About two months ago, I asked what you thought about screw and fastener assortments. At the time, I bought a few small socket cap screw assortments “just in case” I needed an unplanned size that I didn’t already have available for a project.
Those screw assortments actually came in handy, but I still had to order some in-between sizes along the way.
Finally fed up with not the exact fasteners I need on-hand, I ordered about 68 packets and boxes of socket head and button head cap screws from Zoro in #4-40, #6-32, #8-32, #10-24, and #10-32 sizes. Seeing as how 65 were packs of 100 and 3 were packs of 50, that’s 6,650 screws.
~$180 for 6,650 screws and a 68-size/style assortment. This is less than I would have paid for any assortment of this size. Most packs of 100 screws cost under $3 each, but I also bought two 50-count packs of Kerr Lakeside USA-made 1/4″-20 screws ($17 total) that skew the breakdown a bit.
I hadn’t intended on buying so many screws, but I was ordering a few #8-32 screw sizes to replenish my stock and the low prices seemed too good to pass up. I might take 25 screws of each size to fill a few organizers and put the remainder into storage.
These are inexpensive imported alloy steel black oxide-finished screws that should be suitable enough for regular use. If I need stronger screws, I could always order brand-name screws from McMaster, Zoro, or another industrial supplier.
Most of the fasteners I’ve bought and used in the past few years are 1″ in length or shorter, so I stopped there. I figured that, if I ran into an application where I need longer screws, I could buy them as-needed.
Guess what… this week I needed #10-32 x 2-1/4″ screws. $9.56 plus tax and shipping from McMaster for a pack of 25.
There is no such thing as having a large enough screw assortment. Maybe at the industrial level, but at the DIYer and home hobbyist level? Nope. There’s no escaping it – I’m going to have to keep buying fasteners as-needed for the rest of my life.