bisco industries Blog

What is a Standoff?

Standoff Fastener Description

Standoffs are fasteners used to create space between printed circuit board (PCB) assemblies and are the standard fastener for mounting PCBs to prevent electrical shorts. Standoffs are similar to spacers but differ in that they are threaded.

Standoff Fastener Styles  

Standoffs may be cylindrical, square or hexagonal in shape and come in male, female, male-male, or male-female styles. Standoffs are fabricated from various materials such as aluminum, brass, stainless steel and nylon. In addition, standoffs are often plated to meet application specific requirements.

Standoff Fastener Application Example

One application example for standoffs is the fastening of a motherboard (PCB) to a metal enclosure. In a typical scenario, male-female standoffs are fastened into pre-drilled metal ringed screw holes in the motherboard while the opposite end of the standoff is fastened to the enclosure wall. Mounting the motherboard in this manner prevents it from short circuiting.

Standoff Fastener Manufacturers

  • Accurate Screw Machine (ASM)
  • Amatom
  • Bivar
  • Concord Electronics
  • ITW Fastex
  • Keystone Electronics
  • Lyn-Tron
  • RAF Electronic Hardware

Configuring Standoff Fasteners

Since standoffs come in so many styles, sizes, and materials configuring the correct standoff for your application can be challenging. To aid you in configuring standoffs and other electronic hardware bisco has recently updated it’s RAF product catalog. Users can now browse and filter standoffs by style, material, diameter, length, thread size, and finish. Visit bisco’s online RAF product selector to learn more.

What is a Thumb Screw?

Thumb Screw Description

Thumb screws are threaded fasteners with textured heads that allow them to be fastened and unfastened by hand. Thumb screws are typically used on low stress applications that require easy access. For example, thumb screws are often used to secure the side panel of desktop computer enclosures.  Thumb screws are manufactured in many different lengths, diameters, thread sizes, and materials. Thumb screw materials include aluminum, brass, nylon, steel, and stainless steel.

Leading Thumb Screw Manufacturers:

  • RAF Electronic Hardware
  • Accurate Screw Machine (ASM)
  • Essentra
  • Unicorp
  • Lyn-Tron
  • Keystone Electronics

Learn More About Thumb Screws

Helpful resources for configuring thumb screws include RAF’s thumb screw catalog and Lyn-Tron’s online thumb screw configurator.  For personal assistance finding thumb screws contact bisco industries’ product support team.

What is a Rivet?

Rivet Description

A rivet is an unthreaded fastener that uses expansion to clamp materials together and form a secure bond. Rivets consist of a head and a tail or shank. Rivets are fabricated from many different types of material but aluminum alloys tend to be the most popular particularly for aerospace applications.

Rivet Installation

During installation rivets are inserted into pre-drilled holes and the tail/shank is compressed, deforming it and creating what amounts to another head. The compression of the tail/shank also causes the rivet to expand in the hole thus helping to bind the materials together. Blind rivets, often called pop rivets, use a mandrill (a long shaft that protrudes from the head) to compress the tail/shank. The mandrill is pulled out through the head to compresses the tail/shank and is then snapped off. Blind rivets allow installation without requiring access to the rivet tail. Depending on the style of rivet, installation is accomplished using a hammer or a rivet gun.

Rivet Uses

Although in existence for centuries, rivets gained popularity among manufacturers during World War II. Today rivets are used to in all kinds of applications including buildings, bridges, aircraft, vehicles, medical equipment, robotics, and industrial machinery.  Rivets are prized for their light weight, permanent installation, and high shear strength (support of loads perpendicular to the axis of the shaft).

Rivet Types

  • Solid Rivets
  • Semi-Tubular Rivets
  • Blind Rivets (Pop Rivets)
  • Oscar Rivets
  • Drive Rivets
  • Flush Rivets
  • Friction-Lock Rivets
  • Self-Pierce Rivets

Leading Rivet Manufacturers

Learn More About Rivets

Rivets come in many different styles, materials, and dimensions which can make selecting the right solution challenging. To learn more about how rivets work and to find the right rivet for your application click on the resources below. Want to review options with an expert? Contact bisco industries’ product support team.

Rivet Resources

Fuse Holders from Keystone Electronics

Keystone Electronics offers a complete line of fuse holders for cylindrical glass fuses as well as auto blade fuses. Keystone fuse holders are utilized on all types of applications including telecommunication, aerospace, automotive, and solar applications.

Fuse Protection for Solar Applications

Keystone’s latest line of fuse holders is specifically designed to protect fuses used on solar applications and photovoltaic systems. These 5AG SPF fuse holders feature both surface mount and thru-hole mount options and are rated for up to 30 Amps. The 5AG Midget SPF fuse holders utilize tin plated brass springs and a UL rated nylon bases to protect fuses from damage. To find detailed specification info view the Keystone solar protection fuse (SPF) holder catalog page.

bisco industries is proud to be an authorized Keystone distributor and offers extensive inventory on Keystone products. Visit for pricing on 5AG SPF fuse holders and covers 3574, 3576, and 3576C.

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