What Are Dowel Pins Used For?

Dowel pins by Monroe Engineering

Dowel pins are one of the simplest types of fasteners on the market. They consist of cylindrical-shaped pieces of solid material that are used to join — or in some cases align — multiple parts. Common dowel materials include stainless steel, wood, steel, aluminum and titanium. Regardless of material, they all feature a similar design consisting of a cylindrical-shaped piece of material. To learn more about dowel pins and what they are used for, keep reading.


While typically concealed, dowel pins are often found inside of furniture. They are used to join two furniture parts together. The parts are designed with hollowed tube-like sections. A dowel pin can then be placed inside of these tube-like sections to join the parts together. A single dowel pin will run half the length of one of these sections. Therefore, the parts will remain flush with each other once the dowel pin is placed inside the two sections. Wood is the most common material used for dowel pins in furniture applications.


Shelves often contain dowel pins. Like with furniture, shelves are often designed with hollowed tube-like sections to accommodate dowel pins. Why do shelves have dowel pins exactly? Even though a shelf is a single part, it must be attached to a wall or surface. Dowel pins are used to join shelves to surfaces. They can be installed on the sides of a shelf where they’ll fit into the tube-like sections of an adjacent wall.


In addition to furniture, dowel pins are often used for machines. Machines contain dowel pins for alignment purposes. Dowel pins are used to align the parts of a machine to ensure extreme precision and accuracy. Manufacturing machines require precision and accuracy. With dowel pins, the parts of a manufacturing machines can be safely joined and aligned together to achieve the necessary precision and accuracy.

It’s important to note that the dowel pins used for machines are different than those used for furniture and shelves. Dowel pins used for furniture and shelves are typically made of wood. In comparison, those used for machines are typically made of metal. Metal dowel pins retain their physical dimensions. They won’t wear down, nor will they will chip away. This makes metal dowel pins ideal for machines.

In Conclusion

Dowel pins have many applications. They are typically used to join or align multiple parts. You can find dowel pins in furniture, shelves and machines.

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