What Are Hex Bolts and Their Uses?

Bolts are a form of threaded fasteners with an external male thread necessitating a matching pre-formed female thread like a nut. Closely related to screws, bolts are used to join two or more objects by inserting them through those objects and securing them with a nut. Due to the nature of their design, they find use in a myriad of fastening applications.

Bolt Operation

The components that make up a bolt can be divided into three sections. To begin, the head is the part of the bolt that has the largest diameter in order to provide a mount for tools to apply or resist torque. Additionally, the head serves as a bearing surface for substrates being bolted. The shank of the bolt is the next section and is the longest part of the bolt. It has external, helical threads on its circumference, and it is responsible for ensuring that the workpieces remain aligned. Meanwhile, the opposite end of the head is referred to as the chamfer, which provides a partially beveled edge that makes it easy to insert the bolt into holes or nuts.

Hex Bolts

There are many different types of bolts, one of the most common being hex bolts. Hex bolts are utilized in a wide range of operations because of their unique head shape that sets them apart from their counterparts. Essentially, a hex bolt is a threaded fastener that features a hexagonal head.

As previously explained, all bolts have a head, which is the top part of the bolt that integrates with the narrower shank below it; thus, the head becomes the primary distinguishing feature. The hexagonal shape of a hex bolt’s head makes it particularly useful. More than that, they are available in a variety of sizes, materials, and specifications.

A hex bolt head has six sides and lacks a recess, a common feature of screws. Instead, the head has a solid and integrated piece of material with six uniform sides. Due to their head shape, they offer many benefits. For instance, they are ideal for operations that take place in compact spaces. In machines and equipment where there is little working room, hex bolts allow operators to access unconventional angles.

Square head bolts are another type of bolt, having four sides instead of six. Loosening or tightening a bolt with a square head can be difficult as traditional wrenches have a hard time gripping it on only two of its sides. Hex bolts, on the other hand, offer more surfaces to grip with a traditional wrench, meaning that they can be installed in hard-to-reach places.

One of the most distinct advantages of hex bolts is that they enable greater torque. For further context, torque is defined as turning force. Hex bolts in particular, have more turning force because of their six-sided head. This also makes it easier to remove them or tighten them when compared to other bolt types.

If you do not have a traditional wrench handy, that is no problem. Socket wrenches are feasible alternatives as they are often equipped with hex sockets. Hex sockets are bits that are designed to be used alongside hex bolts.


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