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Hog [Friction] Ring Vs Pin Detent Pros And Cons: Which Is Best For You?

There are different tools you can use for various home projects. If you use an impact wrench, you need to decide whether to use a hog ring or pin detent. If you are new to DIY projects, these two might confuse you. This post will help you decide what to use for your projects.

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A hog [friction] ring is a small metal ring that keeps the anvil of an impact wrench in place. Meanwhile, the pin detent is a pin that holds a tool or object to keep the socket of the impact wrench from falling off. 

From their descriptions, you can use the tools alternatively. When choosing the right tool for your project, you should consider the advantages and disadvantages. Read further to know which is best for you.

cordless screwdriver with different bits on brown wooden background. - Hog [Friction] Ring Vs Pin Detent Pros And Cons Which Is Best For You

Pros And Cons Of Hog [Friction] Ring And Pin Detent

There are two types of anvils you attach to an impact wrench. These are the hog [friction] ring and pin detent. Both are similar in appearance and purpose. Yet, there are differences you need to learn. 

When you are choosing between the two, it will help to compare their pros and cons

Men Hand Drilling Wooden Board With Battery Driller / Impact Wrench For Residential Construction Work Close Up.

Hog [Friction] Ring

A hog or friction ring is a c- or cone-shaped ring. You will see a lock ring at the end of the wrench's collet. The ring keeps the anvil of the impact wrench in place, preventing it from falling off when in use. In effect, it improves the grip of the user. 

The hog ring is common for automotive applications, but you can also use this for home projects. It is common for quick changing and mounting of sockets. You can hold bolts and nuts in place with a hog ring attached to the impact wrench.

Metal, such as stainless steel or aluminum, is typical for hog rings. There are also various ring sizes for different types of wrenches. The ring's shapes can be round, oval, or flat.

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  • Best for tightening bolts and nuts
  • Easier to insert in the impact wrench collet
  • Handles higher torque
  • Ideal for quick-changing projects
  • Compatible to use with more tools
  • Prevents the movement of the anvil


  • Less safety 
  • More expensive
  • Cause damage to the tool if the installation is improper

If you use the impact wrench to frequently change sockets and other similar objects, use a hog or friction ring. Just ensure that the installation of the ring is tight and correct to avoid damage.

In addition, hog rings are more durable and can work with more heavy-duty projects. 

Pin Detent

A pin detent secures metal objects in place when cutting, grinding, or welding. On the impact wrench, it has a pin detent if the end of the socket has a ball bearing. The bearing has small holes in which you insert the pins. When inserted, you hold the object steady while working.

The pin fits in the socket perfectly and is safe for the user. It secures the socket when you are using the impact wrench. However, it takes time to mount the socket. You will need to shake the sides of the socket while pressing the ball bearing inside.

Another downside of the pin detent is the possibility of a clogged socket. When changing the sockets, you need additional nails or rods. These will help you to match the holes and bearing sides together.

The common materials for pin detents are strong brass or steel metals. They also come in different sizes and shapes. 

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  • Safer for user
  • Holds objects steady
  • Not much friction when in use


  • Changing or mounting the socket will take time
  • Good for a few socket changes in a day
  • Needs additional materials [e.g., hammer and punch, nails or rods, or drift pin]
  • Possible socket clogging

If you only use less than three sockets in a day, choose the pin detent. The pin detent is convenient for small home construction projects. 

Similarities And Differences

Other than the pros and cons, knowing the similarities and differences can help you refine your choice. 

Here are the similarities between a hog ring and a pin detent:

  • Both are useful for a socket impact wrench power tool.
  • Both can give support to an object currently working on.

While these are their differences:

  • The application of the two differs. You use a pin detent in an elevated position while the hog ring is close to the ground. 
  • You use a hog ring for frequent socket changes, while you choose a pin detent if you change less often.
  • If you use pin detent, you press a releasing pin to remove the socket. On the contrary, you can remove the socket with your bare hands if you use a hog ring.
  • Hog rings are more common for mechanical or automotive purposes, while you can use pin detents for construction works.

Factors To Consider When Choosing A Hog Ring Or Pin Detent

To help you further narrow your options, you should consider the factors below:

  • Purpose
  • Frequency of changing sockets
  • Stability
  • Speed
  • Material
  • Durability 
  • Price

When considering the factors above, the hog ring is a clear winner. Use a hog ring if you want a durable, faster, and more powerful anvil. If you have a tight budget and you don't need to change sockets frequently, choose a pin detent.

Importance Of Choosing The Right Anvil For An Impact Wrench

Metal anvil with black background, 3d rendering. Computer digital drawing.

Choosing the right anvil type is essential because it will keep the socket in place on an impact wrench.

The anvil is the strongest component of an impact wrench. It will take up force and deal resistance with the objects like bolts, nuts, or screws. 

Choosing the right anvil will not release the sockets while using the impact wrench. In that case, there will be no accidents or injuries.

How Do You Replace The Hog Ring Or Pin Detent On An Impact Wrench? 

Tools will wear out after some time. Having well-maintained tools can affect the quality of your projects. If your impact wrench still works fine, but the anvils are not, you can replace them. 

You must find a compatible anvil for the impact wrench model that you have. There are available anvil kits you can buy online or in-store. After purchasing the new anvil, check if there are no damages to the anvils.

Also, always turn off the impact wrench and remove its batteries before replacing the parts.

Learn the processes to replace a hog ring or pin detent anvil below.

Replacing A Hog Ring

  1. With some pliers, remove the snap and friction rings on the end of the anvil by spreading it open. 
  2. Clean the surface of the anvil to remove dirt and grease.
  3. Get the new friction and snap rings. Add your friction ring first, then the snap ring. Be careful not to break them when installing. Push down the rings gently until it is in place.

Replacing A Pin Detent

A package of Milwaukee fuel M12 impact wrench on an isolated background.

  1. Support the anvil underneath. 
  2. Remove the roll pin with a hammer and punch. Place the punch on the hole and hammer down to release the retaining pin.
  3. Clean the anvil assembly first.
  4. Then, add the new spring inside the hole. Afterward, add the new retaining pin. Hold the pin on the anvil with pliers.
  5. Insert the roll pin in the hole, and hammer it down.

The steps are easy to follow. You can check the product manuals of the anvil kits, if any, for more detailed instructions.

In Summary

cordless screwdriver with different bits on brown wooden background

Both hog [friction] ring and pin detent are two anvils you can use with an impact wrench. Choose a hog ring if you need frequent socket changes. Likewise, choose a pin detent for simple home construction projects that requires less frequent socket changes. 

If you want to use a powerful and durable anvil, the hog ring is the better choice. If you are on a budget and you need to change sockets less than 3 three times a day, the pin detent is a good choice. Both are effective in supporting objects, and you should consider other factors like safety, durability, and ease of use. 

Regardless of your choice, a hog ring or pin detent will help you in your projects.

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