Four things you need to know when buying Captive Panel Screws

Captive Panel Screws New Jersey

Captive Panel screws are a type of screw that remains attached to the parent material when separated from the mating part. These special screws are used to fasten PC boards, cabinets, drawers, furniture, equipment panels and more. But, what exactly are they and what should you know before getting a quote or buying them? We’d like to help you out with this four-point buyer’s guide.

  1. What are Captive Panel Screws?

Captive Panel Screws provide simple and secure mounting of hardware to panels and other assemblies. These special fasteners reduce the risk of lost parts and damage from loose screws falling into moving parts. They allow for speedy repeated assembly and disassembly operations. Used along with retainers, washers, nuts or springs, these screws come in a variety of sizes, styles and materials.

  1. What information should I provide to get an accurate quote?

The easiest way to order is by manufacturer part number. The most popular manufacturers of Captive Panel Screws are: Amatom, Concord, Globe, Grainger, H.H. Smith, Lyn-tron, Misumi, McMaster Carr, MSC Industrial, RAF and Unicorp. If you don’t have a part number, you’ll need to specify the style and there are many! Styles are generally represented by a number (1 through 6) or a letter (A, B, C, D, E). Other than style, you’ll need the head style, drive type, shank length, thread, point type, material and plating. For example, a popular Captive Panel Screw is a 1/4 -20 x 1” Long Hex Socket Drive Captive Panel Screw in 18-8 stainless steel.

  1. What sizes and materials are available off the shelf?

Depending on the manufacturer and style, Captive Panel Screws are available off the shelf in inch sizes starting as small as 4-40 thread up to 3/8-16 in both coarse and fine thread. Metric Captive Panel screws are available from M3 through M6 and are most common in coarse thread.

Common materials are brass, steel and 18-8 stainless steel.

Threads, head sizes, shank sizes, screw lengths and screw tips are related to the style of the Captive Panel Screws and all sizes may not be available in all materials and styles.

As always, special lengths, sizes and materials are available but may involve a lead time – just ask!

  1. Are there other factors to consider?

YES! One surefire way to save money and shorten delivery time is to cross the OEM brand part on your bill of materials to a functional equivalent.

Finally, although Captive Panel Screws can be installed easily with thumb pressure, and many times don’t require specialized equipment for installation, methods to attach the screw to the parent material include using split washers, springs, nuts and retainers.  Make sure you order the proper mating parts to complete your Captive Panel Screw assembly.

For more detailed information about Captive Panel Fasteners, to request a line card or to send an RFQ, visit our website. And if you don’t see what you need listed, as always, ask us. “Finding the right screw for you” is our tag line after all!

Contact me at with your questions, comments or helpful hints!