PDA

View Full Version : Screws domestic vs import quality?



Boucher
04-06-2009, 10:50 PM
I needed to order some set screws and Socket head cap screws and was more than a little surprised at the price spread and the variations avaliable. In the import vs domestic vs the old brand names how does the quality compare. Is the price difference justified? My immediate needs are not that critical but no one wants the end of a set screw to look like it was made of butter after the first application.

J Tiers
04-06-2009, 11:07 PM
I believe this is an area where counterfeits are common.

Buy the HoloKrome or Unbrako......

Import SHCS are anywhere from perfectly fine, to tempered peanut butter.

Not only that, the import ones may be made to a metric standard grade, which may, even if the part is genuine, be not crossing to the grade you expect from a SHCS. A US one will be the right stuff.

Rich Carlstedt
04-06-2009, 11:17 PM
Updated to Forum

CCWKen
04-07-2009, 12:36 AM
I got tired of paying 30-60 cents a piece for set screws at the hardware store so I ordered eight boxes of various sizes from McMaster-Carr. They're probably made in China but I haven't had a problem with them. I didn't check but they probably meet the specifications too. I've been using the heck out of them in my rolling dies and around the shop. They're well made and fit.

Evan
04-07-2009, 01:25 AM
Screws made outside the US have no standards

Sure they do. If they want the industrial market they adhere to SAE standards. Socket head cap screws made in Taiwan are just fine. They have been making them for many years and some of the better brand names are from there.

On the other hand, I bought a nice little assortment of set screws made in the PRC knowing full well there might be some problems but the price was cheap. They are mostly pretty good except for the smallest two sizes. What is supposed to be 4-40 is labled 1/8 x 40 and is a little too large to fit and the 6-32 is listed as 5/32 and also doesn't fit.

PRC made steel seems to come in two grades. Soft like pot metal and about as strong or much too hard and brittle. This is especially noticeable with fasteners since for bolts and cap screws there are no standards for alloy content. The standards for bolts simply state it must be made of steel with at least a certain strength for each grade of bolt.

Circlip
04-07-2009, 04:47 AM
"Screws made outside the US have no standards"

Never heard of BSI, ISO,DIN????? Rather an elitist misnomer. Don't forget, people like a certain Mr.Whitworth ORIGINATED quite a few.

Strangely enough, what happened to "Standards" when the Brooklyn bridge was being built??

Regards Ian, from the non std.UK

Your Old Dog
04-07-2009, 07:13 AM
The Enco socket head cap screws work fine for me, the Harbor Freight only have the hole about half way as deep as they should be.

J Tiers
04-07-2009, 08:48 AM
It's insane to say there are no standards outside the US.

It's insane to say those standards are adhered to universally, and that the stamp guarantees the quality. (yes, there are no stamps on setscrews)

There are a lot of counterfeits, more and more every day.

And, the lowest grade metric/ISO screws/bolts are specified to be made with tempered peanut butter, if you read the spec carefully. They are soft, squishy, and about useless.

On the other hand, a genuine 12.9 is a good part. So is a genuine "grade 8". But, just as with "grade 8", which are now so adulterated with "bubble gum bolts" that it is a crapshoot, any crook can stamp a number on the part. So NO labeled part can be trusted to be what it claims unless it is sample tested and from a known source.

The "ABILITY" to make a good part in some part of the world is no guarantee you will get one. Certain other countries apparently would like to inundate us with counterfeits, and seem to be doing a good job so far.

Bill Pace
04-07-2009, 09:16 AM
The Enco socket head cap screws work fine for me,
I like the Enco hardware too, I'll stick a box or two in with another order taking advantage of the free frt - a 100 count box is usually way more than I'll need but after a drive to a box store or mom/pop hdwe and paying 30-40 cents for a 1/4-20x1/4 shss ... makes it a lot easier.


the hole half way as deep as they should be. This is the main problem I have with the import set screws that I have -- round off the tool and the screw.

