When working with screws and bolts, it’s important to know how they are sized. This will help you determine the best drill bit size to use for each screw or bolt. Fasteners are sized in three ways: the head diameter, length and threads. The head diameter is the largest dimension of the screw or bolt’s head, while the length is the screw’s shaft from its head to the end. Threads are the spiral pattern around a screw’s shaft and are specified in threads per inch (TPI). TPI affects how well a screw works through a given material, with a lower TPI being better for softwoods, and a higher TPI being better for metal and hardwoods.
The first number on a screw or bolt’s label is the diameter, and this can be one or two digits for smaller sizes or fractional for larger ones. It’s followed by the length of the screw in inches. Length can be measured from the top of the head or from under it, depending on the type of screw. Screws with round heads are typically longer than those with flat or oval heads, and a screw’s length can include the height of its head in addition to the shaft length.
Most of the United States uses the Unified Thread Standard (UTS) system, while most of the world uses the metric system. The UTS system measures screws in inches, while the metric system measures them in millimeters. The UTS system uses the major diameter and thread pitch to identify screw sizes, while the metric system uses the diameter of the screw’s shank and the number of threads per inch.
In addition to the screw or bolt’s major diameter, a UTS screw chart also lists its tolerance class. This indicates how loosely or tightly a screw fits in a nut or hole. Screws with a tolerance class of 1 are the most loose, while screws with a tolerance class of 5 fit the tightest.
A screw chart will also usually specify whether a screw is left-handed or right-handed, which can be helpful in certain applications. Left-handed screws have the threads arranged in reverse, while right-handed screws have them arranged normally.
A good screw chart will include all of the information you need to select the proper screw for your job. In addition to the head diameter, length and TPI of a screw, a good chart will also list its major diameter and thread pitch. A good screw chart will also be sorted by type, which can help you quickly find the size you need. If you are looking for a UTS screw chart, there are plenty available online. Most of them are free and easy to use, though some require a small fee for more detailed information. #10 screw diameter