Hex Nuts: A Comprehensive Overview

This article will address the following about Hex Nuts:

  • Meaning/definition
  • How to fasten a Hex Nut
  • Usage in Automobiles
  • Advantages
  • Disadvantages
  • Other types of nuts

Hardware Nuts like hex nuts and flange nuts are common items we see all around us. They are tiny rounded hardware with threaded holes, used with a screw to hold multiple parts of a device in place. We use nuts in devices, machines, appliances, and so on to either hold parts together, tighten an appliance to a surface, and hold so many other things to a spot.

Nuts work with screws in performing these functions listed above. Now we know what nuts are, have you ever imagined what they actually look like and how they vary in sizes and shapes. Yes, some nuts are not just rounded, they have sides and edges and this determines the type of nut it is. For this article, we would be dwelling on a particular type of nut called a Hex Nut. Click here to learn more about nuts.

Hex nuts - comprehensive overview

What are hex nuts?

They are nuts that have six sides. By way of definition, Hex nuts are six-sided internally threaded fasteners mated with bolts, studs, screws, and other externally threaded products. Hex in this context is a shorter version of the hexagon (a shape with six sides). They are therefore called Hex Nuts because they are made up of six sides.

A six-sided nut

Types of hex nuts

We have four major types including:

  • Hex finish nuts
  • Hex machine nuts
  • Heavy hex nuts
  • Hex jam nuts

What are finish nuts?

Finish nuts are of standard thickness. They are neither as thick as Heavy Hex Nuts nor as light as Jam Nuts. We use them to fasten Hex cap screw, bolt, or socket and are the most commonly used Hex Nut.


What are machine nuts?

They are smaller in size than full-sized hex nuts. We use them with machine screws smaller than ¼  and they have threaded lines within them.


What are heavy hex nuts?

As the name implies, they are thicker, larger, and heavier versions of Hex nuts. The heavy pattern is majorly used for large diameter and high strength bolts. They are also used with cap screws and carriage bolts.

hardware: heeavy hex nut

Heavy hex nut


What are jam nuts?

They are thinner versions of Hex Nuts.  We use Jam nuts are to keep a standard nut locked in place without the assistance of another clamp to prevent it from backing off. We also use them for leveling purposes. They are half the size of a regular nut. Watch this to see how jam nuts are used.

jam nuts

How to fasten a hex nut

Learning how to use a Hex Nut depends on the situation where it is being used. We hold these nuts in place using fasteners like bolts and screws with the help of a spanner. They however go majorly with bolt fasteners. We can also fasten them with nuts too (as in the case of two Jam Nuts). See various types of fasteners HERE.


Hex nuts in automobiles

Hex nuts are common in automobiles. They fasten the wheels and tires of automobiles just as they also perform other functions in automobiles. Hex nuts used to fasten car wheels are called lug Hex nuts.

They are, however, not the regular hex nuts we use with regular bolts and fasteners.Automobiles consist of numerous screws, nuts, and fasteners used in various parts. Among these reoccurrences, however, we discover a regular use of Hex Nuts.


Advantages of hex nuts


It is common and easy to buy and replace. They can be found in any hardware shop and as such is not burdensome to get.


It is easy to use because of its nature.


We can easily fasten them tightly to a bolt or any other fastener, such that it doesn’t fall of easily. This way, it ensures better safety. Find out more about the advantages of Hex Nuts by clicking here.


Users claim that they have an attractive appearance. This is probably a result of their well-cut hexagon shape. The fact that they come in various colors majorly black, gold, and stainless steel also adds to their reflective beauty.


Disadvantages of hex nuts

Two major disadvantages according to users’ observations include the following:

  • When they wear off, it is difficult to maneuver.
  • They take so much room/space.

Do we have other types?

Yes, we do!  There are many other types of nuts in the hardware store. Most of these nuts perform similar functions as Hex nuts but vary in shapes and sizes. We use these nuts in various parts of automobiles, machines, and other technical appliances. Some of them include:

  • Cap Nuts
  • Coupling Nuts
  • Flange Nuts
  • Jam Nuts
  • Square Nuts
  • Keps Nuts
  • Locknuts
  • Machine Screw Nuts
  • Slotted Hex Nuts
  • Tee Nuts
  • Wing Nuts

Follow this link to learn more about other nuts and their uses. Also, there are several parts of a vehicle where these nuts function. These parts include the steering system, torque converter, oil pan, and several others. You should check out our articles on them.

Key Takeaways!

  • Hex Nuts are obviously one of the most commonly used fasteners.
  • As seen in this article, they are indispensable in machines, tools, devices, and automobiles. They always prove their usefulness in holding different parts of these appliances and machines in place.
  • Regardless of their proven usefulness, they are not the only type that exists in hardware stores. There are so many others and they serve different purposes.

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