AFI Specialty Products: Spacers and Standoffs

Keeping Life Moving

When people think “fastener,” they tend to think big — heavy duty rivets and bolts, the type used in construction jobs, are often the first things that come to mind. These large scale fasteners, holding together the infrastructure that moves our modern life, are certainly part of our offerings at AFI.

But they’re not all.

We also offer fasteners for the other modern life must-have, technology.

Standoffs and Spacers

AFI offers two types of technology-minded fasteners: standoffs and spacers. Though very different in form, they both perform similar functions, namely spacing and separation. Both standoffs and spacers are most commonly used in or in relation to circuit boards.


Standoffs are threaded separators, designed to keep one component elevated or otherwise separated from one or more other components while also fastening it. Though used in many applications, one of their most common uses is with circuit boards — standoffs are ideal fasteners to keep printed circuit boards both stationary and elevated away from surfaces, such as the inside of a computer chassis.

A standoff’s exterior can be smooth and rounded or, more commonly, hex. Like a standard nut or bolt head, the hex exterior allows for easier tightening by wrench or hand. Both round and hex standoffs are available with knurled exteriors, which enhances grip during hand tightening and adds a unique aesthetic touch for visible applications.

Standoffs are available in one of two configurations: female-male and female-female. Female-female standoffs are available in standard and also swaged configurations. Swaged standoffs feature one swaged end so that they resemble the male end of a female-male standoff; in this case, the difference being the swaged female-female standoff still has internal threads, as opposed to the external threads of a male standoff.


Though they share some similarities, spacers are quite different from standoffs in terms of both function and design. The interiors of spacers can be either threaded or smooth and, like standoffs, their exteriors can be round, hex, smooth, or knurled.

Unlike standoffs, spacers are designed to maintain the spacing only — a bolt running through the center of the spacer is required to fasten. Also meant for use in spacing applications in electronics, spacers are fully hollow. They are generally made from metal tube, as opposed to the metal rods that comprise many standoffs. Many people use spaces for an unintended, but effective, secondary application — bundling small wires together.

Standoffs and Spacers at AFI

A fully ISO 9001:2008 certified and registered company, AFI has been providing companies from all industries, from heavy construction to delicate electronics manufacturing, with high quality fasteners and fastening solutions for more than 30 years. This includes traditional fasteners and other more specialized products, like standoffs and spacers — AFI holds your world together, with exactly the right amount of space in between. To learn more about the high quality spacers and standoffs AFI stocks, contact us today.