A Simple Guide to Dowel Pin Types & Materials

Today, dowel pins are most often used to either join different machine components together or to retain alignment. If you’re in the process of selecting the right dowel pin for your application, then it’s helpful to know the different types of pins and their “fits.” 

Common Types of Dowel Pins


dowel pins


If you’ve done dowel pin research, you may have heard terms like standard fit, slip fit, friction fit, press fit, interference fit, and shrink fit; the question is, what does it all mean? While there may be a few different names for the types of fit, the two most popular types of dowel pins are standard and oversized.


Also referred to as slip fit, standard dowel pins fit smoothly into the mating part with little to no friction. 


Also called a press, friction, interference, or intolerance fit, oversized dowel pins are slightly larger than the hole. Their purpose is to forcibly open holes wider, which is particularly useful when the hole is damaged. Unlike their standard counterparts, heat and/or high force is required to (dis)assemble them.

Common Materials

Stainless Steel as its name implies, it is the gold standard material-of-choice when dealing with corrosive environments.  But it’s often the ideal selection, as well, for applications requiring low maintenance, strength, and toughness.

Alloy Steel – the proper balance of alloy and carbon content should be tailored to your particular application.  Generally, increased carbon content will result, post heat-treatment, in greater strength and wear resistance, but at the expense of ductility and toughness.   

Nylon – parts fabricated from nylon not only enjoy the benefits of being lightweight, but also have good chemical resistance, electrical insulating properties, load-bearing capabilities, and the ability to function without the need for lubrication. 

In Need Of Standard or Oversized Dowel Pins?

Horberg Industries Can Help!

We have been manufacturing standard, custom, and oversized dowel pins for decades. If you’re looking for a reliable dowel pin solution for your application, give us a call: we’ll ensure that your dowel pins are crafted to your exact specifications.

Horberg Industries…Dowel Pins Made Right!