Couple weeks ago on Sat about noon I badly needed four 1/2-13x5" bolts, local mom/pop was closing, so rushed over to keep from driving 15mi to box store -- all they had was grade 8, went to pay and they rang up at $14:eek:.

lazlo
04-07-2009, 09:52 AM
I've bought a couple assortments of house-brand (presumably mainland Chinese) hardware at MSC and Enco, and they're pretty good -- Class 2A fit. But the screws and bolts at Home Depot and Lowes are atrocious.

I mounted a rock-climbing finger-board into a stud with 3/8" hex head wood screws from Home Depot, and the first one snapped off at the head from the ratchet! I brought the pack back to Home Depot, swapped it for another, and the second set of screws went in fine, but when I put my weight on the finger board, another screw snapped off, same place: just under the head.

The hardware I've gotten at the big-box stores also has terrible fit: worse that Class I, if that's possible.

Your Old Dog
04-07-2009, 03:42 PM
I've bought a couple assortments of house-brand (presumably mainland Chinese) hardware at MSC and Enco, and they're pretty good -- Class 2A fit. But the screws and bolts at Home Depot and Lowes are atrocious.

I mounted a rock-climbing finger-board into a stud with 3/8" hex head wood screws from Home Depot, and the first one snapped off at the head from the ratchet! I brought the pack back to Home Depot, swapped it for another, and the second set of screws went in fine, but when I put my weight on the finger board, another screw snapped off, same place: just under the head.

The hardware I've gotten at the big-box stores also has terrible fit: worse that Class I, if that's possible.

Lazlo I think you're spinng this way wrong. These guys are tied off with ropes anyway so let them fail and be surprised! Might even do a contest to see who can finish with the cleanest shorts/pantys :D

lazlo
04-07-2009, 04:21 PM
Lazlo I think you're spinng this way wrong. These guys are tied off with ropes anyway so let them fail and be surprised! Might even do a contest to see who can finish with the cleanest shorts/pantys :D

It's not one of those. :) It's just a molded piece of fiberglass with holes for your fingers -- you do pull-ups on it:

http://www.metoliusclimbing.com/images/Simulator---grey-blue.jpg

Evan
04-07-2009, 04:24 PM
This isn't a new problem. In the 80s I built a covered wood shed 16 x 12 and lagged parts of it together with 1/2 x 5" lag bolts. Well, at least I tried. I had pre drilled the holes in dry pine and was winding them in with a small rachet. They kept twisting off the heads with only a little more force than I could apply with my fingers on the socket. I still have a coffee can full of them. I haven't been able to think of anything they are good for since then as I have not yet needed an easy breakaway structure for anything. I'm glad they weren't just a bit stronger because I could have ended up using some of them to build the tree fort my son helped me build. It's 8' x 8 ' and 15 feet off the ground. I don't want to throw them in the trash as somebody might scavenge them.

barts
04-07-2009, 06:13 PM
I've bought a couple assortments of house-brand (presumably mainland Chinese) hardware at MSC and Enco, and they're pretty good -- Class 2A fit. But the screws and bolts at Home Depot and Lowes are atrocious.

I mounted a rock-climbing finger-board into a stud with 3/8" hex head wood screws from Home Depot, and the first one snapped off at the head from the ratchet! I brought the pack back to Home Depot, swapped it for another, and the second set of screws went in fine, but when I put my weight on the finger board, another screw snapped off, same place: just under the head.

The hardware I've gotten at the big-box stores also has terrible fit: worse that Class I, if that's possible.

I buy most of my hardware at the local Orchard Supply Hardware store; it's from taiwan AFAIK, but it works well. I don't bother with anything under grade 5 (aside from carriage bolts), and if it moves it gets grade 8.

