Elevator bolts and step bolts share a similar design, with a partially threaded rod and wide, shallow head. But these bolts have very different functions and cannot be interchanged. Learn how to distinguish between these two bolts and find out which is best for your application.
Basics of an Elevator Bolt
The use of elevator bolts has been recorded for over a century. These fasteners were originally part of the grain elevator system and prized for the low profile head that allowed maximum clearance. Elevator bolts are used for many different applications in the modern world, on assembly lines, consumer products, furniture and many other places.
This type of bolt presents a circular head, quite large when compared to the rod. The conical bearing surface was designed with a shallow depth, creating the clearance this bolt is known for. Look for a square neck found under the head.
Other names for an elevator bolt include a belt bolt, elevator screw, or Norway bolt. Some manufacturers and fastener distributors may extend the term to contain more detail, such as adding “flat countersunk head” to the fastener name. Most elevators bolt are made to the same specifications.
You need to torque the nut to tighten an elevator bolt. In some cases, such as when an elevator bolt is used as a leveling leg, a hole may be tapped into the head to allow for tightening.
Basics of a Step Bolt
Although it looks similar to the bolt described above, a step bolt is designed for a very specific use. Tightened onto steel communication towers and other tall, rigid structures, a line of step bolts provides an impromptu ladder.
This fastener boasts a low profile, circular head, and is tightened with a nut. Most fastener distributors offer the bolt with two nuts, with one nut tightened against the unthreaded portion of the bolt and the other finishing the joint.
Both of these fasteners can be sourced from your local fastener distributor and used with confidence. Decide whether you need the versatility of the elevator bolt or the specific design of a step bolt and call for a quote.
Started my career in the fastener world in 1969 at, Parker Kalon Corp. a NJ based screw manufacturer located in Clifton, NJ working in inventory control, scheduling secondary production and concluding there in purchasing. In 1971 I accepted a sales position at Star Stainless Screw Co., Totowa, NJ working in inside sales and later as an outside salesman, having a successful career at Star I had the desire with a friend to start our own fastener distribution company in 1980 named: Divspec, Kenilworth, NJ. This was a successful adventure but ended in 1985 with me starting Melfast in August 1985 and have stayed competitive and successful to date. Melfast serves the OEM market with approximately 400 accounts nationally.