difference between set screws and screws

What's The Difference Between Set Screws and Regular Screws?

Set Screws vs. Regular Screws - How Do They Differ?

If you've ever wondered about the differences between them, you're in for a fastener crash course. Let's unravel the mystery of set screws versus regular screws. In the vast universe of fasteners, screws are the unsung heroes, quietly holding things together. Among these, set screws and regular screws each play distinct roles.

What Sets Set Screws Apart?

Set screws, also known as hex set bolts, are purpose-built for specific tasks. Unlike regular screws, they lack a traditional slot head. Instead, set screws typically feature a hex head. Grub screws have no head and consist of a screw thread with an insert for an Allan key.

The primary function of a set screw is to secure an object within or against another object. Whether it's locking components onto a shaft, providing precise adjustments, or creating temporary joints, set screws excel in applications where a bolt style head fastening solution is needed.

Set screws are often made from durable materials such as stainless steel or alloy steel. This choice of materials ensures they can withstand the demands of their intended applications, whether it be in machinery, woodworking, or other industries.

different types of screw

Breaking Down Regular Screws

Regular screws, in contrast, sport a distinctive slotted or cross slot head, facilitating easy manipulation with various screwdriver types. The head design varies, with common types including Phillips, flathead, and Torx, among others.

Regular screws are the workhorses of the fastener world, serving a multitude of purposes. From assembling furniture to fixing everyday items, regular screws are your go-to solution for a wide range of projects.

Regular screws come with a diverse array of head types to suit different applications. Whether you need a countersunk head for a flush finish or a pan head for added surface contact, regular screws offer versatility in meeting specific project requirements.

Key Differences: Set Screws vs. Regular Screws

1. Head vs. No Head

Regular screws have a visible or countersunk with a slot head, making them easy to identify, while set screws are mostly hexagon shaped, emphasising their specialised design. Grub screws have no head but have a hex slot built within the shaft.

2. Purpose and Application

Set screws are purpose-built for specific applications that demand a high-profile solution. Grub screws are used when you do not need to see the head. Regular screws, on the other hand, are versatile and find use in a broad spectrum of projects, accommodating different needs and requirements.

3. Tool Engagement

Set screws typically require specialised tools like wrenches for tightening, emphasising precision. Grub screws require an Allen key to use. Regular screws, with their varied head types, offer flexibility in tool engagement, making them more user-friendly in terms of accessibility.


While both set screws and regular screws share the common goal of holding things together, their unique designs and applications set them apart. Whether you're delving into intricate adjustments with set screws or embarking on everyday projects with regular screws, understanding these differences empowers you to choose the right fastener for the job at hand.

Here at Fixabolt we stock a huge range of set screws ready to help you with your next project.

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