Helpful Info

Fastener Guide: Different Types of Nuts and Bolts

What are fasteners, and what are fasteners used for? If you’ve been wondering, you’ve come to the right place. Fastener is a common term used to describe a wide range of different types of components used to attach two or more pieces of material. You could be bolting two plates together, screwing a panel to a support or riveting one sheet of material to another. In all cases, mechanical fasteners are an extra component you introduce to secure or reinforce separate pieces and make them act as one.

At All Points Fasteners, we’re experts in all types of mechanical fasteners. We carry thousands of unique fasteners, including screws, bolts and rivets. These three common types of mechanical fasteners have an advantage over other attaching methods, such as welding, in that they can be taken out relatively easy if you need to remove a panel or component. Learn more

What Is a Fastener? Fasteners Definition

From building construction to machine fabrication to HVAC installation, different types of fasteners really are everywhere. You’ll find them in your home, office and building. They’re also used in the construction of vehicles, furniture, machines, tools, fencing and more.

We’ve put together this guide to explain the different types of mechanical fasteners you can find at All Points Fasteners. We make it easy to understand and choose the fasteners you need for your various jobs. Our fastener types include:

Screws: Screws have a threaded shaft and larger diameter head, which provides a bearing surface for securing one material against another. Screws have a sharp tip that can, in some cases, be used to pierce the material without the need to drill a pilot hole. The tip of your screw isn’t intended to pass through the base material, so choose the correct length to avoid sharp points inside an installation. A wide range of head and drive types allow you to choose a smooth, rounded or flush finish at the surface.

Bolts: Like screws, bolts have a threaded shaft, but don’t have a point. Instead, a flat bottom allows for installation of a nut for tightening. The heads come in a variety of diameters, sizes and head types, to give you choice in a rounded, flush or countersunk finish on the surface. They are also available in different drive types, such as a slotted or Phillips screwdriver, Torx driver or hexagonal nut driver. You can add a washer under the bolt head or nut for added bearing surface.

Rivets: Rivets don’t have any threads and therefore don’t use the shaft for securing two components together. They are used to join two relatively thin materials together, such as duct or sheet metal. A hole is required to pass the rivet body through, and a tool pulls the central shaft through to compress the base of the rivet. Your two materials are trapped between the head and the base of your rivet. Small and lightweight, rivets are considered permanent but can be drilled out and removed if necessary.

Nails: Nails are fast and easy to install and are commonly used in construction projects to join a variety of materials to a wood base or support — think of shingles, home frame construction, fences, etc. Some nails come with a spiral or serrated shaft for greater holding force, but over time, nails can start to pull out — compared to screws, which stay tight. Choose your nails based on the length and head diameter. A large head has greater holding force and will not pull through your top surface.

Anchors: Available in a wide range of types and styles, anchors is the name given to a family of mechanical fasteners that combine bolting with another form of mechanical fixation. In general, you pass the anchor body through a predrilled hole in your materials and tighten the central bolt. This tends to expand, compress or spread the anchor body, blocking it against the underside of your material or within the hole. Anchors are available for joining any type of materials, and in some cases are removable.

At All Points Fasteners, we can supply you with the right kind of fasteners you’re looking for. You can browse our catalog featuring all our different fastener types and choose the ones that interest you. We can send free samples if you’re not sure so you can try them out before ordering. If you’re not sure which fasteners are used for your job or materials, you can ask our helpful team.

We have years of experience helping customers choose the right fastener and will give you all the information you need to make the right choice. Give us a call or contact us online, and place your order today. We’re proud to offer American-made fasteners of all types, so discover our collection of nuts, screws, rivets, nails and other fasteners!

screw driver