Albany County Fasteners - Nuts, Bolts, Screws, Washers, Rivets & Industrial Supply
  • Specializing In Stainless Steel
  • Over 20 Million Pieces in Stock
  • Free Shipping $99+*
  • Buy Piece, Pack or Bulk
  • Fast Fulfillment

Cotter Pins: What Are Cotter Pins?

How Do Cotter Pins Work?cotter pins

A cotter pin acts as a locking mechanism and can be used in many different situations. Cotter Pins are a simple to use fastener that require nothing more than a bolt with a hole in it (and a drill if the bolt does not have a hole), a pair of pliers and a castle nut.

How To Install A Cotter Pin

Installing a locking pin is a simple process:

  1. Attach the castle nut to the bolt and fasten it into place.
  2. Make a mark on the bolt or leave the castle pin installed.
  3. Using a drill and bit, drill a hole into the bolt at this point straight through the cross section of the bolt. You can make a starting point by using a metal punch.
  4. Remove any metal filings from the hole and insert the cotter pin.
  5. Using pliers, bend the ends of the cotter pin away from each other so the cotter pin cannot come out of the hole.

Pro Tip: When bending the cotter pin, try to round the points to look back in at the fastener. This will prevent them from catching on anything accidentally.

To Watch The Installation Of A Cotter Pin Check Out The Video Below:



Are Cotter Pins Necessary?

Cotter pins, while not considered necessary to every installation, may be necessary depending on the application. For example: A motorcycle front wheel is often held on by a castle nut and a cotter pin as it is subject to intense constant vibrations.

How Are Cotter Pins Measured?

Cotter pins have two measurements that matter for an installation. To choose the correct cotter pin you need to know the diameter and the length of the pin.

To determine the length of the cotter pin measure from the base of the rounded portion (“the eye”) to the end of the shorter side.

To determine the diameter of the cotter pin measure both pins together. The rounded portion is not supposed to fit through the hole so the hole should not be bigger than the eye.

cotter pin measurement diagram

Are Cotter Pins Reusable?

Cotter pins can be made from several different materials that are soft enough to bend. Typically, when deforming the pin once, the pins keep their strength and provide a strong locking mechanism that can be relied on.

As a general rule, cotter pins should not be reused as the extra bending weakens the pin. This can lead to the pin failing where a fresh pin would not resulting in a broken lock allowing the nut to spin loose.

How To Remove A Cotter Pin

Removing a cotter pin is an extremely simple task. Simply use pliers to bend the arms of the pin back straight enough to squeeze through the hole. If the pin is worn, these arms may simply snap off and then the rounded eye portion can simply be pulled out and replaced with a new one.

Why Should You Use A Cotter Pin

Cotter pins are used in many different installations. They can act as a quick locking mechanism that is easy to remove and replace but their main benefit is that they will prevent a nut from coming loose due to vibrations of any kind.

While many varieties of lock nut exist that are quick to install, they all come loose over some amount of time depending on how strong the vibrations are. A cotter pin completely removes the chance of a nut loosening unless the force acting on the nut is strong enough to shear through the pin.



Looking For More Blogs Like This One?

Sign up to get new blogs sent directly to your inbox!


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: RAW PRODUCTS CORP, 201 HARTLE STREET SUITE E, SAYREVILLE, NJ, 08872, https://www.albanycountyfasteners.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Fasteners In Salt Water Environments: What You Need To Know

Fasteners In Salt Water Environments

One of the biggest complaints we hear about are fasteners rusting prematurely. The first question we are likely to ask is “Are you within 20 miles of a salt water environment?”

Surprisingly, an overwhelming amount of customers say yes. It is commonly understood that metal rusts and that it rusts worse in corrosive environments. It is not commonly understood that those environments spread beyond what the eye can see, however, this should be one of the bigger factors taken into consideration when buying fasteners.

Stainless steel is a prime example of this. Almost anyone you talk to can tell you stainless steel is corrosion resistant, but did you know that grade 410 stainless steel is less corrosion resistant because it is heat-treated to be harder? or that grade 304 stainless is not suited for highly corrosive environments?

