What Are Lock Nuts, Jam Nuts, and Bearing Lock Nuts?

Fasteners are one of the most useful components for any assembly, often being used to secure two or more parts together in a temporary or permanent fashion. The nut is a subtype of fastener, that of which pairs with a correlating screw or bolt to compress items together with ease. Nuts come in many variations depending on the task at hand, ranging from simple, hand-tightened hardware pieces to large and complex components that necessitate special tools for installation. When an assembly is faced with stressors such as vibration, there may be a concern for loosening fasteners. In such instances, special types of nuts should be used, those of which include lock nuts, jam nuts, and bearing lock nuts.

Lock nuts are a type of threaded fastener that often feature nylon inserts, and they are designed to resist loosening with their deforming elastic material that holds against torque and shock. During installation, the nylon insert produces tension between the nut and the threads of the correlating component until the nut is engaged. This ensures ample resistance that will prevent any unintentional loosening of the fastener. Due to the method of securing components, lock nuts lose their efficacy after continued use and should be replaced as needed. For their applications, nylon insert lock nuts can serve a diverse set of needs, though they should not be placed in any environment where temperatures exceed 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

Jam nuts, also known as half-nuts, are types that feature a profile that is half the height of a typical hexagonal nut. Like most other locking options, jam nuts are intended to be used alongside a bolt for the means of preventing fastener loosening as a result of vibration. Jam nuts are one of the original solutions for such needs, devoid of any “self-locking” capabilities that others tout. Instead, they create a secure lock by having two jam nuts tightened against one another to create opposing friction on a threaded shaft or rod. While jam nuts are fairly simple to install, one may face difficulty when it comes down to implementing proper torque for applications where a tension load is present.

The final type of locking nut that we will be discussing is the bearing lock nut, that of which may also be called a shaft locknut or bearing retaining nut. The bearing lock nut is most often used when a bearing needs to be secured onto a shaft while preventing any loosening caused by rotation and vibration. Bearing lock nuts have the most unique appearance of the three, featuring a rounded exterior with keyed slots that allow for installation and removal with a tool known as a spanner wrench. In general, bearing lock nuts mate with bearing lock washers to create a positive locking action through the mating of the washer on the grooves of the nut. For their use, bearing lock nuts are most commonly found within automotive and agricultural applications and assemblies.

When you have an application where the possibility of components becoming loose is a concern, then lock nuts, jam nuts, or bearing lock nuts may be the solution for you. At ASAP Fulfillment, we can help you secure all the various fasteners you require for your operations. We are very dedicated to the quality of our offerings, presenting customers with new, used, obsolete, and hard-to-find items that have been sourced from leading manufacturers that we trust. As a part of our NO CHINA SOURCING pledge, every purchase ships out alongside its qualifying certifications and manufacturing trace documentation, as applicable. Give us a call or email today and see how we can serve as your strategic sourcing partners!


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