What is a Bearing Puller and When is It Used?

Published : 02/25/2022 09:21:03
Categories : Mister Worker , Professional working tools guide


Today on the Mister Worker™ Blog we talk about external bearing pullers with KUKKO, a German company specialized in the development and production of extractor tools since 1919. 

What is a Bearing Puller?

Bearing Pullers are multipurpose tools used for removing or unmounting bearings, gears, pulleys, propellers and couplings from shafts. How does a bearing puller work? It provides a safe multi-point grip to the part being pulled, in order to equalize the forces, and a screw or hydraulic jack center, with the aim to ensure the pulling force. Bearing Pullers are usually available in various models, for example mechanical and hydraulic pullers, to make the job of withdrawing or dismounting bearings simpler, faster and safer.

Why do I need a puller? 

If a part, such as a gear, bearing or ball bearing, is so tight that you cannot loosen it with your own strength, you need a tool to help you do so. In a situation where a stuck part is installed on a machine, for example, leading to a standstill, disassembly must be fast as well as efficient, safe and gentle. Only a puller can give you that. A puller thus stands for added value, productivity and long-term service life for machines. You should also remember that necessary investments in new machines due to incorrect maintenance are always higher than the investment in the right puller. It is also important to mention that a puller is by no means an industry-specific tool, it is used in all areas of technology where downtime must be avoided. 

How to choose the right puller? 

In order to find the right puller for your application, you must first look at the installation conditions of the stuck part. This is roughly divided into four categories or four types of pullers: 

  • If the part to be removed is seated on a shaft and is freely accessible from the outside, you can use an external puller. This type of puller is the most commonly used. 
  • If the part to be removed is in a recess and not on a shaft, you need an internal bearing puller
  • If the part fits flat, you need a separator and a pulling device
  • If it is a ball bearing that is mounted on a shaft and in a housing at the same time, you need a ball bearing puller

You can also get digital help from our new configurator.

How to use a bearing puller

Here’s a quick guide to help you to use this kind of tools:

  1. First of all, you have to put the puller externally around the part or internally, depending on the part to be removed.
  2. Then, you have to adjust the legs of the puller so that they fit tightly around or inside the part that is going to be pulled out.
  3. At this point, you have to position the forcing screw by turning it clockwise with your hands, until the screw touches the shaft. It is very important to adjust the legs until the center of the screw is in the center of the shaft.
  4. Turn the forcing screw slowly and carefully using either a spanner or a socket wrench while exerting force onto the shaft. You have to turn the forcing screw until the part comes off the shaft.
  5. In the end, you have to loosen the forcing screw by turning it anti-clockwise and remove the part from the legs of the puller.

KUKKO pullers

What is an external puller and when is it used? 

Pulling with an external puller is the most common type of application and is required when – as the word suggests – the part to be pulled off is freely gripped and removed from the outside.

A classic external puller consists of a crossbar through which a spindle runs and to which either two or three arms are attached. When pulling, the arms of the external puller grip the part to be pulled off from the outside. By tightening the spindle, the part to be pulled off is released from the shaft. 

What are the most important features to consider when choosing an external bearing puller? 

In the first place you should measure the space conditions. This refers to the diameter, depth and available space around the part to be removed. The maximum load and the maximum torque are also values that you should consider. The mode of operation and functionality also provide information on which external puller you should use.

Here’s an example: if you need a puller for a repetitive use, you should use a puller with self-centering jaws.
If you would rather have a puller that can be adapted to different installation situations, you should use a puller with sliding and parallel jaws.
The ideal solution is our 20 Series or 30 Series, which give you extra flexibility as they are based on a modular system, allowing you to choose between 2- and 3-arm crossheads and to combine hooks and spindles of different lengths and properties as well as accessories. The choice of an external puller should always be made after weighing all influencing factors. 

What are the main types of external pullers? 

By far the most common and universal type of external pullers are the ones mentioned above with sliding, parallel jaws, among them the 20 Series and the 30 Series with their impressive flexible modular system. 

Further types of external pullers can be classified by their different hooks and thus by their different functionality. There are external pullers with swivelling jaws, with self-centering jaws (Technology Auto Grip), with self-centering and self-tensioning hooks (technology Auto Snap + Auto Grip), with reversible jaws, with adjustable jaws, with side clamp, and others. 

Have there been any innovations in the field of bearing puller tools in recent years? If so, what are they? 

KUKKO is a pioneer for pullers and stands for a unique entrepreneurial spirit in the development of new products. Technical know-how and a knowledge lead in the field of stripping are the central DNA of the brand. 

