What Are Washers For

What Are Washers For


Before we can answer what are washers for, we need to define what are washers.

A washer is a thin plate, either round or square, with a centre hole. This is used to distribute the load of a threaded bolt or a nut. Washers are usually metal, but can be found made from nylon, plastic, or rubber.


What Are Washers For

What Are Washers For - Hex Nut and Flat Washers with Hex Bolt Through Wood
A hex head bolt with larger penny washer at the top, and smaller flat washer below with a hext nut.

The common flat washer has several main uses

  • Distribute the pressure of the nut or bolt evenly over the part being secured, reducing the chance of damage.
  • Provide a smooth surface for the nut or bolt to hold on to, making it less likely to come loose because of an uneven surface.
  • Allow the use of a bolt or nut too small for the hole in the part being secured.
  • As a spacer to make it possible to tighten a bolt or nut that’s too long


Most washers can be categorized into three broad types.

Plain washers
These washers spread a load, and prevent damage to the surface being fixed, or provide some sort of insulation such as rubber washers for electrical usage. These are used in nearly every form of construction imaginable.

Spring washers
These washers have flexibility and are used to prevent bolts coming loose due to vibrations. Heavily used in the automotive industry, especially on aftermarket items that are subject to vibrations, such as roof racks, or bull bars.

Locking washers
These washers prevent bolts loosening by preventing unscrewing rotation of the bolt or nut. These are mostly uses in soft material, such as plastic, and can be found used in many electrical devices.


What Are Washers For - Hex Nut and Flat Washer in Wood
A hex bolt with plain flat washer.

If you'd like to view our range of nuts and bolts check them out here: Nuts and Bolts



Thanks for reading our latest blog entry 

Best Regards,

The Scrooz Fasteners Team 


Leave a comment

Comments have to be approved before showing up