Screws and bolts come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and materials. They are often classified by their major head size, threads per inch, and length in inches. In the United States, fasteners are usually labeled using an inch-based system called Unified Thread Standard (UTS). Choosing the right screw for your project requires knowledge of these three factors. The right head style will also impact the screw’s performance, and the right length will ensure that the screws reach the intended location within your material.
When it comes to identifying the correct screw diameter for your application, the best method is to use a screw chart. The chart will help you understand the different types of heads and their relationship to the diameter of the shank, or shaft, of the screw. In addition, the screw chart will help you determine the screw size by its gauge, which is equal to the sum of its head and shank diameters in sixteenths of an inch. For example, a screw with a 5/16-inch head and a 1/4-inch shank is a size 8 screw.
The thickness of your material will have a significant effect on the appropriate screw length. You want to ensure that the screw reaches through your thinner material and is fully threaded into the thicker one. Depending on the construction details, you may not be able to achieve this with all screws, but it’s generally a good rule of thumb to have about 2/3 of the screw in the thicker piece.
When you are selecting a screw size, you will need to know that the thread standard will be different between coarse (UNC) and fine threads (UNF). The screw chart will identify these two thread standards. It will also identify the thread pitch in inches, which is the distance between each thread peak. For example, a screw with coarse threads will have a number such as 32, while a screw with fine threads will be a size 8.
Whether you are purchasing metric or imperial screws, it’s helpful to have a screw chart handy. These charts will make it easy to convert metric screw sizes to imperial sizes and vice versa. The chart will also give you the tolerance class, or LH symbol if the screws are left-handed, and the screw type. In addition, the chart will list the head, shank, and threaded portion dimensions of each screw. It will also include the length of each section of the screw in inches. This will make it easier for you to select the right screw for your application. The right screw will draw your materials together and make them secure. This will allow you to finish your work with ease and confidence. Choosing the wrong screw can cause damage to the materials and lead to weak points in your project. So make sure you have a screw chart on hand and follow these tips to ensure the right screw for your project. #4 screw diameter