A cotter pin is a simple fastener that’s used to secure a bolt or any other rod-shaped fastener, typically preventing axial movement along a shaft. They’re either a wedge or tapered pin that’s driven into a hole.
Pivot Point, a manufacturer of non-threaded fastener solutions, recently released the basics on cotter pins, comparing five different types available.
1. Hair-Pin Cotter: Relatively secure, but high-vibration or rotating applications can cause accidental disengagement. Hair-Pins are a spring-type cotter made to be reusable in less critical applications. They provide fast, tool-less installation and removal.
2. Rue Ring Locking Cotter: This cotter pin surrounds the shaft and locks itself on, making it one of the safest cotters available. A manual secondary lock tensions the Rue Ring tight and dampens vibration. It offers excellent security for vibrating and rotating equipment but is ideal for light to medium applications and offers fast, tool-less installation and removal.
3. Bow-Tie Locking Cotter: Works like a Hair-Pin Cotter, simply push or pull this cotter’s pin leg into the mating hole and the Bow-Tie snaps into a zero-tension locked position. It’s easily released by lifting the loop and sliding the cotter pin off. No tools required. This fastener is also ideal for vibrating and rotating applications, and reduces the risk of being accidentally knocked or vibrated off.
4. Prong Cotter: Offers a secure hold that can be good for vibrating and rotation applications. However, it requires tools so installation or removal is a slower process.
5. SLIC Pin: SLIC is an acronym for “Self-locking Implanted Cotter Pin.” This one-piece locking clevis pin is cost-saving, fast, and secure — and is a pin and cotter all in one. As a one-piece locking clevis pin, this fastener eliminates the need for additional cotters, bolts, nut, or clips, requiring no tools for assembly.
To review Pivot Point’s line-up of cotter pins, click here.