Understanding screw anatomy helps you choose the correct screws whether you need screws for furniture, decorative work or marine applications. Exploring various screw parts, materials and coatings can tell you what style and design will fit your needs.
Various screw parts serve their own distinct functions. Learning each part of the screw can help you figure out what materials, coatings and finishes may be right for you. Here are the eight parts of a screw you should remember.
The drive is the area of the screw where you can use a tool to turn the fastener. This part fits into the bit or wrench, depending on the features used on the screw itself. True to its name, the drive’s function is to drive the screw into the final position.
The head is the top part of the fastener and contains the drive section. The head may come in different shapes depending on your preferred application, and its style will determine how you measure the length of the fastener.
The screw’s body is everything from the bottom of the head to the bottom point of the screw. A screw’s body includes the shank, point and threads.
The shank of the screw refers to the screw’s core — the portion that the threads wrap around. Many people call the shank the stem of the screw.
The threads of a screw come in different variations depending on what kind of application you need them for. They have a helical shape and spiral down toward the bottom of the screw. The threads’ measurements will vary depending on whether they use standard or metric units.
Threads often do the most work in the screw, tightening and locking the screw in place. The mechanical advantage of the screw occurs with the use of threads, especially during rotation when the motion becomes relative to a fixed part. Screws use different thread styles for various material sizes and applications.
The point of the screw is the bottom of the fastener, where the shank and body end. The point, also called the tip, varies in style across various applications. Contrary to popular belief, the tip does not need to be pointed or sharp to be effective and may be blunted, tapered or sliced.
You can find screws made out of a variety of different materials. If you cut a screw open and check the material, you might find anything from steel to plastic to rubber. While steel and stainless steel screws are most common, other materials may also offer strength, durability or flexibility.
Your choice of material may result in a stronger or weaker screw, as some materials may be more ductile or brittle than others. Understanding the mechanical properties of your material — whether you plan to use steel, plastic, metal or rubber — can help you find the right screw to fit your needs.
The screw’s finish refers to the material coating that protects the screw when it’s in use. A finish is crucial whenever you might expose the screw to harsh weather or outside forces like moisture or chemicals. For example, plain steel without any finish may rust easily, while steel with a coated finish will take longer to deteriorate.
Some of the finishes offered by All Points Fasteners include the following:
Other coatings we offer include bronze, ceramic and black phosphate.
At All Points Fasteners, we offer many kinds of screw materials that our customers may find helpful. While some materials are more popular than others, they all provide benefits for a variety of applications and projects. Customers also enjoy coating their screws to add durability and corrosion resistance.
Our four most common materials include the following:
At All Points Fasteners, our company provides high-quality fastener screws, including self-tapping, ZIP, gutter and roofing screws. Whatever your industry, our company offers quality parts and excellent service to fit your needs. Contact us today to speak to a representative and request a quote or call us at 800-483-6354.