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Where to buy assortmented nuts, bolts, set-screws, etc... ???

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  • Where to buy assortmented nuts, bolts, set-screws, etc... ???

    Over the last few months, in the middle of the night (i work second shift, get home 12:30AM) i always need the one screw or bolt or what ever to finish something up and have to wait till the next day to buy one or two of them. A while back i bought a set screw assortment from MSC (it was on sale or something, dont remember the price, but it was cheap enough for me to say, yea, get it, not in the hundreds, more then likely under 50 bucks) but now most assortments seam to be alot of money.

    Just searched and seams to be the best for metric assortments...

    Anyway... any suggestions ?

    ~ What was once an Opinion, became a Fact, to be later proven Wrong ~

  • #2
    The thing with assortments is that you'll use a lot of a couple sizes and none of the others. Buy yourself a bolt bin and start stocking it with a few pounds of the sizes you use.


    • #3
      Common, hex-head bolts, I normally get at Atwoods or Tractor Supply. Cheap enough by the pound. Normally, I need a few of size (X), so I pick up a pound of them, and a pound of others. Seems like I always get home and find that I already had a bin full of the others, and a bunch in a bag because there wasn't room in the bin last time. For socket head screws, set screws, and smaller machine screws, I've been buying them from Enco lately, when they have free shipping or I need a bunch of other stuff. The last order included about $37 worth of bolts and screws. And since they are by the 100, I should be set for awhile. Strangely, I got the first shipping acknowledgement and it included 98 of one of the screws. Strange since they are always boxed as 100. I should get the other 2 on the next shipment, I guess.

      Oh, and onesies or twosies, I usually go to Ace Hardware or True Value. They have a great assortment. Their prices on some stuff are a little higher than the big box stores like Lowes or Home Depot, but the selection is about 50X better.

      I did find myself ordering some M10 x 1.25 nuts on Ebay today, since I couldn't find them locally. I found one place that should have had them, but they wanted about $5 each and I need 4. Ended up buying 10 for $15 on Ebay since I don't have to have them today. (I think that one parts store might have had them, but they're closed on Sundays. Autozone and Oreilly couldn't figure it out since it was an exhaust bolt joining two sections of exhaust pipe together and there isn't a nice, neat name for that.)

      Last edited by whateg01; 04-22-2013, 04:03 AM.


      • #4
        I probably shouldn't suggest this because I've bad mouthed the place so much.....but Harbor Freight has little plastic box assortments of all sorts of fastener related items. I recently picked up an assortment of rubber grommets to use where wires might chafe going thru walls of sheet metal enclosures.

        I noticed they have set screw assortments too. There I might draw the line, thinking of quality issues and how hard it is to remove a set screw with a stripped hex.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Boostinjdm View Post
          ...Buy yourself a bolt bin and start stocking it with a few pounds of the sizes you use.
          That does seam like the best thing to do... Its just them "off-the-wall" times when you brake something and want to fix it, right then and there... Was just doing something over the weekend and broke a screw of a lathe dog... only if i had a hex bolt laying around to get me out of the jam and not have ot wait for the next day.

          Originally posted by whateg01 View Post
          Oh, and onesies or twosies, I usually go to Ace Hardware or True Value.
          True Value is where i go too... gonna have to give Tractor Supply a shot, thanks for mentioning them.

          Originally posted by DR View Post
          ...but Harbor Freight ....
          I noticed they have set screw assortments too. There I might draw the line, thinking of quality issues and how hard it is to remove a set screw with a stripped hex.
          I should have said... i did try that route and still do have some here, but.... I guess they are good for a jam. I have to get a cheap engraver and more then likly a small horazontal bandsaw from them, will grab a bin or two of bolts, but they are cheap.... Cant rember how much, but the bin of set-screws i got from them where all under size and kind of flopped around in the hole... May be they where a Class -00 or something
          ~ What was once an Opinion, became a Fact, to be later proven Wrong ~


          • #6
            I needed some 5/16" split lock washers to complete a project. I went to my local HD and figured I'd buy a box of 100, thinking that would be economical. WRONG! they wanted $13 and change for a box of common 5/16 zinc plated lockwashers! So, I went home and got on the internet. I found a place in the Boston area that had them for somewheer around $2/100, but like $9 shipping & handleing. Then I went to Mc Master and they had them for around $3 or $4/100. I have always found them to be fair with the UPS charges, so I placed the order about 5PM on Thursday. I ddn't expect them to show up until today. I got home Friday afternoon and there they are. I guess I got my order in in time for them to get it to UPS in time for next day delivery (NJ to CT). MAde in USA, to boot!

