Nut and Bolt
Nut and Bolt
A bolt is a form of threaded fastener with an external male thread. Bolts are thus closely related to, and often confused with, screws.
The distinction between a bolt and a screw is usually unclear and misunderstood. There are several practical differences, but most have some degree of overlap between bolts and screws.
The defining distinction, per Machinery's Handbook, is in their intended purpose: Bolts are for the assembly of two unthreaded components, with the aid of a nut. Screws in contrast are used with components, at least one of which contains its own internal thread, which even may be formed by the installation of the screw itself. Many threaded fasteners can be described as either screws or bolts, depending on how they are used.
Bolts use a wide variety of head designs, as do screws. These are designed to engage with the tool used to tighten them. Some bolt heads instead lock the bolt in place, so that it does not move and a tool is only needed for the nut end.
The first bolts had square heads, formed by forging. These are still found, although much more common today is the hexagonal head. These are held and turned by a spanner or wrench, of which there are many forms. Most are held from the side, some from in-line with the bolt.
Many screws use a screwdriver head fitting, rather than an external wrench. Screwdrivers are applied in-line with the fastener, rather than from the side. These are smaller than most wrench heads and cannot usually apply the same amount of torque. It is sometimes assumed that screwdriver heads imply a screw and wrenches imply a bolt, although this is incorrect. Coach screws are large square-headed screws with a tapered wood screw thread, used for attaching ironwork to timber.
Head designs that overlap both are the Allen or Torx heads; hexagonal or splined sockets. These modern designs span a large range of sizes and can carry a considerable torque.
Source: Bolt (fastener) from Wikipedia
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