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Cap head screws

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Dave Springate21/03/2019 09:39:44
56 forum posts
121 photos

Hi all, I expect most of you who have been at this a while have a good selection of cap head screws to hand but as a beginner to all this, is it worth buying a mixed selection box of them to start me off. I am going to have a go at the little Wig Wag engine by Ade Swash, or should I just buy what's needed as I need them?

recommendation's please.

martin perman21/03/2019 09:46:55
1587 forum posts
66 photos

I would buy what you need plus a few extra, if you buy a selection box you could end up with bolts and screws you may never use.

Martin P

XD 35121/03/2019 09:55:44
1263 forum posts
87 photos

Really depends if you may use them again , i use them all the time so the assortment i bought has served me well and i just top up what I’m running low on . A word to the wise is the cheap assortments are just that cheap junk so look for quality name brand fasteners - the set i bought here in Australia were all unbrako so are of decent quiality . You could of course do it the other way and build up your set as you need them but do yourself a favour and don’t skimp on quality !

SillyOldDuffer21/03/2019 10:08:18
4389 forum posts
956 photos

My approach is to do both:

  • Selection set to start off and then to make sure odd sizes are to hand. This avoids downing-tools in mid-job because a few screws have to be ordered.
  • Buy for the job, plus a few extra as Martin suggests. A 'few' might be quite a lot because buying in quantity is usually much cheaper. Provided you eventually use them that is: a workshop full of unused screws is wasteful.

As is often the case in engineering, it's a matter of striking a balance. My work requires a relatively small range of metric fasteners, which I stock by the hundred and steadily use up. I have the moderate storage space and cash needed to do this. I'd buy differently if I did one-offs involving a wide range of different fasteners and was on a tight budget in a tiny workshop.


Ron Laden21/03/2019 10:21:17
1094 forum posts
168 photos

Dave, which ever way you buy them get decent quality, the cheap ones can be rubbish, also a quality set of keys.

Just a thought Dave but apart from cap heads probably fixing the base to the vertical column the Wig Wam doesnt have any other cap heads does it..? or are you thinking for general use..?


Dave Springate21/03/2019 10:26:13
56 forum posts
121 photos

Hi Ron, just for general use really. I think as a couple have suggested I will start by buying a few more of what's needed at the time and build up an assortment that way.


Edited By Dave Springate on 21/03/2019 10:27:50

Edited By Dave Springate on 21/03/2019 10:28:12

Ron Laden21/03/2019 10:39:08
1094 forum posts
168 photos

Thats what I do Dave, we have a local supplier who will sell you 1 screw but I go and get what I need at the time and round the qty up.

Vic21/03/2019 10:57:20
2097 forum posts
10 photos

I’ve got quite a large selection of socket screws in stock. I used to buy locally but I find it’s just as easy to buy on the auction site. I always get more than I need for a given project if I need to buy anything.

Nearly everything I buy in the way of fasteners is stainless these days, I hate stuff going rusty.

John McNamara21/03/2019 11:13:13
1289 forum posts
113 photos

I avoid buying fastenings from the local hardware shop, the little blister packs tend to contain rather low quality no name stuff. they are also rather expensive. The better way is to purchase fastenings from an industrial supplier. small fastenings come in various box quantity lots starting at 100. Often a whole box will cost significantly less than a few fasteners in blister packs. If you google Industrial fastenings for your town or city you may be surprised how many there are.
Ring one or two and check stock for a fastening you are looking for. (Many suppliers will supply small lots as well)

This UK company popped up in a google search I do not know them at all however the website is easy to use as a reference point.

I am sure the members of the forum will have other options.


Edited By John McNamara on 21/03/2019 11:16:02

Simon Collier21/03/2019 11:36:20
293 forum posts
52 photos

When I started I bought mine by the box. Twelve years on a couple of the boxes are almost empty so it wasn't an extravagance at all. M4 mostly plus some M3 and M5, cap heads and countersunks.

pgk pgk21/03/2019 11:51:52
1349 forum posts
278 photos

Like everything else it depends on intended usage but for my messing about I usually buy stainless capheads from ebay. I have a whole selection of sizes and lengths from my r/c heli days as a staring point and top up + extras in the sizes I need. Obviously for high tensile situations (which rarely apply to me ) I use that type of caphead instead.

If in doubt get them longer and can always be trimmed down.



Edited By pgk pgk on 21/03/2019 11:52:19

Howard Lewis21/03/2019 11:59:10
2029 forum posts
2 photos

Buy your Capscrews from a proper engineering supplier. "supermarket" hardware can be low strength. Unbrako is good quality. (Ditto for Allen keys, I still use the Unbrako Allen keys bought in 1958 when I was was an Apprentice )

The steel in the D I Y screws and keys can be soft and more trouble that they are worth. You tend to find this out when you need to remove a tight screw!


martin perman21/03/2019 12:46:14
1587 forum posts
66 photos


Where abouts do you live, one of us might be near by and could tell you where to shop.

Martin P

Rik Shaw21/03/2019 14:01:18
1292 forum posts
350 photos

Dave - I usually buy a box or two when either Aldi or Lidl have them in. I have not seen any lately though. To be sure, they are not as good as something like Unbrako but they are quite acceptable for much of what I do in the workshop. I would not use them though on safety critical fittings - on a motor bike for instance.


Dave Springate21/03/2019 14:05:20
56 forum posts
121 photos
Posted by Howard Lewis on 21/03/2019 11:59:10:

Buy your Capscrews from a proper engineering supplier. "supermarket" hardware can be low strength. Unbrako is good quality. (Ditto for Allen keys, I still use the Unbrako Allen keys bought in 1958 when I was was an Apprentice )

The steel in the D I Y screws and keys can be soft and more trouble that they are worth. You tend to find this out when you need to remove a tight screw!


Hi Howard thanks for the reply, I'm in Deal, Kent

Derek Lane 221/03/2019 14:17:56
189 forum posts
48 photos

Try these


Invicta tools and fixings

or these

DJ Invicta supplies Ltd

as they are quite close to you. There use to be one in Staple which I forget their name or if they are still trading

Edited By Derek Lane 2 on 21/03/2019 14:19:04

Alan Waddington 221/03/2019 14:19:36
430 forum posts
86 photos

If you want to buy online, iv’e used Orbital fasteners in the past, found them good quality and reasonably priced.


Old School21/03/2019 15:10:24
227 forum posts
3 photos

I use a company called GWR Fasteners they are net based and supply a good quality product with excellent service.

Chris Evans 621/03/2019 19:16:16
1432 forum posts

Always try and buy cap head screws with the "DIN 12.9" spec to ensure the quality. No guarantee but should be better.

Samsaranda21/03/2019 19:37:10
721 forum posts
5 photos

Quality of items bought on EBay can be very variable, have found a good supplier online where quality is excellent and small quantities is no problem. The company is called Westfield Fasteners and they carry a good range of sizes and types and their stainless fasteners are excellent.

Dave W

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