For most, if not all, manufacturers, fasteners are essential to both their products and the production process. Quality fasteners, or the lack thereof, can literally make or break a product. Therefore, choosing the right fastener is critical to your success. For the most successful purchase, remember to: 1) Consider the product’s primary use. 2) Know the specifications of your requirement. 3) Choose a finish according to function. 4) Consider the price.
1. Consider the product’s primary use:
Ask yourself, “What is my product’s end use, and how will this fastener help achieve that use?” For example, metal fasteners are ideal for products with enclosures that need to be opened and closed frequently, or parts that move or vibrate. On the other hand, a product that will be never opened may call for an inexpensive alternative, like plastic.
2. Know the specifications of your requirement:
Along this line of thought, you must also understand your specific needs. Product design dictates the main size, material and function of the fastener, so to dismiss this is to risk improper functioning and poor product performance. Furthermore, it’s necessary to pay attention to fastener threads. For instance, do not buy a single threaded fastener for a design that calls for a multiple threaded one. Also, never use metal that is too heavy for your application and do not request that your provider meet unnecessary critical product tolerances or unnecessary fastener sizes.
3. Choose a finish according to function:
Select a fastener finish only after your provider has studied your requirement and is able to guide you. Finish hardness must be chosen according to product design, with metal grade and gauge thickness that matches your application. To ensure your needs are communicated well, when ordering, make sure to describe the fastener’s intended function and to inquire about fastener limitations.
4. Consider the price:
Finally, you must consider the cost. Resist the temptation to cut corners to save some money. Remember that, in the long run, cheap fasteners may fail you, discrediting you and your products. Of course, you don’t necessarily have to buy the most expensive fastener you can find. Rather, simply be discerning and think of the possible long-term advantages and disadvantages of your selection.