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The difference according to a thesaurus is that there is no difference as bolts and screws are regarded as synonyms of each other. Whilst it would be easy to lump all these fixings together (it would make our job easier!) there are actually significant differences which a user needs to be aware of before making a purchase.

It is true that, to the naked eye, there does not appear to be much difference between a bolt and a screw. They are both threaded fixings and have a head for tightening the fastener but there is more to it than that.

  • The most obvious way of differentiating between a bolt and a screw is that a bolt is not usually threaded all the way along its shank as it has a plain portion. A screw, however, is threaded fully to the head.


  • A screw is usually driven by a screwdriver into a tapped hole, unless it is a self-tapping screw which creates its own thread. The hole for a bolt is not tapped as it is usually fixed and tightened using a nut at the back of the material being fastened.
  • Generally bolts are fastened using a spanner or other tool which grips the head whereas a screw is fixed using a driver bit which fits into the drive recess.

Bolts and screws for security applications

The development of bolts and screws, particularly where security is a factor, has been driven mainly by the applications they are being used for and the level of security required. For example if the fixing is permanent and not requiring removal, then a shear bolt (which has a snap off head leaving a plain head with no drive to remove the bolt) might be suitable.

For a removable fixing, the head is the important factor as the drive used to fix and remove it should not be generally available. Security driver bits are available, which may be specifically matched to the head of the security screw, to prevent unauthorised tampering. In the case of our Tricone® security bolt, the driver tool is patented, uniquely coded and traceable for the ultimate in security.

Fastenright supply a wide range of general fixings and security fasteners for all applications. As you browse the ranges you will see the extent of the choice available, so if you are unsure of which fastener will be most suitable for your application, please call us – our sales team are always on hand to assist with your queries.