Types of Fits


In engineering, fits are designed to meet the needs of different product parts. Fits are used for one or multiple purposes. And most interestingly, how these fits interact with products and their overall functionality is necessary to understand. Joining two components with a piece is known as fit and fits making the tightness and looseness of products easy. Fits have three different types that are used in our real life: examples are journals in a bearing, cylinder, valve in a valve guide, wheel on a Shaft, and gear on splines, etc. 

In this article, we will explain the fits and their different types and their use in engineering. Just follow up with us and we explore the topic step by step. 

What Is Fit

Oftentimes, the fit is used to explain the dimensional relationship between the metal components. It plays an important role to determine whether the component is loose or tight which helps in slipping and pressing property. To understand the fit you have to understand the basic terms that come with fits. 

Fits and tolerance in engineering have good relationships when you want to assemble the metal components of any product. Therefore before proceeding further you have to clear your concept regarding tolerance and fits. So tolerance is considered the difference between the maximum and minimum size. It possesses a positive value with a number without a sign. 

How To Name Types of Fits in Engineering 

Having a basic understanding of different types of fits helps you to make the right choice for your product. International Organization for Standardisation stresses that a specific alpha-numeric code is given to all types of fits and explains the fits tolerance. 

An alpha-numeric part related to code explains the Shaft or hole. And code is designed with upper and lower cases where upper cases explain the hole whereas lower case to Shaft. For instance, in the case of  H7/h6  where H7 being the upper case is hole and h6 being the lower case is Shaft. Both cases described the tolerance range of fits. Moreover, these cases also help the engineers and mechanics to identify the size limit of the shaft and hole. 


There are commonly three types of fits that are designed differently to meet the different circumstances. And here are three types of fits… 

Clearance Fits

Unlike its name clearance fits are used for free movement and in those situations where loose mating and components are required and they are considered ideal for those products that need easy slide in and out. 


Clearance Fits have a smaller Shaft than a hole and it can be explained in two different conditions well. In the first condition Shaft has a small diameter than that of the hole that has maximum diameter whereas in the second condition Shaft has maximum diameter and hole has a minimum diameter. Clearance Fits have further five subcategories or types… 

  • Loose running fits
  • Free running fits
  • Close running fits
  • Sliding running fits
  • Location clearance fits

Interference Fit

Unlike me you have not heard about interface fits as well. Interference fits have versatile names like friction fit or press fit.  It is used to fasten two different components by pushing them together. And the fastening happens via different machinanism. If you find any difference between the Shaft and hole sizes before joining the two parts then this fit is called negative or interference fit.

This process takes a sufficient amount of force to uncouple and couple the components. In interference fits if we measure the difference between the maximum Shaft size and the minimum hole size is known as a maximum interference fit. Unlike the clearance fits it also comes with two conditions. It also has three subtypes… 

  • Press fit
  • Driving fit
  • Forced fit

Transition Fit

This type of fit falls between the interference fits and clearance fits and are considered perfect where accuracy is essential. These fits are highly used in aligning where highly precise mating components are joined with great care. 


Transition fits have a higher degree of clearance than that of interference and clearance fits. Moreover, in transition fit tolerance in Shaft and hole overlapped with each other. Therefore, Transition Fit is placed between the clearance fits and interference fits. It also has two subtypes… 

  • Similar fits
  • Fixed fits 

How to Make the Right Decision for Your Next project

Having a proper understanding of different types of fits helps you to choose the one which meets your project needs. Here we compile some factors that will surely help you in the right selection… 


As we mentioned earlier, there are various types of fits for various purposes and by going through each fits’ properties and characteristics like tolerance, accuracy, etc., you can choose the best fit for your project. 


Budget is another factor you should consider while choosing the best fit for your product. As the Tighter tolerance fits cost you more than normal fits. Therefore you should weigh your eggs carefully. So it is best for you to choose tight tolerance based fits that deliver their function properly with minimum cost. 


Tolerance is another important factor you should consider before making a choice. Firstly decide whether you want a rotatable fit or tight fit along with tolerance slack. Tolerance slack is a term used for minimum tolerance and maximum tolerance for a particular measurement. Because tolerance is somewhat of a factor you should mind it. 


Although there are different types of fits available in the market yet with different mechanical properties and applications. By reading our post now you will be able to understand the fit and its different types. This post also shows how you can make the right decision and choose the right fit for your next project based on the functions. 

By saif