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Let's split hair : a bolt is in fact a screw with a nut, but a screw is not a bolt as to be a bolt it would need a nut, but it can be a stud if it's screwed to a fixed point like a soldered nut or a threaded hole, for example. 

 

And be glad that you don't speak French as we have different words for anything slightly different from another.

 

Edited by Hellzero
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Just now, TimR said:

You'd struggle to find an M8 screw. 

 

I have some no more than 20 feet away... but you can just go to boltworld...

 

https://boltworld.co.uk/collections/m8-bolts

 

Most of these are screws.

 

The 'roofing bolts' are like coach bolts, they have a square shank to fit a matching hole. The cap screws have a section of plain shank, which allows them to be used as bolts, but they are not primarily used as such.

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Seems you can't generalise between screws and bolts because there are so many types. 

 

I would have said bolts go into nuts and set screws and machine screws are specific variations of bolts that go into already threaded material.

 

With a normal 'screw' like a self tapping screw, wood screw, plasterboard screw, etc screwing directly into unthreaded material. 

 

The machine 'screws' that hold my wheels onto the hubs on my car, are somewhat confusingly commonly known as wheel nuts. 

 

It's odd for engineers to be so loose with definitions. 

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5 minutes ago, TimR said:

 

 

The machine 'screws' that hold my wheels onto the hubs on my car, are somewhat confusingly commonly known as wheel nuts. 

 

 

They're wheel bolts.

 

A nut has a female threaded portion. 

 

A screw, set screw, or bolt has a male threaded portion. On a bolt, there is also an unthreaded portion. On a set screw, the thread is not tapered, while on a screw, the thread is tapered. They all have a head of some kind or other.

 

If its threaded but doesn't have a head, then its a (threaded) rod.

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2 hours ago, Stub Mandrel said:

 

The definition is vague and contested. I stand by mine as the most usual British usage 🙂

 

I use a fixing with an unthreaded section of shank to locate and fix an unthreaded part to a threaded one. It's both a bolt and a screw by your definition, a bolt by mine. 😈

 

The most usual British usage is that they're all bolts.

 

And if you're fixing an unthreaded part to a threaded one, it's a screw. "Screws are used to assemble TO threaded objects". Not a screw or a bolt.

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The basic problem is a 'bolt' was originally a cylindrical object that secures something by fitting into a hole.

 

Fixings with a thread on the end and a head at the other with a shank that fits a hole become known as bolts.

 

A screw thread, is, well, a thread. By extension, the term 'screw' applies to any threaded fixing.

 

So all screws are screws. Most screws can serve as bolts but usage is a poor definition as something can be classified differently depending on how it's used.

 

Only self-cutting screws are definitely not bolts, and even then it is possible to get 'wood bolts' with a self-cutting thread and a plain shank for fixing metal to wood.

 

One thing that is interesting is that it is fairly easy to make machine screws and bolts. Making self tapping or taper screw threads is much more tricky.

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If we really want to have fun...

 

Should you use a plain washer under a nut?

 

When using a thin lock nut, should it go on top of or beneath the full nut?

 

What is the optimum thickness of a full nut?

 

and...

 

What is the optimum size of hole for tapping a thread?

 

(Don't answer these, as any of them could fill a forum...)

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13 hours ago, Hellzero said:

Let's split hair : a bolt is in fact a screw with a nut, but a screw is not a bolt as to be a bolt it would need a nut, but it can be a stud if it's screwed to a fixed point like a soldered nut or a threaded hole, for example.

 

That is the correct definition as a bolt is an assembly...

Edited by Hellzero
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I'm just wondering how the mechanic will react when I next take my car to a service.

 

"Have you got the key to your locking wheel nuts sir?"

"Well actually, I think youll find they're locking wheel set screws."

 

I'm just writing to VAG right now to ask them to update their owners manual...

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