What’s the Difference between Bolts and Screws?

What's the Difference between Bolts and Screws

 

When it comes to fasteners, one of the most common questions is, “What’s the difference between bolts and screws?” While bolts and screws may look similar, there are distinct differences that set them apart. In this article, we’ll explore the bolt vs screw and screw vs bolt debate to help you understand when to use each type of fastener.

Bolts Vs. Screws

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Bolts:

A bolt is a type of fastener with external threads and a head designed to be used with a nut. The primary characteristic of a bolt is that it relies on the nut to provide the necessary clamping force to hold assembled parts together securely. Bolts are not intended to create their own mating threads or hold themselves in place. Instead, they must protrude through the materials being fastened to allow the nut to engage the threads. Bolts are frequently used with washers to distribute the clamping force over a larger area.

 

Screws:

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Screws are threaded fasteners that can have a head or be headless (e.g., set screws). Unlike bolts, screws are designed to create their own mating threads in a pre-drilled hole or, in some cases, to create their own hole as they are driven into the material. Screws do not require a nut to fasten securely; they rely on the engagement of their threads with the surrounding material to hold themselves in place. Screws are typically tightened until they are fully seated in the material and are not intended to protrude through to the opposite side, although there are exceptions.

 

Bolt vs Screw and Screw vs Bolt:

When deciding between a bolt vs screw or screw vs bolt, consider the following:

  • Bolts are used when a nut is required to secure the fastener and when access to both sides of the assembly is available.
  • Screws are used when the fastener needs to create its own mating threads and when access to only one side of the assembly is available.
  • Bolts are more often used with washers to distribute the clamping force, while screws are less frequently used with washers, except for finishing purposes.

Terminology Clarification:

At AlbanyCountyFasteners.com, we understand that the terms “bolt” and “screw” are sometimes used interchangeably in industry jargon. To help our customers find the products they need more easily, we may use these terms interchangeably on our website. However, it’s essential to understand the technical differences between bolts and screws when selecting the appropriate fastener for your project.

 

Key Takeaways:

  • Bolts are designed to be used with a nut and require access to both sides of the assembly.
  • Screws create their own mating threads and do not require a nut to fasten securely.
  • While bolts and screws have distinct differences, the terms are sometimes used interchangeably in industry jargon.
  • Albany County Fasteners uses both terms to help customers find the products they need more easily.

Conclusion:


Now that you understand the difference between bolts and screws, as well as the bolt vs screw and screw vs bolt debate, you can make an informed decision when choosing fasteners for your projects. Whether you need bolts, screws, or other fastening solutions, AlbanyCountyFasteners.com has a wide range of high-quality products to meet your needs. Visit our website to explore our extensive inventory and find the perfect fasteners for your next project.

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