- Bart

lynnl
04-07-2009, 06:31 PM
My experience with lag screws has always been similar Evan - I think they must be softer than any other type fastener. Or maybe it's just a matter of the hex head holding up longer than a slotted or phillips head, in turn permitting more torque.

All my adult life it has seemed that any project involving the use of lag screws invariably ended with one or two heads twisting off during installation. ...and the target wood was most often soft.

Just last week I had Directv installed. I had primed & painted and mounted a 4 ft piece of yellow pine 2X12 high on the southern wall for the guy to mount the dish. Since I was mounting to the studs, I pre-drilled holes for my 3/8 X 5" lag screws, and didn't twist any off. But sure enough, the directv installer twisted the heads off a couple.
Now he wasn't pre-drilling, but he only had to go thru that 1 1/2" pine.

Luke55
04-07-2009, 07:23 PM
Yesterday I bought at the local newholland dealership a box of 7/8 14 nuts. They don't fit any wrench or socket sae or metric. They are made for metric wescott!!!

Rustybolt
04-07-2009, 07:45 PM
#13
make a sculpture out of them. Toss em in a wood fire ,outside, to burn off the plating and weld em into something when they cool. That way no one can reuse them.

Most of the fasteners we coat are for the automotive industry. Just about every fastener is made in N America or Europe including GB. The fasteners we get ffrom asia are sometimes iffy except for japanese. I just got done building the machine to coat set screws with nylon. So far all we have had are N. American set screws.

Rich Carlstedt
04-07-2009, 09:03 PM
Updated to forum

Rich Carlstedt
04-07-2009, 09:26 PM
Updated to forum

lazlo
04-07-2009, 10:04 PM
Lazlos comment was that he has a 2 A fit -I guess makes those bolts and screws perfect ?

Wow, I don't know I got dragged into this Rich, but I was saying that the MSC and Enco screw assortments I bought were listed as Class 2A fits, and they definitely seem good quality and fit. They're definitely not Unbrako's, but how many individuals can afford that?

I was saying that the crap fasteners I've bought at the Big Box stores were worse than Class I -- in a lot of cases I have to pick a bolt and a nut, and force the two together to "re-thread" them.

J Tiers
04-07-2009, 10:29 PM
I said it was insane to say there are no standards. It is insane to say that.

I said the standards may not make any difference, because they may be bad standards, or not be followed.

if that is too hard to deal with, too bad..... I know darn well there are LOTS of 'standards" for screws/bolts overseas. If someone else doesn't know that, it isn't my problem.

BTW, it is also insane to make a high confidence assembly and not know to what standards the fasteners are supposed to be made.....

Rich Carlstedt
04-08-2009, 12:46 AM
Updated to forum

JRouche
04-08-2009, 02:10 AM
Screws?? Just so happens I have been in the screw world lately. Been looking for fasteners for my car. Im building up a nice lil street rod. I have had to go to three different dealers to fine the right grip length. They are in shear so grip length is important.

So, I have bought from fastenal, grainger and quinn (CAT). All supply grade 9 bolts. 180,000 psi bolt. I have also bought some grade eight bolts from my local hardware store.

The stuff supplied from the three dealers looks to be heads and shoulders above the hardware store Gr8 stuff. And the thing is they are all within walking distance of each other for me so why not.

Spend 2 bucks for a hardware bolt or 3 bucks for a righteous bolt. Whats the application. Is it your life in the balance? Prolly if yer looking for a grade 8 bolt. Spend the extra buck.

Oh, and I looked into some NAS, MS bolts. Shopped the entire country. A 5/8" bolt was 80 bucks each. Ouch. JR

Evan
04-08-2009, 04:07 AM
I will rephrase that Rich to say that there are Taiwanese screw manufacturers that have mastered the art of consistently making high quality fasteners to SAE standards. A local dealer that is NOT a local hardware store sells only good quality products and you pay accordingly. They are the largest machine shop in town as well as suppliers of metals, welding supplies, industrial gases and also do a large business in custom fabrication. They don't use crap fasteners. The cap screws they sell are made in Taiwan and they are always good quality. The lag bolts were so long ago that they were almost certainly made in USA.

