A guide to the different types of screws used for industrial applications


Screws are used for various purposes. They are used as fastening components that are widely used in various applications. From the electronic industry to the construction, marine, and Aviation industry, screws are widely used in many industries. This is why many OEMs, professionals, and technicians will look for specific screws from time to time. This is why it is important to know the various screw types. There are three primary types of screws that are used in industrial applications. They are Cap, sheet metal, and machine screws.

Machine screws

Machine screws are special fastening components that are sometimes called machine bolts. These screws are usually smaller in comparison to the typical screw. Machine screws come in various sizes of about ¾ an inch but can still be produced in bigger sizes.

Machine screws are produced to be used in an already drilled hole that is on a metallic surface. It is also used alongside a nut. There are various types of machine screws and are best differentiated by size, thread types, Material, length, slot type, and head shape. Bronze machine screws are essential fastening components that are widely used due to their high strength and resistance to corrosion.

Machine screws by type of drive

Machine screw comes in two primary types of drives. These are the Phillips and the slotted. They can also come in various specialized drives which are associated with a tamper-resistant screw. The popular types of drives include a trident, spanner, Torx, and many others. Machine screws can also be identified based on the shape of their head. This usually determines the way that the screw lies as soon as it has been properly fastened to its position. There are the Pan and round heads that jut out from a surface when installed. Machine screws with flat heads are usually used in counter-sunk holes. This means that they usually lay flush to the surface when fully installed.

Sheet metal screws

Sheet metal screws are fully threaded screws that are widely used in different applications. As highly versatile screws, sheet metal screws are used with plastic, wooden, and metallic materials. A majority of these screws are known as self-testing components that only need pre-drilled holes. There are specially made screws that have self-drilling points. A sheet metal screw cones with a specially hardened feature. They have sharp threads that enable them to drill well into the material. It can make its internal threading. Sheet metal screws are classified with special number series. Coming with three numbers, these are the diameter, its thread count, and its fastening length.

A sheet metal screen with a 5-33 x 1 – 2/3” will have a 5-inch diameter, 33 threads per inch, and its length will be 1-2/3”.

Types of sheet metal screws

We have two primary types of sheet metal screws which are the self-drilling and self-tapping screws. The self-tapping screws come with extremely sharp tips that can cut through any metal with pre-drilled holes. The self-drilling types will easily cut through metallic surfaces without pre-drilling any hole.

Cap screws

The caps screws are the third type of screws and are typically used in the absence of a nut. They are mainly used to fasten machine components. They are also widely used for electronic devices and home appliances. They are characterised by their large heads and diameters that are bigger than the threaded section.

Types of cap screws

The commonly used type of cap screws is the button head, socket head, and hex heads. These types of screws are usually made from metallic alloys, stainless steel, and carbon.