Glossary of Metal Terms | Metal by the Metre | Central Coast

There are many confusing things you may come across when dealing with metal. You might find yourself puzzled asking, what size do I need? Which material? What on earth does Gauge or thread mean? We’ve put together a glossary of metal terms that are commonly used in our product descriptions to help you, ‘hit the nail on the head’ when understanding all things metal.

Metal Terms:
  • Gauge: Refers to the thickness, size or capacity of an object. In metals, is a unit of measurement to determine the thickness of metals such as steel. Converting Gauge to inches or millimetres can be done through a conversion chart, highlighting common gauge numbers.

Metal Terms

  • Thread: Thread is a used to convert between rotational and linear force. A screw thread is the bumpy ridges surrounding either a cylindrical or conical shape. The grooves in both screws and nuts are designed in a helix shape, so they are able to fit together. Every matched pair of nuts and screws can be described as Male and Female. A screw has male threads, where its matching hole has female threads.

Metal Terms

  • Countersink: A countersink is a conical hole cut into the surface of a manufactured object, so the screw or nail will sit flush with the surface. This means it will not stick up above the surface, and will be almost completely hidden. Metal Terms

  • Self-drilling Screw: Self drilling screws have a drill like flute tip similar to the tips found in drills. These drills provide a more efficient fastening process as they can drill, tap and install in one motion rather then separate applications.

    • Ball Bearing: A ball bearing is a rolling bearing that uses balls to maintain separation between parts of the bearings. It is designed to reduce rotational friction. Check out this quick video on how ball bearings work:


Hopefully this short guide has given you a quick explanation on some key metal terms. If you do have further questions, please get in contact with us and one of our metal experts can help you out. We will continue to update this guide with more metal terms as they become apparent.