Which Socket Screws

For discussions about bikes and equipment.
climo
Posts: 518
Joined: 29 Apr 2009, 8:08am
Location: Warminster

Which Socket Screws

Postby climo » 15 Feb 2020, 11:09pm

Like most people I've ended up with a variety of hex socket screws (bolts). I never seem to have the correct one for the job or the thread looks a bit dodgy so I thought I'd buy a stock of them, stainless of course.
Quantities under 20 seem uneconomic so I'm going to end up with enough for several lifetimes!
What sizes and quantities who people suggest? Regular or domed? And where to buy fully threaded screws over 20mm? While we're at it nuts & washers too.

fastpedaller
Posts: 2336
Joined: 10 Jul 2014, 1:12pm
Location: Norfolk

Re: Which Socket Screws

Postby fastpedaller » 15 Feb 2020, 11:21pm

Screwfix seem good value in stainless - m5 & m6 are the usual sizes, button -head or cap head as you desire!

PH
Posts: 8443
Joined: 21 Jan 2007, 12:31am
Location: Derby
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Re: Which Socket Screws

Postby PH » 15 Feb 2020, 11:28pm

Ebay, there's several reputable traders who will do you small quantities at economical prices. This is the one I've used, they've supplied as expected
https://www.ebay.co.uk/str/Bolt-World?_ ... 7675.l2563

Unless there's a reason to use dome heads, I'll chose caps because for the same size screw it's usually a larger hex key.
Slightly off topic, I've always considered socket screw to mean grub screws, am I wrong?

climo
Posts: 518
Joined: 29 Apr 2009, 8:08am
Location: Warminster

Re: Which Socket Screws

Postby climo » 15 Feb 2020, 11:33pm

fastpedaller wrote:Screwfix seem good value in stainless - m5 & m6 are the usual sizes, button -head or cap head as you desire!

Only 16mm and 20mm - nothing longer.But than do I need it?

Brucey
Posts: 37433
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Which Socket Screws

Postby Brucey » 15 Feb 2020, 11:35pm

both toolstation and screwfix stock stainless capheads, nuts, washers, nylocks etc which seem OK quality to me (*). I would use standard capheads over dome-headed ones wherever they need to be properly tight and/or removed on a regular basis.

For applications that are less critical, dome headed screws are OK. The reason I discriminate is that dome headed fasteners have a smaller socket in them (vs standard capheads) and repeated/high torque use tends to round the smaller socket out. So I will happily use dome headed screws in bottle cage fittings (with a drop of threadlock) but not (say) to secure a rack.

(*) There are capheads with better finishes, milled heads, you name it. I have occasionally (when I've been feeling super-fussy, or need to make a bolt with a reduced head diameter, e.g to fit some stems) machined and/or polished the heads of standard capheads.

NB you usually get a choice of A2 or A4 grades in stainless capheads. A2 are slightly stronger and slightly less corrosion resistant and are probably the better choice on a bicycle. For sizes that are not available in the warehouse stores, I use more specialist fastener suppliers, and buy them five or ten at a time; I need fewer of these anyway.

One of the things I have not managed to track down is a good supply of M5 stainless capheads which use a larger 5mm key and have a built-in flange on the head. Such screws are OE on some big brand bikes and would be my choice for many jobs if I could buy them more easily.

cheers
Last edited by Brucey on 15 Feb 2020, 11:36pm, edited 1 time in total.
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keyboardmonkey
Posts: 667
Joined: 1 Dec 2009, 5:05pm
Location: Yorkshire

Re: Which Socket Screws

Postby keyboardmonkey » 15 Feb 2020, 11:35pm

I bought something like these in a pack of 50 from Screwfix (mine don’t have the knurled head)...

https://www.screwfix.com/p/easyfix-cap- ... pack/1941T

Snug up a couple of bolts in the appropriate place, fasten in a vice and cut to length when necessary.

climo
Posts: 518
Joined: 29 Apr 2009, 8:08am
Location: Warminster

Re: Which Socket Screws

Postby climo » 15 Feb 2020, 11:37pm

PH wrote:Ebay, there's several reputable traders who will do you small quantities at economical prices. This is the one I've used, they've supplied as expected
https://www.ebay.co.uk/str/Bolt-World?_ ... 7675.l2563

Unless there's a reason to use dome heads, I'll chose caps because for the same size screw it's usually a larger hex key.
Slightly off topic, I've always considered socket screw to mean grub screws, am I wrong?

Mostly part threaded over 20mm and yes apparently you're wrong - but I don't know why.

