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The Different Types of Clevis Pins | Reid Supply

Clevis pin is a type of fastener of cylindrical shape, with a formed head on one end and one or more cross-holes running through the shank diameter. They’re usually used as parts of clevis fasteners, either threaded or unthreaded, but they’re also usable as standalone pieces.

Clevis pins are perfect for an application that requires a flexible connection between two linked parts. However, when used as standalone fasteners, due to their shape and functions, unthreaded clevis pins are mostly used in conjunction with cotter pins, such as split pins, hitch pins, or hairpins.

As such, they’re especially useful in applications where the shank must rotate; however, when threaded, they can be paired with a u-shaped shackle fastener system for lifting and pulling applications. This makes them incredibly versatile and suitable for various applications across several industrial branches.

While a large bolt can serve as a standard clevis pin, it is not designed to withstand the lateral stress and shearing forces that, let’s say, a stainless-steel clevis pin with threading requires. As a result, it’s important to know which type of pin is applicable in which situation, since not all pins are made equal.

SEA Clevis Pin (Society of Automotive Engineers)

The Society of Automotive Engineers set dimensional criteria for manufacturing SAE clevis pins (SAE). Like other clevis pins, SAE-rated types have a cross-hole towards the end opposite the flanged head and are similar to bolts in appearance but without threading. A cotter pin can be inserted into this hole to secure the clevis pin once it has been installed.

Standard Clevis Pin

Standard clevis pins are parts of a three-piece clevis fastener system and are meant to replace bolts and rivets in applications requiring quick fastening and unfastening components. In many regards, standard clevis pins function similarly to bolts and rivets, but they’re more cleverly designed to connect two parts quickly, securely, and cost-effectively.

Headless Clevis Pin

Headless pins resemble a typical clevis pin but don’t have a formed head. Instead, these pins have chamfered ends that are either drilled, grooved, or both and are secured by wire rings, retaining rings, and e-clips, which are used to hold pins in place.

Common applications for the adaptable headless design include blind holes and yokes and are great for applications that require significant lateral force. In addition, headless clevis pins can be solid, grooved for use with retaining rings, or drilled for use with cotter pins.

Grooved Clevis Pin

Grooved pins are nearly identical to both standard, and headless clevis pins, depending on the number of grooves. In most cases, the annular groove sits at the opposite end of the flanged head, and when installed, they’re secured with a retaining ring. However, there are headless clevis pins that have a second groove on the end opposite of the first one.

Bent Clevis Pin

Bent pins or bent hitch pins are metal pins with one straight end, and an arm bent at a 15° to 25° angle. This inexpensive pin is used to temporarily join together frequently detached and rejoined pieces of equipment.


Clevis pins are some of the most versatile fasteners, with a broad number of applications across various industrial branches. If you’re interested in learning more, you can view clevis pins here on our website or read one of our numerous guides on different types of pins and their applications.