In fasteners, the material and sometimes even the grade matter when it comes to choosing the right fastener for your installations. There are several materials that do extremely well in salt-water environments, some that kind of work and some that are almost guaranteed to fail.

What You Should Use

fasteners for salt water: aluminum, silicon bronze, 316 stainless steel

There are generally a few materials that work extremely well in salt-water environments. Depending on your needs you should aim to choose from the following:

  • Grade 316 Stainless Steel
  • Aluminum
  • Silicon Bronze

These materials (or specific grades) are ideal for salt-water environments because they can resist the corrosive effects that salt-water very well.

Another option to try is HDG (Hot Dip Galvanized) fasteners. HDG is a form of zinc coating that will protect the fastener from harm and is usually a cheaper option but is not a perfect solution.

HDG fasteners can handle well in certain salt-water environments but results can vary depending on if they are submerged, water temperature and air temperature. Due to these factors, we do not recommend it as it will likely not perform as well as the materials listed above.



Pro Tip

Although 316 stainless steel and aluminum are both listed as good materials to use in corrosion resistant environments, you also do not want to mix the two. If you do, the process of galvanic corrosion is more than likely to occur, resulting in a significantly shortened lifespan for your fasteners.

To see the fasteners we carry in these selections check out our marine grade and aluminum fasteners pages.

Looking For More Blogs Like This One?

Sign up to get new blogs sent directly to your inbox!


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: RAW PRODUCTS CORP, 201 HARTLE STREET SUITE E, SAYREVILLE, NJ, 08872, https://www.albanycountyfasteners.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

How To Install Set Screws

How To Install Set Screwspre-installed set screw and allen key

Socket Set Screws are one of the more common screw varieties of fasteners that are commonly found in machinery. They are an excellent fastener choice for installations that have many moving parts due to their lack of a head. This means they can easily be installed and create a flush or countersunk finish. When space is critical and when parts need to slide near or against each other a set screw is the fastener of choice but they are a mystery to many people. So how do you install set screws?

Preparing The Hole

To begin, set screws are mostly installed into metal applications although they can be installed into anything as long as threading is present. To install a set screw from scratch, first a hole must be drilled into the material. We used a tap used to cut or restore threadingstainless steel block we had lying around for our example. We used a drill bit and some drill bit lubricant to ensure our bit did not overheat and dull while drilling.

After drilling the hole, we used a tap to create threading in the pre-drilled hole. Taps are used to cut or restore threading inside of a hole by using sharp cutting blades. While spinning the tap into the hole the flutes allow debris to fall and prevent the tap from overheating.



Installing The Socket Set Screw

Socket set screws come in many different materials and point styles that can change the installation slightly. Some of these point styles include the following:

  • Cup – Standard basically flat point with no real visual qualities.
  • Cone – The tip of a cone comes to a full point and will press against the bottom of the hole when installed.
  • Half Dog – This point has a smaller protruding un-threaded portion making it easier to sit the screw into the hole.
  • Knurled Cup – This point has a knurled flat tip which digs into the material to help prevent accidental loosening due to vibrations.

The first step when installing a socket set screw into a tapped hole is to start threading it. With bigger sizes this can simply be done with your hands. Take the set screw and begin spinning it into the hole until the threading grips and begins pulling the screw into the hole. Then take the appropriately sized Allen wrench and insert it into the drive recess. Now all that is left to do is screw in the set screw until the set screw becomes flush or goes below the installation surface.



Pro Tip

When drilling a hole for a set screw it is important not to over-drill the hole otherwise you may install the screw too far inside the installation material. Before you begin drilling the hole, measure the set screw against the tip of the drill bit and wrap blue tape around the drill where the screw ends.

This will prevent over-drilling and ensure you have the right depth for the hole. Also make sure to clear out and debris with compressed air prior to installing the set screw.

Looking For More Blogs Like This One?

