In industrial settings, "hardware" refers to the physical mechanical components of a product or application. This includes small, fundamental parts used for fastening, reinforcing, or enabling movement. Among the oldest types of hardware are devices such as nails, screws, bolts, and fasteners, dating back to ancient Egypt and possibly earlier. The earliest all-metal lock and key were found in the ruins of Nineveh, the capital of ancient Assyria, dating back to 870-900 AD. Over the millennia, hardware has significantly transformed society; without fasteners and similar components, modern development would not have been possible.

Today, hardware plays a vital role in nearly every industry, including electronics, medicine, semiconductors, and power generation. It is often categorized into door hardware, gate hardware, and builder's hardware, all of which are crucial in automotive, aviation, construction, architecture, residential, and furniture sectors. These types of hardware facilitate opening and closing mechanisms, and provide protection, decoration, and convenience in buildings. Examples include locks, latches, and hinges.

Household hardware includes items that can be touched or held by hand, such as screws, nuts, washers, wires, chains, and locks. Industrial hardware is essential for numerous assembly, machining, and manufacturing processes, including bolts, gears, springs, and fasteners used in linear actuators, automation equipment, and conveyor systems.

Hardware components are typically made from durable metals such as aluminum, brass, bronze, copper, iron, nickel, steel, and stainless steel. For lighter applications, plastic hardware is also available, and for the most demanding uses, titanium hardware can be manufactured. Hardware comes in various shapes and sizes and can be purchased online, at local hardware stores, or directly from manufacturers.

For the best results, consulting a reputable hardware manufacturer is recommended. They can provide guidance based on your specifications, application requirements, industry standards, and budget, and can create custom hardware to meet your needs. Many hardware suppliers also offer in-house inspection to ensure quality. For more information on hardware types and manufacturers, refer to the sections below, which detail five major hardware devices: bolts, fasteners, hinges, latches, and locks.


Bolts are threaded fasteners made from rods with a head on top and external helical threads. Widely used in industries such as aircraft building, automotive manufacturing, construction, and military vehicle production, bolts are essential for securing materials. They are commonly used with tools like Allen wrenches, handheld screwdrivers, and high-pressure drills.

Manufacturers create bolts using processes such as cutting, cold forging, thread rolling, and coating. These processes produce bolts that vary in head type, pitch diameter (the distance between two ridges), and the major diameter of their external thread.

Bolt heads are typically named based on their shape, with common types including truss heads, taper heads, pan heads, oval heads, flat heads, and binding heads. Bolts are generally named for their shape or function, resulting in names such as U bolts, J bolts, and anchor bolts.

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Casters, integral to industrial mobility, consist of a wheel housed within a framework. This assembly enables the movement of stationary objects.

Casters are available in various sizes and materials to support different load capacities. They can feature swivel, locking mechanisms, track compatibility, or operate in conjunction with other casters. Options include traditional wheels or bearings that enable smooth and multidirectional movement. Additionally, some casters are engineered to absorb shock.

Casters are commonly seen on rolling chairs and grocery carts. They are also used on heavier appliances like refrigerators and freezers, as well as lighter furniture such as tea carts and portable filing cabinets. Many luggage pieces, boxes, and shipping crates for delicate items like musical instruments and electronic equipment feature casters. Additionally, smaller aircraft can be moved by caster dollies, allowing one person to handle an entire plane. Hospital gurneys and medical equipment utilize antimicrobial, quiet casters with total or directional locking capabilities.

Casters are selected based on their intended application. When choosing or designing custom casters, several factors must be considered. The materials used for the caster wheel and body are primarily determined by the load capacity, which is the total weight the caster will support.

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An eyelet, a smaller version of a grommet, is a metal ring used to reinforce holes in thin materials. Commonly applied to fabrics, sheet metal, and other thin fibrous materials, eyelets prevent tearing and reduce abrasion, thereby protecting the material from damage.

Eyelets are simple devices typically manufactured using metal stamping processes. Each eyelet consists of a metal ring with a flange around the center hole. The ring extends into a longer barrel that can be inserted into a hole in the material.

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Fastener Manufacturers

"Fasteners" refer to hardware used to mechanically join or secure two or more materials together. Unlike cables and chains, which have other primary functions, fasteners include items like screws, nuts, and bolts. There are over 500,000 types of fasteners, available in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and types. Fasteners have countless applications, including securing building structures, furniture, cars, airplanes, jewelry boxes, and basketball hoops.

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Gas Springs

Gas springs, also known as gas struts, gas pistons, or gas shocks, are versatile mechanical devices that store energy pneumatically using high-pressure gas within a cylinder. These devices often replace or complement traditional mechanical springs. Functioning similarly to air cylinders, a piston in a gas spring is compressed or extended based on the pressure differential between internal and external gases. Their applications typically involve exerting force through the gas-filled cylinder and providing oil-based shock absorption, known as damping. Gas springs are used to enhance the opening, closing, lifting, lowering, adjusting, and damping of various mechanisms.

