Hex Head Bolts
18-8 Stainless Steel Hex Head Bolts
Bolts are for the assembly of two non threaded components, with the aid of a nut. Screws in contrast are used in components which contain their own thread, and the screw may even cut its own internal thread into them. Many threaded fasteners can be described as either screws or bolts, depending on how they are used.
Bolts are often used to make a bolted joint. This is a combination of the nut applying an axial clamping force and also the shank of the bolt acting as a dowel, pinning the joint against sideways shear forces. For this reason, many bolts have a plain unthreaded shank (called the grip length) as this makes for a better, stronger dowel. The presence of the unthreaded shank has often been given as characteristic of bolts vs. screws, but this is incidental to its use, rather than defining.
A screw must always be turned to assemble the joint. Many bolts are held fixed in place during assembly, either by a tool or by a design of non-rotating bolt, such as a carriage bolt, and only the corresponding nut is turned.
The first bolts had square heads, formed by forging. These are still found, although much more common today is the hexagonal head. These are held and turned by a spanner or wrench, of which there are many forms. Most are held from the side, some from in-line with the bolt.