Frequently asked questions.

Frequently asked questions.

We believe there’s no such thing as a stupid question, especially when it comes to fastenings, which can get confusing. Keith and Richard who run our warehouse and shop are always on hand to help but here are some of the more commonly asked questions:

Can I order in small quantities?2024-07-15T11:41:28+00:00

Yes! We understand that you don’t always want to buy in large quantities so we sell all of our products individually. You get exactly what you want without the waste.

How do I know what size fastener I need?2024-04-18T14:37:46+00:00

Determining the size of a fastener involves considering several key factors related to the application and the materials being fastened together. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you determine the size of the fastener you need:

  1. Identify the Fastening Task:
    • Determine what you are fastening together (e.g., metal sheets, wood pieces, plastic components).
    • Consider the load-bearing requirements and the expected stresses on the fastener.
  2. Understand Fastener Types:
    • Familiarize yourself with different types of fasteners, such as bolts, screws, nuts, washers, rivets, etc.
    • Each type of fastener has specific sizing parameters (e.g., diameter, thread pitch, length).
  3. Consider Material Compatibility:
    • Ensure that the fastener material is compatible with the materials being joined (e.g., stainless steel fasteners for corrosive environments, brass or plastic fasteners for electrical applications).
  4. Determine Fastener Diameter:
    • For bolts and screws, measure the diameter of the fastener shaft. This is typically done using a caliper or a diameter gauge.
    • Pay attention to standard sizing conventions (e.g., metric sizes like M6, M8, M10, or imperial sizes like 1/4″, 5/16″, 3/8″).
  5. Select Thread Type and Pitch:
    • Determine the thread type (e.g., coarse thread, fine thread) based on the application requirements.
    • Measure the thread pitch (distance between threads) using a thread pitch gauge if necessary.
  6. Choose Fastener Length:
    • Consider the thickness of the materials being fastened together.
    • The fastener length should be sufficient to penetrate through all the materials while leaving enough thread engagement for secure fastening.
  7. Account for Clearance and Head Style:
    • If there are clearance restrictions, choose a fastener with an appropriate head style (e.g., countersunk, pan head, hex head).
    • Ensure that the head style allows for easy access and tightening without interference.
  8. Consult Fastener Sizing Charts and Standards:
    • Refer to industry-standard sizing charts and tables for guidance on fastener sizes based on load requirements and material compatibility.
    • Standards organizations like ANSI, ISO, and DIN provide comprehensive guidelines for fastener sizing.
  9. Consider Environmental Factors:
    • For outdoor or corrosive environments, choose fasteners with appropriate coatings or materials to resist rust and degradation.
  10. Test Fit and Verify:
    • Before finalizing your selection, perform a test fit to ensure that the chosen fastener size and type are suitable for the application.
    • Verify that the fastener meets any regulatory or industry-specific requirements.

If you’re uncertain about the sizing or need assistance, give us a call and we can provide guidance based on your specific application requirements.

How do I know which finish I need for a fastener?2024-04-18T14:25:31+00:00

Choosing the right finish for a fastener depends on several factors, including the material of the fastener, the environment it will be used in, and the desired level of corrosion resistance and aesthetics. Here are some common finishes and their typical applications:

  1. Zinc Plating (Galvanized):
    • Suitable for indoor use or mild outdoor conditions.
    • Provides moderate corrosion resistance.
    • Commonly used on steel fasteners.
  2. Hot-Dip Galvanizing:
    • Offers better corrosion resistance than zinc plating.
    • Ideal for outdoor applications, especially in harsh environments.
    • Provides a thicker coating than zinc plating.
  3. Stainless Steel:
    • Highly corrosion-resistant and suitable for outdoor use, even in harsh conditions.
    • Commonly used for marine, chemical, or food-related applications.
  4. Black Oxide:
    • Provides limited corrosion resistance and is mainly used for decorative purposes or to reduce light reflection.
    • Suitable for indoor applications where corrosion is not a significant concern.
  5. Chrome Plating:
    • Offers good corrosion resistance and an attractive appearance.
    • Used in applications where aesthetics are important, such as automotive and decorative hardware.
  6. Nickel Plating:
    • Provides corrosion resistance and enhances durability.
    • Commonly used in electrical and electronic applications.
  7. Phosphate Coating:
    • Offers corrosion resistance and helps with lubrication.
    • Suitable for use with lubricated fasteners in automotive and machinery applications.
  8. Powder Coating:
    • Provides a durable finish and can be customized in terms of color and texture.
    • Suitable for various indoor and outdoor applications.

When choosing a finish, consider the following factors:

  • Corrosion Resistance: Determine the level of protection needed based on the environment (indoor, outdoor, high humidity, chemical exposure, etc.).
  • Material Compatibility: Ensure that the finish is compatible with the material of the fastener (e.g., steel, stainless steel, brass).
  • Aesthetics: Consider the desired appearance, as some finishes are primarily chosen for their decorative appeal.
  • Cost: Different finishes have varying costs, so consider your budget constraints.
  • Regulatory Requirements: In some industries, there may be regulations or standards that dictate the type of finish required for fasteners.

If you’re unsure, consulting with a fastener supplier or a materials engineer can be helpful in determining the most suitable finish for your specific application.

How do you determine the size of a fastener?2024-04-18T14:25:47+00:00
To measure the diameter of screws and bolts, you measure the distance from the outer thread on one side to the outer thread on the other side.
This is called the major diameter and will usually be the proper size of the bolt.
How do you read imperial bolt sizes?2024-04-18T14:26:00+00:00

The measurement of an inch nut or bolt will be listed as the thread size — a number between one and 12 or an inch increment followed by the threads per inch (TPI). If the diameter is less than 1/4 inch, the diameter will be listed as a number between zero and 12; the larger the number, the closer it is to 1/4 inch.

Do you stock Imperial fastenings?2024-04-18T14:26:08+00:00

Yes! We stock UNC (Universal Coarse) and UNF (Universal Fine)

How do I return an unwanted item?2024-01-17T14:58:27+00:00

You will need to call our sales office: 01323 325319 and we will issue you with a returns number and send you a returns form to complete to return with your unwanted item.
You will be responsible for packing and postage costs and we ask that you use Royal Mail tracked delivery service to be delivered to us on a working day (Mon – Fri) Our office and warehouse isn’t open at the weekends to accept returns via courier.

How do I know what size I need?2024-04-18T14:26:45+00:00
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