Not all screws are the same, and while they all feature external threading, some variations are designed with slightly different characteristics. To differentiate each type of screw abbrevations from one another, there are a few key abbreviations you should become familiar with. As such, we will provide an overview of common screw abbreviations everyone should know.
FH (Flat-head Screw)
Also called countersunk screws, the FH abbreviation is used for flat-head screws. These screws feature a flat head that is tapered on the side, and they sit flush with the surface of the material in which they are installed.
BH (Button-head Screw)
The BH abbreviation is used for button-head screws. These screws are identified by a dome-shaped head that makes them protrude out of the material in which they are installed.
MS (Machine Screw)
Serving as one of the most common abbreviations, MS is used for machine screws. Machine screws are short, heavy-duty screws that are designed with uniform threading. As per their name, they are utilized in machine-related fastening applications, so if you need to hold two or more machinery parts together, you should consider using machine screws.
PH (Phillips Head Drive Recess)
Screws that take advantage of the PH abbreviation feature a Phillips head drive recess. The top of their head has a cross-shaped cutout, and they can be installed by placing a bit of the same type in this recess and turning it clockwise.
FT (Fully Threaded Shank)
In general, all screws have a shank and it serves as the main part of a screw. If you come across screws with the FT abbreviation, this indicates they have a fully threaded shank, meaning that the threading covers the screw’s shank from head to tip.
SH (Socket Head Screw)
Although not as common as a Phillips head, these screws are distinguished by their socket head; thus, they utilize the SH abbreviation. While they have a drive recess, it is not like the cross-shaped drive recess of their Phillips head counterparts. Instead, they have a hexagonal recess, and they can be installed using a hex key or socket bit.
STS (Self-Tapping Screws)
This abbreviation is used for self-tapping screws, those of which feature a tip that is similar to the tip of a drill bit. However, they cannot drill through metal as easily as other screw types, so they necessitate a pilot hole to be pre-drilled before installation.
SS (Set Screws/Stainless Steel Screws)
The SS abbreviation is used to describe screws made of stainless steel or set screws. A set screw is a type of blind screw designed to hold collars, pulleys, or gears on shafts.
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