This post almost began with a different headline: No Matter How Many Screws I have…, because of how I am never done buying screws and fasteners.
Yesterday, I was in the middle of a project when I realized I needed 1/4-20 x 5/8″ socket head cap screws and didn’t have any on hand. Luckily I was able to use hex-head bolts in a pinch, but I need to swap them out if I can. I placed an order with McMaster for what I needed, plus a few other items I was running short on.
Not 10 minutes later I realized I needed 1/4-20 x 3/4″ socket head cap screws for a different project. I ended up ordering a box of screws from Zoro Tools, and a few extra sizes and spares of commonly used fasteners as well. I also ordered two assortments – one with socket head cap screws, and another with button head.
I’m not the type of person that likes to cut longer fasteners down to size. In a pinch, sure, I’ll do this for one or two fasteners. But for any more than that it’s a time consuming hassle. Plus, I usually prefer using the right size and proper style fastener for the task.
I had never wanted to purchase an assortment because 1) you pay a premium for the variety, and 2) you pay for sizes you might not need. Most of the time I can get away with buying boxes of machine screws or construction screws here and there as the need for different sizes or styles becomes apparent.
With my recent Zoro order, I spent $53 on a 170 piece socket head cap screw assortment, and $62 on a 300 piece button head socket head cap screw assortment (before their St. Patrick’s Day discount). I *could* have purchased many more individual 100-count boxes, but it would have cost a lot more in the end and I would be stuck with a lot of fasteners I would never use.
Both assortments only have 12 sizes each, but other suppliers have much larger (and pricier) assortments. Ultimately, I figured the small assortments might come in handy, and if not they would still make for convenient self-contained fastener kits for when I’m mobile.
So what do you think about fastener assortments? Are they worth the money or do you strictly prefer buying boxes of fasteners as-needed as I typically do?