I generally use grade 8 fasteners for everything when not using socket head screws. I can't be bothered with hardware store quality crap. It must be different here as none of our hardware stores sell "grade 8" fasteners. You can only buy those from the industrial suppliers such as Grainger-Acklands or Tasco etc.

dan s
04-08-2009, 05:04 AM
The Borgs are the kiss of death for fasteners, the only thing I get there anymore are drywall screws. For everything else I get Hillman fasteners from the local Ace or True-Value, I can't remember where they are made though.

Circlip
04-08-2009, 05:17 AM
Don't matter where it's produced, cr4p is cr4p. My ref to the Brooklyn Bridge was that when being built, vast quantities of the suspension wires were found to be "not to spec" Depite being made in the good ole U.S. of. Think it's called Profiteering

Regards Ian

J Tiers
04-08-2009, 09:12 AM
J
If there are "standards" , then what are they ?

Having a "standard" but not following it, is not a standard, its called BS !

If someone knows what the foreign standard is for screw/bolts imported to the US, please advise us ?
And most important, how does one know what the standard is, and how do you find out ? and how is it enforced ?


There are ISO standards for bolt classes

A reference:

http://mdmetric.com/tech/u19e2.htm

Having a standard and not following it is called fraud, counterfeiting, etc, if you CLAIM to follow it but don't.

The existence of a standard does not guarantee that something that looks like a cap screw was made to any standard at all aside from appearance, unless it is claimed. And the claim is subject to verification.

If an 8.8 screw lot is sample tested, it should come out within spec. if not, the lot is suspect, no matter WHO made it.

Jim Caudill
04-08-2009, 03:33 PM
I usually buy my SHCS's from McMaster-Carr and get the "name brand" stuff. They may be made overseas, but if Holo-Krome or Unbrako are willing to put their name on them, that's good enough for me. Regular "hex-head" bolts, washers , and nuts; I get from Tractor Supply Co (TSC) where you pick the grade and pay by the pound. I have probably spent around $400 this year just in keeping my inventory well stocked. I'm sure that some of my hardware will be sold in my estate auction, someday (I'm 58 yeas old).

davidh
04-08-2009, 05:45 PM
so, i have about a ton of grade 8 bolts and nuts of various size. many are from BOMAN, and used for turntable bearings or other critical application.
what should these be worth by the pound ? flat rate is great for heavy stuff and i hate to see it rusting or just sitting around gathering dust. . . .
where does a guy sell these things ? i.ve done the ebay thing but i hate to deal with them. . . .

clutch
04-08-2009, 06:54 PM
This isn't a new problem. In the 80s I built a covered wood shed 16 x 12 and lagged parts of it together with 1/2 x 5" lag bolts. Well, at least I tried. I had pre drilled the holes in dry pine and was winding them in with a small rachet. They kept twisting off the heads with only a little more force than I could apply with my fingers on the socket.

I've used the home depot, tractor supply type lags and they make a good deck screw look like Superman.

Does anyone make good lag screws in the 1/4 - 3/8 range?

I'm often attaching things to maple butcher block tables and cheese steel doesn't get it.

Thanks,

Clutch

TECHSHOP
04-08-2009, 07:19 PM
Usually if I attach something to wood, I "through bolt" with fender washers.

I think there is no " official standard" for fasteners like lag screws, hanger bolts, dowel screws, carriage bolts, and "stove" bolts. They are from the era of square heads, square nuts, and knuckle busting alligator wrenches.

The steel used only needed to be "stronger" than the wood (or cast iron) they were used in. The older lag screws with square heads did seem to fair better than the "new" hex headed lag screws.

I think that using "modern" 12 point box wrenches and impact drivers are too much for the old design, no?