There are three types of Circlips available in stainless steel, Internal Circlips also known as a J Type Clips, External Circlips also known as an A Type Clips and E Type Circlips and their dimensions are all listed here.
The Circlip is a simple clip that is made from spring tensioned 304 grade stainless steel. It is used both internally and externally to retain an item on a shaft, or in a hole, from moving laterally along its length. Both the internal and external Circlips have lugs on the ends which have small holes for the special pliers to fit into, to fit the Circlip. The Circlip works by being opened up with the special
pair of external or internal Circlip pliers, so that it may pass freely over or through/into a hole, and fitted into a pre machined groove. When the tension is let off the Circlip it springs back against the boundaries of the groove thereby creating a lip to retain and prevent lateral movement.
The Circlip is identified by the shaft size for external Circlips and by the bore size for internal Circlips. The lugs with plier holes in them are fitted on the inside of the internal Circlips and on the outside of the external Circlips, and these can be used as an easy form of identification – internal or external Circlip. Both the external and internal ranges are available in sizes from 10mm shaft/hole diameter through to 200mm shaft/hole diameter.
External Circlips are for fitting onto shafts, Internal Circlips are for fitting into holes and “E” type Circlips that are made to fit onto shafts that are not precision manufactured, or the customer requires a less expensive type of retainer. The “E” type Circlip does not require a special pair of pliers to fit it. Used mainly for locating or retaining components from sideways movement and all 3 clips are only available in 304 grade stainless.
For Australian customers see also - Stainless Steel Circlips Australia