What is a Clevis Pin?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 29 December 2019
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Clevis pins are a form of fastener used in a variety of different applications. The configuration of the clevis pin makes it possible to turn or rotate the different components, making it relatively easy to position the pin and secure it with the use of different types of pins and shackles. Pins of this type are used in a number of different applications, including various types of textile machinery, construction work, ship building, and land and air transportation vehicles.

The basic clevis pin is composed of a shank, a head, and a hole. In usage, the shank is passed through the hole, resulting in the positioning of the shank at the end opposite the head. The pin can be inserted into position, then secured with some other type of device, effectively creating a connection between two objects while still allowing a reasonable range of movement. This feature makes the pin a superior choice to using other types of devices to create the connection, such as a set screw.


There are a number of different applications for the clevis pin, especially in the use of rigging. One has to do with the rigging on a sailboat. When paired with a twist shackle, the clevis pin creates an easy way to hold components of the rigging together, while still allowing for a range of movement from right to left. Pins of this type are also useful when assembling the rigging for a team of horses or as a means of preparing a team of mules for plowing a garden area.

A clevis pin is also used in the design of different moving vehicles, including cars and trucks. Since the pins provide a means of creating a secure connection between components while still allowing for a small range of movement, they are much less likely to be affected by any types of vibrations from the engine or while on the road. The same general application can be used in various types of aircraft, including passenger planes.

The clevis pin is considered to be a better option that other securing devices, such as the set screw or a bolt. Neither of these solutions allow for the absorption of lateral stress that can be achieved using the pin, which in turn can help minimize the potential for wear and tear on the components connected with the use of the device. While this factor is appealing in some projects, there are other circumstances where stress of this type is minimal, and a bolt or set screw may be a better option.

Because the clevis pin can be used as a securing device in so many different applications, the pin comes in a variety of sizes. Larger versions are employed in construction settings, as well as when used for rigging on a sailboat, or the rigging on a team of farm animals. Smaller pins are more commonly employed with engines for automobiles. Pins of varying sizes can be purchased at local hardware stores, as well as at many building supply outlets.


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