How Is Bolt Diameter Measured?

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A bolt diameter measurement is used to match the size of a washer and a nut to that specific bolt. For example, as a very basic measurement, a 3/8-inch measured bolt diameter will always support a 3/8-inch washer and will also support a 3/8-inch nut, provided the thread patterns match. Both the washer and the nut will have an inner hole diameter of 3/8-inch which will correctly match the outer diameter of the bolt.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Locate the shank on the bolt to be measured. This will be the area directly under the bolt head that has not been turned with threads.

  • Measure from one side of the bolt shank to the other side with a tape measure. This will give you the proper bolt diameter measurement.

  • Measure across the threads at the bottom of a bolt that is threaded all the way up the shank. This is called the "major diameter" and is considered that exact same measurement as the shank diameter.

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