Can You Identify These Bolts, Nuts and Screws?

By: Monica Lee
Image: pexels

About This Quiz

If you're a handyman or handywoman, it's intuitive. You see the problem and you know what type of tools you need to fix it. Whether a bolt, nut or screw, you know the fastener that will work to make the repair secure. But for those just putting on the DIY hat, there are a few hints that can help when choosing from a wall of nuts and bolts in a hardware store. 

First, know that fasteners can be divided into a category or by kind of fastener, such as drive type and head style. Working with wood or metal? Then you know from the category that you'll need wood screws or sheet metal screws. When it comes to head style, even a beginner knows whether to purchase the most common Phillips screws or slotted head screws for antiques.  

Some other cheat sheet notes: Generally, the length of fasteners is measured from the surface of the material to the end of the fastener. And of course those threaded fasteners used in a tapped hole will have a published thread count so you know how fine the threads are for that particular brand.

So whether you are a seasoned handyman or beginning the DIY effort, take this quiz and learn about all the nuts, bolts and screws available for your next project. You're not going to screw up. Go ahead, take the quiz now. 

Wood screws are specifically designed for connecting wood to wood. If you are constructing something that will be outside year-round, used in salt water, fresh water, or wet conditions, be sure to order a silicon bronze wood screw that is 96% copper and around 2% to 3% silicon.

Sheet metal screws are made out of carbon steel and are the most common and most economical screws. However, you may want to pay more for galvanized or stainless steel screws that are designed to resist rust and corrosion.

Drywall screws are used to connect drywall to wood or metal studs. They create threads as they are drilled into drywall without damaging the material.

A Phillips screw head gives you a lot of torque, but the point on the end of the screwdriver can cause it to slip out of the screw head while turning. There are other types of screw heads that allows the screwdriver to have positive torque with little slipping such as square head or mortorq.

Looking to attach a decorative hinge? You'll need brass screws. Make sure you have the right size screwdriver for these screws. They are made of a malleable material, so a large screwdriver will strip out the heads.

The square screw, also known as a Robertson or Scrulox, has a square-shaped socket in the screw head and a square protrusion on the tool. It makes inserting the tool easier, and tends to keep the screw from slipping off.

Just as familiar as the Phillips screw, the slot screw is driven by a "common blade" or flat-bladed screwdriver. It was the first type of screw drive to be developed and is used in restoration of old and antique furniture, vehicles and equipment.

Your project is a bit bigger if you're working with cement and brick. So you'll need masonry screws to connect walls to concrete floors, and attaching hardware to block or brick.

Coin-slot screws can be unscrewed with a coin. This screw is used on items where a person most likely doesn't have a screwdriver. This screw is used for such things as compartments that contain batteries in a toy, camera or other items.

The Frearson screw is also known as the Reed and Prince screw. Although similar to a Phillips, the Frearson has a sharp tip and larger angle in the V shape which makes the driver or bit able to fit all screw sizes. You can torque this screw at a higher pressure than a Phillips screw without stripping it.

How smart! A screw made for someone who doesn't have a screwdriver. You don't even need a coin, just your thumb. A thumbscrew has either a tall head and ridged or knurled sides, or a key-like flat sided vertical head. It's not found in structural applications because you can't depend on how secure the screws are held.

If you're not going to remove it, or you don't want anyone else to remove it, the one-way screw is perfect for your use. One-way screws are commonly used in commercial restroom fixtures and on vehicle registration plates, anywhere you want to prevent tampering.

Building prison door locks, automobile ignition switches, or hoisting a street sign? These are items that you don't want people to easily remove. The breakaway head is a high-security fastener where the head breaks off during installation, or immediately after, leaving a smooth, tamper-free surface.

If you've ever hung a hammock, a hanging planter or anything that needs to attach to wood, this is your bolt. Bent bolts are threaded rods where the end can be formed into an eye or a right-angle bend.

You know when you've tightened a carriage bolt, the ribs or flats on the shank prevent it from turning anymore. The bolts also sport round heads to be aesthetically pleasing.

Washers have traditionally been used to protect the joint surface from damage during the tightening process and to distribute the load under the bolt head and nut. Flanged bolts have large heads and using them often eliminates the need for separate washers.

Hex bolts are one of the most commonly used standard fasteners. The hex head offers greater strength, ease of assembly and torque application. Ahh, but the real reason they may be so popular to those who manufacture them, is because there is more area for the their logo or name, than a square-headed bolt.

