Fasteners are an important part of how many things we use every day are made. If you’ve done any do-it-yourself projects, you’ve probably used fasteners. At All Points Fasteners, we are passionate about the role that good fasteners can play for both professionals and handy homeowners. Let’s take a moment to talk about Types Of Fasteners are and some of the different kinds and ways they can be used.
What Is a Fastener?
First, let’s define what a fastener is. The word “fasteners” covers a wide range of tools, like screws, nuts, and bolts, that all have the same purpose: to hold things together mechanically. Things like glue can serve this purpose, but glue is not a type of fastener. So, we need to expand our definition. Fasteners hold things together mechanically.
Most fasteners only make a temporary connection. When you use a fastener to connect two parts, you can take it off and the parts should come apart without being damaged. This wouldn’t be the case, for example, with a welded joint. The one exception to this rule is riveted, which are considered fasteners but create permanent connections.
Even though most fasteners only make a temporary joint, this doesn’t mean that you should only use them when you want to be able to take something apart, nor does it mean that the joint is weak in any way. Fasteners can reliably hold things together that are subjected to a lot of stress. This makes them a good choice for both permanent and temporary joints, giving you options for the type of project you want to do.
Different Types of Fasteners
Mechanical fasteners come in many forms, like screws, nails, nuts, bolts, washers, anchors, and rivets. Each of these different types of fasteners is its own category, and there are many types to choose from. If you’ve ever been in a fastener aisle at a hardware store, you know how many different kinds of fasteners there are. Let’s look at each of these common types of fasteners and break them down a bit more.
When most people think of fasteners, the first thing that comes to mind is a screw. Screw fasteners are one of the types of fasteners that can be used in many different ways. Their threaded shafts give them strong holding power, and unlike bolts, they don’t need anything else to keep them in place. Usually, a drill is used to make a pilot hole in a piece of material, and then a screwdriver is used to drive the screw into place. There are many different kinds and sizes of screws. Here are some of the most common kinds of screws:
- Wood screws have coarse threads and a tapered head.
- Deck screws are similar to wood screws but include self-tapping designs and corrosion resistance for outdoor applications.
- Drywall screws feature a self-tapping head that can countersink without causing damage to drywall.
- Sheet metal screws have sharper threads for connecting metal to other materials.
- Machine screws have a uniform thickness and don’t taper off at the bottom.
- Masonry screws have a flat tip and typically feature a hex head design.
MDF screws can self-tap without splitting the material.
Nails have been used since the beginning of time, and you still use them every day. Because a nail doesn’t have threading, it’s easy to tell the difference between a screw and a nail. Even though a nail doesn’t have the same holding power as a screw, it has more shear strength, which makes it better for some uses.
Many different kinds of nails get their names from what they are used for. This makes it easy to find the right kind of nail for a job. Most of the time, they have certain features that are made to work with the materials or application at hand.
Some common kinds of nails include the following:
- Common nails have a thicker shank for greater holding power for many different applications, but the thick head will be visible on most projects.
- Box nails offer easier driving with steel construction and diamond-point tip.
- Brad nails can easily blend into wood trim.
- Finishing nails are for more detailed work and have a small, flat head designed to blend in with project finishes, such as those on crown molding.
- Drywall nails are designed for easy concealment and reduced slippage.
- Flooring nails are designed for use with various flooring materials.
- Framing nails can include a variety of styles, often designed for flush installation and easy concealment.
- Roofing nails have a wide head and are often corrosion-resistant.
3. Bolts, Nuts, and Washers
Nuts and bolts are another type of fastener that you might find. These two pieces work together to keep things in place. You put the bolt through the two parts you want to connect, and then you use the nut on the other end to hold it in place. Here are a few of the most common kinds of bolts:
- Carriage bolts have domed or countersunk heads with a square component under the heat to keep the bolt from moving while tightening the nut.
- Flange bolts include a circular flange beneath the head for distributing loads evenly.
- Plow bolts are for heavy-duty applications, such as heavy equipment, with non-protruding heads.
- Hex-head bolts are six-sided with machine threads.
- Square-head bolts have square heads, offering an easier grip for wrenches.
- Allen bolts have a hexagonal socket for use with Allen wrenches.
Below are some of the most popular types of nuts and their designs:
- Coupling nuts are hex-shaped and join two male threads together.
- Flange nuts have a wide, serrated flange on one end that serves a similar function as a washer but without any added movement.
- Hex nuts are the most common variety, featuring a hex shape and internal threads.
- Lock nuts include designs to prevent loosening due to vibrations.
- Slotted nuts have sections cut out to create a locking mechanism with the help of a cotter ping.
- Square nuts feature a square shape for greater surface area.
