What Is a Socket Screw?

A Socket Screw is a tall-headed fastener with a cylindrical head with an internal hex drive built into it. This allows the screws to be tightened and loosened using an Allen wrench (hex key) or screwdriver without the need for external wrenching. This makes them perfect for applications where access space is limited, such as when bolts or nuts can’t be used.

Typically, the socket cap screw’s head is recessed within a counterbored hole to ensure that it is flush with the surface of the component being fastened. This helps to prevent the heads from catching on or scratching surfaces, and it also creates a more streamlined appearance to the assembly. Socket head cap screws can be grouped into several categories depending on the type of head that is utilized and the length of the thread. Some examples include thumb screws, flat head socket screws and button head socket screws.

When to Use a Socket Screw
Socket screws are commonly used in applications where bolts and nuts can’t be used as the hex socket design of these screws gives them six stress-bearing sides. This increased strength allows for greater clamping force to be generated with fewer screws and also reduces the overall weight of an assembly.

These heavy duty screws are available in a range of materials including stainless steel, alloys and speciality metals. The material that is chosen will depend on the environmental conditions and load requirements of the application where they are to be used, and should also be compatible with any coatings or finishes that may need to be applied to the screw. For example, if the fastener will be exposed to corrosive or moisture-laden environments, then an appropriate corrosion resistant metal should be selected.

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