By Gaylord Pierce - July 21, 2022
Guide to Different Types of Bolts
Nuts and bolts are a common term that we use but these serve two different purposes. Bolts are basically mechanical fasteners that will allow you to connect two workpieces. They have external threads and they can be inserted into a pre-drilled hole in the workpiece. The washer will be inserted next to spread the load and the corresponding nut will tighten the whole fastener combination.
You can find other types of fasteners as well but the benefit with using nuts and bolts is that they can be removed if required. Other fasteners are generally permanent and will not allow any changes to be made afterwards. You need to make sure that the bolts, nuts and washers match each other when you purchase bolts and industrial supplies. You will see hex nuts being most commonly used with bolts but there are so many different types of nuts such as cap nuts, locknuts, flange nuts, square nuts, panel nuts etc.
A nut and bolt combination will help you join different materials together. Some examples are sheet metal, polymers, wood, iron and steel. There are also different types of bolts depending on the application. You may be familiar with anchor bolts that can attach structural members to a concrete slab or foundation. You can have the anchor bolts kept in place while the concrete is cast. It will stay inside the concrete while it is cured. Or if the concrete is already cured, it can be drilled into and then an anchor bolt can be inserted.
Stud bolts or double-ended bolts have a threaded part at both ends. So there is no bolt head. One end can be threaded to a hole and the other is threaded allowing you to install a nut. It resembles a threaded rod but the threading may be different on the two ends and the threading will not be found along the entire length of the bolt. Blind bolts are used in an application where one part of the bolt is not accessible. One example is the toggle bolt that allows you to secure items to a wall. You will need to install the bolt through the external side of the wall. Hex bolts have a hexagonal head and you will need a wrench or socket to tighten this. They can be used to connect wood together or metal and wood. They can also connect metals together.
Carriage bolts are self-locking bolts and they come with a flush mount domed head. You will only be able to remove this from the nut side of the bolt. You can tighten the bolt from the nut side without using a wrench to keep the bolt in place. Eye bolts can be found in two forms. One will have a partly closed looped end in place of the bolt head and the other will have a fully closed loop. The loop allows you to lift the object that the eye bolt is connected to. It also provides a location to route wires. There are different types that are designed for various applications. For example, there are eye bolts that can withstand low temperatures if you are using it in that context.