Penny Washers: What They Are and Why They’re Essential in DIY Projects

Penny Washer In Hand

A wide variety of tools, materials and accessories can both confuse and intrigue DIY enthusiasts in the vast world of home improvements and DIY projects. Among them is the penny washer, a seemingly unremarkable piece of hardware that is, in reality, a powerhouse in ensuring the longevity and effectiveness of numerous tasks. Let’s delve into the world of penny washers and discover their significance.

What are Penny Washers?

Penny washers, often referred to as ‘mudguard washers’ in some regions, are flat, typically circular discs with a hole in the middle. Their primary function is to distribute the load of a threaded fastener, like a screw or bolt. The name ‘penny’ originates from their size, resembling that of the coin, although they come in various dimensions.

penny washers

Why are Penny Washers Essential in DIY Projects?

  1. Load Distribution: The primary purpose of a penny washer is to distribute the load. When a screw or bolt is tightened, the washer helps disperse the pressure over a larger area, preventing damage to the material and ensuring a more secure connection.

  2. Protection: If you’ve ever tightened a screw too much, you’ve likely seen the surrounding material get damaged or indented. Penny washers can protect surfaces from the direct pressure of a fastener.

  3. Spacing and Alignment: In some projects, especially when working with wood, materials can contract and expand due to temperature or moisture. Penny washers can act as spacers, ensuring that there’s always a tight fit.

  4. Anti-corrosive Barrier: When joining two different types of metal, there’s a risk of galvanic corrosion. Using a washer made of a suitable material can act as a barrier, preventing this kind of degradation.

  5. Aesthetic Finish: Beyond the functional benefits, penny washers can also provide a cleaner, more professional finish to projects, making them look more polished.

Applications in DIY Projects

Penny washers come in handy in a variety of DIY tasks:

  • Furniture Building: For wooden furniture, penny washers can help in preventing the wood from splitting when screws are driven in.

  • Garden Projects: When building outdoor structures like decks or treehouses, these washers can provide added security, ensuring structures remain robust against the elements.

  • Automotive Work: When working on cars or bikes, penny washers can be essential in ensuring joints remain tight, especially in areas exposed to vibrations.

  • Home Repair: Whether fixing a broken door hinge or mending a piece of metalwork, penny washers provide that extra bit of strength and protection.

penny washer

Penny washers, often underestimated in their utility, offer a range of advantages that amplify the success and longevity of various projects. Primarily, they excel in distributing the load of a fastener, ensuring that the pressure is evenly spread, which prevents material damage and promotes a secure connection. Their design also protects surfaces from the direct pressure of a tightened screw or bolt, preventing unwanted indents or material wear. Moreover, when working with fluctuating materials that might contract or expand, such as wood, penny washers act as effective spacers, maintaining a consistent and tight fit. Additionally, in scenarios involving different metals, they serve as an anti-corrosive barrier, curtailing potential degradation. Beyond the functional benefits, their inclusion often results in a more refined and professional aesthetic finish to projects. In essence, these simple discs enhance both the structural integrity and appearance of any task they’re employed in.

penny washer M5
penny washer M6
penny washer M8
penny washer M12

While they might seem inconspicuous at first glance, penny washers play an indispensable role in various DIY projects. By offering protection, ensuring load distribution and adding a touch of professionalism to finished projects, these small pieces of hardware prove that sometimes, it’s the tiniest components that make the biggest difference.

As always, thank you for checking out our blog. We hope that this helps you with your project. 

Please also check out the other articles in our helpful guide series. We have written about fasteners & fixings and dome nuts recently so why not check it out?

We are also proud to sell this product on our highly popular eBay store, check us out there too.

If you have any further questions, feel free to contact us.

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