What is an E-clip? | E Clip

What is an E-Clip?

An E-clip, also known as a circlip or E-ring, is a type of retaining ring with open ends that snap into place. Circlips are fasteners that fit into the radial grooves of shafts and holes that are sprung to ensure they remain securely in place. Standard circlips, such as the snap ring, are typically removed with specially designed circlip or C-clip pliers.

E-clips are a type of tool used for projects including car engines and locking mechanisms. They resemble an “E” shape, and they have 1 side with an opening. E-clips are large retaining rings, and retaining rings hold parts onto a shaft when installed into a groove.

All circlips are similar to a “C” shape, which allows them to expand as they fit around a shaft or compress as they fit into a hole. However, the ring clip, also known as an E-ring or E-clip, more closely resembles the letter “E.” It’s one of the most widely used types of external circlips.

An E-ring or ring clip is a type of circlip that's pushed on or off a grooved shaft without the need for a special tool. All circlips are similar to a “C”
An E-clips or ring clip is a type of circlip that’s pushed on or off a grooved shaft without the need for a special tool.

Standard circlips are available in internal and external versions. Internal circlips fit into the groove of a hole, whereas external circlips are designed to ensure a tight fit into a grove around the outside of a shaft or rod.

They’re used to replace the need for mechanical fasteners (such as nuts, cotter pins, rivets, etc.) and typically reduce the weight of an assembly. They usually offer a longer service life.

The three prongs of an E-ring make contact with the bottom of the groove, providing a shoulder for effective retention of assemblies. Unlike a snap ring, which must be slid along the axis of a shaft or rod for removal, an E-ring is easily removed from the side without any axis movement.

How to Remove E Clips?

To remove an E-clip, use either a remover tool, needle-nose pliers, or a small, flathead screwdriver. Grasp the E-clip with your tool and push it upwards using moderate pressure. You can easily remove E-clips with another household tool.

3 Ways to Remove E Clip:

1. Using an E-Clip Remover

  • Align your remover tool with the edge of the E-clip. Most E-clip removers have a smooth, curved edge. Line up the curved edge on your tool with the curve of the E-clip, and place your tool just below the E-clip. There are several different types of E-clip removers, and you can use them all in a similar way.
  • Push upwards and apply steady, moderate pressure. Once your tool is aligned with the E-clip, simply press up on the tool to remove it from its position. Be careful not to use too much pressure, or the E-clip may go flying!
  • Store your E-clip in a dry location until you use it next. Place your E-clip in a storage jar, bin, or container. You can easily use them again and again for other projects involving tools.

2. Removing an E-Clip with Pliers

  • Move the middle of the E-clip toward the side so you can grasp it. To easily remove the E-clip, you want the curved side of the E-clip facing you. If necessary, use your fingers or a pair of needle-nose pliers to twist it around. The E-clip should slide easily with moderate pressure.
  • Grab the center of the E-clip with needle-nose pliers. Pinch the middle of your E-clip with the tip of your needle-nose pliers. Hold the pliers securely so you can remove the clip. Needle-nose pliers work the best to easily remove the E-clips. However, you can use other types of pliers as well, like slip-joint pliers or locking pliers.
  • Pull the E-clip toward you with moderate pressure. While grasping the E-clip, pull back on your pliers to take the clip out of its position. If you are having trouble gripping the E-clip, adjust your pliers so the tip is closer to the middle.

3. Using a Flathead Screwdriver

  • Align the screwdriver with 1 of the small grooves in the middle. Place the tip of your screwdriver inside the groove on the clip. Each E-clip has 2 small grooves in the middle, 1 for the left side and 1 for the right side. You can use either groove to help remove the E-clip. For best results, use a screwdriver that is proportionate to the size of the E-clip.
  • Place your finger directly next to the E-clip to catch it when it moves. Hold your index finger of your non-dominant hand up to the E-clip along the top edge. This way, you can prevent the E-clip from flying far away when you remove it.
  • Push up on the screwdriver with moderate pressure. Hold your screwdriver with your dominant hand, and push the tool upwards consistently. The E-clip should easily come out. If it doesn’t, apply a bit more pressure.

Size of E clip

The typical size of an E-clip is the maximum diameter of grooves for which the clip is designed. Other important dimensions are the throat width and the free diameter. The throat width is the size of the opening and the free diameter is the outermost diameter. These are both measured accurately when the ring clip in a relaxed state.

Materials

E-clips are available in several different materials, including copper, stainless steel, carbon steel, and alloy steel, depending on the necessity of corrosion resistance for the application.

Uses

These components are widely used in machinery, from simple hand tools to complex aircraft. They’re also commonly used in transit and railway systems because they offer the advantage of easy installation and removal.

Pros and Cons

Other benefits of using an E-clip include the fact that it can be easily pressed into a machined groove without the use of a special tool though it can be pushed onto or off of a shaft with the support of basic pliers or a screwdriver.

It also does not require a circular shaft. Generally, these devices provide a function that’s superior compared to the other fasteners, eliminating the need for threading, tapping, or other machining operations.

Overall, there are a variety of E-clip sizes and types depending on the application. Correct sizing is important for circlips. The component should provide a tight fit to prevent loosening.

One potential disadvantage of E-clips is that it might have a limited capacity to hold a load, depending on the requirement. However, if too tight, it could also damage the shaft or affect the performance of the assembly.

FAQs.

What is an E Clip?

An E-clip, also known as a circlip or E-ring, is a type of retaining ring with open ends that snap into place. Circlips are fasteners that fit into the radial grooves of shafts and holes that are sprung to ensure they remain securely in place. Standard circlips are available in internal and external versions.

Eclips are a type of tool used for projects including car engines and locking mechanisms. They resemble an “E” shape, and they have 1 side with an opening. Eclips are large retaining rings, and retaining rings hold parts onto a shaft when installed into a groove.

How to determine e clip size?

Metric E Clips (D1500 / DIN6799) are always listed by the groove size they’re fitting in to on the shaft. For example if you have a 5mm groove on your shaft, you will need to order a 5mm E Clip, this should then fit a shaft size of between 6mm – 8mm.

How do you install E rings?

E rings are designed to ‘snap’ into a groove that’s been cut into a round shaft. Find the groove, place the two open ends of the E against it and shove. Using needle nose pliers, rather than your fingers, makes this much simpler. Enjoy your mowing!

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