Cutlass Bearing Installation Tools

Written by lewis r. humphries | 13/05/2017
Cutlass Bearing Installation Tools
A cutlass bearing is widely utilised in seafaring and boating applications (roller bearing image by Tom Oliveira from

A cutlass bearing, also known as a stave bearing, is a bearing around which a shaft rotates. The cutlass bearing is used in the propeller shafts of ships, where the bearing is designed to run while fully immersed in water. It is suitable for slow speed and high volume load applications, and must be resistant to wearing or softening through constant use. Despite their durability, cutlass bearings need to be replaced periodically.

Cutlass Bearing Replacement Tool

This cutlass bearing removal tool allows the worn bearing to be removed and replaced without removing the vessel's propeller shaft. This tool minimises the risk of damage to component parts when installing the new cutlass bearing. The tool's components are precision engineered from plasma and are malleable, with horseshoe fittings that are stacked in sequence to match the existing propeller shaft and external bearing measurements.

Washers and Lubricant for Bearings

Cutlass Bearing Installation Tools
Lubrication can be used to pull the bearing and help secure it in the strut (antique oil can image by studio vision 1 from

Although specialised tools exist for replacing and installing cutlass bearings, ordinary mechanical tools can be utilised in these processes. Where washers are used to pull the bearing into the strut, wheel grease or lubrication should be used between the washers to ease the bearing into position. This lubrication serves the dual purpose of applying the requisite pressure to force the bearing into place and also preventing each washer from turning on the surface of the cutlass bearing.

Threaded Rod

To install a new cutlass bearing, a threaded rod can be used to insert the bearing and ensure it remains centred. This rod is required to be at least twice the length of the bearing, and also at least one-half inch in thickness. The rod is placed through the bearing and inserted into the shaft, and needs to be completely straight before it is tightened and secured in position using washers. If the rod and bearing are installed at a slight angle or are crooked, then the fitting will bind and ultimately damage the bearing.

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