A Guide to Retaining Rings/Circlips

June 24, 2024 – by Eastern Seals

Retaining rings, also known as circlips, are essential components in various mechanical assemblies, providing a secure and efficient method for positioning and retaining parts on shafts or in bores. Their simplicity, combined with their effectiveness, makes them a preferred choice in numerous industries, from automotive to aerospace. This guide will delve into the basics of retaining rings, their types and applications for these critical components.

Understanding Retaining Rings/Circlips

Retaining rings are circular, C-shaped fasteners that fit into a groove on a shaft or inside a bore. They are designed to prevent lateral movement of components, such as bearings, gears, and pulleys. The primary advantage of retaining rings is their ability to offer high retention force with minimal material use, contributing to more lightweight and compact designs.

Types of Retaining Rings

  1. Internal Circlips: These fit into grooves inside a bore. They are typically used to retain parts within a housing or a bore.
  2. External Circlips: These fit into grooves on the exterior of a shaft. They are used to retain components on a shaft.
  3. E-clips: These are E-shaped retaining rings that slide radially onto a shaft, often used in applications where axial assembly is not possible.
  4. Snap Rings: These are versatile retaining rings that can be either internal or external, used for securing assemblies in axial directions.

Applications of Retaining Rings

Retaining rings are ubiquitous in mechanical applications. In automotive systems, they secure bearings and gears, ensuring proper alignment and function. In industrial machinery, they are used to hold components in place under high stress and vibration conditions. Aerospace applications rely on the lightweight and robust nature of retaining rings to maintain structural integrity without adding unnecessary weight.

Choosing Quality with Eastern Seals

Eastern Seals stands out as a premier supplier of retaining rings and other sealing solutions. With an extensive inventory and a commitment to quality, Eastern Seals ensures that our products meet stringent industry standards. Our retaining rings are manufactured from high-grade materials, ensuring durability and reliability in even the most demanding applications.

The company’s expertise extends beyond just supplying components. Eastern Seals offers technical support and guidance, helping clients choose the right retaining rings for their specific needs. Our comprehensive range of products includes both standard and custom sizes, catering to diverse application requirements.


Retaining rings are indispensable components in many mechanical systems, providing a simple yet effective means of securing parts. Understanding their types and applications can help in selecting the right ring for a given task. Suppliers like Eastern Seals play a crucial role by providing high-quality products and expert support, ensuring that the retaining rings perform reliably in their intended applications. For any industry looking to optimize their mechanical assemblies, partnering with a trusted supplier like Eastern Seals is a key step towards achieving excellence.

Online store

We are one of the largest suppliers of British Standard, Metric series O-rings and sealing solutions.

Visit Store Now

Eastern Seals (UK) Ltd
Unit 3 Sovereign Business Park
Jubilee Industrial Estate
Ashington | Northumberland
NE63 8UG

+44 (0) 1670 840529
Contact us


If you have any queries, or would like any more information,
don’t hesitate to get in touch


Generic filters
Exact matches only
Filter by Custom Post Type