Washers are typically thin, flat discs with a center hole that allow a screw or bolt to pass through while providing a broader bearing surface. By distributing force, absorbing vibration, and creating protective barriers, washers enhance the stability and longevity of bolted or screwed connections.
We offer a variety of washers for screws and bolts to suit your application.
Offer a bolt or screw a wider bearing surface that will disperse the load weight to a greater surface area and ensure that the nut or bolt is pressed up against a smooth surface, thus reducing the chances of the fastener loosening over time.
Give the ability to add a finished look to a project where the material is too hard for the countersunk screw head to countersink itself, as well as prevent screw heads from pulling through a pilot hole that is larger than the head of the screw.
Are similar in shape and performance to a flat washer, except the outside diameter is much larger in proportion to the center hole.
Split Lock Washers
Split and bent to create a spring-like effect. When fully compressed, they provide greater bolt tension per unit of applied torque, offering protection against the fastener loosening from vibration.
Tooth Lock Washer
Internal tooth lock washers work by sinking their teeth into the head of the fastener and the material that is being fastened into, creating a strong bond that keeps the screws and bolts in place.
Do You Need Washers for Screws?
While not strictly required, washers are strongly recommended for most screw applications to maximize performance and prevent loosening over time. Here's when you should use washers with screws:
- Soft materials like wood, plastic, or drywall - Washers will prevent the screw head from digging in and protect the surface.
- Vibration-prone applications - Lock washers maintain tension and resist loosening.
- Larger pilot holes - Necessary if the hole is bigger than the screw head to prevent pull-through.
- Need thicker surface for load bearing and dispersion - Use flat washers. Exceptions include self-tapping/drilling screws or specialty screws with built-in lock washers.
Consult manufacturer's recommendations. When in doubt, use washers.
Washer Installation Tips and Best Practices
- Match washer and fastener sizes - Ensure the washer's inner diameter matches the diameter of the bolt or screw. A mismatch can lead to ineffective load distribution.
- Use the right washer - Avoid using a washer type that is not suited for the specific application (e.g., using a flat washer where a lock washer is needed).
- Use specialty washers correctly - For specialized washers like cup and fender washers, ensure their specific design matches your application requirements. When using split lock washers or tooth lock washers, check whether they are fully engaged with the fastener and the surface to achieve the necessary locking action.
- Tightening - Under-tightening fails to compress washers properly, while over-tightening can damage them.
Still unsure what washers your project calls for? Connect with us for recommendations on choosing the optimal washer style and size for your bolts and screws.