Different Types of Cotter Pins and Their Uses

Cotter pins are a fairly common form of hardware fastener, generally being a shaped piece of metal that can be inserted into a pre-formed hole for the means of securing a component. This is often done by inserting the cotter pin into a fastener that is holding an assembly together, preventing the fastener from being removed until the cotter pin itself is removed. There are various types of cotter pins that one may use, and while each features a different design, they all still perform the same basic task of acting as a fastener. In this blog, we will provide a brief overview of the most common options, ensuring that you have an easier time narrowing down the right choice for your needs.

Extended Prong Clips

The extended prong cotter pin is one of the most prevalent types across industries, and they are shaped in a way that allows two long and narrow prongs to extend parallel to one another with the bend being situated on one end. One of the prongs will be longer than the other, and they are to be inserted into a hole before having the ends bent to secure the component better.


R-clips are similar to extended prong clips, though rather than having a U-shape bend on one end, their shape more closely resembles an R. With an R-clip, cylindrical parts like tooling balls can be secured with ease. R-clips also feature the standard two prongs, though one prong is straight while the other is curved. For their installation, the straight prong is inserted into a component’s hole while the curved prong is wrapped around it.

Hammer Lock Clips

Hammer lock pins are the final major category of cotter pins, and they are a locking fastener that is more complex in its installation than other options. While nothing too major when compared to other fasteners, hammer lock clips cannot be inserted by hand, instead requiring the use of a hammer for installation. Furthermore, hammer lock pins are discernible by their curved ends where the end of the long prong is curved inward toward the shorter prong. As stated before, the installation of hammer lock clips requires the use of a hammer to strike the fastener into a hole, and this causes the ends of each prong to begin closing together. This will keep the assembly very secure, ensuring that it cannot be removed accidentally without manual removal with a tool.

Which is Best for You?

With this basic overview, it is easy to understand that each option is simply a single piece of bent metal with two prongs, yet their small differences are very important when it comes to choosing which is best for your needs. For example, extended prong cotter pins are fairly simplistic and easy to install, yet they will not be as effective for securing circular objects when compared to what R-clips offer. Furthermore, hammer lock cotter pins are arguably the most secure of the three as their ends are bent in place with the strikes of a hammer. Once you determine which is best for your particular needs, look no further than ASAP Aerospace Hub as your sourcing solution.


Owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we present customers access to over 2 billion new, used, and obsolete items that are readily available for purchase at any time. For your ease of procurement, we have efficiently organized our offerings into various catalogs, and you can also use our included search engine and filters too quickly and easily narrow down results as required. With our online RFQ service, requesting quotes has never been easier as we ensure rapid responses within 15 minutes of reviewing your form while still ensuring that your quote caters to your various needs and constraints. Give us a call or email today and learn more about how we can utilize our services to act as your strategic sourcing partner!


December 15, 2022

Recent Twitter Posts

Why Choose Us?

Low Price Warrantied inventory at competitive prices

Find it fast Search the world's largest inventory of electronic components by manufacturer, category or part number

Quality guaranteed We sell only warrantied and traceable parts

Get it fast All inventory ready to ship from our sellers

Semiconductor's Certifications and Memberships

Thank You for Visiting Us today.

Remember Us When You’re Looking for Competitively Priced, High-Quality Aviation Parts.

Request for Quote

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it.