You might know the world as a global village, but the unit of measurement is one area where many disparities abound. Buying and assembling furniture from IKEA is already daunting enough, and you don’t need the confusion of measuring units added. So, does IKEA use metric bolts?
IKEA uses metric bolts for their furniture, and most of their products also use the metric system. Although most IKEA products are of Swedish design, people from all over the world buy them. It makes sense to use a measuring system common to many countries.
This article describes the size of bolts IKEA uses, whether they use metric bolts, and what IKEA bolts are called.
What Size Bolt Does IKEA Use?
IKEA has over 9,000 products available, including ready-to-assemble (RTA) furniture, appliances, home furnishings, kitchen products, and home accessories. With such a variety of products, IKEA uses no one-size bolt.
Each piece of furniture has a unique design, and the parts will need bolts that ensure a sturdy finished product. Even with the differences, there are some standard bolts you can find across most IKEA products. The bolts and screws usually have a product number you can match to standard sizes.
Here are some common screws and nuts IKEA uses and their corresponding sizes:
- IKEA screw 110789—a standard M6 x 18 wood screw.
- IKEA screw 105163—a standard M6 x 10 screw: 6 mm in diameter x 10 mm in length.
- IKEA nut 114254—a standard M8 nut.
- IKEA plastic cap 102267—corresponds with an M6 protective cap (for replacement).
- IKEA screw 110789—a standard M4 x 6 screw.
- IKEA cam Lock Nut 110630—0.12 cm L x 0.15 cm W x 0.0 cm D
When it comes to screws, IKEA uses Allen head screws for most products. The 3 mm and 5 mm screws are the most common, and they come with the appropriate Allen wrenches to do the job.
The 3 mm Allen wrench commonly serves small décor items, mid-sized furniture pieces use the 5 mm wrench, and the largest items use the 8 mm wrench. Once you get home with your purchase, be sure to look at the assembly manual.
Take stock of the pieces and tools, and place each Allen key or wrench beside the matching Allen head. When assembling the product, start by fitting the Allen bolts, keeping them a little loose.
After completing the assembly, go round and tighten each Allen bolt. Try not to fit the bolts too tightly to avoid splintering the wood. A good balance between tight and loose is good because fitting the bolts too loosely will give you wobbling and unstable furniture.
Does IKEA Use Metric Bolts?
IKEA uses metric bolts or threaded fasteners, even on furniture sold in the United States. As mentioned earlier, IKEA has a supply chain that spans the globe. So, it is sensible to use ISO metric standards of measurement.
Most of the bolts IKEA uses are custom-made because of IKEA’s design efficiency and colossal scale. The disadvantage of having bespoke bolts is that you are unlikely to find the exact type in the best-stocked hardware stores.
How to Understand Metric Bolts
- Metric machine screws are usually expressed as a thread pitch (distance between threads) and a diameter (in millimeter). For example, an M6 x 1 screw means the diameter is six millimeters, and there is one millimeter between the threads. The length is also in millimeters.
- If you have to find a replacement, it is crucial to get both numbers correctly, as it will help the store employee find what you need quickly.
The metric system has kilograms and grams for weight, meter, centimeter, millimeter, and kilometer for length. It also has seconds, minutes, and hours for time. While most countries entirely use this system, three countries maintain an Imperial measurement system.
The United States, Liberia, and Myanmar still use the Imperial system. This system measures things in gallons, feet, Fahrenheit, ounces, pounds, etc. In the United States, the application of the metric system is like an iceberg: customary US units above water and SI-dependent measurements below.
What Are the IKEA Bolts Called?
Bolts or fasteners for furniture are known as Joint Connector Bolts (JCBs) or Furniture Connector Bolts, and they find application in knock-down cabinetry or furniture. IKEA bolts are known as cam screws and cam lock nuts. You may also know them by their colloquial term “knock-down fasteners.”
Cam lock nuts and cam screws have been a mainstay of IKEA’s flatpack products for many years. The advantages and disadvantages of using them include:
- You can use a Philips screwdriver to drive Cam screws and cam lock nuts, and many consumers have Philip’s screwdriver lying around.
- They can fit with butt joints (inexpensive on a production line).
- They offer a relatively quick method of connection that requires less labor.
- The particle boards for which they are made do not accept fasteners well, so it is easy to insert the screw at a slight angle. It results in a weak connection point that won’t withstand shearing forces well.
- Cam lock nuts are unattractive, and you will mostly find them on the undersides of surfaces or the insides.
- You need multiple cam lock nuts and screws along a single edge to form a good connection.
When putting flatpack furniture together with cam lock nuts and screws, it is important to install and remove them correctly. Rough handling will damage the furniture.
Removing a cam lock nut or cam screw is pretty easy because once you loosen the cam, you can pull out the connecting bolt. If the bolt is too tight, you might need to shock the bolt first. To do this, fit a screwdriver or hex bit into the bolt’s head, and hit it sharply with a hammer.
Shocking it will loosen it enough for smooth removal. If shocking is ineffective, you can apply some heat using a blowlamp. Ensure you don’t burn any wood or inhale any fumes. Allow the bolt to cool down before trying to remove it again.