Exploring Retaining Ring Styles: A Concise Guide

Retaining rings, unassuming but critical components in the world of engineering and mechanics, come in various forms, each with its unique characteristics and advantages. Whether internal or external, spiral or tapered, choosing the right style and assembly method is essential. This concise guide illuminates their key features and benefits.

Circlips (Axial Retaining Rings)

Circlips, also known as tapered section rings, taper from gap to lugs, providing radial flexibility to grip grooves tightly. They handle substantial thrust loads, offering a lightweight alternative to traditional fasteners. Variations like bowed and beveled rings absorb tolerances and endplay.

Their lugs and lug holes simplify installation and removal, reducing labor costs. Versatile for internal and external uses, they meet safety and reliability standards across industries.

E-rings, C-rings & Poodle Rings (Radial Retaining Rings)

Radial rings, for low thrust loads and radial installation needs, are available in a range of configurations, including e-rings, c-rings, poodle rings and more. They're cost-effective and ensure more contact with retained parts in compact assemblies.

Installation is simple as radial retaining rings can be conveniently snapped into place using specialized applicators which can be mated in automated installation lines.

Snap Rings/Constant Section Rings

Snap rings, also known as constant section rings, maintain consistent width along their circumference with no lugs and anchor assemblies in tight spaces. Their robust cross-section withstands impact loads making them a preferred choice where strength and durability is paramount.

Self-Locking/Push-On Rings

Self-locking/push-on rings offer small size, ease of installation, and security with notched designs. They work without grooves, simplifying designs for applications with low thrust loads. Available in several configurations, they are an adaptable and versatile option.

Spiral Rings

Spiral rings ensure precision and stability in an assembly with their coiled structure, allowing flexibility in sizing and material. They provide 360° contact without lugs and require no special tools for installation or removal. Efficient and eco-friendly, they minimize waste.


As you embark on selecting a retaining ring, keep in mind that the choice of ring style can significantly influence the outcome of your project. Rotor Clip offers in-house engineering, ready to assist, ensuring that your needs are met whilst retaining your bottom line. Your retaining ring choice is more than just a component – it's a critical step towards optimal engineering performance.

For assistance in selecting the right ring for your application, contact us at www.rotorclip.com/request-consultation/