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Get the Job Done With Standoffs and Spacers

If you're into electronics or home maintenance, then a steady supply of standoffs and spacers is essential. Look on eBay for these handy pieces of equipment, which are an important part of any toolbox. Make sure you're never stuck without one when you need it.

What's the difference between a standoff and a spacer?

Not sure if you're looking at a spacer or standoff? Read up first. While they are quite similar, there are some key differences between the two pieces, which means that they can't be used interchangeably.

  • Both standoffs and spacers can be hex-shaped, square-shaped, or circular. It's what's on the inside that sets them apart.
  • Spacers are unthreaded, and have an inside clearance hole, making them essentially like washers.
  • Standoffs, on the other hand, are threaded at both ends, making them suitable for building electric connections.
  • Standoffs can have male or female ends. A male end features an externally threaded post, while a female one has an internally threaded opening.
Forms of standoff

There are three types of standoff. The female-female type features female threading at both ends, while male-male has male threading. Male-female has one end with male threading and the other with female. You can also find standoffs with different sizes of threading at each end, making it possible to connect components of varying sizes.

How do you measure standoffs and spacers?

There are three measurements which are key to know when you are buying standoffs or spacers. You will need to measure the length of the body, the outside diameter of the piece, and the thread size. The most commonly used diameter is 1/4 of an inch, so if you are just stocking up for emergencies, you should focus on that size. However, a wide variety of other sizes are available for specific uses.

Which materials should you choose for standoffs and spacers?

You will find a wide number of materials available, so if you are looking for something specific like stainless steel or chrome spacers, it will be easy. First, you should think about what you want to use the standoffs or spacers for, and particularly if you need conductivity or not. Aluminium is a good choice, as it is light and non-magnetic. It is also cheaper than brass, which is heavier and stronger. Brass has excellent conductive properties and resists corrosion. If you don't want to use metal, look for nylon spacers. This is a lightweight material that is very resistant to chemicals and solvents.