I've never had the fortune--there was a closeout of a local discount
store here a number of years ago that had a decent hardware section as
well as the general no-use stuff. I tried to buy the whole set of
specialty fasteners, etc., and the bolt bins but they refused to sell
them as a group...turned out that they had already cut a deal w/ some
outfit for all that was left after the individual sales and they
included the bins and stuff specifically in their bid... :(
re: What you call the other kind?
You mean the 20 or so "other kinds" shown here?
I guess I could honestly say that I've never actually *bought* tooth
washers. The few that I have came with something else and got stuck in
the little parts bin.
BTW Didja know that split washers can be custom fitted by collapsing
or expanding the split?
Ahh, the joys of loosening one of those on some ancient, oily bit of kit
then undoing it by hand, only to find that a nice little sliver of
metal's gone deep into your fingertip...
There are lots, as someone mentioned. I don't mind the ones we always
called 'star washers', like those on that site, but split-ring ones are
I don't mind good ol' nyloks, either.
Like others have said, it depends. But, I would opt for the nylocks
first. If for some reason they would work loose, they don't fall off
after they loosen. Whereas, split ring or star washers may lose its
nut and the part it si holding after loosening.
I used to use split ring lock washers but after switching to lock
nuts, either nylocks (?) or deformed threaded thread style I stopped
using lock washers and gave them all away.
Lock washers often damage the item that they bear against & aren;t all
that effective against vibration caused loosening.
Lotite has a great range of excellent products. Loctite 242 (blue)
can be defeated with wrench force, Loctite 271 needs to be heated
~300F+ to remove.
I've never had a properly prepared & Loctited assembly come loose.
Thanks for the reply. 3 people recommemded nylock, plus you recommend
Loctite. I'll have to make more use of them. (Up to this point, I
had never bought a nylok and only used Loctite on an engine or
something with a lot of vibration.)
But still, let me ask you all.
I have loads of lock washers I've removed from things I disassembled,
and if it's a choice between split ring and toothed lock washers, do
you have a preference then?
Usually I put a flat washer, then a lock washer, and then the nut.
I Like Nylocks and a flat washer on things that will need to
be disassembled on occasion for servicing. I often use a split
ring and SAE washer with a drop of wicking Loctite for good
measure which will keep corrosion out of the threads in case
the item needs disassembly. Loctite not only will hold a nut
or screw in place but will prevent rust from destroying the
threads on the fastener. One thing about a split washer is that
it is a good indicator of when a nut or bolt is tight enough.
Sometimes a grade 5 bolt can be easy to break by a gorilla like
Why do you have them left over when you reassembled the item--or you
You've still never given even a hint of what you're talking about using
them on. W/O context there's no specific answer imo.
In general, internal toothed washers are used where there's reason for
the cosmetic "neater" appearance or the materials are such they work
better. I think one can get them up to inch or larger but most
generally one sees them on #10 or smaller machine screws, etc.
Nylok works of course, but is a pita since have to work to unthread the
entire distance whereas a washer releases in a much shorter distance.
All in all, my preference is as stated before, highly dependent upon the
application. Being farmer and therefore dealing mostly w/ large and
heavy-use stuff, the split is essentially universal and I've no issues
Hahaha. I've only had about 20 parts left over during reaassemly. I
think that is total for the last 45 years, but I only do this stuff in
my spare time. These washers, screws, nuts, jacks, etc. are from
things I'm throwing away.
I have no particular project in mind. It comes up whenever I need a
lockwash. Yesterday I did have a project, but I've already been
through my 8 oz Parkay margerine container of lock washers and picked
one out, and no one is going to say one kind is so horrible it won't
work for this simple and rather temporary use. But that's what
brought the question to mind again.
The fact that you usually use two washers together (one of them not
being a lock washer) could negate the locking ability of the lock
washer. The assembly could loosen between the component being
assembled and the flat washer.
Also if you are working with electrical connections you should use a
non-intuitive assembly order. The first component should be the lock
washer (preferably an internal tooth or an external tooth -- not a
split ring) followed by the electrical terminal then a flat washer and
finally the nut.
Most people would place the electrical terminal on the component
first. Then they would assemble the lock washer and finally the nut.
If assembled in that order the electrical terminal (because it is
locked to the nut) could, if force is applied to it, act as a wrench
to loosen the nut. Not a good situation.
There are a zillion applications of that and it doesn't seem to be a
problem. Virtually every connection on farm equipment is that way and
it surely gets hard use/vibration/etc., ...
The flat washer in many of those instances serves to provide the bearing
surface on oblong holes for adjustment.
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