What is the Difference Between a Keensert and a Helical Insert?

What is a Helical Inset?

A Helical wire insert is a spring-like precision form wire coil that provides a permanent thread that’s stronger than the parent material. They are also often called a screw thread insert or a Helical insert, but the popular brand name is Heli-Coil, a registered trademark of Emhart Teknologies.

What is a KeyLocking Insert?

A key-locking insert is a solid bushing style insert that is threaded on the inside and the outside with keys on the top. It’s commonly called a Keensert or Keysert, and these are the registered trademark names of Huck Patents and Alcoa Fastening Systems.

Why Would I Use a Helical Insert vs. a Keensert, and Vice Versa?

  • Strength: A key-locking insert is much stronger than a helical insert, particularly in high temperature and high torque environments.
  • Ease of Install: A key-locking insert is easier to install than a helical wire insert.
  • Price: A wire insert is much less expensive than a key-locking insert.

When Would I Use a Keensert?

In a heavy-ware, high vibration, high heat situation when you don’t need to save space and the whole depth is not a key consideration. The key-locking insert is the way to go.

When Would I Use a Helical Insert?

If you need to reduce costs, you’re minimizing space. The Helical wire insert is the way to go. They’re very useful for creating a permanent, strong thread and softer material like aluminum or titanium. And they’re best suited to the lower heat environments.

Learn more about the difference between key-locking inserts and helical wire inserts here!

Learn More About Keenserts vs. Helical Inserts

If you are interested in learning more about our Keensert and Helical Insert product offerings, contact us today! If you’re ready to place your order, check out our products here!


Installing Key Locking Inserts with Pneumatic Power Tools

In last week’s blog, we discussed when and how to install key locking inserts manually. If you have a few hundred inserts to install, the manual process is fine. However, if you are installing these Keenserts by the thousands, then you will want to use a pneumatic power tool to speed up the processes.

How to Install Keenserts with a Pneumatic Tool

  • The beginning of the installation process is the same as a manual installation.
  • Drill and Countersink the Material
  • Tap the Material
  • Manually Insert the Key Locking Insert
  • The next step is to use the power tool to simply screw the key into place.

You can see how this process can save you so much valuable time if you are installing the key locking inserts by the thousands!

Keensert Installation Tool Kit

We offer the pneumatic power tool you need to quickly assemble your key locking inserts! Check them out here.

Learn More About MF Supply

MF Supply is your go-to for all of your hardware and safety needs! Continue to browse our website and contact us today if you would like to learn more!


How to Manually Install Key Locking Inserts

What is a Keensert?

A Keensert or key locking insert is a solid bushing style insert that is threaded on both the inside and the outside and has wedges or “keys” attached at the top. These inserts are used to distribute loads and repair or strengthen threads against failures due to stripping, seizing or corrosion. They are commonly used in precision manufacturing and aerospace applications.

Check out our Buyer’s Guide to Keenserts!

What is the Best Way to Install Keenserts?

There are a few methods used to install key locking inserts. Manual installation is best for assemblies that are in the hundreds, but if you are installing a lot of Keenserts, pneumatic installation is the way to go.

Keensert Manual Installation

  1. Drill and Countersink the Material
  2. Tap the Material
  3. Manually Insert the Key Locking Insert
  4. Use the Installation Tool to Drive the Keensert

Here is the full installation clip from the video.

Stay Tuned and Learn More

If you are interested in learning more about our hardware, check out our other blogs and browse our products online. If you would like to learn how to install Keenserts with pneumatic tools, stay tuned for next week’s blog!