Does anyone know a trick to replace an e-clip while waiting for the shipment of a replacement?

An e-clip is a kind of circlip

An E-Clip is a kind of shaft mounted retaining ring, which provides a larger than average retaining surface. It looks like this:


(A snap ring looks like this:)

Snap ring

  • 1
    What it is to be used for?
    – Lawrence
    Jul 25, 2020 at 8:29
  • @Lawrence it's a general question : how to retain a shaft with a groove? (The hack could fix a motor or the drive train of a bicycle)
    – JinSnow
    Jul 25, 2020 at 8:41
  • 1
    The same hack might not fix all situations. For something simple with little stress/speed, a length of wire twisted around the shaft, in the groove, might do it. The question (with comment) is almost "why do we need e-clips?" Jul 25, 2020 at 17:21
  • @WeatherVane You are right, I tried it. But in the specific case, I'm dealing with right now (the drive train of a bicycle): the groove is quite thin, so I need to use a thin wire, which isn't large enough to block the piece in a robust manner (it works, but it doesn't look really solid).
    – JinSnow
    Jul 26, 2020 at 12:34
  • EDIT: the thin wire technic still works after 2 years
    – JinSnow
    Jun 15, 2022 at 9:37

3 Answers 3


It depends on the application but I've done this before using mild steel; I cut a U shaped notch into a plate, the internal diameter of the U being a tight fit for the groove in the shaft, then bent one of the fingers of the plate so as to retain it on the shaft. It's not a high stress application; it retains the wheel on a lawn tractor

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I've achieved similar results before using some steel wire wrapped around the shaft and twist locked, and in some cases I've drilled through the shaft and used a washer and split pin arrangement instead of an e clip


I just lost a very small circlip putting a turntable back together. It shot across the room into a pile that will never give it up. I took a piece of copper wire that was the same diameter as the slot in the post, wrapped it around the post and twisted the ends.....Done! I am still buying a box of 300 circlips to do it right. 300 circlips for $6! How can you go wrong?

  • Actually, I did the same 2 years ago (with a basic single-strand wire twisted with a plier). The circlips arrived a few weeks later, but since the wire was happily doing its job, I did not remove it. So, the circlip wasn't needed. The wire trick has been working for 2 years with frequent use of the bicycle.
    – JinSnow
    Mar 24, 2022 at 7:31

In some situations, you could simply use tin solder (which can easily be removed when needed): enter image description here

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