Choosing the Best Bolt

According to Frederick E. Graves of The Scientific American, a refrigerator has 275 bolts, a fork-lift has 940, a car has 3,500, and a jet plane has 1.5 million. Essentially, the world is held together with bolts.

But what is a bolt? Graves says it’s a “cylindrical, externally threaded fastener with a head.” Unlike a screw, though, a bolt is meant to be used with a nut rather than in tapped holes. A bolt may be threaded or half-threaded. The head can be be square, hexagonal, round, countersunk, elliptical, or oval. Finishes vary. Materials vary.

Bolts in a machine

Bolt Variations

This variation is important: there are as many types of bolts as there are applications for those bolts. Therefore, depending how corrosion-resistant a bolt needs to be, it could be made from zinc-coated steel, mechanical-galvanized steel, hot-galvanized steel, or numerous other finishes. Some bolts are designed for to be exceptionally hard or heat resistant, which is why they may be made of carbon or heat-treated steel, alloy steel, all-stainless steel, brass, aluminum, or other materials.

This variation may seem excessive for something as simple as a bolt, but consider a situation: a new restaurant is being constructed near a lake. The building has a concrete foundation, and the contractors are choosing between various kinds of bolts.

They won’t choose an aluminum bolt – aluminum may be light, but it is also not strong enough for concrete. They also won’t choose an uncoated bolt, since concrete near a lake will certainly have moisture. In the end, they choose ½” diameter, hot-dipped, galvanized wedge anchor bolts. These are designed to be used in hard concrete. The hot-dipped galvanizing means that these bolts are more rust-resistant. Also, since they are larger in diameter, these bolts have a higher holding value, also important in a building foundation. Each feature of the bolt is customizable for this particular task.

Large bolts on a machine

This may seem complex, which is why you will need to conduct a complete analysis to determine what bolt is appropriate for your needs. A program like BOLTCALC can help in these instances. Another option is to simply describe your needs to a manufacturer and get some recommendations.

What We Have To Offer You

If you’re looking for high quality bolts, look no further! We only carry the best. If you’d like any assistance in finding what you need, don’t hesitate to contact us. You can get in touch by calling 708-450-9301 or emailing us at