ThruLOK vs. Carriage Bolts: A Superior Fastener System

A car­riage bolt can pro­vide a firm, secure con­nec­tion in a vari­ety of appli­ca­tions, but the Thru­LOK sys­tem from Fas­ten­Mas­ter can pro­vide a faster alternative. 

Which one is right for your next con­struc­tion project? Let’s com­pare the two to see whether car­riage bolts or the Thru­LOK sys­tem is appro­pri­ate for your needs.

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ThruLOK vs. Carriage Bolts: Choosing the Right One for Your Construction Project

What Are Carriage Bolts? 

Car­riage bolts are a type of fas­ten­er, made from a vari­ety of met­als, that are used to join two com­po­nents togeth­er. In res­i­den­tial con­struc­tion, the two pieces being joined togeth­er are usu­al­ly wood, often a post with a par­al­lel beam of some kind. Car­riage bolts can vary in size depend­ing on the appli­ca­tion, but they are usu­al­ly more than six inch­es in length. 

The car­riage bolt con­sists of a head, which may be a hex head for fit­ting a sock­et, or a round­ed head with a brief square shaft below the wash­er component. 

Carriage Bolt Installation

The process for installing a car­riage bolt into a post and beam requires a few dif­fer­ent tools. First, the builder needs a drill with the appro­pri­ate bit. The hole needs to span the entire depth of the con­nec­tion so that the bolt can be insert­ed all the way through. 

After the hole has been drilled, the installer needs to place the bolt into the hole. Usu­al­ly the bolt needs to be ham­mered through. Once in place, a nut is twist­ed onto the oppo­site end. The nut will then be tight­ened down, which will require a sock­et or wrench­es. One wrench or sock­et will be used to hold the bolt, while the oth­er will tight­en the nut. 

What is the ThruLOK System? 

ThruLOK® Structural deck screws connecting multiple wood supports

The Thru­LOK sys­tem is a screw that replaces a car­riage bolt by con­nect­ing posts, beams, car­ry­ing beams, and oth­er lum­ber com­po­nents. It is used as a wood-to-wood fas­ten­er that meets code for deck build­ing and new construction. 

The Thru­LOK sys­tem con­sists of three parts: a screw, a wash­er, and a nut. At the tip of the screw, there is a spe­cial­ly-designed pad­dle point that allows the screw to cut through dense lum­ber with­out cre­at­ing a split. At the head of the screw, Fas­ten­Mas­ter has includ­ed a hex head that allows for fast instal­la­tion. A gal­va­nized wash­er helps even­ly dis­trib­ute the ten­sion cre­at­ed by the screw, while a Thru­LOK nut has teeth to grip into the wood, as well as pad­dles that allow the sys­tem to be tight­ened with­out a wrench or socket.

ThruLOK Installation

Instal­la­tion of the Thru­LOK sys­tem requires few­er steps than a car­riage bolt. To install, builders sim­ply place the tip of the Thru­LOK screw in the appro­pri­ate loca­tion and dri­ve it into the wood until the wash­er is tight against the lumber.

After the screw is in place, the nut is fixed on the oppo­site end. Sim­ply hold the nut and use a drill to tight­en the sys­tem into place. 

In this com­par­i­son video, Thru­LOK requires only 11 sec­onds to install, while the car­riage bolt requires a full minute.

Trust in FastenMaster for the Best in Modern Fasteners

For more infor­ma­tion on the Thru­LOK sys­tem, or to find a retail­er in your area, con­tact us today!