How to Install Cage Nuts

Written by c.l. rease
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Cage nuts are used to mount items ranging from automotive body panels to shelf units. A cage nut is a nut that is housed in a secondary housing. The secondary housing mounts either into a square hole made in a structure or welded to a structure, behind a round hole. The square hole mounted cage nut is the most common, and installing them is easy once you understand how they are constructed. The secondary housing has two flanges that are made from a hardened alloy, and once the flanges clip in place, the nut is secure.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Flathead screwdriver

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  1. 1

    Examine the area around the square hole to determine the orientation of the cage nut. The flanged sides of the cage nut require more room than the un-flanged sides, and therefore, you need to place the flanges where you have the most room behind the square hole.

  2. 2

    Place the needle-nose pliers on the cage nut with the flanges of the secondary housing facing away from the pliers and squeeze the secondary housing together.

  3. 3

    Slide the compressed cage nut into the square hole with the flanges oriented to allow you the most room.

  4. 4

    Open the needle-nose pliers to release the flanges of the cage nut, and lock the cage nut in place. Repeat the procedure to install the rest of the cage nuts. If you run into a situation that the needle-nose pliers will not fit behind the square hole, proceed to step 5.

  5. 5

    Reach one hand around the backside of the square hole while the hand is holding the cage nut.

  6. 6

    Place one flange through the square hole and push the other flange against the backside of the square hole.

  7. 7

    Slide the flathead screwdriver through the front of the hole, rest the head of the screwdriver onto the top of the flange and press down with the head of the screwdriver as you push forward with your hand located behind the square hole.

  8. 8

    Pull the screwdriver toward you to secure the cage nut in the square hole.

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