A Comprehensive Guide to Types of Fasteners in CNC Machining--cncmass.com(plastic prototype Irene)

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CNC machining plays a crucial role in diverse industries such as automotive, aerospace, electronics, and healthcare. The process involves using computer numerical control (CNC) machines to precisely manufacture parts and components from various materials. One significant aspect of CNC machining is the use of fasteners, which are essential for joining different parts together securely. In this article, we will explore the types of fasteners commonly used in CNC machining processes.

1. Screws:

Screws are one of the most prevalent types of fasteners utilized in CNC machining. These threaded cylindrical shafts feature helical grooves known as threads that enable them to create strong joints. Common screw types include machine screws, self-tapping screws, set screws, and wood screws. Each type serves specific purposes based on their design features.

Machine screws: Typically made of stainless steel or aluminum, machine screws have uniform threads throughout their length, making them suitable for securing metal parts together. These screws require pre-drilled holes and are often paired with nuts or washers for added stability.

Self-tapping screws: Designed to cut their own threads into materials like plastic and metal without prior hole-drilling, self-tapping screws simplify assembly operations. They are commonly used in applications where easy installation and removal are required.

Set screws: Set screws, also known as grub screws, lack heads and are primarily used to secure rotating components onto shafts or sliders. They ensure proper alignment and prevent slippage while minimizing space requirements due to their headless construction.

Wood screws: Ideal for fastening wooden parts, these screws typically feature coarse threads and sharp points that facilitate easy penetration into wood. They come in various lengths and designs, including flat-head, round-head, and countersunk varieties.

2. Bolts:

Bolts are another integral type of fastener extensively employed in CNC machining. Unlike screws, bolts require nuts for proper fastening and are often used in applications that require high strength and durability. The most commonly used types of bolts include hex bolts, carriage bolts, eye bolts, and U-bolts.

Hex bolts: Recognizable by their six-sided heads, hex bolts have a threaded shaft with a flat end opposite the head. They provide excellent tensile strength and are widely employed in structural components and machinery.

Carriage bolts: These specialized bolts feature smooth, rounded heads and square necks directly beneath it. Carriage bolts are meant to be installed into pre-drilled holes on one side and tightened using a nut from the other side. Widely utilized in furniture assembly and woodworking projects, these bolts offer a neat appearance with minimal protrusion.

Eye bolts: Comprising a looped head instead of a standard bolt head, eye bolts serve as attachment points for ropes, cables, or chains. They are commonly found in lifting and rigging operations and offer convenient attachment capabilities due to their design.

U-bolts: Their U-shaped design makes U-bolts ideal for securing pipes, tubes, and cylindrical objects together. With threaded legs at each end, they can be fixed tightly around such objects via tightening of nuts.

3. Nuts:

While not technically a fastener, nuts deserve mention as they play an indispensable role alongside screws and bolts. Threaded onto screw or bolt shafts, nuts provide secure fastening by biting into the material being joined. Some common types of nuts used in CNC machining include hex nuts, lock nuts, wing nuts, and cap nuts.

Hex nuts: Known for their six-sided shape, hex nuts are the most widely-used type of nut in CNC machining. Available in various materials and finishes, they effortlessly pair with corresponding screws and bolts, ensuring effective joint stability.

Lock nuts: Designed to resist loosening caused by vibration or torque forces, lock nuts feature a prevailing torque mechanism. This unique design incorporates nylon inserts, metal collars, or distorted threads, providing added security when used in high-stress applications.

Wing nuts: These nuts are equipped with two large wings on either side, allowing for easy manual tightening and loosening without the need for tools. Wing nuts are typically used in applications where quick assembly and disassembly is required.

Cap nuts: Cap nuts, also known as acorn nuts due to their distinctive shape, have a domed top that covers exposed bolt ends. They enhance safety by eliminating sharp edges while providing an aesthetically pleasing finish.


Fasteners play an essential role in CNC machining, ensuring reliable and sturdy connections between various parts. Whether it be screws, bolts, or nuts, each type of fastener serves specific purposes based on materials, intended application, and ease of installation. Understanding the different types of fasteners used in CNC machining can significantly improve efficiency and accuracy in manufacturing processes across diverse industries. CNC Milling CNC Machining