Things You Need to Know about Linear Guides for CNC Router

What is a linear guide? Have you ever hear of a linear guide? Also called a linear bearing, it’s one ridge or metal slot that can secure, guide, or withstand a moving object with reduced friction. Here’s all you need to know about them!

Most Famous Brands Of Linear Guide Brands 

There are many linear bearings currently in the market. So, How to select a linear guide from these vast choices? Well, to help you arrive at an amicable conclusion, we have listed the top brands today.

1. The THK linear guide made in Japan

THK Linear Guides for CNC Router

With more than 20 years of constant technological improvement, the THK Company not has a linear guide of 100% quality. Today, a lot of technological devices have to fit the standards of this company if they are to sell well in the market. That said, their linear guides are used in CNC router machines, milling as well as lathe machines for their top speed and remarkable precision.

Best Features of THK Linear Guides

  • Robust Bearing Capacity

The guide rail can bear both movement and force, plus it comes with remarkable loading capabilities. It’s specifically designed to increase resistance and reduce all possibilities of energetic frequency vibration.

  • Limited Chances of Wear and Tear

Unlike most traditional guide rails where the guide surface fluid lubrication, the oil film movement cause loss of energy through friction, these devices come with a different rolling contact.

  • Effectively reduces friction and consumes a small amount of energy

How? Well, by simply keeping the rolling surface in high precision for a sufficient amount of time.

  • High-Speed Motion to Reduce Driving Power

Because of the small resistance to friction, the power transmission and source mechanism required is massively reduced. This also minimizes the driving torque creating reducing the much-needed power by almost 80%. Most importantly, its work efficiency reduces from 20 to 30 percent.

  • High Positioning Accuracy

Because moving the guide rail requires rolling the steel ball, this also creates reduced friction resistance, plus the static and dynamic friction difference is smaller.

Hard for any errors to occur while in this slow speed period

Lastly, it’s important to highlight that when the repeated positional accuracy is high, parts that require constant start-up function better.

2. HIVIN linear guides from Taiwan

Hiwin Linear Guides for CNC Router

Here are the best features of these top linear guides

  • Improved Productivity

These guide rails have made fantastic improvements not only in the linear department but also in making cylindrical guides. However, over the years, their manufacturers have changed a few basic features to create durable and efficient devices. A good example is producing machines with the best friction resistance. It also keeps the person operating the guide rail safe while still boosting his work rate.

  • Top-Notch Quality

A majority of people who use these linear guides have expressed their happiness and satisfaction. After all, they have brilliant features and are, by far, superior to other guides. For instance, they use rolling friction instead of sliding friction, thereby minimizing specific operational hazards. A good example is that the machine won’t slip or produce inaccurate movements while in use, posing a danger to the user.

  • Easy To Use

Unlike those rather unsafe traditional linear guides which have large frictional force but generate less heat during operation, this HIVIN linear guide is your ultimate solution. Its reduced rail friction capabilities improve the operational features of the machine and maintain the safety of the user.

  • They Are Highly Durable

These HIVIN linear guide rails can work for many years as compared to other rails. Most importantly, though, when compared to these other brands, using them feels a bit more ‘cozy’ or secure.

3. PMI linear guide rails from Taiwan

PMI Linear Guides for CNC Router

  • Brilliant Positional Accuracy!

These linear guides have a small dynamic and static friction. Such allows them to respond to even the slightest movement for accurate positioning.

  • The Four-Row Slide Structure

The 4-row linear guide has a two-point contact system which will enable it to cater for the gap caused by elasticity for smooth operation. This structure is robust, durable, and has effortless precision.

  • Requires Simple Installation

Interestingly, you can mount it using bolts, and it will still achieve accurate linear motion. You can also fix it on a slider to move objects up and down. You can even make your guide rail and slider to be interchangeable and straightforward to install.

  • Keep you in high precision for a long time

Because of their reduced rolling friction and low consumption movements. The guide rails maintain fundamental changes for a sufficient amount of time.

  • Reduced Production and Electricity Costs

With reduced friction, the guide can move the drive object at high speed, thereby decreasing unwarranted manufacturing costs such as electricity and fuel.

4. TBI ball screw and linear guide rail from Taiwan

Main Features include:

  • Remarkable Positional Accuracy

Because of small rolling friction, you can move your objects on the rail with little to no effort. Compared to the conventional sliding technique, with these guides, you’ll enjoy reduced friction and minimal heat production. This further prevents wear and tear, maintaining good positioning accuracy for a long time.

