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'Finding your Bearings'

Posted by Andy Roberts on 5 February 2018

Keencut table top cutter bars use a highly durable design of sliding bearing.  They use a high-grade plastic which runs over a super-hard aluminium surface.  This gives fantastic performance and has proved very long-lasting over many years of service in Keencut machines.


When the surface of aluminium is anodised its structure and chemical composition is changed.  It is oxidised in a very controlled way to give a very smooth but very hard surface.  In fact, it is as hard as Tool Steel which is used to make metal cutting tools and blades.  The other important fact about anodising is that it is part of the aluminium itself and not like a surface plating or coating that can peel away in time.


The plastic we use is as tough as a kitchen chopping board and has an extremely low coefficient of friction which makes it very slippery, ideal for a bearing surface.  The plastic will take all the wear and tear, but the anodised surface of the aluminium will be unchanged even after 30+ years of use.  We know this is a fact because many Keencut owners tell us so!


Now this is all very well and good but, what happens when the plastic bearing blocks does show signs of wear?  


Well, yes, they will wear, but it takes an awfully long time.  They will last for many years of normal use, in fact, they last for years even when under extraordinary use.  At Keencut we believe in taking every opportunity to give our end users the very best in reliability and longevity of service, so all our linear and rotating bearing systems are adjustable.  This adjustment is easy for the user to carry out and massively prolongs their life when carried out as part of a cleaning and lubricating regime.


How to adjust the linear sliding bearings on your table top cutter bar


Screen Shot 2018 02 05 at 11.18.22



  1. First clean and lubricate as explained in the blog on 'C.L.A.S.S.'   
  2. Locate the bearing adjustment screws (red arrows above), there are two on all cutter bars except the Evolution E2 where there are four.
  3. You will need a 2mm Allen key which is supplied with each machine
  4. It does not matter in what order you adjust the screws, but it is important you do so whilst the cutting head is sliding up and down quite briskly.
  5. Hold the Allen key in your left hand and onto one of the adjustment screws, now start sliding the cutting head up and down with your right hand whilst you gradually tighten the Allen screw.
  6. Keep going until you start to feel some friction or drag in the cutting head, at this point undo the screw a fraction of a turn so the friction disappears.
  7. Repeat this on the remaining screw or screws
  8. Now repeat 5-7 a few times using smaller movements of the Allen key to fine tune it. 


TEST: There should be no sideways movement in the cutting head and when you flick it away from you it should travel on for 10-15cms (4"-6") 

We are so confident about our bearing systems that we give them a 20-year warranty. The only part likely to need attention is the plastic bearing blocks which can wear away after extended use. 

So if you have tried adjusting them to no avail and are the original purchaser, just email us on

Let us know when you bought the machine, its serial number and your contact details, and we will send you replacement blocks. If the machine is out of warranty you can order replacement bearings on the Keencut website or give Keencut or your distributor a call and quote Plastic Linear Bearings.