(Topic ID: 302534)

Pinball Balls

By Cbsanborn8488

2 years ago


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  • 37 posts
  • 23 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by Zitt
  • Topic is favorited by 6 Pinsiders

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    #1 2 years ago

    I am looking to purchase some pinball balls. I have some newer magnetized games and some unmagnetized. What balls do you all recommend to keep the game in great quality for each of these types as I have heard you can’t use the same kinds. Also what website is best to get them from?

    #2 2 years ago

    ball baron is very good

    #3 2 years ago
    Quoted from Cbsanborn8488:

    I am looking to purchase some pinball balls. I have some newer magnetized games and some unmagnetized. What balls do you all recommend to keep the game in great quality for each of these types as I have heard you can’t use the same kinds. Also what website is best to get them from?

    Balls are generally $1 a piece. Look for a supplier that has the best shipping prices.

    #4 2 years ago

    Ball baron is good stuff! Get the Polaris balls if you have games with magnets.

    https://ballbaron.com/product/pinball-carbon/

    #5 2 years ago

    Stay away from Polaris balls from Ball Baron, super low quality and they don't stand by their product.

    I get my balls from Titan but plenty of places have good ones. Pinball Life, Marco etc

    -1
    #6 2 years ago

    I honestly do not understand why people read "newer magnetized games" and then recommend Ball Baron.
    It's well documented his balls are not carbon steel; but are chrome steel which WILL and DO magnetize.

    I don't have the same experience TheLaw reported... as I have never bought a single ball from him because of the chrome steel issues.
    I'd rather have all carbon steel so I don't have to worry about which balls are in which game so they don't get mixed.

    I sell only carbon steel on my site... but can't argue with getting them from Titan or Pinball-Life if you already need stuff from them.

    #7 2 years ago

    Get these, a 50 pak for $38.10. Since you have to replace then every 350 to 450 plays.
    You can also get a 25 pak or 100 pak:

    https://www.amazon.com/Inch-Carbon-Steel-Bearings-G500/dp/B01AX1NCO6

    These are the pinballs that work in all games.

    Dont get the chrome ones, high carbon works best with magnets. Chrome? not so much.

    pinballs weigh 2 7/8 oz = 81 grams. these are the correct weight

    #8 2 years ago
    Quoted from pinballinreno:

    Get these, a 50 pak

    Not available ....

    #9 2 years ago
    Quoted from transprtr4u:

    Not available ....

    In stock for US. Not available for Canada.

    #10 2 years ago
    Quoted from Blackjacker:

    Not available for Canada

    Discrimination...

    #11 2 years ago

    There seems to be a lot of polarity on the Ball Baron balls.
    I use ninja chrome balls on games with magnets with little to no issue, only the pizza disc on TMNT has magnetized the balls before the regularly scheduled ball replacement. I think it's a small price to pay to be able to use chrome polished balls across all games.

    #12 2 years ago

    following

    #13 2 years ago
    Quoted from pinballinreno:

    Since you have to replace then every 350 to 450 plays.

    I'm in a lot of trouble if that's how often you're supposed to replace the balls.... or is that just the ones that get magnetized?

    #14 2 years ago
    Quoted from Zitt:

    I honestly do not understand why people read "newer magnetized games" and then recommend Ball Baron.
    It's well documented his balls are not carbon steel; but are chrome steel which WILL and DO magnetize.
    I don't have the same experience TheLaw reported... as I have never bought a single ball from him because of the chrome steel issues.
    I'd rather have all carbon steel so I don't have to worry about which balls are in which game so they don't get mixed.
    I sell only carbon steel on my site... but can't argue with getting them from Titan or Pinball-Life if you already need stuff from them.

    I recommended ball baron based on my experience using these balls in TZ and Dialed In (Both very magnet prominent games). I found the balls to not magnetize on me and had good customer service.

    Having said this the balls I used were before the switch to the Polaris balls so maybe that's why lack of issues.

    I'm not debating the issues others have had just relying my experience with the product and the service. I'll clearly need to do some more research before I order more balls from him.

    #15 2 years ago
    Quoted from slochar:

    I'm in a lot of trouble if that's how often you're supposed to replace the balls.... or is that just the ones that get magnetized?

    Look at the balls with a 10x jewelers loupe :

    https://www.harborfreight.com/5-piece-loupe-set-98722.html?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=12169617963&campaignid=12169617963&utm_content=116466581749&adsetid=116466581749&product=98722&store=2945&gclid=CjwKCAjwn8SLBhAyEiwAHNTJbQmMxkyPhIDkSQSX3o98iDvk6nECzNsLVJPfT59SH1chbKcBhiveoBoCvDgQAvD_BwE

    You can see the dents and scratches in the balls as compared to brand new ones.

