Key and Paddle Bearings

Over the years, keymakers have used virtually every type of bearing between moving parts in keys
and paddles. The bearing, as the intersection of moving parts, can play a big role in the feel of a key and its reliability. Listed below are general types of bearings that have are commonly used in keys and paddles. The type will often include a number of variations. For example, in a "needle and seat" bearing, you might find that the seat is a machined indentation in a larger part, or a an inset separate part made of various metals or even Nylon. Ball and cup bearings are a single ball in a variety of configurations. For the purposes of this survey, assume that you are selecting the best implementation of a particular type.

What do you think is the best type of bearing to use on the
pivots of a paddle or the trunnion of a straight key? Assume cost
is not an issue.


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