            I'm not affiliated with McMaster, but I am a very happy customer



            • #7
              Buying a bolt assortment means you'll always have the one your neighbor needs but NEVER the one you need!

              MSC, Enco, etc, have bolt assortments...



              • #8
                I part out cars and keep all the nuts and bolts.


                • #9
                  My son got me a bunch from Fastenal online. They'll sell smaller quantities and you can specify US or 'guaranteed to meet spec' offshore stuff if I understood him correctly. I use a lot of socket head machine screws in both regular and button head styles. I've used quite a few of them and they seem to be very good quality (no stripping of the sockets, etc).


                  • #10
                    I usually use Mcmaster Carr most of their nuts and bolts come from Grattan products


                    • #11
                      I purchased some Durham boxes and populated them with what I need. Eventually it ended up including 1/4" up to 1/2" in all common sizes up to 3" long. I made a call early on to focus on all grade 8 hardware. Most was purchased in bulk (by the pound).


                      There are cheaper boxes but I really like the Durham, they're high quality.


                      • #12
                        Personally- I would never buy an 'assortment package'. What I do is figure what screws etc that I use most, then make up a shopping list. Then I hop down to a local machine shop and try to make fast work of collecting my own assortment. Often they just look at my collection and give one price for it all. I'm happy to pay it because it would cost me at least twice as much anywhere else, and the quality of the fasteners would be in question. I make the presumption that the shop isn't going to stock crappy fasteners for their own use- they're going to stock decent parts that are reasonably priced. If their stock is what you can make your selections from, I'd have to say it's a good way to go. It has worked for me anyway.

                        By the way, I tend to use a lot of grade 8 hardware- socket head bolts mostly, but lots of hex head stuff as well. Some good advice would be to study the rating systems, and identify what you might buy according to the markings on it. You might be ok with grade 2 hardware for the most part, but I'd suggest buying a few of those hardware store nuts and bolts and put them to the test- I've ended up with some stuff that would twist off easily- nothing I'd want to place any trust in.
                        I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-


                        • #13
                          When I started stocking my supply at home I started with the longest fully threaded length in each size.That way if I needed anything shorter I had the option of just cutting them off.

                          Look in your local yellow pages or do a web search for fastner supply companies near you.There are still lots of mom and pop companies that deal in nuts and bolts.From those folks you can usually get a box quantity cheaper than a three or four pack at the big box stores.

                          Walmart in the sporting goods sells Plano and Flambeau organizer boxes-
                          I just need one more tool,just one!


                          • #14
                            It started off with going down to the tractor supply with 10 coffee buckets(can’t call them cans anymore). Spent $40 bucks and filled them with hand full of bolts, nut, washers… It has saved me countless trips to the store for that “one bolt”. When I do need to run I spend $20 bucks again to refill. Living out in the country it costs me $10 in gas to make the run into town to get stuff. Now I know what I use the most of and pick up some more whenever I am in town.

                            Also get a variety of grades. Everyone has had that thought of putting a lower grade bolt “as a temp” until you get the right grade. This is very dangerous if for gotten. If you have the right grade on hand, it stops the temptation.
                            Last edited by outlawspeeder; 04-23-2013, 10:32 AM.


                            • #15
                              DO NOT buy cheap bolts! This can be a very dangerous form of false economy. Find an industrial service company in your area and buy from them. The consumer box stores are too expensive. Fastenal is an ok source but I've found that if they have a local competitor, that is usually your best bet. Ask some of the local machine shops who they use.