We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is an Axial Lead?

By Paul Scott
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
About Mechanics is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At About Mechanics, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

An axial lead is connection configuration used on many electric and electronic parts and components designed for through-board or carrier mounting. It locates a part's leads or wires axially, or in a straight line, with one exiting the component at either end. Common examples of axial lead configurations include carbon resistors, electrolytic capacitors, fuses, and light emitting diodes (LEDs). The leads are typically fairly long to allow for easy installation in most printed circuit board (PCB) layouts. Generally, the leads are solid, single strand wire although some heavy current axial lead components, such as fuses and capacitors, feature stranded or braided leads.

Twin lead electronic components designed for flat mounting through holes in a PCB generally feature one of two lead configurations — radial and axial. Radial lead components have both leads located on one side of a component, typically closely positioned next to each other. The axial lead configuration locates the leads on opposite sides of the component in a straight line, or axially, with the component body. Axial lead configurations are found on a wide range of components including carbon and wire wound resistors, electrolytic capacitors, and diodes. Batteries, fuses, and lamps such as LEDs are also presented in axial lead configurations.

The leads or wires on axial lead components are typically made fairly long to accommodate as many PCB layouts as possible. The norm, however, with most boards is to keep the holes for a component as close together as possible meaning the majority of the lead is usually trimmed and discarded after soldering. If the holes are too close to mount the component flat, it may be inserted vertically through one hole with the opposite lead bent down next to it. Typically, however, axial components are mounted horizontally to the printed circuit board.

The leads on smaller electronic axial lead components are typically made of a solid, single core wire. Heavy duty components designed to carry large currents may be equipped with multistrand leads terminated with bolt down lugs. These are typically encountered on components such as heavy fuse links which lock into insulating carriers with their two leads bolted down onto bus bars or connections on other components. Several types of heavy duty capacitors in high load direct current (DC) applications also feature braided or stranded axial leads. This type of stranded or braided lead is usually made from fairly fine cored copper wire capable of carrying the large current loads involved.

About Mechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.