How to Use Lock Washers | 3 Updated Methods Discussed

In conventional fasteners, lock washers are designed to be attached to a specific torque level. The tension of the spring prevents the pin from vibrating loose. Commonly, they fit together to the nut side of the fastener.

Lock washers are hardened metals such as stainless steel, zinc-plated steel, galvanized steel, and silicon bronze.

You can find lock washers in vehicles that experience high levels of vibration, such as automobiles, airplanes, and ships.

There are numerous types of washers available to meet various requirements. Their design goal is to prevent nuts and bolts from coming loose. Lock washers are available in multiple sizes and thicknesses. Many individuals do not understand lock washers or how to use them. You can use lock washers for various purposes. So, let’s find out how you can use lock washers.

How to Use Lock Washers?

Insert the lock washer below the screw’s threads. 

The proper use of a lock washer prevents the nut or other threaded fastener from becoming dislodged. 

How to Use Lock Washers
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Place the lock washer below the fastener to assist with this. You should install lock washers before other washers and hardware components to maintain their position.

Washers must fit tightly against both the fastener and the surface. 

For the lock washer to function correctly, you must press it against the threaded fastener and the adjacent surface. If the connection is not secure, you should tighten the fastener.

Washers must fit tightly against both the fastener and the surface. 
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This is essential for locking nuts, as the grooves of a toothed washer must lock into the nut’s grooves.

The fastener should be threaded until it is snug. 

Turning a wrench or ratchet clockwise tightens nuts and threaded fasteners for small, general-purpose tasks. Following this procedure, the fastener should be secure but still loosen able if necessary. 

The fastener should be threaded until it is snug. 
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However, consult your project manual or the nut head markings on your fastener for a specific torque value. Then, tighten your fastener to the specified amount using a torque wrench.

Examine your washing machine to ensure proper operation. 

Verify that none of the Washer’s teeth have coverage by the nut or bolt head. A slightly misaligned split washer indicates that the tension of the Washer is pulling the threaded fastener. 

Examine your washing machine to ensure proper operation. 
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See if removing the nut or threaded fastener resolves the problem. On the other hand, a few other methods can help you achieve this.

Other Methods to Use a Lock Washer

Method 1 of 3: Assembling

Insert it below the screw’s threads. When utilized properly, a washer secures a nut. It also secures another threaded fastener. Place it into the fastener (below) to assist with this. 

If you need it, you should install other washers and hardware. So, they can be in place.

Please verify that the Washer and fastener have a proper adjustment and any other surfaces it contacts. For the lock washer to function correctly, it must form a secure connection with the threaded fastener and the adjacent surface. 

Fully depress the fastener until the connection is secure. The toothed Washer’s teeth must interlock with the teeth of a lock nut, especially when working with lock nuts.

Your threaded fastener requires tightening. Turn clockwise the wrench or ratchet to tighten nuts and threaded fasteners for small, general-purpose tasks. Following this procedure, the fastener should be secure but easy to lose if necessary. 

Please verify that your Washer is in good working order by inspecting it. Verify that the nut or head of the fastener completely covers any washer teeth. A slightly misaligned split washer indicates that the Washer’s tension pulls the fastener. If the Washer is not functioning well, proceed to loosen the screw and the nut.

Method 2 of 3: Taking off the lock washers

Taking off the threaded fastener is removing the Washer. You can turn most threaded fasteners and bolts anti-clockwise with a vise-grip (even a wrench). To remove them, you may require a more potent instrument. 

You can use a pipe wrench. You can grip pipe wrenches around the fastener and turn them similarly to standard wrenches.

Taking off the lock washers
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Using a screwdriver, remove the lock washer and dispose of it properly. Place the screwdriver’s head beneath or within the split of the Washer. 

With the head of the screwdriver, push up. Repeat as necessary for the remaining teeth. By placing the head of your screwdriver beneath the Washer, you can use it to lift other washers.

Due to the Washer’s pressure, you must take care to prevent its destruction when removing it.

If you cannot remove the Washer, you may need to apply lubricant. Use a powerful lubricant such as WD-40. Also, you can use a Penetrating Catalyst if the lock washer will not budge. 

How to Use Lock Washers
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This will make removing your Washer easier because it will loosen. Ensure that you repeat the procedure after applying.

Replace the old washers with new ones. Adequately maintained washers, such as split locks, can last for years. 

Avoid reusing split or otherwise compromised lock washers. It would help if you never used old washers and joints.

Method 3 of 3: Choosing a new Lock Washer

A split (for lock washers) is adequate for smaller tasks. The most frequent type of lock washer is this one. You can also know it as a spring washer. 

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As an adjustment method, you can use a threaded fastener with a spring mechanism to replace the slots. If you use the Washer for anything than other low-intensity tasks with a split lock, it will become unusable and flatten.

Choosing a new Lock Washer
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Use for increased durability a tooth lock

As a result of their sharp edges, the tooth lock washer’s jagged edges secure the nut with considerable force. Available are both internal and external teeth. These are optimal for small or electrical grounding screws, whereas external ones are optimal for larger screws. Aluminum or plastics are excellent candidates for toothed lock washers.

Use for increased durability a tooth lock. 
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Laundry machines with serrated Belleville drums are ideally suited for washing heavy loads. Belleville washers with serrations are conical hardware pieces with surface grooves. Even though they lack the locking force of other lock washers, you can get help with them in situations where the load is hefty and tight.

Select a stub washer capable of withstanding the harsh conditions. Use this one if your threaded fastener must withstand extreme conditions. When bent against the nut or fastener head, these fasteners are held in place by one or more tabs.

When should you use lock washers?

This question asks if your application poses a threat of fastener loosening. Fasteners are susceptible to vibrational loosening in these applications. So, you can use them in the transportation industry. The idea is to secure the components of automobiles, aircraft, and ships. 

Also present in washing machines and other domestic appliances. They are helpful when a bolt or nut requires additional security. It also works to prevent regular use from causing it to loosen.

Expert Opinion in Few Words

When using a lock washer, it is preferable to position it beneath the threaded fastener head, such as the head of a screw or bolt, instead of over it. The Washer is positioned between the nut and bolt head in assemblies. They contain both a nut and a bolt. Then, tighten the threaded fastener usually. Ensure that the lock washer is firmly attached to both surfaces.  

Bottom line

Metal washers are not always fabricated from a single piece. These teeth may be inward- or outward-facing, depending on how they were sliced or split open. Lock washers are washers with a distinctive shape. Lock washers prevent the loosening of bolts. In aerospace applications, bolts are subjected to vibrations frequently.

Even when using lock washers, it is possible to feel vibrations. Despite this, they are capable of preventing vibration-induced bolt loosening.

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