The Beginner’s Guide to Eye Bolts

Eye bolt illustration

When most people think of bolts, they envision threaded rods with a solid head. Most bolts feature this traditional design. They consist of a rod with external threading. At the top of this rod is a solid head, which may or may have a drive recess. There are some bolts, however, that have a loop at the end rather than a solid head. Known as eye bolts, they are used for different fastening applications.

What Is an Eye Bolt?

An eye bolt is a type of threaded fastener that’s characterized by a looped end. All eye bolts have a looped end. As shown in the adjacent photo, the loop is integrated into the threaded body.

Eye bolts still feature a threaded rod. You can find them in different sizes, but they all feature a threaded rod, which allows them to be driven into pilot holes. But eye bolts don’t have a solid head. Instead, they have a loop on the end. This loop resembles an eye, hence the name “eye bolts.”

How Eye Bolts Work

Eye bolts aren’t used for the same fastening applications as traditional bolts. Traditional bolts are typically used to secure two or more objects together. You can drive a traditional bolt through two objects so that the objects stay together. Eye bolts still have a threaded body, so you can drive them into the same objects as their traditional counterparts. With that said, most eye bolts are used to secure ropes, cables or chains.

You can secure a rope, cable or chain to an eye bolt by connecting to the loop. The looped end of an eye bolt supports ropes, cables and chains. This isn’t possible with a traditional bolt. Traditional bolts have a solid head, so there’s no way to connect a rope, cable or chain to them.

Things to Consider When Choosing Eye Bolts

Eye bolts are available in different materials. Some of them are made of stainless, whereas others are made of carbon steel. Stainless steel eye bolts offer a superior level of protection against rust and corrosion. Carbon steel eye bolts, conversely, are stronger and more durable.

You should also consider the safe working load when choosing eye bolts. The safe working load refers to the maximum amount of weight that an eye bolt can safely support. Some eye bolts have a safe working load of 500 pounds. Other eye bolts have a safe working load of over 5,000 pounds.

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