Rivets vs Clevis Pins: What’s the Difference?

Clevis pin by Monroe

When shopping for fasteners, you may come across rivets and clevis pins. They are commonly used in the aerospace industry. Many aerospace manufacturing companies use rivets and clevis pins to secure parts together. What are rivets and clevis pins exactly, and how do they differ?

What Are Rivets?

Rivets are permanent fasteners that are designed to support a tension load. Most of them feature a cylindrical body and a head. You can place a rivet into a predrilled or punched hole. Once bucked via a special tool, the rivet will remain in place — all while holding the respective parts together.

Some of the most common types of rivets include the following:

  • Blind rivets
  • Solid rivets
  • Tubular rivets
  • Truss rivets
  • Flat rivets
  • Countersunk rivets
  • Self-piercing rivets

What Are Clevis Pins?

Clevis pins are temporary fasteners that are used in conjunction with a pin and clevis to hold multiple parts together. As shown in the photo above, a typical clevis pin features a smooth and cylindrical shaft with a head affixed to the top. At the bottom of the shaft is a hole.

To use a clevis pin, you’ll need to insert it through a U-shaped hook known as a clevis. You can then place a split pin or cotter pin through the hole at the base of the clevis pin. Split pins and cotter pins are designed to hold clevis pins in place. The clevis pin will remain connected to the U-shaped clevis. You can then use the clevis as an anchor point.

Differences Between Rivets and Clevis Pins

Rivets are permanent fasteners, whereas clevis pins are temporary fasteners. Once you install a rivet, you won’t be able to easily remove it. As permanent fasteners, they are designed to remain in place.

Clevis pins are temporary fasteners. To remove a clevis pin, you just need to take out the cotter pin or split pin. You can then pull the clevis pin out of the U-shaped clevis.

You’ll need a special tool to install rivets. Clevis pins, on the other hand, don’t require a special tool to install. As long as you have a cotter pin or split pin and clevis, you can install a clevis pin. In comparison, most rivets require a special tool to install.

Rivets and clevis pins are also used for different purposes. Rivets are used to hold multiple parts together by going through those parts. Clevis pins are used to create an anchor point.

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