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Specialty Fasteners: Machine Pin Fasteners

Fasteners, including screws, nuts, bolts, and rivets, play an integral role in numerous industrial applications. They are often used to hold product components together, and common types of fasteners can be found in daily use, from the safety pins and buttons we use on clothes to the rubber bands we use to secure index cards. However, as various industries continue to evolve, the demand for specialty fasteners has also developed. As a result, there are multiple kinds of specialty fasteners each with a specific intended use.

Machine Pin Fasteners

Pin fasteners are a type of specialty fastener that come in two general categories: semi-permanent and quick-release. Semi-permanent pins call for extra pressure or a tool to install and remove. Quick-release pins are self-contained and are frequently used in machine applications that require rapid manufacturing. They lock into place as a result of a special spring-loaded mechanism, which enables them to be installed and removed quickly. For industrial applications, machine pin fasteners are typically used, such as ground dowel pins, taper pins, standard cotter pins, and clevis pins.

Ground Dowel Pins

Dowel pins are basic in design in function, being small and straight, and are used to help align components before they are fastened together using other fasteners, such as screws. Once the components are aligned and clamped together, drill holes are created and the drill pins are inserted to keep the pieces aligned while the screw holes are drilled.

Taper Pins

Primarily used in mechanical engineering, taper pins are typically small steel pins with a larger diameter on one end than the other. Some kinds of taper pins feature a male screw thread on the smaller end, that helps hold the pin in position. Other kinds of taper pins feature two threaded ends. They are often used to attach wheels and levers to shafts.

Cotter Pins

Cotter pins are fasteners that are used in machine assembly to help hold other fasteners’ nuts in place. Because some fasteners may be subjected to a fair amount of stress, a threaded fastener’s nut may loosen over time. A cotter pin slides into place to prevent the nut form loosening. They are available in 18 standard sizes (from .031 to .500 inches), and are frequently used with slotted nuts on bolts and screws. Cotter pins are also used to hold clevis pins in place, and help secure parts to shafts, much like a taper pin.

Clevis Pins

A clevis pin functions as a kind of hinge, creating a mobile connection in between mated components, and is held in place by cotter pins. Essentially, clevis pins allow rotation around the pin shank, and are often use in conjunction with a shackle to enable the pin to be hitched to another device.  As a result of this construction, they are easy to remove or adjust quickly. Clevis pins are commonly used to fasten turnbuckles and other sailing applications, as well as in construction operations.


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