The aptly-named turnbuckle is a handy gadget that allows you to easily adjust the tension of rods or wire ropes. It does just what the word sounds like: It’s a buckle that connects two sections of rope or rigging, and it turns. They are commonly seen on sail boats and ships, where they are used to tension lashings and riggings. These metal coupling devices are also used at each rope corner in wrestling rings. The turnbuckle makes it possible to gradually adjust tension without twisting the attached rigging.
There are several different types of turnbuckles:
- Eye and eye is one of the most common types, and is meant to be used only for straight line pulls.
- Jaw and eye. These have an eye (a closed connector loop) on one end and a jaw (a u-shaped connector with a bolt that connects the supporting pieces). Jaw and eyes are also used for straight line or inline pulls.
- Jaw and jaw have the u-shaped connectors at each end.
- Hook and eye have a hook at one end and an eye at the other.
- Hook and hook is just what it sounds like, a turnbuckle with a hook connector at each end.
- Stub end consists of two threaded shafts with no end connectors. Use a stub end when you don’t need to connect to an anchor point.
Galvanized steel turnbuckles will withstand almost any corrosive environment, including regular exposure to sea water or high chloride environments. Try to find out if the turnbuckles have been hot dip galvanized for extra durability. And if you want even more corrosion-resistance, look for stainless-steel turnbuckles. And for additional strength, go for drop forged stainless steel.
Before you purchase a turnbuckle, look into how you plan to use it and make sure you fit the turnbuckle to the task.