Types of washers and their uses - a handy guide

Types of washers and their uses - a handy guide

Generally speaking, a washer is a thin metal or plastic plate which sits between a fixing such as a nut or bolt and the surface it is being fixed to, distributing the load across the surface. Alternatively, washers can be used as spacers, locking devices or to reduce vibration and subsequent loosening of the fixings.

Another benefit of using a washer with fixings is that it helps prevent damage to surfaces from the rotation of the fixings, whether through normal use or when tightening or loosening the screws or nuts. 

Here at Essex Home we stock three main types of washer:

Flat washers

The most basic type of washer, these are widely used as a simple solution for spreading the load of the fastening. They also come in useful when the hole being used for the fixing is significantly larger than the fixing nut, providing a handy DIY hack.

Mudguard washers

Mudguard washers are a type of flat washer identifiable by their large external diameter in proportion to the central hole. The reason for this is to allow the pressure exerted from the fixings onto the surface to be distributed evenly across a much larger surface area than would be possible with a standard washer.

These washers are particularly useful when fixing softer or thinner materials, as there is much less risk of damage to the surface. Common applications of these washers include in the motor, electrical and plumbing trades. 

Spring washers

Spring washers consist of a ring shape which is split apart at one point and is bent into a helical shape. This shape lends itself to a particularly strong fix, as the uneven surface of the washer will dig into the surface being fastened.

Spring washers can only be used with certain types of fixings, and should be approached with caution as the action of the fixing mechanism could cause damage to the surface being fixed. The superiority of the hold however, in the right application, makes for an extremely strong fastening.

Looking for washers for your project? Take a look at our range of washers today!

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