Our advanced selection of sheet metal and panel fasteners includes many types of nuts, bushes, mandrels, stand-offs and studs, as well as multi-piece insert kits and more.
These products are suitable for a broad range of metalworking, assembly and production tasks that involve thin sheet metal materials, such as general machinery building/assembly, tube bending, lathe work and mounting rails of equipment racks.
What are the key differences between panel fastener types?
Cage nuts are typically used for mounting front panels to slide systems and instrument housings. A steel nut is held captive in a spring-steel cage for added grip/durability, and ideally used with a range of front panel screws.
Captive nuts work similarly to cage nuts; when compressed during insertion they secure, lock and hold the nut in the desired position.
Clinch nuts are most often used as permanent installations on thin sheet materials like aluminium. Once inserted into a properly sized hole, a parallel squeezing force is applied to the head of the self-clinching nut, causing a flow of material into specially designed grooves under the head for a load-bearing, torque-resistant joint. Along with self-clinching captive studs, they're often found as fasteners in white goods and various electrical assemblies and enclosures.
Self-clinching standoffs work similarly to rivet bushes, in that they're designed to allow greater loads to be affixed to relatively thin or weak materials. They're used to insert a load-bearing thread into a sheet of material, often in order to raise it above another piece (e.g. lifting a PCB away from a metal case to prevent shorting.
Through-threaded standoffs are fully drilled out, while the hole in a blind-threaded standoff is only cut to a partial depth for retaining smooth, closed outer panels when inserted flush with a surface.
Mandrels are a special type of shaft or bar fastener, designed to be inserted into holes in sheet metals in order to hold them securely in place during machining. They're sold in plain tempered steel varieties, as well as expanding versions (slightly tapered with an expandable wedge for holding your work), or straight threaded nut mandrels.