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Different Types of Spring Clips

A spring clip is a type of machined clip that is utilized to hold cylindrical objects in place through spring tension. Furthermore, they can be used to connect or attach moving components within engines, mechanical equipment, and rotary applications. In this blog, we will be providing a brief overview of these distinctive devices and their varying types, allowing you to better understand how they work.

Also known as terry clips or tool clips, spring clips are available in bulk packs or kits for convenience. They are recognized for their hooked U-shape and extended base attached via a screw, and they are made from sheet metal or plastic. Moreover, they allow cylindrical objects such as tools to be quickly snapped into place or pulled out. The strength of their grip depends on the material used to manufacture the clip and the thickness of the gripping arms. Together, these metrics provide a secure connection that can withstand gravity, pressure, and vibration.

As spring clips primarily serve as secure attachments, they can be designed to meet specific needs. Though initially they were developed to hold tire pumps on bicycle frames, today, they find many uses due to their versatility. That being said, the next section will cover some of spring clips’ most common uses.

What Are Spring Clips Used For?

  • Securing tools with circular handles onto tool storage boards
  • Holding mobile phones and tablets in an upright position for rapid and easy access
  • Fastening cell phones, pagers, and other similar devices to clothing
  • Coupling wiring and cables within electrical systems
  • Dampening vibration in automotive machinery by joining moving parts
  • Affixing pipes, tubing, and brackets to walls, floors, or radiators
  • Attaching strainers or baskets to kitchen sinks in order to catch food debris

Other common applications for spring clips include construction, clothing & textile manufacturing, electrical engineering, agriculture, and telecommunications.

Types of Spring Clips

Spring clips are available in varying shapes, specifications, sizes, and diameters, making them suitable for different uses. Some of the most common types include flat, small metal, wire, circular, round metal, spring button, and u-shaped metal spring clips.

Flat Spring Clips

Flat terry clips lack the distinctive u-shape of the standard spring clip, and they are normally used to secure thin components, cards, and paper. As such, they are a more fragile variety of spring clips that are not compatible with heavy-duty applications.

Small Metal Spring Clips

Typically used for attaching cards to lanyards and as badge reel attachments to secure ID cards and security passes to clothing, small metal spring clips find use in day-to-day applications.

Wire Spring Clips

Wire spring clips are often used to distribute pressure along hoses and to clamp the glass panes of greenhouses.

Circular Spring Clips

Circular spring clips are, as their name suggests, circular in design and are often used as hooks such as keyrings.

Round Metal Spring Clips

Probably the most popular spring clips, round metal spring clips have an inverted T-shape design. They find use on clipboards to secure paper in place.

Spring Button Clips

Spring button clips are normally used to connect two-part sliding tube components that are found in engineering applications. They feature a button in the inner tube that fastens itself into a hole in the outer tube, allowing the tube to lock in place.

U-Shaped Metal Spring Clips

This type of spring clip is primarily utilized to assemble furniture springs, glass panels, and flanges.

Materials Used to Manufacture Spring Clips

Spring clips are primarily manufactured from two materials, those of which include stainless steel and plastic. Steel is durable, offers a strong grip, and can resist temperature fluctuations. More than that, spring steel clips are coated in protective finishes made from vinyl and neoprene to reduce abrasion and chafing to inserted items. In particular, nylon coatings provide good scratch protection while those plated with zinc have a sleeker finish.

Plastic spring clips, on the other hand, are not as durable, but are easy to manufacture and are less expensive. However, plastic is a good insulator and is ideal for use in electrical equipment and cables. Smaller plastic spring clips are dart-shaped, have an expandable base, and may have a sealant for attachment purposes.


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