Choose your linear guide!

Choisir le bon guidage linéaire

Looking for a linear guide?


Our buying guide is here to help you choose the right linear guide

The purpose of this guide is to show you the different types of linear guide available on the market.

It includes detailed technical information and advice to help you choose the guide best suited to your application and budget.


What types of linear guide are there?

What are the special features of NSK linear guides?

How can I customize a linear guide?


Choisir le bon guidage linéaire

What types of linear guides are there?

There are 3 main categories of linear guides:

  • Standard linear guides represented by the NH / NS series
  • Wide linear guides for single guidance represented by the LW series
  • Miniature linear guidance represented by PU / PE series

NH / NS standard linear guides

Standard linear guide + Specification


NS size: 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 35


Size NH : 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 45 / 55


Material steel and stainless steel

Wide linear guide

Choisir le bon guidage linéaire large LW

Wide-body linear ball bearing guides,
Ideal for single-rail applications.


Size : 17 / 21 / 27 / 35 / 50


Material : Steel


PU miniature wide linear guide

Choisir le bon guidage linéaire large miniature PU

Miniature linear ball guides.


Size : 09 / 12 / 15


Material : stainless steel


PE miniature linear guide

Choisir le bon guidage linéaire miniature PE

Large-body miniature linear ball bearing guides, ideal for single-rail applications.


Size : 09 / 12 / 15

Material : Stainless steel

What arethe Special Features of NSK Linear Guides? NSK LINEAR GUIDES?

schéma d'un guidage linéaire

Resistance to impact load

The lower ball groove is Gothic-arched, as are the centers of the upper and lower grooves, with the center of the lower groove offset, as shown in Fig. 2. The vertical load is generally borne by the upper ball rows, where the balls are in contact with the ground.

schéma d'un guidage linéaire

Due to this design, the lower rows of balls will support the load when a high impact load is applied vertically, as shown in figure 2. When a high impact load is applied vertically, as shown in figure 3, this ensures high resistance to impact load.

Grinding reference surfaces and raceways

Rails are mounted on a mobile table for grinding. The grinding wheels are fixed. Raceways and rail side faces are ground at the same time. This ensures that the same level of precision is applied to the raceways and the side faces of the rail, enabling both side faces to be used as a reference surface.


As shown in Figure 4, the Gothic shape of the master rollers makes them easy to attach to the ball grooves. This makes it easy to measure the ball grooves accurately

schéma d'un guidage linéaire
schéma d'un guidage linéaire

K1 lubrication unit

The NSK K1 is a lubrication unit that combines oil and resin in a single unit. The porous resin contains a large quantity of lubricating oil. Thanks to the contact between the surface of the K1 unit and the rail raceway near the ball contact point, the NSK K1 unit constantly supplies fresh oil where it's needed most.

How do Icustomize a linear guide?

To find the right belt, it is essential to take into account cross-section and length required.

Itafran offers a wide selection of belts, conveniently organized by section, to simplify your search. You'll find them all grouped together in the "Belts" category of our site. Simply measure the specifications of your model to determine the appropriate section, then choose the corresponding length from the options on offer.

In this way, you can easily find the right belt for your specific needs, ensuring perfect compatibility with your equipment.

Choisir le bon guidage linéaire étape 1

Step 1: Select series :


We offer the NH / NS series.

Depending on the series, we display the corresponding sizes.

Choisir lebon guidage linéaire étape 2

Step 2: Define the desired characteristics :

  • Rail lengthdepending on the type of rail, we'll give you the minimum and maximum lengths (jointing available on request)
  • Number of rails to be cut (How many rails do you need?)
  • Material : Depending on the series, we offer steel or stainless steel rails (black oxide surface treatment available on request)
Choisir le bon guidage linéaire étape 3

Step 3: Define G1 and G2 :

Lhe G1 is the length in mm between the edge of the rail and the first hole.

Dimension G2 is the length in mm between the rail edge and the last hole.


Once the G1 dimension has been determined, the G2 dimension is automatically calculated.


Choisir le bon guidage linéaire étape 4

Step 4: Guide shoe selection :

This final step enables you to select your guide shoe. The "?" help button gives you segmentation criteria according to the type of assembly and desired load capacities.

Linear guidance glossary


Thanks to its internal structure X-shaped raceways with a contact angle of 50% (unique on the market), the linear guide will accept and compensate for imperfections in the support for optimum operation.

Steel balls

Rolling elements connecting the mobile shoe to the fixed rail. In the NH-NS series, the rolling elements are precision balls (various classes).

