What Is E-clip?- Uses, And How to Remove it?

What is an E-Clip?

An E-clip, also known as a circlip or E-ring, is a type of retaining ring with open ends that snap into place. Circlips are fasteners that fit into the radial grooves of shafts and holes and are spring-loaded to ensure that they stay securely in place. Standard retaining rings such as the snap ring are usually removed with specially designed circlip or C-clip pliers.

E-clips are a type of tool used for projects such as car engines and locking mechanisms. They resemble an “E” shape and have one side with an opening. E-clips are large retaining rings, and retaining rings hold parts on a shaft when installed in a groove.

All retaining rings are designed to resemble a “C” shape, which allows them to expand when fitted around a shaft or compress when fitted into a hole. The ring clip, also known as the E-ring or E-clip, is more similar to the letter “E”. It is one of the most common types of external locking rings.

An E-ring or ring clip is a type of circlip that's pushed on or off a grooved shaft without the need for a special tool. All circlips are similar to a “C”
An E-clips or ring clip is a type of circlip that’s pushed on or off a grooved shaft without the need for a special tool.

Standard retaining rings are available in internal and external designs. Internal retaining rings fit into the groove of a hole, while external retaining rings ensure a tight fit in a groove around the outside of a shaft or rod.

They are used to replace the need for mechanical fasteners (such as nuts, split pins, rivets, etc.) and typically reduce the weight of an assembly. They usually offer a longer lifespan.

The three prongs of an E-ring touch the bottom of the groove and form a shoulder to hold the assemblies effectively. In contrast to a snap ring, which has to be moved along the axis of a shaft or rod for removal, an E-ring can simply be removed from the side without moving the axis.

How to Remove E Clips?

To remove an e-clip, use either a removal tool, needle-nose pliers, or a small flat-bladed screwdriver. Grab the E-clip with your tool and push it up with moderate pressure. E-clips can be easily removed with another household tool.

3 Ways to Remove E Clip:

1. Using an E-Clip Remover

  • Align your removal tool with the edge of the E-clip. Most e-clip removers have a smooth, curved edge. Align the curved edge of your tool with the curve of the E-clip and place your tool directly under the E-clip. There are several types of e-clip removers and you can all use them in a similar manner.
  • Push up and apply steady, moderate pressure. Once your tool is aligned with the E-clip, simply push the tool to remove it from its position. Be careful not to apply too much pressure or the E-Clip may fly!
  • Keep your E-clip in a dry place until the next time you use it. Place your E-clip in a storage jar, container, or container. You can easily use them over and over again for other projects with tools.

2. Removing an E-Clip with Pliers

  • Move the center of the E-clip aside so you can grab it. For easy removal of the E-Clip, the curved side of the E-Clip should be facing you. Use your fingers or needle-nose pliers to twist it if necessary. The E-clip should slide easily with moderate pressure.
  • Grasp the center of the E-clip with needle-nose pliers. Squeeze the center of your E-clip together with the tip of your needle-nose pliers. Hold the pliers firmly so you can remove the clip. Needle-nose pliers are best for removing the E-clips easily. However, you can use other types of pliers, such as slip joint pliers or locking pliers.
  • Pull the E-clip toward you using moderate pressure. While gripping the E-clip, pull your pliers back to release the clip from its position. If you have difficulty gripping the E-clip, adjust your pliers so that the tip is closer to the center.

3. Using a Flathead Screwdriver

  • Align the screwdriver with one of the small grooves in the middle. Insert the tip of your screwdriver into the groove on the clip. Each E-clip has 2 small grooves in the middle, 1 for the left side and 1 for the right side. You can use either of the two grooves to remove the E-clip. For best results, use a screwdriver that is the size of the E-clip.
  • Place your finger right next to the E-clip to catch it when you move. Hold your index finger of your non-dominant hand up to the e-clip at the top. This can help prevent the E-clip from flying far away when it is removed.
  • Push the screwdriver up with moderate pressure. Hold your screwdriver with your dominant hand and consistently push the tool upwards. The E-clip should come out easily. If it doesn’t, apply a little more pressure.

Size of E clip

The typical size of an E-clip is the maximum groove diameter for which the clip is designed. Other important dimensions are the neck width and the free diameter. The neck width is the size of the opening and the free diameter is the outermost diameter. These are both measured accurately when the ring clip is in a relaxed state.


E-clips are available in several different materials, including copper, stainless steel, carbon steel, and alloy steel, depending on the necessity of corrosion resistance for the application.


These components are widely used in machinery, from simple hand tools to complex aircraft. They are also widely used in transportation and railroad systems because of the advantages of easy installation and removal.

Pros and Cons

Other advantages of using an E-Clip include that it can be easily pushed into a machined groove without special tools, but it can be pushed onto or off a shaft with the help of simple pliers or a screwdriver.

It also doesn’t require a circular shaft. In general, these devices provide a feature that is superior to other fasteners, eliminating the need for tapping, tapping, or other machining operations.

Overall, there are a variety of E-Clip sizes and types, depending on the application. Correct dimensioning is important for retaining rings. The component should provide a tight fit to prevent loosening.

A potential disadvantage of e-clips is that they can have limited load-bearing capacity depending on the requirement. However, if it is overtightened, it can also damage the shaft or affect the performance of the assembly.