- Wheel nuts are designed for securing wheels onto vehicles.
Nuts and bolts can work without a washer, but sometimes you’ll want to use one. A washer is a flat, circular piece with a hole in the middle. This little piece can help spread the load of the fastener more evenly across the material’s surface. Here are some types of washers:
- Beveled washers add stability when attaching unparallel surfaces.
- Flat washers are round and thin.
- Lock washers use various mechanisms to prevent nuts, screws, and bolts from vibrating loose.
- Structural washers are thicker and used in heavy-duty applications.
Anchors are called that because they do the same thing as a boat’s anchor, which digs into the seabed to stop a ship from moving. Most of the time, these fasteners are used to attach something to drywall or concrete. They stick into the material and hold the thing you’re trying to attach in place. These are some common types of anchors:
- Internally threaded anchors
- Externally threaded anchors
- Masonry screw and pin anchors
- Screw anchors
- Hollow wall anchors
- Sleeve anchors
- Drive anchors
A rivet makes a permanent connection between two pieces. They have a cylindrical shaft with a head on one end and a tail on the other. You need a special tool to expand the tail so the rivet stays in place. Compared to other fasteners, rivets are very strong. Some common types of rivets are:
- Blind rivets
- Semi-tubular rivets
- Solid rivets
- Split rivets
- Drive rivets
Different Uses for Fasteners
Why do we use fasteners? It’s not easy to answer that question because fasteners can be used for almost anything. Fasteners are likely to be used for many DIY projects and everyday tasks around the house. Industrial fasteners can be used for a wide range of projects by workers in many different fields. If you need to connect two parts, you’ll probably use a fastener. Here are some common ways to use fasteners.
- Vehicle assembly: You can find small fasteners throughout an automobile, including under the hood, in the suspension system, and wherever else there is a connection between two parts or components, such as lock nuts on tires.
- Picture hanging: Small fasteners are prevalent in virtually every area with decorations hanging on the walls. Homeowners and other decorators use them when placing pictures and for other essential purposes.
- Building and construction: A metal fastener can serve multiple purposes to ensure materials stay together during construction projects.
- Furniture assembly: Furniture makers rely on fasteners when assembling their products and preparing them for sale to customers.
- Cabinet installation: Home improvement contractors need an assortment of fasteners when working on kitchen cabinet installation and renovation projects.
- Electronics manufacturing: Fasteners play a prominent role in the production of electronic machinery, components, and goods used in the workplace and at home.
- Wall installation: Workers use anchors in tandem with screws to create firm mounts on drywall panels.
- Roofing projects: Roofing nails and framing nails are essential when installing new roofs or conducting repairs and maintenance on existing structures.
- Woodworking: Not all fasteners are for holding two metal objects together. Carpenters and other construction and building professionals use wood screws to form solid connections between parts made of plywood and other wood materials.
- Flooring installation: Companies require flooring nails when installing some types of products in homes, office buildings, factories, warehouses, and commercial and retail establishments.
The list could go on and on. Look around your home or business, and you’ll see fasteners holding countless objects together.
What Are the Benefits of Using Small Fasteners in Manufacturing?
Screw fasteners are common in many fields, including manufacturing. Using them in this area has some benefits, such as:
Increased designing flexibility: Screws that hold things together give designers and engineers more options when making things. For example, companies that make electronics like laptops and tablets can make them cheaper for consumers by using fasteners instead of welds and glue to attach parts and components. The screws also make it easier to fix these things.
Many products have a lot of parts and pieces that need to be put together. With fasteners, companies can finish the process with fewer materials, which makes less waste and lowers the cost of production. To make the final assembly easier, manufacturers only need to make small holes that have already been drilled to fit screws, nuts, and bolts.
Lower product weight: Several industries are now making products that are lighter and more flexible to cut costs, make things look better, and make them easier to use and handle. Small screws work great for these things because they meet the basic needs for fastening and make the item lighter.
Quality Fasteners From the Fastener Experts
At All Points Fasteners, we have a large selection of high-quality fasteners, including some that you might not find at your local hardware store. We sell products made by well-known companies with a good reputation for making high-quality products that solve problems, save money, and last. You can be sure that anything you buy from us will live up to your expectations and add value to your projects.
Reliable Screw Fastener Selection Assistance
Are you having trouble choosing the right fasteners for your projects or applications? We can help you. Our experts can help you find the right fastener for any job by giving you advice and direction. And if we don’t have the part you need in stock, we can quickly find it for you to cut down on downtime.
Since our company is owned and run in the United States, you can expect your orders to be filled quickly. We always go above and beyond to help our customers, so you can count on us to get the job done.
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