If you're using wood or masonry you'll need a strong, durable bolt. The lag bolt has an expansion anchor to make it stronger and more secure. Lag bolts are square-headed with threaded conical points.

This won't surprise you, plow bolts were mainly used for building and fixing plows and are now used on road graders, tractors, scoop shovels and other types of farm equipment. Plow bolts are used when the surface needs to be smooth. They sometimes include a key that prevents rotation.

Think of how fast a train runs on a track and the vibrations that track receives. The track bolts need to stay secure and not twist or loosen with the intense vibrations. Track bolts are designed specifically for use in railroad tracks. Some bolts have an elliptical head to prevent rotation.

Just look at a skyscraper and you'll realize how important elevator bolts and their correct installation is to all office workers and visitors alike. That's why elevator bolts are designed to have relatively large diameters and flat, square necks. The larger bearing area of the head lets them work in soft materials while the square neck prevents rotation.

Hidden to make the final piece more attractive, the countersunk screw sits flush with the surface. They can be discreetly covered by a screw cap or piece of wood. It also allows objects can rest upon it stably.

J-bolts are used for tie downs or as an open-eye bolt. J bolts are used by contractor and homeowner alike. Used for bigger projects such as building a garage, a new foundation or attaching an new wall to concrete, it provides an additional attachment point once fastened.

Like the ball and socket in your shoulder which allows you to pivot, the shoulder bolt performs a similar task when installed. The shoulder bolt or stripper bolt are used to create a pivot point.

This type of bolt is U-shaped in order to attach to round surfaces, especially pipes. The U-bolt is also available in a square bend. However, the name didn't change for that shape.

This nut comes with a nylon insert to prevent backing off. The plastic insert is placed at the end of the nut, with an inner diameter slightly smaller than the diameter of the screw. Nylon Insert Lock nuts are less damaging to mating threads, but have lower heat limitations.

This is a nut with "wings" for hand tightening. Just like the thumb bolt, or coin-slotted screw, this nut enables one to tighten the bolt without the need of a fastener.

Acorn nuts are a high-crown type of cap nut. Interestingly, the Acorn nut is only used for appearance's sake, and does not have any extra durability or strength.

The six-sided hex nut is a very common nut to use in building and refurbishing and is the typical nut you would purchase. However, if there are special circumstances like holding up in different weather conditions or repairing something that doesn't have enough room to fit a full hex nut, other nuts are available.

A nut designed to be driven into wood to create a threaded hole is called a tee nut. These nuts require a pre-drilled hole to use and can be serrated to provide a better grip.

This will get you out of a jam! If the space where you're screwing in the nut won't fit a regular hex nut, a jam nut should fit because of it's reduced height.

A lock nut that can be installed either side up, which makes it faster and easier to use. It is often used in high-temperature applications.

A non-reversible lock nut is used for high-temperature applications. However, they are not recommended when the nut must travel down long spans of threaded shanks. The gradual wearing away of metal tends to loosen the grip of these lock nuts.

Drill a hole through the threaded section of a bolt and place a cotter pin through it to prevent the nut from rotating.The nut you'll use is the slotted nut that has six large slots, 60 degrees apart, in the top center of each flat side.

The one thing both professionals and DYI enthusiasts know is there is no "perfect" project. Things never fit precisely. That's why coupling nuts are important. They connect pieces of threaded rod or other male threaded fasteners to extend or create a better fit.

K-Lock or Kep is a nut with an attached free-spinning external tooth lockwasher. The advantage of using a K-Lock is that it is already a combination of an external tooth lock washer and nut, so you don't need (or can lose/drop) as many parts.

Square nuts are ideal to use in blind location because people can tighten and loosen a square-shaped fastener without having it in sight, as long as a sturdy grip can be obtained.

The flange is serrated to allow for a better grip on the surface of the joint. Serrated nuts work well for over-sized or irregularly shaped holes, since the flange covers any discrepancies and serrations cover the entire bearing surface.

About Zoo

Our goal at is to keep you entertained in this crazy life we all live.

We want you to look inward and explore new and interesting things about yourself. We want you to look outward and marvel at the world around you. We want you to laugh at past memories that helped shape the person you’ve become. We want to dream with you about all your future holds. Our hope is our quizzes and articles inspire you to do just that.

Life is a zoo! Embrace it on

Explore More Quizzes