A very popular product is without any doubt the universal 2-jaw puller with narrow jaws (Kukko 20 10). It is useful for removing parts like bearings, gears, discs, etc. from tight or difficult-to-access spaces.This model can be put on various pulling hooks and has a variable reach thanks to its jaw extensions. On the other hand the 20-S-T model is provided with a 2-arm puller with extremely narrow puller hooks and thus this product is ideal for particularly narrow and difficult to access spaces.

KUKKO 20-1-S

A selection of special product highlights is for example the 2/3-armed combination puller (486) with locking mechanism. It is versatile: As an internal and external puller, 2- or 3-armed and characterized by the fact that all puller hooks can be fixed by a simple finger grip, making it particularly safe. 

In case manual force is not sufficient, the hydraulic auxiliary press 9-1 is a useful accessory. It is clamped between the tip of the spindle and the shaft of the part to be extracted, thus contributing to an increase in pressure performance, as is the case with parts that are particularly stuck. 

The universal puller with self-centering pulling hooks (44 Series /45 Series) guarantees automatic self-tensioning and self-centering of the hooks thanks to Auto-Grip technology. This design allows recurring applications to be carried out quickly and efficiently.

Moreover, the universal 2-jaw puller with self-centering jaws (Kukko 43 1) is ideal for vehicle electrical equipment, electrical workshops, compressed air repair processes and other similar applications. Thanks to an increasing spindle pressure, the pulling hooks grip the part to be removed with an increasing amount of force.

Another successful product is the 2-jaw puller with side clamp (Kukko 204 2), particularly suitable for pulling out specially tight ball bearings, bearing rings and workpieces. Its clamps increase the pressure of the hooks significantly, while the spindle head band keeps the wrench firm. When using this model, the part to be removed is to be gripped from the outside.

Regarding Kukko puller sets, we would like to mention the K-2030-20 and KUKKO 223-K, which are respectively sets of externals and internal pullers. These articles are one of our bestselling products. We also point out the set of slide hammer (Kukko ks-22-01), ideal for removing bushings and components with threads.This set comes with Kukko screw adapters, that can be combined with counter supports and slide hammers, and milled thread with special coating. 


As for Kukko internal bearing pullers, we indicate the 21-0 serie, ideal for pulling out inner bearings, bearing outer rings and bushings. The 2-shell design with extra large grasp edges of this product guarantees safe extraction. It has also an internal safety stop for increased protection against excess spreading and overloading.

The latest innovation is a digital development. The unique product configurator is the ultimate advisor for choosing the right puller. With this 24/7 consulting assistant, the user is able to identify the right tool with just a few clicks, independent of time and place. 

How does the KUKKO bearing puller stand out from competing brands?

Our positioning as a committed solution developer with know-how and vision to keep everything in motion makes KUKKO a pioneer in the field of pulling. As an extractor specialist, KUKKO is number one worldwide for non-destructive dismantling. With 150 puller types and over 500 application sizes in our product range, KUKKO offers a unique and modular system for all markets and industries. The highest product quality and user safety are central requirements in technical development and sales. 

In order to ensure these performance benefits, every single part of the KUKKO program has an individual component number. With this number, repeat orders and complaints can be processed quickly and smoothly. At the same time, this marking is an expression of KUKKO's high sustainability promise, which promises decades of service life. 

KUKKO configurator

Furthermore, all KUKKO pullers are labeled with a type plate. This marking contains the following information: 

  • Order number 
  • Name and address of the manufacturer 
  • Dimensions of the product 
  • Origin of the tool 
  • Marking of performance 
  • Unique serial number 

This offers the user the following benefits: the customer can be 100% sure to have a quality product from KUKKO. This guarantees maximum security and rules out any form of counterfeiting and product piracy. The product can be clearly traced by the serial number and can receive a lifetime support guarantee by registering with KUKKO. The unique allocation of a serial number gives the product a unique identification characteristic. This makes repeat orders and traceability as simple as possible. 

With the launch of a new, digital product configurator, KUKKO enters a new age of product recommendation. With just a few clicks, the user is empowered by specific questions to provide the relevant information and measurements for solving the problem. Regardless of time and place, it is always possible to find the right tool for the respective situation. 

What can we expect from KUKKO Pullers in the future? 

KUKKO is a dedicated solution developer who uses its know-how and vision to keep everything moving quickly and reliably for its customers. This performance benefit will be upgraded globally over the next five years, in part because we are making our products available worldwide with partners like Mr. Worker. As a driving force in the field of solution providers, KUKKO will anticipate future challenges and thus enable customers to keep workflows and processes moving. 

Specifically, KUKKO invests in the topic of digital know-how transfer in order to provide our customers with the most individual advice possible on the topic of "Intelligent Pulling", independent of business hours and location. For us, our product configurator is a long-term investment in know-how transfer and application advice. 

Together with Mister Worker, we will successfully advance our mission to become a global solutions developer.

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