Male-Female Standoffs

Lyn-Tron's Comprehensive Buyer's Guide to All Things Male-Female Standoffs

Standoffs are used to separate, position or connect components in an assembly. Originally designed for spacing and stacking circuit boards, standoffs are now available in a wide variety of materials, platings, threads, and length combinations for different applications. Threads are compatible with other standard, Off-the-Shelf hardware, with custom threads available upon request. Common customization options include unique threads, custom lengths, and non-standard thread depths. Other changes are often easily incorporated into production.


Standard Male-Female Metric Standoff

Male-Female Standoffs were originally designed to fill a need around electronic device assembly, both during production and in-field repair. While spacers worked great to add support when stacking circuit boards, they had to be installed with a screw and nut. As multiple circuit boards were stacked, it would become difficult to get multiple spacers lined up for the screw to pass through all of them. In-the-Field repairs would often result in lost nuts and short circuits. Standoffs improved upon this as the screw was threaded directly into the standoff, but stacking could still be difficult. The Male-Female Standoff solved both problems as 1 part can work as a screw, spacer and nut. Damage from lost parts is greatly reduced. Circuit boards can also be easily stacked as each Male-Female Standoff is threaded into the next. With 1 fastener taking the place of the screw, nut, and spacer, many other industries began implementing this hardware into their products. These parts are now found in electronics, aerospace, medical devices, consumer goods and industrial designs.

Selection Guide

When designing a Male-Female Standoff into your next product, it is easiest to think of the standoff as 3 separate sections; the 2 threaded ends and the main body.  The below guide will help you think through those 3 sections and provide the common information needed to select the right part.

  • Step 1 - Male Thread
    • Male threads are commonly available in both Inch and Metric Thread Sizes. Standard male thread lengths work for most applications, but modified lengths can be manufactured upon request.

  • Step 2 - Female Thread
    • Female Threads also come in both Inch and Metric Thread Sizes. Unless limited by the body length, Female Threads are tapped to a minimum thread depth to allow for proper installation. Shorter bodies will be threaded as deep as possible while maintaining adequate wall strength and torque values.

  • Step 3 - Body Length
    • The third part of the standoff once the thread sizes have been determined is the body. When used to separate 2 components, the body of the standoff is what provides that separation. As each application will require a unique body length, all standoffs come in a wide range of length options. Parts are machined to a tight tolerance of +/-0.005” (+/-0.13mm) for a secure and consistent fit. Custom lengths and tolerances are available upon request.

  • Step 4 - Outer Diameter (OD)
    • All thread combinations have multiple, standard outside diameters to choose from to help get the exact form, fit and function you are looking for.   

      • - A Larger OD creates a thicker standoff and is an easy way to add strength. The added wall thickness will resist bending or warping during installation, but also adds additional bearing surface on the face of the part. The added bearing surface will reduce or eliminate damage on soft and delicate materials.

      • - Smaller OD’s result in a thin standoff and are perfect when space and weight are the primary concern. Choosing a smaller OD will decrease the footprint of the standoff and allow added room for other components, while reducing the overall weight of the part. 

Outside Diameter Tolerance Body Length
Inch 1/8" (0.125") - 1/2" (0.500") ±.005 3/16" (0.187") - 6" (6.000") or more
Metric 4.5mm - 13.0mm ±.13 5mm - 51mm or more
  • Step 5 - Profile
    • Hex Standoffs are often selected when installing with wrench or pliers as the “Hex Flats” provide a surface to grip onto during installation. Round and even Square profiles can also be used and provide a clean, distinctive appearance. When using multiple standoffs in the same assembly, some manufacturers will select different profiles on similar parts to provide a visual difference on the assembly line.

  • Step 6 - Material & Plating Options
    • When deciding on a material and plating/finish, there are many properties that can be considered. The most common ones include Corrosion and Rust Resistance, Magnetism, Electrical Conductivity, Strength to Weight Properties, Color, and Cost. Review the chart below to see which standard material has the right properties for your application’s environment.  For an explanation of RoHS, Conflict Minerals, WEEE and REACH visit our Technical section.
Materials Corrosion Resistance Magnetic Electrical Conductor Strength to Weight Color Plates
Stainless Steel High Slightly Yes - Poor Above Average Grey Available
Steel Low Strongly Yes - Poor Average Grey Available
Aluminum Average No Yes - Average Very Above Average Grey Available
Brass High No Yes - Below Average Average Yellow Available
Nylon High No No Average White and can be dyed to other colors No
  • More Questions?
    • Lyn-Tron has been the leading manufacturer of Electronic Hardware for over 50 years! We offer a full line of standard Electronic Hardware, but will manufacture custom sizes and OEM designed hardware to your print. Contact us today with any requests for Electronic Hardware or custom parts manufacturing.

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