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What are Eyebolts?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
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An eyebolt is a threaded bolt with a closed loop or “eye” which can be used to attach cables, chains, hooks, or cabling. These materials can be run through the eyebolt, or attached with the use of a strong clip. Eyebolts are commonly used to support heavy weights for lifting or to hang objects, and they are available in a wide range of sizes to meet varying needs. Depending on how the eyebolts are manufactured, they can sometimes bear a very heavy weight if used properly. All hardware stores carry eyebolts in varying sizes, and are able to order more for customers with specific needs. In some instances, eyebolts will be custom made for a particular application.

The strongest eyebolts are forged eyebolts, which are one-piece eyebolts rated for a very heavy load. Typically, the eyebolt comes with a nut, so that the bolt can be firmly attached to a surface such as wood or metal. Forged eyebolts are an excellent choice for people intending to lift heavy weights, although the weight should be as vertical as possible, as the eyebolt can bend under extreme pressure. Forged eyebolts are commonly used throughout the construction and manufacturing industry, and can also be used at home to hold up heavy weights like fully laden hammocks.

Screw eyes are essentially screws with an eyebolt attachment. They tend to be much more lightweight, and less able to hang heavy loads. A typical example of a screw eye is the closed hooks used by picture framers. Subjecting screw eyes to heavy weight should be avoided, because of their less sturdy construction. However, they are less expensive than forged eyebolts, and in a situation where they are unlikely to be heavily loaded, they are highly useful.

Shoulder eyebolts have a flange or shoulder mounted on the eyebolt to prevent it from sinking into the surface it is attached to. A shoulder eyebolt can also be made, by installing a nut between the eyebolt and the material it is bolted to. Typically, the shoulder is mounted flush with the installment surface. Another type of eyebolt, the thimble eyebolt, has a small opening to thread material through, and is designed to reduce wear and tear.

Some eyebolts are designed to rotate with the load they carry. Pivoting eyebolts have a 180 degree range of movement, while swiveling eyebolts can turn a full 360 degrees. A rotating eyebolt can help to reduce wear and tear on the rope being threaded through it, while also preventing entanglement by being able to move freely.

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Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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