Stainless Steel Circlips - There are three types of Circlips, Internal Circlips (J Type), External (A Type) and E Type. Their dimensions can be found here.
The Circlip is a simple clip that is made from spring tensioned 304 grade stainless steel. It is used both internally and externally to retain an item on a shaft, or in a hole, from moving laterally along its length. Both the internal and external Circlips have lugs on the ends which have small holes for the special pliers to fit into.
The Circlip works by being opened up with the special pair of external or internal Circlip pliers, so that it may pass freely over or through/into a hole, and fitted into a pre machined groove. When the tension is let off the Circlip it springs back against the boundaries of the groove thereby creating a lip to retain and prevent lateral movement.
External Circlips are for fitting onto shafts, Internal Circlips are for fitting into holes and EÂ type Circlips are made to fit onto shafts that are not precision manufactured or the customer requires a less expensive type of retainer. The E type Circlip does not require a special pair of pliers to fit it. Used mainly for locating or retaining components from sideways movement.