Nuts come in all shapes and sizes, from aluminum kep nuts to Inconel hex nuts. However, there are many people who are usually interested in using them but end up not being very sure about which type to buy. The fact that there are many different types of nuts out there can make it very confusing to identify the one that will most suit a certain application.
However, the goal of getting this right is by simply gaining some basic knowledge about the different types of nuts you are likely to come across out there. This way, it will make it less likely for you to pick products that are not suited for a specific project. In addition to that, this is also likely to turn out to be cheaper for you as well.
Why this is important
It’s important to be critical about the types of nuts you use for a specific application mainly because your choice will determine the performance of the fastening. When you choose inappropriate nuts, some of the problems you are likely to come across include having them loosen too soon as well as finding that they get damaged faster than you anticipated. If you are going to use the nuts in a sensitive application such as in the manufacture of performance vehicles, the choice of nuts will also affect the quality of the outcome. Using the wrong nuts could lead to a myriad problems including poor performance of the final product.
The common types of nuts you are likely to come across
Some of the popular nut styles you are likely to come across these days include:
The hex nuts: Hex nuts are what everyone thinks about when you mention the word nut. As the name suggests, this is a nut that has six sides in the shape of a hexagon. There are different ways in which they can be designed including by using a nylon insert to help the nut stay in place, as well as by designing it as a jam nut. This is a hex nut that is simply shorter than a conventional one.
The wing nuts: Wing nuts are popular in applications where the nut has to be opened and closed frequently, usually by hand. They are therefore mostly used for temporary fastening, such as when you need to keep equipment covers closed. The fact that they are designed to be fastened and undone using one’s fingers means that they can’t be used in environments where the locking has to be very tight.
Cap nuts: Cap nuts are designed with a smooth dome to give them a cleaner look. This type of nut can only be used in scenarios where the bolt will not be expected to protrude above the nut, since there is no room for it to do so.
Acorn nuts: These are similar to cap nuts, only that the top is taller and usually more pointed than that for a cap nut.
These are just some of the more popular nut styles out there. The next time you are thinking of shopping for them for any application, it would be wise to think about the various designs available, and how each can be applied to your scenario.
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.