Circlips are a type of fastening that consist of a semi-flexible, open-ended metal ring. To fasten them, the ends of the ring are snapped into place on a machined groove, to allow mechanisms to rotate or pivot, while preventing lateral movement. Circlip kits consist of a range of differently sized circlips that cater for different needs.
The semi-flexibility of circlips means they are generally used to keep components fitted on housings or shafts where some movement is required. Circlips are stamped out of sheet metal, meaning that they have one rough and one smooth side. They should be secured with the smooth side facing inward, so that the outward-facing rough side can prevent damage. They can be removed, but only with the use of specialised pliers. Kits contain a range of circlips, allowing you to select the right size and type for your purpose.
There are broadly two types of circlips available in circlip kits: