What is a Machine Screw?

Machine screws or machine bolts are designed to either screw into a hole which contains a tapped thread or to fit with a nut of the corresponding thread size and form. Machine screws in NY are produced in a wide range of sizes, head shapes, slots styles; material and thread form.

One common way to quickly identify a machine screw is by the slot design in the head that is used for tightening it; it is this slot than determines what screwdriver is used. The two most common types of screwdrivers that are used to tighten a machine screw are a Phillips head and a slotted head. Although slotted head screws and Phillips head machine screws are by far the most common there are other head forms available, one of which is a six point, start shaped hole known as Torx. These types of machine screws in NY are more commonly employed where there is a good reason to stop vandalism or to stop unauthorized use. These types of screws, they can only be tightened and loosened with a unique tool are found on such things as high voltage electrical panels where it can pose a danger if opened by non-skilled personnel. Machine screws and machine bolts are also available with hex shaped heads, there is no slot at all and the bolt is tightened or loosened using a wrench.

The shape of the slot determines the type of screwdriver, the shape of the head determines how it will lie once it is tightened. Round head screws and pan head machine screws in NY stand proud above the surface that they go through or into; flat headed screws are designed to be used where it is important that the surface be flat with no protrusions. When a flat head screw is used the hole is countersunk, the top of the screw head falls slightly below the level of the material.

Machine screws are available in a number of different thread forms. The thread form that is commonly followed is per ISO, an international standards organization that has determined design specifications for threads so that common parts can be used world-wide. The two most important characteristics of a thread are the diameter and the pitch, the pitch is the distance between threads; a common example of how machine screws in NY are specified is ½”-16 which is a ½” diameter bolt with 16 threads per inch of threaded length.

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