Brucey
Posts: 37433
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Which Socket Screws

Postby Brucey » 15 Feb 2020, 11:39pm

IIRC Americans call 'grub screws' 'socket screws' or even 'set screws'.

Under a certain length 'caphead screws' and 'caphead bolts' are the same thing. However above that length they are different; bolts have an unthreaded portion in the shank, and full threaded fasteners are known as 'set screws'. Unless you are an American.

cheers
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Phileas
Posts: 254
Joined: 18 Feb 2009, 6:12pm
Location: Bristol

Re: Which Socket Screws

Postby Phileas » 16 Feb 2020, 6:31am

Nowadays, I call grub screws socket setscrews. They tend to be listed as such in catalogues, e.g. the standard parts libraries built into the Catia CAD package I use at work or the Unbrako catalogue.

Jan Marten
Posts: 73
Joined: 14 May 2019, 10:01pm

Re: Which Socket Screws

Postby Jan Marten » 16 Feb 2020, 7:08am

Brucey wrote:One of the things I have not managed to track down is a good supply of M5 stainless capheads which use a larger 5mm key and have a built-in flange on the head. Such screws are OE on some big brand bikes and would be my choice for many jobs if I could buy them more easily.
cheers


Because of the problem with rounded-out hex drive recesses, I've changed, wherever possible, to torx drive. Flanged button heads are available from here:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/i/232249073506
Last edited by Jan Marten on 16 Feb 2020, 7:12am, edited 1 time in total.
Ride, Eat, Sleep. Repeat

mattsccm
Posts: 2938
Joined: 28 Nov 2009, 9:44pm

Re: Which Socket Screws

Postby mattsccm » 16 Feb 2020, 7:12am

Almost every trading estate I know has a fasteners emporium. My local one will sell you just one.

User avatar
Mick F
Spambuster
Posts: 48241
Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Tamar Valley, Cornwall

Re: Which Socket Screws

Postby Mick F » 16 Feb 2020, 7:16am

Yes, agree.

I use a shop in Plymouth. You can even buy a single washer if you want.
http://www.expressfixing.co.uk

I wouldn't mind betting that there's a shop like that in every major town.
Mick F. Cornwall

PT1029
Posts: 735
Joined: 16 Apr 2012, 9:20pm

Re: Which Socket Screws

Postby PT1029 » 16 Feb 2020, 8:14am

In Oxford Tool Master (Cowley Rd, police station end) has half the rear wall covered in nuts bolts/washers bins, galvanized and stainless. M3 to M something too big for a bike, various lengths, nylock, not nylock and a few other variants.
Usual I grab a random number of what I want, he sucks his teeth and says "call it £X?" (I'm usually buying for work).
They can count them, the new apprentice was once told to work out how many bolts I had (about 6 small bags of different sizes), my heart sank, however..... they have a massive looking set of scales at the back. Put your bolts in the big bowl, and just 1 in the small bowl, and it says how many there are, repeat for different sizes. Magic!

pwa
Posts: 11697
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: Which Socket Screws

Postby pwa » 16 Feb 2020, 8:30am

climo wrote:Like most people I've ended up with a variety of hex socket screws (bolts). I never seem to have the correct one for the job or the thread looks a bit dodgy so I thought I'd buy a stock of them, stainless of course.
Quantities under 20 seem uneconomic so I'm going to end up with enough for several lifetimes!
What sizes and quantities who people suggest? Regular or domed? And where to buy fully threaded screws over 20mm? While we're at it nuts & washers too.


SJS is a very good source of stainless bits for bikes.

https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/nuts-bolts/

Brucey
Posts: 37433
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Which Socket Screws

Postby Brucey » 16 Feb 2020, 8:46am

Phileas wrote:Nowadays, I call grub screws socket setscrews. They tend to be listed as such in catalogues, e.g. the standard parts libraries built into the Catia CAD package I use at work or the Unbrako catalogue.


That perhaps reflects the (in this case French/) American English that is often used in such software packages?

In the context of 'going into your local traditional fastener suppliers and asking for things', IME using such terms can result in some extremely unproductive conversations, depending on the chap in the shop. Thinking about it, I've probably used slightly different forms of words in different shops, because they understand/use different terminology, either as a result of their backgrounds or the terminology of their suppliers.

I quite like traditional fastener suppliers where chaps in brown coats go trotting off in the back to get you things, but they do (quite understandably) tend to get a bit cheesed off when they come back with something different to what you wanted. If you have something similar in your hand, nothing beats 'like this, but with....' type requests.

cheers
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