Did you know that the U.S. nut, bolt, and screw industry generates around $27 billion in revenue a year? Nuts, bolts, and screws may not seem all that exciting or interesting, but they certainly are necessary, since they hold together cars, bridges, furniture, plumbing, and a wide assortment of other useful items. The first person in the United States to manufacture bolts was a man named Micah Rugg. Mr. Rugg was a small town blacksmith who studied manufacturing methods and came up with two different machines that created bolts and nuts in varying sizes. The first nuts were much flatter and squarer than the ones we see today.
Bolt and nut supply companies today make screws and other hardware in thousands of different shapes and sizes. Bolts can be made out of steel, brass, aluminum, plastic, titanium, and cadmium. The varieties probably leave your head spinning when you go to the hardware store, regardless if you need simple steel screws or marine grade stainless steel bolts. Well, read some of the tips below to make your bolt search a little more fruitful.
- If you’re replacing a bolt, bring the old one with you. Surprisingly, most people forget that they can simply match up old marine grade stainless steel bolts with new ones in the hardware store. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, the bolt, nut, and a brief explanation of what the bolt is used for is usually enough for a sales associate to find the correct piece of hardware.
- If you’ve lost a bolt or completely destroyed your bolt supplies, find out as much information as you can about the bolt you need. Find the length, width, and thread pitch -- the number of threads per inch that run down the length of the bolt. The pitch is measured as fine, medium or course. Thread pitch may not be easy to find when searching for anchor bolt information, so you may need to purchase a bolt in each pitch after you are confident about the other bolt measurements.
- Think about what your bolt is being used for, and choose material and hardness wisely. Vehicle parts and components require the hardest bolts, due to the basic wear and tear within the engine of the car. Look for grade 8 bolts at bolt and nut suppliers when you will use the bolt in a vehicle. Grade 5 bolts are fairly hard and a good choice for furniture and indoor appliances. Stainless steel bolts are not as hard as grade 8 or grade 5 bolts, but they resist rust. This makes them ideal for outdoor use.
Bolts like marine grade stainless steel bolts are imperative in keeping cars and other items firmly intact. You must make sure you find the right bolts for your needs when the time comes to replace one.