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Screw vs Bolt vs Stud – What’s the Difference

Bolts, screws, and studs are popular as fasteners and mainly useful in the manufacturing industry. These three elements play a versatile role and available in different shapes and appearances. So, it is essential to understand the fundamental difference between a bolt, a screw, and a stud. These elements look small but play a crucial role in routine life. Still, we pay less attention to them. Do you know how the car wheel attached to the car body? It’s just because of screws, bolts, and studs. Here, in securing the car wheel to the car body, these three items are useful.

What are Screws?

It is an inclined plane covered around a nail and identified by a helical ridge. In contrast, screws are the long metal piece with threads circulating along its length. These screws have a turn and using a screwdriver, and one can rotate the screw. The screw has a head portion with a specific shape. The head and shape size decides the tool’s size be preferred to turn and drive the screw on the place. Wrenches and screwdrivers are the common tools that fit into screws.
Below the head portion, there is a shank that has complete or partial threads. A screw thread is a helical structure present on the cylindrical or conical form. The crest is the topmost portion of the ridge, and the bottom part is known as the root. Pitch is the total distance between the crest of one thread and the next. For tightening of screws, rotational movement works well and using screwdrivers, and one can rotate screws in a clockwise and anticlockwise direction. For the joining of materials, screws are useful where there are no existing holes present on the surface.
Several types of screws are useful in the manufacturing industry, including concrete screws, dowel screws, drywall screws, and mirror screws. The distance between thread and width of thread decides the strength of a screw. The screw with a maximum number of threads increases the rotations required to fix the screw over the surface. When the distance between consecutive thread is wide, then it requires more force for its process. Besides, screws are useful in various applications such as furniture fitting, motorcycles, air conditioners, and even remote control cars available for toddlers.

What are Bolts?

An externally threaded fastener is known as a bolt, and it is designed for the insertion through holes present in the assembled sections. Additionally, bolts are for tightening and released using nuts. The bolts show a uniform and circular cross-section design, which has threads in a spiral shape. These bolts have a short pitch compared with screws and studs. Similar to that of screws, bolts are free from tapered shanks. Screws hold greater strength to secure parts. Bolts work well with nuts and tightened further with torque. Several types of bolts include carriage bolts, plow bolts, and track bolts. Bolts join parts show higher reliability and durability than screw joints.
Bolts are useful in versatile applications, including flange joints, fastening of metal objects. Besides, bolts are suitable for machinery, plumbing, and electronics as well. Bolts work as the heart of equipment and component.

What are Studs?

It is a metal rod or shaft like structure with threads on both sides. The stud’s basic structure is long, but its size can change based on its application and operational need. In short, the thread is a headless fastener and has external threads. In other words, the stud has two ends, one end is attached to the tapering portion, and another end is a standard nut.
Studs are free from the heads that require tightening as like screws and bolts. For the installation of studs, no external force to torque is not needed, and studs are easy to install manually. Studs are large as compared to bolts and shows and hence goes deep inside the threaded portion. Two forces work on screws and bolts includes the rotational force and linear force. These forces give an improper torque. While on studs does not requires external power, and hence it provides accurate torque readings.
There are three types of studs, including fully threaded stud bolts, tap end stud bolts, and double end stud bolts. The material of studs varies with the application and usability. Studs are capable of producing repeatable clamping force and show a long working life. Studs are useful in the fastening of flanges, and the quality of flange depends on the hole present diameter and length of the studs.
A bolt, a screw, and a stud have a different purpose, and it is essential to understand its usability for operation. Understand the strength and material of the product before selecting them for the project. Also, consider its impact on the overall performance of the assembly.

Difference Between Stud, Screw and Bolt

  • A screw is a fastener that is used to join two or more pieces of material together. It is inserted into a pre-drilled hole and turned in order to tighten it.
  • A bolt is a type of screw that is used to fasten two or more pieces of material together. It is inserted into a pre-drilled hole and tightened with a wrench.
  • A stud is a type of screw that is used to fasten two or more pieces of material together. It has threads on both ends and is inserted into a pre-drilled hole from both sides.
  • The main difference between a screw and a bolt is that a screw can be tightened by hand, while a bolt must be tightened with a wrench.
  • The main difference between a bolt and a stud is that a stud has threads on both ends, while a bolt only has threads on one end.

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