What is a Hose Clamp?

Hose clamps are truly ubiquitous, used in an endless array of applications. You can find them in all sorts of machines and equipment, especially in automotive and aircraft industries. But not all clamps are the same: there are different types of clamps for different types of hoses, such as spring, wire, ear, and screw band clamps, just to name a few.

How Do They Work?

The main function is to secure a tight seal between a hose and a barb so that fluid does not leak from the hose. Even pressure is applied around the entire hose and barb connection. This requires a special design, ensuring that there are no gaps as pressure is applied. Barbs also need to be in good condition to ensure a proper seal, free from scratches or dust.

For a more in-depth look at our clamps, including dimensions and specifications, check out our hose clamp size chart!


A hose clamp, sometimes referred to as a hose clip, is a simple device that is used to seal the end of a segment of hose to a barb or a nipple. Though they are suitable for a wide variety of applications, they are limited to those with moderate pressures. At sufficiently high pressures and wide hose diameters, the clamping strength is inadequate to withstand the pressure of expansion without sliding. For high pressure applications, you should instead consider other options such as compression fittings or thick crimp fittings.

There are clamps for cars that are typically found in radiator applications and for securing hoses carrying engine fuel or other fluids. There are also a lot of applications for them in the plumbing industry. Generally, in any application where hoses carrying low pressure fluids need to be secured, you can utilize a small or large hose clamp, depending on the size of the tube. Finally, it is not uncommon to see them used in ad-hoc jobs for which they were not necessarily intended - they can be a great replacement for duct tape!

Different Types

  • Screw/Band (Worm Gear): These clamps are tightened using a screw that acts as a worm drive. As the screw is turned, the threads of the band are pulled causing it to tighten around the assembly. Screw clamps are suitable for larger hose sizes of 1/2″ diameter or more.
  • Spring Hose Clamps: These are made of spring steel and feature tabs that can be squeezed together to widen the clamp for application to the hose. Once the tabs are released, the clamp tightens and is secured by the natural spring force of the material. They are useful for low pressure applications and tight spaces, where using instruments to tighten clamps is either impractical or impossible.
  • Wire: This type of clamp is made from heavy steel wire formed into a ring with overlapping ends. A screw is attached through one end and a nut through the other: tightening the two together pushes the ends apart and tightens the ring around the assembly.
  • Ear: These clamps create permanent seals, and feature a band with dimples to allow the band to expand and contract (to prevent failure) with thermal and mechanical stresses. To install, two ears are closed using a special tool, causing the band to tighten around the hose.

How A-Z Supply Can Help

At A-Z Supply, we carry an array of specialty hose clamps, covering every possible application. Explore our catalog or contact us if you have any questions about using hose clamps in your next project.