Common Types of Washers

Washers are typically used to help distribute the shock load of threaded fasteners. This prevents them from becoming damaged or unscrewed during normal operations. Washers are thin, usually disk-shaped plates with holes in the middle for workers to install fasteners through. They’re generally made of metal or plastic materials. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at three of the most common types of washers and some examples of each.

Plain Washers

Plain washers are the most common, used to spread loads, prevent surface damage, as well as provide insulation against electric currents. In general, they’re used in applications where the hole is larger than the nut. There are many different subcategories of plain washers, two of which you can see below.

Examples of Plain Washers:


Fender washers: round washers that provide a greater load-bearing surface under the fastener that prevents pullthrough.

Fender type of washer

Flat washers: round, thin plates with center holes used to distribute the loads of threaded fasteners.

Flat type of washer

Spring Washers

Spring washers are axially flexible and prevent loosening of product components when they vibrate. Vibrating motors use spring washers to mitigate wear and tear. Spring washers are also used on aircraft carriers, where they’re commonly found in actuators for flight controls and landing gear.

Examples of Spring Washers:


Finger Spring Washers: Used to counteract noise, excess wear and tear, vibrations. They’re also used to reduce   kidding wear on rotating elements.

Finger spring type of washer

Wave Washers: Provide greater load-bearing capability due to their three-point contact and sharper curves. Typically used in thrust-loading applications for small deflections.

Wave type of washer

Locking Washers

Locking washers are a subtype of spring washers. They prevent nuts, bolts, screws and other fasteners from unscrewing during machine operation. While there are many different variations of locking washers, they all have the same basic function: holding the nut and bolt in place.

Examples of Locking Washers:


External Tooth Lock Washers: Prevents a nut or bolt head from loosening with its teeth strut action. This fastener is preferred when the greatest loosening resistance is required.

External tooth lock type of washer

Helical Washers: Acts like a spring under compression to provide additional holding force. Helical washers also decrease frictional resistance during the assembly process.

Helical type of washer

What We Have To Offer You

If you’re looking for high quality washers, look no further, because Global Certified Fasteners only carries the best. If you’d like any assistance in finding what you need, don’t hesitate to contact us. You can get in touch by calling 708-450-9301 or emailing us at