If there is one thing universally agreed upon by data-center and network engineers, it’s that everyone hates mounting equipment with cage-nuts. Cage nuts not only require multiple tools to use, but also basically requires at least two people to install the simplest of equipment (one person to hold the gear in place while the other uses a drill to screw it down).
Rackstuds are an amazing alternative to cage-nuts for mounting your equipment. Rackstuds are tiny mounting pins that fit inside standard EIA rack rail square holes instead of a cage-nut. The Grivory plastic is a specially formulated glass reinforced material that performs similar to metal but is as easy to handle as plastic.
The Rackstud basically acts as an inverse cage-nut, where the screw portion sticks out of the rack itself. Combined with a spacing washer that forces the clip locked and a screw on cap, the Rackstud allows you to quickly mount equipment without the need for external tools or a second person to help guide the equipment into the right place. (Of course if the gear is really heavy and you aren’t Superman, you’ll still need some helpers.)
To use a Rackstud, simply insert it with the clip side facing inward. It will snap into place. Add a yellow spacer/washer on top of the screw tip to force the tab open and secure the Rackstud in place. Once you have all the Rackstuds you need to mount your gear, slide your equipment over the studs and hold it in place while you screw the caps down. I would recommended you start with the bottom screws first as equipment will always fall that way.
Rackstuds will tighten down adequately for most equipment with finger tightening, but for extra security, you can take a phillips screw driver and give it an extra turn for heavier equipment and peace of mind.
Rackstuds are “rated” to hold 20 kgs/44 lbs of equipment across 4 studs, though they are capable of holding far more.
The biggest disappointment with Rackstuds is that some equipment that use rails to mount may not be capable of using a Rackstud as they are probably designed with a relatively flat cage-nut screw in mind. Aside from that, Rackstuds are a great tool for any data-center and a huge time saver.
Rackstuds come in two flavors. The standard Red Rackstuds designed for most racks on the market, most commonly unpainted rails. The new blue Rackstuds are designed for racks with slightly thicker rails due to painting. Before ordering, be sure to measure your rails with some calipers to see which ones you need as the smaller blue Rackstuds will be loose on bare 14 Gauge metal.
Rackstuds are a great accessory for every data-center and network-rack that make mounting ear based equipment a tool-free breeze by eliminating the dreaded cage-nut.
You can learn more about Rackstuds at their website.