Are all pinballs the same? I'm referring to the actual silver ball.


By visorboy

1 year ago


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  • 13 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by Radius118
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    #1 1 year ago

    Not sure if this is a weird question but what the heck.

    Is a pinball just a pinball, or not? There are all types of golf balls and tennis balls...I need new ones as one of my pinballs is a bit pitted and rolls funky. Thanks for your feedback.

    #2 1 year ago

    Lay off the whiskey my good man...

    #3 1 year ago
    Quoted from limelime20:

    Lay off the whiskey my good man...

    Lol thank you, I will take that as a yes.

    #4 1 year ago

    I am loving the fact it's legal now, too. Brehhh.

    #5 1 year ago
    Quoted from limelime20:

    Lay off the whiskey my good man...

    Well I just found something called "Silverjet Premium Pinballs"...on the Marcos website. A gold-plated ball would look nice IMO.

    #6 1 year ago

    No they are all not created equal. Also, If you have a pitted ball do not play another game with that ball until you replace it.

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/pinball-balls#post-3584397

    #7 1 year ago

    Some balls don't work well in games with magnets.

    #8 1 year ago
    Quoted from Luckydogg420:

    Some balls don't work well in games with magnets.

    Thanks @luckydogg420 I see now the silverjet pinballs from Marcos "may retain magnetism". Good looking out!

    #9 1 year ago
    Quoted from Pinballlew:

    No they are all not created equal. Also, If you have a pitted ball do not play another game with that ball until you replace it.
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/pinball-balls#post-3584397

    Thank you thank you thank you @Pinballlew!

    #10 1 year ago

    Some vendors also sell "high gloss" pinballs. They actually look great and I believe they tend to last longer.

    #11 1 year ago

    All Steel Silver balls retain magnetism! Some demagnetize the balls after so many plays! You can tell by putting the Balls together,and gently rolling ONE! If the other follows on its own,replace it!I use the Silverjets you commented on! Gold Balls don't last! Pahuffman is correct!Have fun!!

    #12 1 year ago
    Quoted from Pinballlew:

    No they are all not created equal. Also, If you have a pitted ball do not play another game with that ball until you replace it.
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/pinball-balls#post-3584397

    Doesn't seem like the op is playing on a pristine newly restored game. Playing another 10 or 20 games with non perfect balls isn't going to destroy anything. It's fine - order new balls and play until they arrive then change. Do them all at once. And wipe down the Playfield to get rid of dirt and junk before you change them, wax with carnuba, then enjoy.

    #13 1 year ago
    Quoted from Mbecker:

    Doesn't seem like the op is playing on a pristine newly restored game. Playing another 10 or 20 games with non perfect balls isn't going to destroy anything. It's fine - order new balls and play until they arrive then change. Do them all at once. And wipe down the Playfield to get rid of dirt and junk before you change them, wax with carnuba, then enjoy.

    in my opinion it's even more important to have new balls on players condition games. as balls age and pit, they act like sandpaper, and if they are traveling over spots that have already worn through the clearcoat or down to wood, that will greatly accelerate the wear and loss of art.

    #14 1 year ago

    My tumbler runs nonstop with 5 balls in it at all times. All of my games get ball rotations on a regular basis depending on the amount of play they get. good balls are key. as far as the difference in quality of ball I think they are all the same. the high gloss balls are likely just tumbled like mine are.

    #15 1 year ago

    images (resized).jpg

    #16 1 year ago

    I use standard carbon steel for games with magnets and Silverjet Premium balls for games without.

    #17 1 year ago
    Quoted from pezpunk:

    in my opinion it's even more important to have new balls on players condition games. as balls age and pit, they act like sandpaper, and if they are traveling over spots that have already worn through the clearcoat or down to wood, that will greatly accelerate the wear and loss of art.

    Unless you clean and wax when you install the new balls, If the game is down to bare wood or clear is gone then just changing out the balls isn't doing *that* much.. still grinding dirt and metal dust around ..in regards to sandpaper -particularly with old balls in an old game -the ball is more likely to be doing a lot more rolling vs sliding so I'm not really seeing that sand paper action as much.. at least imo.

    500 games with old balls, prob not great idea. Still maintain - 20 games, mehhh

    #18 1 year ago

    "Pinballs" are simply 1 1/16" diameter ball bearings. The 2 most common type are carbon steel and chromium steel. There are also other types, like ceramic which is what the TZ powerball is made out of.

    The chromium steel balls are shinier and are negatively affected by magnetism. Not a good choice for games with magnets in them. The other downside to these balls is that after 100 plays, they are just as scuffed up as regular carbon steel balls. In other words they really aren't worth the money.

    Carbon steel balls are your best value. I buy them in bulk. I think the last 100 piece order was from Marco at 78 cents each.

    Quoted from rcbrown316:

    My tumbler runs nonstop with 5 balls in it at all times. All of my games get ball rotations on a regular basis depending on the amount of play they get. good balls are key. as far as the difference in quality of ball I think they are all the same. the high gloss balls are likely just tumbled like mine are.

    This.... with the exception of Chromium versus Carbon.

    I run mine through my rotary polisher for a week and they come out fantastic.. Super shiny and super smooth. I run them for about 100 games or so and then rotate them for another set out of the polisher. You can re-polish them about 3-4 times before you should recycle them. You can polish them in a vibratory tumbler, but the rotary polishers do a much nicer job on balls... and everything else if you are patient.

    So don't drink the kool-aid about special balls this or special balls that. The extra shiny balls sold through some vendors are simply regular carbon steel balls that have been run through a large commercial size polisher for a couple of weeks.

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