How To Remove Skateboard Bearings

Close up of male fitting bearings in skateboard wheels
Mike Harrington / Getty Images

There are several reasons to remove your bearings: cleaning your skateboard bearings;  replacing them; fixing bearings don't spin quite as freely as they used to; and performing some maintenance if they feel choppy or chunky.

Removing your skateboard bearings is fairly easy if you know the secret pro method for doing so!  Many skateboarding shops have special tools for taking out skateboard bearings, and they usually provide this service for free. However, removing your own skateboard bearings is simple. Just be careful -- while taking the bearings out of the skateboard wheels is easy, it's also easy to accidentally damage your wheels if you aren't careful. Read through these instructions fully before beginning.

All you need are the tools to remove your wheels -- any skate tool or set of screwdrivers and wrenches will do.

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How To Remove Skateboard Bearings - Equipment and Setup

How To Remove Skateboard Bearings - Equipment and Setup
Skateboard Maintenance - How To Remove Skateboard Bearings. How To Remove Skateboard Bearings - Photo: Jamie O'Clock
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How To Remove Skateboard Bearings - Remove the Wheels

How To Remove Skateboard Bearings - Remove the Wheels
How To Remove Skateboard Bearings - Take the Wheel Off. How To Remove Skateboard Bearings - Photo: Jamie O'Clock

The easiest way to remove the skateboard's wheels is with a skate tool or a 1/2" socket wrench. If your skateboard had some kind of special bearing shields, you will need to remove those too. If your wheels use spacers, make sure to keep them for when you put wheels back onto your skateboard.

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How To Remove Skateboard Bearings - Hook on Truck Axle

How To Remove Skateboard Bearings - Hook on Truck Axle
How To Remove Skateboard Bearings - Hook on Axle. How To Remove Skateboard Bearings - Photo: Jamie O'Clock

Next, place the wheel back on the skateboard truck's axle, but just barely. Hook the tip of the axle inside the bearings; only let it touch the bearing and not the wheel.

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How To Remove Skateboard Bearings - Slowly Pry

How To Remove Skateboard Bearings - Slowly Pry
How To Remove Skateboard Bearings - Slowly Pry. How To Remove Skateboard Bearings - Photo: Jamie O'Clock

Slowly and gently pry the wheel at a downward angle. The bearing should pop out of the wheel, but it might not want to right away. Be careful and go slowly. If you pry too hard, you might damage the bearing.

On the other hand, if you are planning to throw these skateboard bearings away, then pry as hard as you want!

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How To Remove Skateboard Bearings - What's Next?

How To Remove Skateboard Bearings - Done, Special Tools, What Next?
How To Remove Skateboard Bearings - Done, Special Tools, What Next?. How To Remove Skateboard Bearings - Photo: Jamie O'Clock

Once the bearing pops out, you are done! Repeat with all eight bearings on your skateboard.

As mentioned earlier, some companies make tools for this sort of thing. For example, the Grind King skate tool (the one you need in order to maintain Grind King trucks) has a built-in bearing removal nub on the end. However, it does the exact same thing as described here.

Remember, if you want to reuse your skateboard bearings and are unsure that you can remove them gently, by all means take your skateboard to a shop and ask for help. It's quite possible that your first attempt at this process will destroy the skate bearings! If you cheaper bearings like Bones Reds, it may not be a big deal. But be gentle, take your time, and the process will be fine!

What's Next?

Next, you can move on to cleaning skateboard bearings or replacing skateboard bearings.