Are Nuts and Bolts Better Than Screws?

If you need to connect materials, then you can use screws or nuts and bolts. While screws are a good holding solution in some scenarios, there are times when nuts and bolts are a better solution. What are the benefits of using nuts and bolts over screws?

Better Holding Strength

While screws can give you a secure connection, they might not have the holding strength you need for some applications. If you need to secure a heavier or denser material, then screws might not be up to the job. They have limited threads. This affects their grip and strength.

If a screw isn't strong enough to do its job, then the materials it holds might get damaged if they can move. This makes the problem worse. If the screw can't sit tightly in its hole, then it loses more holding strength. It might fail.

Nuts and bolts combined have a greater holding strength. They have bigger threads — some bolts are even fully threaded —so they create a better grip in their hole. They are also often chunkier and broader. They are a more effective solution for thicker or heavier materials.

More Effective Load Spread

Any connection you use has to be able to hold its load. Screws sometimes struggle to do this. All of the load focuses on the screw. If the screw isn't big or long enough to hold itself in place given the stresses around it, then it might break, move, or even start to work loose.

Nuts and bolts have a more effective load spread. You insert a washer on the back of a bolt before you put the holding nut on. This washer sits behind the material the bolt goes through. It helps spread the load that the bolt has to hold. This reduces pressure on the bolt and gives it more stability. It is less likely to move or break.

More Secure Connections

While a screw fixes itself into place, it can sometimes come loose and even start to unscrew out of its hole. Movement, excess weight and too much pressure can loosen it.

Nuts and bolts are a more secure solution. As well as their extra holding strength and load spread, these fixings also have an extra level of security. The nut that goes on the end of the bolt holds it in place. It is less likely to work loose or come out of its hole.

To find the best solutions for your build, ask nuts and bolts suppliers for advice.