Sign up to get new blogs sent directly to your inbox!


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: RAW PRODUCTS CORP, 201 HARTLE STREET SUITE E, SAYREVILLE, NJ, 08872, https://www.albanycountyfasteners.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

How To Strip Wires Fast And Easy

How To Strip Wires Fast And Easy

*Disclaimer: Before we begin discussing how to strip wire the fast and easy way, we should note that using fire is dangerous and many types of wire have multiple layers of insulation that may make this method ineffective. For example, coaxial cable (commonly used for T.V. signal) has several layers that will prevent this method from working. using a lighter to heat up the insulation around a copper wire

Stripping copper wire can be a pain sometimes with standard wire stripping tools. A wire stripper is a tool with different gauges and blades designed to remove the insulation from wire. These tools are great for electricians and hobbyists alike but sometimes they can be problematic or forgotten.

Wire Strippers

Wire strippers are a great tool for electricians that use these tools every day but they have a couple caveats that can make them less than desirable. First is actually needing them. Many DIYers will go out and buy tools to complete tasks but then never need the tool again. A wire stripper is one of those tools where you may use it and then put it away for months at a time or worse they might lose it when they need it again and have to go buy a new one.

Wire strippers also tend to cut too far into the insulation and create a very small nick in the wire. If the copper portion of the wire is nicked and compromised it is likely it will simply break off and you will have to start over.



An Easier Solution: Use A Lighter

A much easier solution to strip wire quickly and easily is to use a lighter. To use a lighter to strip copper wire simple hold the wire a couple of inches back from the end, run the flame along the wire for a couple of seconds and then, before it has time to cool down, pinch the insulation and pull. The insulation around the wire will stretch and break resulting in a cleanly stripped copper wire ready for use. Make sure you pull and release the insulation quickly or wear gloves when doing this as the wire heats up very quickly and may burn the tips of your finger during the pinch and removal process.

Looking For More Blogs Like This One?

Sign up to get new blogs sent directly to your inbox!


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: RAW PRODUCTS CORP, 201 HARTLE STREET SUITE E, SAYREVILLE, NJ, 08872, https://www.albanycountyfasteners.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Can You Install A Lag Screw Into Concrete?

Can You Install A Lag Screw Into Concrete?

The short answer is Yes! You can install a Lag Screw into concrete. Installing a lag screw into concrete is not a difficult process but it does require an anchor to install properly.

Lag Screw and Lag Shield

Lag shields are concrete anchors that expand near the bottom to hold the shield inside of a drilled hole. They are made specifically for the installation of lag screws into masonry materials.

To install a lag shield into concrete first drill a hole that is the same diameter as the outside diameter of the lag shield. Before drilling you will also want to measure the length of the lag shield and drill down the length plus a little extra space .

Next take a hammer and tap the lag shield down into the hole you’ve drilled until its flush with the surface. Since the hole is the same size as the outer diameter, this should create a snug fit for the anchor.

Installing A Lag Screw Into Wood

Next make sure you have a lag screw long enough for the installation. For example, if you wanted to install a 2 x 4 to the lag shield, you would need to make sure the lag screw had 1-1/2″ of clearance and then about another 1″ to 1-1/2″ to install into the shield. This means you would need roughly a 3″ lag screw to complete this installation.

Once you have the proper lag screw, begin fastening the lag screw into the installed shield. This will push the lag shield apart in the hole creating a strong hold to keep your installation in place.



Looking For More Blogs Like This One?

Sign up to get new blogs sent directly to your inbox!


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: RAW PRODUCTS CORP, 201 HARTLE STREET SUITE E, SAYREVILLE, NJ, 08872, https://www.albanycountyfasteners.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Visa, Discover, MasterCard, & PayPal

Questions?
🔩 Email us

Please enter your question or issue in the text box below.

Enter your name, email address and the item or page you are viewing so we can reply to your question or concern, or give us a call toll free at 866-573-0445 during our normal business hours. Thank you for your interest!