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Old 03-10-2019, 12:45 PM
Spencer Spencer is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Western Michigan
Posts: 436
Default Nut & Bolt Thread Checker (Inch & Metric)

I'm sure you have all seen and probably used some type of nut and bolt thread checker in the big box stores.

Years ago I bought a set similar to the first attached image from Menards. The version that Menards sells is two separate sets, one for inch and one for metric threads. As I recall they were either $17 or $27 a piece, but they are available on Amazon for $33 for a set which has them all mixed together. I quickly returned the one I bought from Menards, as the pieces were only labeled with a clear sticker that could easily come off.

I had a set of the style you see in the second attached photo in my Amazon wish list for quite a while, hoping they would go down in price, but they didn't seem to fluctuate much, so I went ahead and ordered them last September for $85 for the set. I've since learned that Menards carries these on their website for special order for only $34.99 each, so I would have gone that route had I known.

I really like the style that I purchased, but the drawback is that you have to be able to bring the fastener to the fixture to check the size. More often that not, it seems I want to check a thread where it would be more convenient to bring the gauge to the nut or bolt instead of the other way around. For that reason, I've been considering buying another set of gauges, similar to the first style that I described, but I knew how big of a pain it would be not being able to remove them from the cable to use them individually.

My solution was to spend a few hours last Sunday and take my gauge sets to a local farm supply store to try and purchase one nut and one bolt (or screw for the smaller sizes) to fit each different size of fastener included on the gauge sets. My local TSC would have had many of the fasteners I needed, but I drove about 15 minutes away to a different farm store, because I knew all their Grade 5 hardware was colored green. As a bonus, it turns out all of their metric hardware was colored red. I didn't need all these fasteners to be colored, but I like it and it will help to ensure things don't get mixed up.

In the third attached photo, you can see both of my gauge sets with the various nuts, bolts, and screws added to it. The only bolt I still need to find is a 3/4- 16 fine thread. In the fourth attached photo, you'll see I have the 1/2-20 fine thread green bolt laying loose, while I was verifying the bolt I was matching up was indeed that size.

In the last photo, you'll see the green nut is missing from the 5/16-18 coarse thread bolt, as I had removed it to check to see what size knob I needed to purchase to replace the missing one from the hydraulic pump on my shop press.

The last thing I plan on doing to these gauge sets is to mount some magnets on the bottom of them, so I can stick them to the side of one of my pallet racks to store them in an out-of-the-way, yet easily accessible spot.
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Name:	Nut & Bolt Thread Checker (Inch & Metric).jpg
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Name:	SAE and METRIC Bolt Gauges Check a Thread Nut Fastener Size.jpg
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