Not all socket cap screws require a standard Allen wrench to install and remove. While all feature a recessed hexagonal head, some of them are designed with a built-in security pin. Known as tamper-resistant socket screws, they are used in many of the same fastening applications. Tamper-resistant socket cap screws, however, offer a higher level of security by protecting against tampering.
What Are Tamper-Resistant Socket Cap Screws
Tamper-resistant socket cap screws are threaded fasteners that, as the name suggests, feature a tamper-resistant socket head. Unlike most other screws, they don’t feature a flat head or Phillips head recess. Instead, tamper-resistant socket cap screws feature a hexagonal recess with a security pin.
Socket cap screws are commonly used in machinery and workholding applications. This is because they typically require less space to install than other types of fasteners. You can use an Allen wrench — or a similar-shaped security key — to install socket cap screws. In comparison, other types of fasteners may require a full-sized screwdriver or wrench.
How Tamper-Resistant Socket Cap Screws Differ From Traditional Socket Cap Screws
There are traditional socket cap screws, and there are tamper-resistant socket cap screws. What’s the difference between these two types of fasteners exactly?
Both traditional and tamper-resistant socket cap screws feature a hexagonal recess. When inspecting the head, you’ll notice an indention or recess that’s shaped like a hexagon. The difference is that traditional socket cap screws have an open hexagonal recess, whereas tamper-resistant socket cap screws have a hexagonal recess with a small rod-like protrusion in the center. This rod-like protrusion is a security pin, and it’s designed to protect against tampering.
Installing and Removing Tamper-Resistant Socket Cap Screws
To install and remove tamper-resistant socket cap screws, you’ll need a special type of security key. You can’t just use a regular Allen wrench. While regular Allen wrenches are designed for use with fasteners with a hexagonal recess, they won’t work with tamper-resistant socket cap screws. Only security keys with both a hexagonal recess and a matching security pin will fit in tamper-resistant socket cap screws.
Security keys for tamper-resistant socket cap screws look like Allen wrenches. However, they feature a security pin that’s not found on Allen wrenches. You can install a tamper-resistant socket cap screw by placing a security key in the screw’s hexagonal recess and turning it clockwise. You can loosen or remove a tamper-resistant socket cap screw, alternatively, by turning the security key counterclockwise.