ThePipingMart Blog Fasteners Tap Bolt vs Cap Bolt – What’s the Difference

Tap Bolt vs Cap Bolt – What’s the Difference

Tap Bolts vs Cap Bolts

When it comes to bolts, there are many different types available in the market. It is essential to understand the differences between each bolt type to ensure everything runs smoothly during assembly. In this blog post, we will discuss two common types of bolts: Tap bolts and Cap bolts. We will compare and contrast their features, applications, and advantages and help you identify which bolt type is better suited for your needs.

What is Tap Bolt?

Tap Bolts are a type of fastener used in many construction applications. They feature a sharp-pointed tip, which allows them to easily penetrate and secure into thin materials such as sheet metal, aluminium, and wood. This makes tap bolts ideal for light duty structural uses or securing items like shelves and panels. The head design is typically hexagonal but can also be round or flat, depending on the application. Tap bolts are typically made from high-strength steel and come in different lengths depending on their use.

What is Cap Bolt?

A cap bolt is a type of fastener often used in construction. It has an external hex head, meaning the end of the bolt is shaped like a six sided nut. The threads on these bolts are designed to match up with corresponding threads on nuts or other parts, allowing them to easily and securely connect two pieces. They can be made of steel or other materials and come in varying sizes and lengths depending on specific applications.

Difference Between Tap Bolt and Cap Bolt


Tap Bolts are also known as fully-threaded hex bolts; they are used in applications where a tight connection of two pieces of material is essential. Tap bolts are designed with threads along the entire shank’s length and are used when a bolt needs to be tightened to the bottom of a tapped hole. Cap bolts, also referred to as Hex Head Cap Screws, have a partially threaded shank with no threads on the headside, allowing them to fit into ready-made holes in materials.


Tap Bolts are ideally suited for use in high-stress applications, such as automotive and structural engineering, where the bolt must be secure and tight. They can also be used to fasten wood, metal, and plastic.

Cap bolts are often used in machinery assembly, and when the surface of the bolt is visible, they have a finished appearance, and their smooth head is less likely to damage sensitive parts or snag material.


Tap bolts are known for their high strength and resilience, making them ideal for heavy-duty or industrial use. They have a fully-threaded shank that provides maximum grip and distributes stress evenly, which can prevent bolt failure.

Cap bolts have a partially threaded shank, suitable for materials that need fastening from only one side, as they can be inserted through the hole rather than through the other side. They also have a smoother head, which prevents accidental cuts or scrapes.


Tap bolts and Cap bolts are available in an array of sizes. Tap bolts come in lengths ranging from inch to inches, and Cap bolts come in sizes from inches to 12 inches. The diameter of the bolt may also be considered when choosing the right bolt for your needs. The weight or load capacity of the fastened material must also be considered when choosing the right bolt.


Tap bolts are tightened using a wrench, whereas Cap bolts can be tightened using an Allen key. The type of fastening tool required may dictate the type of bolt needed. It is essential to ensure that the right tool is used to tighten the corresponding bolt type to prevent any damage to the bolt or fastening material.


In conclusion, tap and cap bolts have unique advantages and applications that make them suitable for various projects. Understanding their differences and choosing the right bolt type for the job is essential. By following these tips and considering the material, size, and usage requirements, you can ensure that your project is safely and accurately fastened.

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