  • They Have Good Rigidity

Both the slide rail and the tracking probe are made in four directions. Owing to this, the loads from all these directions have enough resistance strength.

What’s more, their ability to adjust their core makes work more comfortable. Note that you can add a given preload amount for better rigidity!

  • Quite Easy To Maintain

The traditional sliding systems have a grinding action and shovel at the end of their running surface, which often leads to frequent wear and tear. Such is because here, the machine is continuously re-shoveled something which takes a lot of time and money.

Luckily, with these linear guides, you have entirely interchangeable devices. This means that you can restore the machine’s normal movement even after replacement and maintenance.

  • High-Speed Operational Devices

A minimal amount of friction between the slider and the rolling ball improves the sliding speed of the entire machine. You’ll also require minimal force or power to drive the machine.

  • Highly Efficient Mechanical Devices

There’s no gap created at the two loading points during preloading. This maintains fantastic rolling motion and boosts the efficiency of the machine.

5. ABBA linear guide from Taiwan

ABBA Linear Guides for CNC Router

Here Are Its Best Features!

  • The ABBA Rails Lubrication System

The rear and front decibels of the ABBA self-lubricating block have plastic caps on both ends. These caps are filled with lubricating oil before shipping. Now, as you start using them, you’ll notice that they are quite slippery. That’s because the lubricant in the rail forms a film of oil during movement on the slide rail surface. In doing so, it protects the guide rail and saves on manual lubricant addition maintenance costs.

  • They Have A High Loading Design

These rails have 4-row bead designs that create 90-degree angle contact with the slider rails and steel post in all four groove rows. This counteracts or reduces the slider in all four directions. Such creates equal load capacity regardless of the device’s angle.

  • The Unified Design Of The ABBA Guide Rail

When compared t other guide rails, the ABBA guide has only one kind of slide. This reduces inventory costs and creates convenient management as the guide rails can be locked and unlocked independently. Using the same type of slider will also reduce costs drastically!

All in all, you need to maintain your Abba rails by keeping them fully lubricated. Doing so will not only improve the service of the track but also keep it working for a long time. Besides, they can effectively keep all machine operations safe by regularly lubricating the oil film on the tracking surface.

These ABBA rails will also help you to clean the machine productively. Note that leaks like spilled oils are a danger to the environment.

How to install linear guides properly?

How to mount a linear bearing? Here are the detailed steps.

Are you wondering about the processes to take to mount your linear bearing? Well, take a look at these detailed steps.

  1. Get rid of the dirt, surface scratches of burrs on the machines mechanical mounting surface before fixing your linear guide
  2. Carefully place the table on the slides of both the sub and main rails
  3. Tighten the loose screws on the movement platform
  4. Place the main guide rail on the bed carefully using a side fixing screw or any other installation fixture to apply the track on the side surface mount.
  5. Gently tighten all slide rail positioning screws from the center so that they slightly fit into the vertical surface mount. They should be fixed appropriately from the center to the ends for stable precision. The next step will be strengthening the locking force in the lateral reference surface so that you fit the main rail to it later.
  6. With a torque wrench, tighten all slide rail positioning screws
  7. Lastly, similarly, fix the sub-rails and Install all slides individually to the sub and main rails.

Now, it’s important to highlight that before the process of installation, all screw holes should adequately match. If not, or are forcibly locked, the quality and combination accuracy will be tremendously affected. Also, you won’t get space to install any additional accessories once you’re through mounting the linear slide rails.

Linear guide maintenance

Linear guides are sensitive devices that require a lot of attention during use. Even if you’re using high-performance gadgets, if not correctly looked after, their performance will deteriorate. To prevent this from happening, here’s what you should do!

  • Prevent Corrosion

If you’re operating the linear guide by hand, make sure you’ve washed off the sweat from your hands. Also, apply good quality oil before you can handle the device.

Most importantly, conduct extensive rust prevention techniques during summers and rainy seasons.

  • Keep Your Environment Clean At All Times

Shockingly, if a speck of dust finds its way into the guide rails, it will increase vibrations, noise, and cause damages to your installation.

  • Careful Installation Is Required!

Don’t mishandle your linear guides as you try to fix them. Avoid sharp or aggressive stamping as this transmits unwanted pressure across the rolling objects.

  • Use The Right Installation Tools

Always use the correct installation tools when fixing your linear guides. Avoid using clothes or even short fibers.

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