Things You Need to Know When Buying Fasteners for Your Project

When you are working on something that requires fasteners to hold it all together, getting the right ones is essential. Hex head bolts may be the right thing for your needs, but they are not all the same, so there are some things to consider when choosing fasteners for your project. 

Bolt Materials

Hex head bolts are available in many different materials and states of hardening. The bolts often look the same but are not when you examine them closely, so it is vital that you know what you need to ensure you get the correct fasteners. 

Steel is commonly used to make hex head bolts, but you can also find similar fasteners from aluminum, brass, stainless steel, titanium, and many other materials. Sometimes how they are used is the biggest concern, while in other cases, the strength of the bolt is more important than what it is made from. 

A bolt used to hold together a deck, for instance, is often stainless steel because they don't rust and discolor the wood they are used in. Alternatively, a simple steel bolt may be used to hold a framework or structure together since it is protected from weather and out of sight. 

Thread Pitch and Types

Hex head bolts are also available in varying lengths, different thread pitches, or types. You can find most bolts in metric and SAE sizes. The variety of fasteners means you should be able to find one that is right for your project. Working with a hex head bolt distributor to get the bolts you need is helpful if you require something unique, but for standard bolts and fasteners, your local home center or hardware store should be able to help.

If you bring the old bolt with you when you are looking for a replacement, the associate helping you can measure the fastener and use a thread pitch gauge to determine if the threads are coarse, fine, left-hand thread or standard, and they can check the markings on the bolt to determine the hardness grade. 

Graded Bolts

The bolt grade on most hex head bolts is indicated on the top of the head using a series of lines or numbers. A hex head bolts with a single number like 307A indicate a low carbon steel bolt and could be many sizes. The number indicates the bolt's material and is used for stainless steel, aluminum, and other materials. 

A bolt with no marketing is typically a grade two-bolt made of steel, but the same bolt with three lines on top is carbon steel but hardened to a grade five strength well over the standard strength of a low carbon steel fastener. Six lines indicate a great eight bolt that is stronger yet. Metric bolts use a slightly different system with cast numbers on the head but display the three grades using metric measurements.