Load capacity

It is determined by two values, Ca static and C dynamic, which characterize the maximum level acceptable by the skid. Please note that they can be specified in accordance with ISO/DIN and New DIN standards.

Service life

This is the theoretical distance in KM that the linear guide will be able to cover, depending on external operating factors.

Simultaneous complex efforts

Compression, traction, lateral forces and various moments


Propose a linear guide that has the same functional dimensions and complies with ISO Standard 12090.

Prismatic linear guides

Mechanical assembly consisting of a rail and one or more runners for precision linear motion (horizontal-vertical or suspended mounting).


Compression, traction, lateral forces and various moments


To offer a linear guide with the same functional dimensions, in compliance with ISO Standard 12090. Thanks to their high level of preload, NH-NS guideways can limit their deformation in all directions

Gothic arch profile

Part designed to receive the grease gun nozzle for lubricating the skate's rolling elements.

By following these tips, you should be able to choose the belts that are best suited to your application, and that operate safely and efficiently.


If you have any questions or comments on this definition, please use this form. Thank you in advance!


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Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about linear guides!


Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about linear guides!

What is a linear guide?

The linear guide is a device consisting of a guide rail and one or more guide shoes, which enables objects or loads to be moved longitudinally (translational movements).


It is one of the most important components in machine tools. NSK's linear guides offer numerous advantages, including

  • Extremely precise positioning: up to 2µm for a stroke of 100 mm
  • Translation of the lightest to the heaviest loads
  • Allows slow to high speeds (up to 10 m/s)
  • Can be finger-jointed to increase guide length


To identify your prismatic rail, you need to take into account ..:

  • dimensionsthe prismatic rail is standardized under ISO 12090, making it easy to compare different manufacturers
  • Materialwe offer guideways in high-carbon steel and stainless steel.
  • Treatmentswe offer guideways with black oxide surface treatment. Nitriding and anti-corrosion treatments are also available on request.


To assist you in your selection, we have provided a configuration tool enabling you to select the various criteria for your linear guide. Our sales department can also assist you with special requests.

How to choose a linear guide?

When selecting a linear guideway, it is important to take several factors into account, including :


  • Functional factors related to machine use: it's important to determine the motion configuration, overall dimensions, rigidity, load capacity and positioning accuracy of the linear guide in relation to the machine installed.


  • Environmental factors related to your activity: take into account the externalities specific to your activity and the use of the machine in terms of dust, pollution and extreme temperatures.


  • Cost factors cost factors: standardized products / calculate the cost of assembly, maintenance and the energy required for operation.



By taking these factors into account, you'll be able to determine which series of rails to use, as well as the associated pads for a specific load and assembly. Our sales department can provide you with installation recommendations in conjunction with our partner NSK.

What is a linear guide?

NSK linear guides linear guideways are available in different accuracy classes. Each class of precision corresponds to a set of tolerances concerning the parallelism of displacement and the external dimensions of the guideways.


In order to increase system rigidity or guarantee good guidance quality in applications subject to high vibration, linear guides can be preloaded. In fact, the elastic deformation of rails and rolling elements subjected to stress is lower for preloaded carriages than for unloaded carriages.


Preload classes (Z0 - No preload / Z1 - Light preload / Z2 - Medium preload / Z3 - High preload).


no preload
Light preload

Z2 & Z3

Medium preload & High preload


Operating conditions


  • 2 rails in parallel
  • Little vibration or shock
  • Constant load
  • Low friction
  • Low accuracy



  • Monorail mounting
  • Low load
  • High precision
  • Self-supporting mounting
  • High dynamics


  • Strong vibrations and shocks
  • Very high precision
  • High rigidity





  • Welding machines
  • Separators
  • Feeding systems
  • Tool changers
  • X and Y axes for
  • industrial applications
  • general
  • Packaging machines



  • Precision cross tables
  • Manipulators
  • Z-axes for general
  • industrial applications
  • Measuring devices
  • Printed circuit
  • drills



  • Machining centers
  • CNC lathes
  • Milling machines
  • Grinding machines



The preloaded assembly has five precision grades: Ultra Precision P3, Super Precision P4, High Precision P5, Precision P6 and Normal PN, while the random-pairing type has a High Precision PH and a Normal PC grade.


ITAFRAN has a stock of PC grade pads and rails already well above the ISO 12090 Standard (see example 1000 mm rail: ISO 23μm for 15μm for NSK parts. We deliver P6 precision with our current stock, perfectly suited to a troubleshooting solution. Bearing in mind that the most frequently requested precision for machine tools is P5.