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Handle Manufacturers

Handles are essential fixtures for various products, including chests, cabinets, lockers, fences, tool boxes, doors, and industrial equipment. They can be made from materials such as steel, stainless steel, aluminum, brass, and die-cast zinc, with options for black matte, chrome plating, or zinc plating for specific appearances. Industrial handles come with different locking mechanisms, grip distances, and shaft lengths to meet stringent specifications. U-shaped handles are popular in industrial applications due to their versatility and strong grip. Types of industrial handles include folding handles, standard pulls, offset pulls, slanted pulls, contemporary pulls, bars, tees, knobs, chest handles, L handles, paddle handles, recessed handles, and T handles.

Some handles are stationary, while others require twisting, turning, flipping, or lifting to release, making them suitable for specific applications. For example, paddle handles, which flip out for latching or unlatching, are commonly used on equipment doors in the forestry, agriculture, mining, and construction industries. L handles, which protrude perpendicularly and turn side to side to release the latch, are common on most doors. Recessed handles provide flush mounting with the door or lid surface and are typically found on cabinets and containers. The quality and durability of these handles are crucial due to their basic function, as they must withstand repetitive and sometimes vigorous use.

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Hinge Manufacturerers

Hinges are hardware devices that connect two solid objects, allowing them to rotate relative to each other. They are essential components in cabinets, desks, doors, windows, and various other structures, both large and small.

To suit the diverse structures they serve, hinges are produced in a variety of configurations and materials. Most hinges consist of three main parts: the pin, the knuckle, and the leaves. The pin, a rod, holds the hinge components together. The knuckle, which is often cylindrical and hollow, acts as the joint through which the pin is inserted. The leaves, typically constructed in pairs, extend laterally in opposite directions from the knuckle and revolve around the pin.

Among hinge types, butt hinges and continuous hinges are the simplest. Butt hinges, or mortise hinges, are inset into a door and its frame, typically used in groups of three or four. Continuous hinges, also known as piano hinges, are commonly attached to piano panels, boxes, or doors. Other hinge types include spring hinges, strap hinges, barrel hinges, butterfly hinges, and concealed hinges.

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Latch Manufacturers

Latches are mechanical devices designed for securing doors, windows, cabinets, and other items. They are commonly used in firearms, switchblades, chests, boxes, car hoods, and certain kitchen pots.

To accommodate various applications, manufacturers select materials based on specific requirements. For heavy-duty or harsh environments, stainless steel is preferred due to its strength and resistance to abrasion and corrosion. For lighter applications, brass is chosen for its aesthetic appeal despite being less strong than stainless steel. The least demanding applications use plastic latches.

Historically, latches have secured doors without locking them, a function reserved for bolts. Today, manufacturers often combine these features, creating latches that both fasten and lock. Common types include door latches, cabinet latches, paddle latches, gate latches, slam latches, spring latches, deadbolt latches, Norfolk latches, and Suffolk latches.

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Lock Manufacturers

Locks have a long history, dating back to ancient times. The earliest known all-metal lock and key set, discovered in Nineveh, dates from approximately 870 to 900 AD. Then, as now, locks function as security devices to deter theft and vandalism. They are utilized to secure various items and areas, including lock boxes, safes, luggage, gates, cabinets, and both commercial and residential buildings.

Lock manufacturers produce a wide variety of locks in different shapes, sizes, and configurations. Notable examples include the deadbolt, which uses a heavy bolt or rod to secure a door, and the pin tumbler lock.

Pin tumbler locks contain a set of pins that prevent the lock from opening without the correct key. The key's grooves correspond to obstructions inside the keyway. When inserted, the key moves the pins into the correct position, allowing the lock to turn and open.

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Wire Hooks

Wire hooks, made from metallic strands, are versatile tools used in manufacturing, commercial, and domestic applications. Available in various configurations, hooks are named for their shapes, such as S-hooks, J-hooks, and C-hooks, or their intended purposes, like gate hooks, fish hooks, and rope binding hooks.

Wire hooks are widely used across various industries, including plumbing, hardware, parts manufacturing, fishing, and design. The choice of hook style depends largely on its intended application. Ornamental hooks are often used in wire displays for organizing clothing, hats, and food items, and can be wall-mounted or suspended. Additionally, wire hooks serve as effective fastening devices, such as screw hooks that form a secure closure when attached to a surface and looped to an adjacent edge.

When selecting hooks, consider several factors: shape, material, size, weight, wire density, and finishing. The shape of the hook is particularly important, as it determines its specific use. For example, S-hooks are better suited for fastening than C-hooks.

Wire hooks are manufactured through a detailed wire-forming process, starting with raw metal being drawn through progressively smaller dies to achieve a specific diameter. Key materials such as aluminum, copper, steel, brass, and stainless steel are selected for their strong tensile strength, essential for the hook's longevity. The formed wire may undergo heat treatments, quenching, or tempering, which can occur early in the process or as a final step. The wires are then cut, bent, stamped, or pressed into their final shapes. While manual crafting remains an option, CNC machining is commonly employed for its precision and consistency. Additional processes like painting, coating, plating, galvanizing, and threading are performed based on functional or aesthetic needs. The manufacturing and finishing stages critically affect the hook’s functionality and visual attributes. For more information on wire hooks, further exploration is recommended.

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Hardware Manufacturers and Companies Power Pages

Types Of Bolts

Types Of Bolts

Caster Wheels

Caster Wheels





Gas Springs

Gas Springs