Also known as wing screws and thumbscrews, wing bolts are a common type of bolt and screw system that is distinguished by the wing-shaped head of the bolt. These protruding side wings are especially helpful when a bolt needs to be tightened and loosened frequently, or removed and replaced quickly. Their popularity is strengthened by the fact that it is not necessary to use tools with wing bolts; they can be tightened and loosened by hand.
Typically made of zinc, stainless steel, or plated steel, wing bolts come in a variety of sizes and have a variety of uses, although they are most often seen applied with regard to boats and other marine vessels. Due to the often choppy nature of waves, using tools on a sea-faring vessel can be difficult and cumbersome. The ability to remove wing bolts by hand means that no matter the weather or water conditions, the bolt can quickly be replaced or tightened. There are, however, concerns of corrosion and possible breakage of the side wings on the nut. Many wing bolts are also designed with a hexagonal head so that if the wings break, the bolt can also be tightened or removed with a wrench.
Wing bolts can be purchased from hardware stores and online. For additional information on wing bolts, please reference Business.com.