I am designing a PCB board and was wondering if there is a reason not to use ring terminals directly to a PCB. The PCB could have a pad surrounding a hole like I often see as ground connections. A small bolt could go through the PCB with two nuts, one holding it to the board, and another to hold the ring terminal down.

I've tried those little green screw terminal things where you can stick a wire in the side and screw down the top, but they always seemed flimsy for the relatively big wire I am using. I've also tried terminal blocks where one side has a wire soldered to the PCB and the other side can be connected to with a ring or spade terminal, but that seems like extra work when the PCB could be designed to screw to directly.

Just wanted to check if I was missing anything obvious here as to why not to do this.


2 Answers 2


Yes this has been done on boards used in "heavy industry" situations where you need a high current rating, without being restricted by the pin spacing (determining the voltage rating) of connectors. There are a few considerations to doing this succesfully

  • to avoid pad being wrenched off the board due to the torque forces when doing up the nut, use double sided board with vias all the way round the pads.
  • make it a plated through hole, clearance size for the thread you are using.
  • wide track on both sides both for the high currents and to stabilise the pad on the board for mechanical reasons, as far as you can go.
  • ring terminal shouldn't be put directly on to pad but use a plain washer in between to avoid transferring rotation to the pad, then a split washer or a wave washer before the nut to keep the tension.
  • ensure sufficient space between terminals that the ring terminal does not hit the next one in any rotational position

An alternative which works better in most situations, because it only requires access from one side of the board, is quick disconnect tabs, which are available as single, solder in parts. Article discussing relative merits.


One problem is that you must have access to both sides of the PCB when connecting or disconnecting the wire. Also, you need to make sure the screw doesn't extend so far as to contact the chassis below the PCB.

Better to use screw terminals, such as these: http://www.digikey.com/product-search/en/connectors-interconnects/terminals-screw-connectors/1442846


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.