Pillow Block Bearings

To help support light-to-heavy-duty loads and optimize precision, Thomson linear bearings are available factory installed in a variety of pillow block configurations to match your application’s requirements.

Which pillow block configuration is best for your application?

Pillow blocks for Thomson RoundRail linear bearings provide self alignment and greater tolerance of reduced parallelism compared to square rail guides. They’re also easier and less expensive to install without compromise to important performance requirements. Pillow block bearings can be installed with either continuous or end supports, they handle moment loads well, and offer low drag and excellent smoothness.

Below are the available Thomson pillow block configurations with properties based on our selection of RoundRail linear bearings. With some exceptions, most configurations can be combined. For example, a closed, twin, adjustable standard is available.



Open or Closed. Open pillow blocks are for use with continuous supported shafts, while closed pillow blocks are for use in end-supported applications. 




Open or Closed Pillow Block Bearing



Single or Twin. All pillow blocks come with the Linear Ball Bushing® Bearing installed. Single pillow blocks contain one linear bearing, while twin pillow blocks are longer and contain two linear bearings. 




single or twin pillow block bearing


Adjustable or Non-Adjustable. Pillow block bearings are also available with adjustable housings or fixed, non-adjustable housings. Adjustable pillow blocks have an adjustment screw, or screws in the case of a twin pillow block, which allows for adjustment of the radial play, or lash, between the shaft and the linear bearing. 




Adjustable or Non-Adjustable Pillow Block Bearings


Standard, Flanged or Side Mount. Standard pillow blocks mount with the mounting surface parallel to the shaft. Flanged pillow blocks are also available for when the mounting surface is perpendicular to the shaft. Side mount pillow blocks are open pillow blocks with the mounting surface 90 degrees from the standard blocks. 

Standard, Flanged, or Sidemount pillow block bearings

Choosing a Thomson Pillow Block

Linear Bearings and Guides: Basics for Design Engineers

How to Use Adjustable Pillow Blocks to Optimize Precision

Linear Bearings and Guides: Design Applications

Pillow Block Bearings Training

Pillow Blocks

Pillow blocks are available in many different configurations.

  • Open or closed
  • Single or twin
  • Adjustable or non-adjustable
  • Standard or flanged

All pillow blocks come with a bushing installed. All pillow blocks are supplied with wipers unless specified otherwise.

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Adjustable Pillow Block Bearings

Adjustable pillow blocks are designed so that the lash can be changed through adjustment of the pillow block. The following video shows the steps of adjusting an adjustable pillow block to reduce the lash.

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Thomson Ball Bushing® and RoundWay® bearings are shipped with rust preventative oil (unless otherwise specified). Rust preventative oil is not adequate lubrication for use. Prior to installation, bearings require a small amount of grease or oil to operate properly. Which lubrication to choose is dependent on many factors.


A few general guidelines tol help select from the available lubrication options:

  • Light loads and high speeds do well with machine oil or low viscosity grease
  • Medium loads and speeds do well with NLGI 1 or 2 grease
  • High loads may require a grease with an EP2 additive. The EP is Extreme Pressure and uses special additives to prevent the grease from breaking down under high pressures. This type of grease will give the steel shafts a dull appearance
  • Thomson LinearLube® is suitable for most industrial applications and is FDA listed
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