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What are Shaft Collars, Their Different Types and How Each Collar Works?

You will find a shaft collar being used in many different power transmission applications. It is a machine component that detects, spaces, and secures components on a shaft in an axial position. They are made of metal or plastic in a ring shape containing a collar or multiple screws. When you tighten the screws you can adjust the grip of the ring around the shaft. When you tighten them securely, collar clamps can become mechanical end points that hold the components still along a rod. Collar clamps are easy to install because of their simple design. 

Regardless of the simplicity of design, shaft collars are used for a wide variety of applications in many industries. Therefore, it is important to know about the uses and performance characteristics of different shaft collars before using one for a particular job. 

Types of Shaft Collars

The materials from which shaft collars are made include steel, stainless steel, aluminum, alloyed steel coated with zinc, chromium, and black oxide. Shafts can also be manufactured from non-metal materials.

Set-Screw Shaft Collars

The first type of shaft collars that were produced in large amounts were set-screw shaft collars. In early days of manufacturing mills these were the primary tools used for line shafting. Nowadays, these shafts can only be used for simple shaft positioning jobs and not for any heavy-load applications that may involve repositioning. Unfortunately, these shafts have a major drawback which is that they can damage the shaft with their collars. In order to prevent this situation you can add small flats onto the shaft where the set-screw is located.

Clamping Style Shaft Collars

Collar clamps were created as a solution for the problems regarding set-screw shaft collars. Clamp-style collars come in two types: one-piece shaft collar and two-piece shaft collar. Instead of extending out from the shaft, the collar is locked into place when the screw compresses. The bondage between the shaft and collar is created by friction. This type of shaft collar is easy to use and install with no potential damages to the shaft. One-piece shaft collars use a single screw allowing no disassembly. A two-piece shaft collar can be disassembled and used in situations where the end of the shaft cannot be easily accessed. Two-piece shaft collars comparatively have higher load resistance than one-piece collars.

Axial Shaft Collars

In an axial shaft collar only one nut and bolt is surrounded by the shaft. The bolt is used as an exterior thread that has kerf cuts and can be compressed onto the shaft after the nut is tightened. You can use axial shaft collars on camera tripod legs.

Threaded Shaft Collars

Threaded shaft collars are specifically designed to be used for threaded shafts. For applications that require a high axial holding power threaded shaft collars are a good choice. Because of the threaded form they can bear heavy loads. They also provide precise positioning and easy adjustment.


We have mentioned the different types of shaft collars and how each one works. From their working mechanism you can determine which one would be the best for which specific job. Collar clamps may vary in applications depending upon the industry so it is important to first understand their performance characteristics and understand the different types.

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