    Rough balls wear the surface of the playfield much more than smooth ones.

    Changing out or polishing the balls is one of the simplest ways to keep your playfield new looking.

    Basically pinballs are really inexpensive to replace.

    If you want them "super shiney" run them in a polisher for 4 days.

    #16 2 years ago
    Quoted from pinballinreno:

    Look at the balls with a 10x jewelers loupe :
    You can see the dents and scratches in the balls as compared to brand new ones.

    I swapped out balls when I bought my machine in February. Then when I was restoring it several months later, I got the new balls and old balls mixed up. I just tried the jewelers loop method mentioned above and was shocked. Two new balls and one old one were in the machine. Comparing between them was interesting. I should throw the old balls away, as they were badly scratched and pitted. The several month old balls had some marks on them but not bad. I need to order new balls, obviously.

    #17 2 years ago

    I'll show myself out now.

    #18 2 years ago
    Quoted from Zitt:

    I honestly do not understand why people read "newer magnetized games" and then recommend Ball Baron.
    It's well documented his balls are not carbon steel; but are chrome steel which WILL and DO magnetize.
    I don't have the same experience TheLaw reported... as I have never bought a single ball from him because of the chrome steel issues.
    I'd rather have all carbon steel so I don't have to worry about which balls are in which game so they don't get mixed.
    I sell only carbon steel on my site... but can't argue with getting them from Titan or Pinball-Life if you already need stuff from them.

    There are both chrome and carbon steel on ball baron’s site. Seems to be where the confusion is.

    #19 2 years ago

    Ball baron has his real high quality ones for non magnet games that are top shelf.
    He also sells carbon steel which I received a batch test were beyond atrocious, complete waste of time & money

    #20 2 years ago
    Quoted from gblack:

    There are both chrome and carbon steel on ball baron’s site. Seems to be where the confusion is.

    Whats more confusing is that people pay way too much for a standard 1 1/16" standard ball bearing.

    If you pay too much you will probably not change them out as often as they need to be, and roughen up the playfield unnecessarily.

    Its best to buy in bulk. That way you can easily afford to throw them away as needed.

    Both high carbon and chrome are always available in bulk.

    I have both styles and they work just fine in all cases, but I prefer high carbon in magnetic games. It seems to have more action.

    #21 2 years ago
    Quoted from pinballinreno:

    Get these, a 50 pak for $38.10. Since you have to replace then every 350 to 450 plays.
    You can also get a 25 pak or 100 pak:
    amazon.com link »
    These are the pinballs that work in all games.
    Dont get the chrome ones, high carbon works best with magnets. Chrome? not so much.
    pinballs weigh 2 7/8 oz = 81 grams. these are the correct weight

    These amazon balls are grade 500 so they are less perfect than say a grade 100. I would not cheep out on pinballs.
    This is the chart https://www.precisionballs.com/ballgradechart.pdf

    #22 2 years ago

    I'm glad the ball baron has his fan bois...
    I'm also glad you have had personal success running his Chrome Pinballs in magnet games.

    I have NOT had the same success. Chrome Alloy pinballs SUCK in magnet games. Or at least it did in my Stern Star Trek LE.
    I'd NEVER put a chrome alloy in a game again because of that.

    There is a reason there are warnings everywhere about using Chrome Alloy balls in magnet games.

    #23 2 years ago
    Quoted from 6S3NC3:

    These amazon balls are grade 500 so they are less perfect than say a grade 100. I would not cheep out on pinballs.
    This is the chart https://www.precisionballs.com/ballgradechart.pdf

    Grade 100 balls can be slightly heavier by approx 2 grams due to their nature of slightly denser steel in order to get more precision.

    So maybe expect slightly slower game play with those balls.

    Pinballs should be as close as you can get to 2.75 oz or 80 grams.

    Im happy enough with the grade 500, but I throw them away regularly to protect my playfield. They are precise enough for a wooden playfield,

    I also polish them if I have the time, so they are always pretty much "super shiney".

    But really its all splitting hairs, use whatever ball you like, just change them every time you wax at about 400 plays.

    That said, I still prefer high carbon on magnet games. The seem to work better for me.

    If you have a lot of games as I do, and they get played often, ball replacement can get expensive unless you buy in bulk.

    I store them in packs of 25 with my vacuum bagger so they dont rust.

    #24 2 years ago

    After buying balls a few times and starting to get a stash I figured it was silly to throw them away or “recycle”. Purchased a tumbler to throw the extras in and keep a rotation.

    #25 2 years ago
    Quoted from gblack:

    After buying balls a few times and starting to get a stash I figured it was silly to throw them away or “recycle”. Purchased a tumbler to throw the extras in and keep a rotation.

    What tumbler did you go with?

