Point types

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This advertisement (from 1913) illustrates various set screw point types.

Set screws appear with a variety of tip (point) types. The different shaped tips have different properties that engineers can utilize. If an engineer were to use a detent to ensure proper nesting of the screw, they might choose to use a cone point type of screw. One might often need to use a flat point when the screw must press perfectly flat against a surface. The most common type is the cup point. This type works well because the surface is rounded so that a small surface area is in contact, but it does not have extremely high stress at one point like that of a cone point. Durability studies show that the cup point offers superior resistance to wear while maintaining a strong grip.[1] Knurled cup points offer the added advantage of a locking action (similar to that of a serrated lock washer) that prevents the screws from working loose in high-vibration applications.[2]

Common points include the following:

  • Flat point
  • Domed point
  • Cone point
  • Cup point
  • Extended point (pilot point, dog point)
  • Knurled cup point

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