. Tests done by one manufacturer would be biased.

Many of our products, including bearings and other running gear components, are tested by our customers using them and providing feedback. Look for the star ratings, read the reviews, and hopefully those are relevant to you.

We wouldn't sell a product that was junk. Or if we did and found out about it, one of two things would happen. We would either remove the product from our site if the manufacturer did nothing to make the product better, or we would keep the part on the site, make the manufacturer (and customers) aware of the issue(s) and get some changes made (hopefully) for the better so everybody wins.

You do still get what you pay for but that doesn't mean that you have to pay out the wahzoo for a quality product. I hope this helps. In the end, whatever path works best for you will be the right one. I will be here to help you no matter where you buy.

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