What Is a Hex Cap Screw?

Hex cap screw

Not all screws have a head with a recessed drive. While recessed drives are common, some screws have a solid hexagonal head. Known as hex cap screws, they are often used in manufacturing and construction applications. To learn more about hex cap screws, including their benefits, keep reading.

The Basics of Hex Cap Screws

A hex cap screw is a threaded fastener featuring a hexagonal head. Traditional screws with a recessed drive, of course, have a circular head. Hex cap screws are different in the sense that they have a six-sided head without a recess. The sides are spread evenly apart, resulting in a hexagonal shape.

Hex Cap Screws vs Hex Cap Bolts

The terms “hex cap screw” and “hex cap bolt” are often used synonymously when describing a threaded fastener with a hexagonal head. With that said, bolts are typically designed to be used with one or more nuts, whereas screws are not. Some screws can also create their own threading during installation. In comparison, bolts must be installed into the existing threading of a machine or object. Even with these nuances, many people use the terms “hex cap screw” and “hex cap bolt” interchangeably.

Benefits of Hex Cap Screws

With their hexagonal shape, hex cap screws allow for greater torque than that of traditional screws with a circular head. You can’t install or remove them using a standard screwdriver bit like a flat head or Philip’s head. Rather, you’ll have to use a ratchet and socket combination. Also known simply as a socket wrench, it allows you to fit the socket bit over the head of the hex cap screw. Once positioned, you can turn the socket wrench to install or remove the hex cap screw. The socket wrench will grip all six sides of the head so that you create more torque.

Hex cap screws are also less likely to strip than their traditional counterparts. The head of a traditional screw may strip when you install or remove it. When the bit is placed inside the head’s drive recess, it may damage the screw during installation or removal. Hex cap screws distribute this turning force across all six sides so that stripping is less likely to occur.

In Conclusion

A screw is considered a hex cap screw if it features a hexagonal head. Hex cap screws don’t have a recessed drive. They have a smooth and solid head with six sides.

See Monroe’s Hex Head Screws.

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