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Bolts, Studs, and Screws: What are the Differences?

May 9, 2018

The next time you open up your toolbox, take a moment to look down at what you have inside. Obviously, you are going to be intimately familiar with the larger tools in your inventory. However, it is really the smaller assortment of bolts, studs, and screws that make all of your projects operate as they should. Despite how important bolts, screws, and studs are, it seems like people really don't know what makes them different from one another. Today, we are going to take a moment to discuss the differences between a bolt, screw, and stud in order to help prepare you for your next project.

Bolts, Studs, and Screws - What Differentiates Them All?

Fasteners are the small objects that pretty much keep our world running. From cars to massive aeroplanes, without fasteners, there would be nothing mechanical in operation. With that being said, so few of us are actually equipped with the knowledge needed to understand the difference between the three core fasteners: bolts, studs, and screws. While this is ostensibly a simple topic, it is also a pretty important one. Without any further deliberation, let's get right into breaking down the differences between these three key fasteners.

  1. Bolts - Your bolt is essentially an external fastener that is threaded. These are used to help tighten or release the pressure from a nut. Bolts are one of the most common fasteners used in machinery today and you'll typically find them affixed around flange joints or any area where metal objects needed to be fastened together. Bolts are used in every industry in the world.
  2. Studs - A metal rod of varying lengths, bolts feature shafts that have threads on every side. Studs are larger than both bolts and screws and they require no external torque in order to install. Studs come in four different classes, ranging from Class 1 to Class 4, and they are made of a variety of different materials. Studs are used in the assembling process of a variety of different pieces of equipment. These are the least common of the three components we are discussing today, but they are still integral to manufacturing.
  3. Screws - Finally, we come to screws. Screws are probably the easiest component to identify on our list. Screws have a threaded metal shaft that requires torque and force to be properly seated into its position. Screw heads come in a variety of shapes and sizes depending on the types of tools that you have on hand. Screws are used in every industry on the planet that requires components to be affixed together.

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