In a nation where 85% of homes were built before 1980, almost every homeowner runs into a situation where home repair skills would come in handy. Unfortunately, 57% of adults consider their home maintenance or repair skills to be hovering at or significantly below average. To help boost your confidence in tackling home repair projects, here are answers to some of the basic questions homeowners ask about buying the right nuts and bolts for their task.
#1. What’s the Difference Between a Bolt and a Screw?
while screws are a single piece of metal with a raised head that pierces then rotates to fasten objects together, bolts are threaded fasteners that are designed to work with a nut to hold it in place. One of the main differences between a screw and a bolt is the screw rotates to internally grip a material such as wood whereas bolts are not “screwed” in. When using nuts and bolts, the nut is the part that rotates around the thread of the bolt to secure it.
#2. What do the Numbers mean?
When buying different bolts, there are different grades and sizes. Most bolts have a number actually printed on their surface. This number refers to the strength of the bolt. The grade also describes the strength of the bolt. For example, grade 8 plow bolts have more strength capability than grade 5 plow bolts.
#3. What are the Most Popular Nuts and Bolts?
One of the most commonly found bolt head designs is the heavy hex found on hex bolts and nuts. Hex bolts get their name from the hexagonal shaped head. Hex bolts and nuts are go to fasteners for household construction projects such as fastening wood in a deck or dock. Another popular bolt is the #3 head plow bolt. They are used primarily for fastening heavy machinery.
#4. When Would I Need Custom Made Bolts?
Sometimes, projects will need more than your typical hex nuts and bolts. There are options to order custom bolts with different metal plating, and to meet specifications of different grades. From applications in plumbing to jewelry, bolts are used in such versatile ways and can be customized to best serve their intended purpose.
#5. Is it Better to Buy In-Store or Online?
Like with many products, buying in a retail location offers the convenience of time and ability to physically touch and compare different fasteners. However, retail locations such as hardware and home goods stores often sell goods at marked up prices. Online retailers can often offer customers the products they are looking for at a more affordable price level. With about 4,031 screw, nut and bolt manufacturers, if your local store does not have the bolt you are looking for, you are sure to find it online.
If you have any advice for homeowners looking to increase their do-it-yourself savvy such as applications for hex bolts and nuts, please share your comments.