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Products > Kadee Couplers

Kadee O Gauge Couplers - Information


The main benefits of using Kadee couplers are:

Delayed uncoupling. Only Kadee couplers allow you to pull a wagon from one siding and the push the wagon to another siding and drop it at any desired position.

Much easier to remove models from the rake by hand than chain link couplings as the Kadee couplers are not interlocked.
Operating Kadee couplers

1. Stop with the Kadee couplers over an uncoupler and back up slightly with the couplers still over the uncoupler, allowing slack to occur between couplers.

2. Pull forward bringing coupler off the uncoupler. Couplers will snap to the delayed position.

3. Back up, pushing the wagons(s) to the desired location. Do not permit slack to develop between couplers.

4. Pull forward, leaving the wagon(s) where desired. Kadee couplers will automatically return to normal coupling position.
Confused by Kadee coupler numbers and terminology -You're not alone!

The good news is that's it's not as complicated as you might think.

Trip pin: The steel wire extending below the knuckle.

Knuckle: The coupling head

Shank: The arm which fits in the gear box

Gear Box: The housing for the shank and spring.

Overset/centreset/underset? This refers to the shank position. The Kadee coupler height has to be at a set height.

O Gauge Chart - Download PDF


In O gauge, things are very straightforward. It's a case of modifying the rolling stock to ensure the Kadee coupler is at the correct height. This usually means adding a shim of plastic or brass to lower the mounting height or some slight filing to remove a little part of the buffer beam. As there is plenty of space it's quite easy and doesn't usually involve two much work. (Occaisionally the buffer beam is at exactly the right height!)

Recommendations for UK O gauge modellers:

No. 746 Long centreset coupler
No. 745 Medium centreset coupler
No. 747 Medium Underset
No. 812 Height gauge - essential
No. 811 un-coupler
No. 231 Grease-em lubricant
9-10mm Self Tapping screws

The fixing holes in Kadee O couplings are approx 2.1mm and the gear box is approx 5mm thick so a screw length of 9-10mm (3/8") is recommended

If you have trouble centreing the gear boxes then try using a smaller gauge screws. This will allow a little bit of play side to side.

Kadee couplers are scale models for adult collectors, they are not toys. They contain small parts and are unsuitable for childen under 14 years.

Disclaimer: Although we have taken care in preparing the information on this page, Routemex do not, and cannot guarantee the accuracy thereof. Use of information on this page is at your own risk and by doing so, you shall be deemed to indemnify Routemex from any and all injury, damage or loss arising from such use.


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