Types of Socket Screws and Their Uses

Types of Socket Screws and Their Uses

There are a lot of fasteners out there, each one serving a distinct purpose to provide the best stability and strength. We’re all familiar with screws and how regularly they’re used, but there are so many that it’s easy to get confused.

You may have run into socket screws before with the hex at the head instead of the traditional Phillips or flathead configuration, whether in business or personal situations.

Flat Head Socket Screws

When looking for socket screws that sit flush with the surface of the material, flat-head socket screws are going to be the best option. That’s because the head can be countersunk, keeping it hidden from view after it has been screwed into the material.

For applications like wood furniture, where the surface of the material needs to be pretty smooth, you would need flat-head socket screws. It gives the project great stability and strength while also making the surface aesthetic look a lot nice than it would have otherwise. These are the finer, more aesthetically pleasing socket screws that you will find.

Set Socket Screws

You might hear these guys also referred to by the name of grub screws. These act differently from some of the other socket screws in that they are meant to attach two parts, but they do so by filling in a recessed hole. Most of the time, this is done to replace other screws or when reusing materials like sheet metal.

There is no head to these screws, which makes them easy to differentiate from the various socket screw types out there. You generally want to use this kind of socket screw on a component or machine part that has to be positioned in a very specific type of way. Their small size can make them a little difficult to handle as well.

Cap Head Socket Screws

These are also referred to as socket head screws (the change is a subtle one but it’s there) and they are most known for having a cylindrical head. That head is able to hold up to far more torque than the average screw, making them a perfect option for heavy-duty projects where a ton of force is required.

This type of socket screw also has a deeper socket that is able to loosen and tighten easily when using a hex key. You will generally see cap head socket screws being used for applications where there is a need for a much high load-bearing capacity.

Shoulder Socket Screws

You can identify shoulder socket screws through one key trait. This screw type has a middle section that is cylindrical while also separating the thread and head of the screw. When fastening two objects together, the shoulder socket screws are ideal for rotational movement between those two objects.

There are very specific types of shoulder socket screws. Pulleys and hinge pins are also should socket screws for a simple reason. This type of screw is great when it comes to implementing an action. That range of movement requires flexibility without compromising tensile strength and the durability of the screw.

Button Head Socket Screws

If you need a socket screw for decorative purposes, this is the best choice. The head is on the smaller side and also has a round feature that sits just above the surface of whatever material you are screwing it into.

For the most part, you want to use this type of socket screw wherever you need a flat surface. Think aesthetic covers that go over the top of machinery components. They don’t necessarily need to be flush but getting as close as possible would be ideal.

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