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  1. #1
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    Source for Allen-head bolts

    Does anybody know a good source for metric bolts with an Allen head? I recently was involved in re-assembling a bike, and I'm not happy with one detail. I've accumulated some bolts over the years, but I didn't have enough to do this project. As a result, I've got many different sizes, I'm using washers as spacers in some locations because the bolt was too long, and I've got some that I bought at a local auto parts store which require the use of a wrench (which I normally don't carry with me) to tighten.

    Any ideas? The guys at the auto parts store looked at me like I had two heads when I tried to explain what I was looking for.

  2. #2
    Senior Member iamstuffed's Avatar
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    Lowes and Home Depot have them in their hardware isle. They are located in the sliding bins.

  3. #3
    Zweckentfremdung enigmagic's Avatar
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    The bike shop.

  4. #4
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    Awesome! Thank you. I'll try Home Depot today. I live in a kind of backwards little town - no LBS, no Lowes. But we do have a Depot.

  5. #5
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    Most larger hardware stores as well as the Lowes and Home Depot referenced above carry allen head metric bolts in a variety of diameters and lengths. Some even carry stainless steel versions.

    Another possibility is any decent LBS.

    Bike tools Etc. and Loose Screws also sell them but you have to get a large qualtity to justify the shipping charges.

  6. #6
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    try a mom and pop hardware store. The slamm local shops usually have a decent selection.

  7. #7
    WNG
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    If you can't find what you need, try mcmaster.com (McMaster-Carr).
    Industrial supplier, order whatever quantity you want, shipping is very reasonable.

    Also a great source for Grade 25 or better bearing balls.
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  8. #8
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    Referring to them as "socket head cap screws" might help when searching for them.

  9. #9
    Senior Member z415's Avatar
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    ACE Hardwares are good.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Crank57's Avatar
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    Don't know where you are located, but TSC (Tractor Supply Company, if you have one) has more hardware normally than a Home Depot or Lowes.

    Also, the earlier post for McMaster Carr is an excellent idea. They will have options in stainless, alloy, non-metalic, etc. Very good company; their catalog is considered the engineer's bible.

  11. #11
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    BoltDepot.com has just about anything and everything you could need.
    My experience with our local home centers (Lowes, Menards, Home Depot) is that they have lousy/crummy selections of metric/stainless bits. Both my local Ace stores were somewhat better but they both closed. Haven't tried TSC - will check them out.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
    BoltDepot.com has just about anything and everything you could need.
    My experience with our local home centers (Lowes, Menards, Home Depot) is that they have lousy/crummy selections of metric/stainless bits. Both my local Ace stores were somewhat better but they both closed. Haven't tried TSC - will check them out.
    Bolt depot are pretty expensive -- between two and five times what McMaster charges, and more than what fastenal charge (and they've got 2000 locations in the US, so there's probably one not far away), at least for the things I've looked for. I don't understand the love for the place.

  14. #14
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dscheidt View Post
    Bolt depot are pretty expensive -- between two and five times what McMaster charges, and more than what fastenal charge (and they've got 2000 locations in the US, so there's probably one not far away), at least for the things I've looked for. I don't understand the love for the place.
    I'll compare those two online with BoltDepot next time I need something. No FastenAl store on my side of Indianapolis.

  15. #15
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    Has anyone used this outfit:
    http://www.loosescrews.com/

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
    My experience with our local home centers (Lowes, Menards, Home Depot) is that they have lousy/crummy selections of metric/stainless bits. Both my local Ace stores were somewhat better but they both closed. Haven't tried TSC - will check them out.
    x2 ... the large home centers have a pretty poor selection of out of the ordinary hardware, which small metric allen head stainless bolts will be. I've had much better luck in smaller hardware stores ... Breeds around here has a nice selection.

  17. #17
    Klaatu barada nikto cascade168's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dscheidt View Post
    Bolt depot are pretty expensive -- between two and five times what McMaster charges, and more than what fastenal charge (and they've got 2000 locations in the US, so there's probably one not far away), at least for the things I've looked for. I don't understand the love for the place.
    1. Ship same, or next, day.

    2. If you want qty=1, no problem.

    3. Everything in nice little bags, nice labeling.

    4. Great people to deal with. I've never stumped them asking for some really strange stuff, and they are not reticent about referring you to someone else if they don't carry it. Many suppliers will just play dumb if they don't stock it.

    5. I've never had one mistake on some very long and complicated orders.

    6. All very high quality fasteners.

    7. I don't think their stuff is so much more expensive. I think what you say is 2-5x cost is not the same quality parts. I question that figure. Really good quality stainless steel fasteners are not cheap.
    And, if I'm going to go to the trouble of special ordering fasteners, I'm getting the good stuff. They also have a lot of nice specialty fasteners in brass, acorn nuts, and a lot of other cool stuff for restorations, and nice finish work.

    8. Living in New England, I usually get stuff overnight if I order in the morning - at ground rates. Very reliable.

    In short, great customer service, good prices (in my opinion), and excellent delivery. That's why I love the place.
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  18. #18
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkelley73 View Post
    Any ideas? The guys at the auto parts store looked at me like I had two heads when I tried to explain what I was looking for.
    Then they're dorks. 2/3 of the bolts on "American" cars nowadays are metric.

    Anyway, I've found a decent selection of metric hex-head bolts at my local True Value hardware store.
    Jeff Wills

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  19. #19
    mud
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    Needed four 5x20 metric cap screws for my stem. Home Depot, Lowes, LBS and auto parts store did not have my size. I went to Ace, they had them in chrome. The checkout girl said that will be $12.01, I said "What"! She said $2.79 each, I thought $2.79 for all four.
    Every time I look down at my stem I think, those are some beautiful screws!
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  20. #20
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    I've found some at a local hardware-store. Amazingly, they had 7mm metric bolts!!!! Wow!! Also, here's some good online sources:

    NutsAndBolts.com
    AllensFasteners.com
    Fastener-express.com

  21. #21
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    I work two blocks from a bolt and screw supply company that will sell single bolts.

    My guess is that most moderate-sized cities will have a bolt and screw supplier. You might want to check the yellow pages.

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