Illustration of different screws with

Types of screws and bolts

Screws and bolts both belong to the family of threaded fasteners. They were some of the early fasteners in use and before the advent of a wide variety of fasteners suited for different applications, the terms screws and bolts were often used interchangeably.

A crude way of differentiating a screw and a bolt is to state that a threaded fastener with a nut and a flat bottom is a bolt and one without is a screw. However, the most suitable way to distinguish a screw and a bolt is comprehending that, in essence, the main difference between a screw and a bolt arises in the way they are used.

Screws and bolts are both externally threaded fasteners. Bolts are often restricted from turning when part of an assembly, and have to be loosened by applying torque on the nut. On the other hand, screws can be placed within pre tapped holes and can penetrate materials. They are often fastened onto the materials by applying a torque onto the screw head.

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Common Fastener Types

Mechanical fasteners are hardware devices used for adjoining materials together. They are used in millions of assemblies around the world and are available in a range of sizes to fit different type of applications.

Common fastener types are available in different forms. They can be broadly classified into non-permanent fasteners and permanent fasteners. Non-permanent fasteners can be further divided into sub categories of general fasteners and threaded fasteners.

General fasteners are often affiliated with shafts and commonly consists of pins, keys and retaining rings among others. The most commonly used threaded fasteners are bolts, screws, concrete anchors and nuts.

Washers are used with threaded fasteners and they are made up of a thin plate with a hole in the middle. Their fundamental role is to help distribute the load of a threaded fastener. Additionally, rivets work as permanent fasteners and are destroyed upon disassembling.

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