Buyer’s Guide to Self-Clinching Fasteners 2019


MF Supply continues to expand our offering of products available for purchase online. We are thrilled to offer Self-clinching fasteners available from stock that can be purchased on our website or by email, phone or fax. We are an authorized distributor for Captive Fasteners, a US based manufacturer since 1974, with a factory right here in our NJ backyard!

What are Self-clinching fasteners?

Self-clinching fasteners are generally classified as part of the electronic hardware or precision engineered fastener family and are not governed by IFI, ANSI or ASME standards. A self-clinching fastener, also known as press-fit or clinch style captive fastener, is a part that when pressed into a drilled, punched or machined hole, provides an economical method of joining sheet metal panel applications and is well-suited for use in printed circuit boards.

Self-clinching fasteners are used in many industries; both commercial and aerospace.

Self-clinching Fasteners available at MF Supply

MF Supply offers the full catalog of Captive branded fasteners & PEM® equivalents in inch & metric sizes. We have the following parts available for purchase online, in stock and ready to ship from our national distribution centers:

Additional Series available include, but are not limited to, floating, self-locking, blind-hole, flush, and broaching fasteners.


How do they work? 

Self-clinching fasteners work by displacing the host material around the mounting hole, causing it to cold flow into a specially designed annular recess. Knurls, serrated rings or ribs on the fastener hold them firmly in place. Self-clinching fasteners become an integral permanent part of the panel or frame and eliminate problems associated with loose hardware. Installation requires access to both sides of the panel and self-clinching fasteners may be installed using any parallel acting squeezing force.

What are the advantages of Self-Clinching fasteners?

Self-clinching fasteners provide strong thread in very thin material & offer high push out and torque out resistance. They take less space and require fewer assembly operations than caged or anchor nuts. They can be installed during fabrication or during final assembly and work well in applications when loose hardware wouldn’t be accessible.

Some of the key advantages include:

  • No special hole preparation, such as chamfering and deburring is required.
  • Low installed costs, fewer parts to handle, fewer assembly steps and less assembly time.
  • No retapping necessary after application.

Reverse side of metal sheet remains flush – no swaged rim protrusion.

What are the differences between branded fasteners like PEM & Captive and generic Self-clinching fasteners?

SelfClinchStudSelf-clinching hardware is frequently referred to by the OEM brand name PEM®. Captive Fastener is a USA based manufacturer and offers functional equivalents to PEM® branded self-clinching fasteners.  In addition to PEM® & Captive, there are a variety of manufacturers of self-clinching fasteners available in the marketplace including the major national catalog brands. Functional alternatives will be equivalent in form fit and function and offer similar performance.

To see if using alternative brands or functional equivalents will work for your business, refer to our handy guide.

We have also included a cross reference lookup table for PEM® product types vs. Captive product series below.

What information for I need for ordering? 

The easiest way to order is by manufacturer part number. If you don’t have one, you’ll need to specify fastener type & style, thread diameter & pitch, fastener length, material and plating. For example: a 10-32 X 3/8 Flush Head Self-Clinching Stud Steel Zinc plated can also be ordered as a PEM® FH-032-6, (or a PEM® FH-032-6-ZI as sometimes PEM® calls out the plating) or a Captive CH1032-6.  This part is also offered by a national catalog brand under part number 93580A166.

Additional Series available include, but are not limited to, floating, self-locking, blind-hole, flush, and broaching fasteners.

We Invite You To Request a Quote, Download a Guide or a Line Card Today!

  1. Full ecommerce enabled website with technical manual available 24/7
  2. Same day drop ship from factory for thousands of items.
  3. Functional Equivalents to expensive brand name fasteners save money and reduce long lead times.
  4. Creatively solve problems including hard to find parts and long lead times
  5. WBE/WOSB Woman Owned Certified Small Business.

One Comment on “Buyer’s Guide to Self-Clinching Fasteners 2019”

  1. It was interesting when you explained how self-clinching fasteners don’t have problems with loose hardware. I just learned that my neighbor is interested in starting a small construction business this summer. I’ll share this info to help him choose the right type of fasteners for his projects.

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