Beginning Lag Bolts 101 - By: Gary Hall

Lag bolts are heavy wooden screws with a square head and which are driven with a wrench. They are most commonly rods with spiral threads and a hexagonal head which holds objects together. Since they are manufactured mostly from metal (or wood), they can easily be rotated into the object through the use of pliers or wrenches. Lag bolts can sometimes be also referred to as lag screws, since in essence; it is a fastener that is still used in mechanical connections between pieces of wood to ensure their tight security.

Lag bolts can also be used for fastening very large beams used for decking, wooden structures, and wooden bridges. They can also be used for concrete with the aid of a special insert, aptly called a lag. These fasteners are often used directly into wood. They are characterized by a large head and a cylindrical shaft with smooth and outwardly threaded parts on its length. This smooth section mentioned on the length is directly just below the head. Now, the threaded part contains what we call a helical structure which allows the bolt to be advanced when rotated clockwise. This thread tapers to a sharp tip at the end to aid engage the lag bolts by embedding into the exterior of the wood.

Lag bolts are loosened and tightened by applying force to its head with a tool. The head should be larger than the threaded portion in order to allow the tool to be used on it when tightening, and to provide a positive mechanical stop. Box wrenches or ratchets are perfect tools used for lag bolts with their hexagonal shape. A lag bolt passes through pieces of wood being fastened to each other. The first wood has a pilot hole which allows the bolt to pass freely on to it without the need to screw into the metal.

Lag bolts are screwed into the second wood by letting it penetrate one third to one half of its thickness. Lag screws can create a high extent of clamping force when tightened. The mating exteriors resist the force applied by the bolt, and assists in preventing the connection from falling lose over time. The size of lag bolts selected for a job should be greatly consistent to the size of the wood and the forces needed for the mechanical connection.

Specialized connectors are available for lag bolts with different sizes and threads. These are manufactured using different materials for different applications. There are many types of lag screws available, some of which include zinc plated and hot dipped galvanized. These types are usually moderately priced because of their effective rust resistance. Stainless steel and silicone bronze on the other hand are mainly used for places where high corrosion resistance is needed. Lag bolts are generally stronger than regular screws and are very useful for heavy construction and wood buildings. These bolts are also capable of supporting very heavy loads and the likes. There are many other types of lag screws, these are just some of them.

Need to find the right hardware for your next project? Read up and find out what piece of hardware works best for your individual needs.

At we offer lag bolts at wholesale prices. We're confident you'll find what you're looking for, at the best price. Gary Hall is a freelance writer.

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