Not all nuts have six sides. While most of them do, in fact, have a hexagonal shape, others have a square shape. Known as square nuts, they are used in conjunction with a bolt to hold two or more objects together.
Square nuts have the same threaded interior as their hexagonal counterparts. They feature internal threading that supports the external threading of a bolt. The difference lies in their shape. With their square shape, square nuts only have four sides, compared to the six sides for hexagonal nuts. This alternative shape offers several benefits.
Protection From Loosening
Square nuts are better protected from loosening than hexagonal nuts. Loosening involves a nut working its way off the bolt to which it’s attached. You can attach hexagonal and square nuts alike by twisting them onto the end of a bolt. Over time, however, some nuts may loosen. But square nuts cover more surface area of the objects with which they are used, so they are better protected from loosening.
Easier to Keep Track Of
You’ll have an easier time keeping track of square nuts than hexagonal nuts. Nuts and other fasteners have a tendency to roll away when dropped. You may accidentally drop a bolt or nut, only to watch it roll away into the abyss where you’re unable to retrieve it.
Hexagonal nuts are rounder than square nuts. This semi-round shape allows them to roll away when dropped. Square nuts aren’t round. If you accidentally drop a square nut, it will typically stay in place. This makes square nuts easier to keep track of.
You can tighten square nuts using a standard wrench. Hexagonal nuts support wrench tightening as well, but with six sides, you may struggle to grip them with a wrench. Square nuts have fewer but larger sides. As long as you have enough space, you should be able to easily place a wrench around two of these sides so that you tighten the square nut.
Available in a Variety of Styles
Square nuts are available in a variety of styles. They all feature a square shape consisting of four sides of equal length. With that said, some square nuts feature different characteristics than others.
Some square nuts are made of stainless steel, whereas others are made of carbon steel. You can also find square nuts in different sizes, including metric and standard sizes.