    #26 2 years ago

    Do you mean like a tumbler that is used for polishing brass from bullets, like is found at Bass Pro shops?

    #27 2 years ago
    Quoted from Tophervette:

    Do you mean like a tumbler that is used for polishing brass from bullets, like is found at Bass Pro shops?

    I can't imagine that walnut media is going to buff out gauges in steel, but I may be wrong.

    Edit: It just removes the dirt from the brass usually, physical markings on the brass don't come out either. Oxidation is typically soft enough to get removed, but brass is also a lot softer than high carbon steel.

    I do have a wet tumbler with steel pin media, but i would expect to make that even worse, but again I may be wrong. Never have tried it.

    #28 2 years ago
    Quoted from gblack:

    After buying balls a few times and starting to get a stash I figured it was silly to throw them away or “recycle”. Purchased a tumbler to throw the extras in and keep a rotation.

    I have a friend that does this too, but I have my doubts. I have seen plenty of balls with flat impact spots on them or where the whole ball seems to be slightly out-of-round. I'm thinking a tumbler won't fix those issues.

    #29 2 years ago

    I tried putting a few balls in a tumbler with walnut media and was less than impressed. I ran for 24 hrs and couldn't tell the difference between ones that were in there to ones that weren't. Then I put a few squirts of Brass O polish in with the walnuts and another 24 hrs.. Didn't do anything either.

    #30 2 years ago
    Quoted from Betelgeuse:

    I have a friend that does this too, but I have my doubts. I have seen plenty of balls with flat impact spots on them or where the whole ball seems to be slightly out-of-round. I'm thinking a tumbler won't fix those issues.

    Never experienced out-of-round but yea a tumbler isn't fixing that.

    Quoted from BubbaK:

    I tried putting a few balls in a tumbler with walnut media and was less than impressed. I ran for 24 hrs and couldn't tell the difference between ones that were in there to ones that weren't. Then I put a few squirts of Brass O polish in with the walnuts and another 24 hrs.. Didn't do anything either.

    My results are ok. Just as good as the stock stern balls and often better. I'll probably end up doing it a few times for each set.

    #31 2 years ago
    Quoted from KozMckPinball:

    Balls are generally $1 a piece. Look for a supplier that has the best shipping prices.

    Anyone know what is up with ball prices at Marco? $3 bucks a piece? Last time I ordered from there (been a while) it was closer to the standard $1. Jeez.

    https://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/PB116

    #32 2 years ago
    Quoted from Cbsanborn8488:

    I am looking to purchase some pinball balls. I have some newer magnetized games and some unmagnetized. What balls do you all recommend to keep the game in great quality for each of these types as I have heard you can’t use the same kinds. Also what website is best to get them from?

    Titan pinball standard shiny balls. All day every day.

    2 weeks later
    #33 2 years ago
    Quoted from chuckwurt:

    Titan pinball standard shiny balls. All day every day.

    Do these work well with games that use magnets?

    #34 2 years ago
    Quoted from Greenandwhite:

    Do these work well with games that use magnets?

    Standard high carbon 1 1/16" polished ball bearings work the best with magnets.

    G-500 is fine for pinball. Get G-1000 if you want but I wouldnt waste my money on them since I throw them away every 450 games.

    they cost about $0.70 each from a variety of sources.

    Get a few so you can replace them in a timely manner.

    Chrome is ok but doesnt always work as well.

    #35 2 years ago

    ....and, for those following in the rest of the world, pinball balls are 27mm which is so close to 1-1/16" as not to matter.

    27mm = 1.06299"

    #36 2 years ago
    Quoted from Greenandwhite:

    Do these work well with games that use magnets?

    Yes. Never once have these gotten magnetized on me in over 5 years of using them.

    4 months later
    #37 2 years ago

    I guess that because I haven't been playing my games much due to WFH / Covid ... and not taking my games to Texas Pinball shows; my "shinny" pinballs have developed a little rust as they sat in the ball troughs.
    Normally I just replace the balls; but as people have noted they are quiet expensive these days.

    I also bought a tumbler years ago... and tried tumbling the balls in my corn cobb media.
    Worked great at removing the rust; but also made the balls more frosted in appearance. I obviously examine my balls for pitting.
    I'm sure this is due to microscratches all over the surface.

    Anyone have any better luck getting the balls back to mirror shine?
    I thought about putting them on the buffer with some ?rough? but I'm guessing it will be nearly impossible to hang on the to ball.
    Where's vid1900 when you need him?!

    Anyone?
    And no; don't suggest ball baron to me. I'm not interested in Chromium balls because I can afford to mix the balls between games with and without magnets. I have had real problems with chromium balls in my STLE.
    I might just buy a bunch from Titan_Pinball at the TPF show to hold me off; but I was hoping there was a low effort way to polish these back to a nice shine.

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