Question Quality screws and standoffs

Oct 19, 2019
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I replacing my current motherboard but keeping the case. I was looking to replace all screws and standoffs for the occasion and it seems that you can find any pack of case screws from a quality vendor. Everything looks very cheap on ebay/aliexpress/amazon. I don't even believe that the screws are really stainless as they claim.
I tried to find maybe high end case vendors sells spare packs but non of them does.
Any idea how to find quality screws/standoffs and washers?
 

4745454b

Titan
Moderator
What's in "quality" metal? Did you want some with gold in it? Does .925 silver make the screws stronger? Are grade 8 screws going to hold your motherboard better than grade 5? I really don't understand why you are asking this. Just reuse your standoffs and screws. You aren't going to do better.

I can see getting different color screws if you are going for a color themed build. But I'd honestly just buy whatever you find. It's hold a board in place. You don't need any special screws to do that.
 
Reactions: jojesa
PC standoffs and screws are very inexpensive.
There isn't that much science to it and you don't need to break the bank.
I usually get the assortment kits, because I build computers and to make sure I have them when I need them.
You could get them to match your case or motherboard color.
Amazon, Newegg, eBay, Aliexpress, etc.
 
Oct 19, 2019
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@4745454b The snarkiness is unnecessary. If you don't have anything meaningful to answer then you don't have to answer. I'm very surprised that this is the welcome by a forum moderator to a new user.

@jojesa Thanks.

* Edited for clarity
 

Ketchup79

Notable
Aug 7, 2019
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Standoffs do two things:
  1. keep your motherboard from contacting the metal case, creating a short
  2. Secure the motherboard to the case, indirectly, so there is no movement .
So there really isn't a need to look for super quality here. I know things are differences outside the US, but if you find this part, I wouldn't expect there to be too much worry about just about anywhere.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
@4745454b The snarkiness is unnecessary. If you don't have anything meaningful to answer then you don't have to answer. I'm very surprised that this is the welcome by a forum moderator to a new user.

@jojesa Thanks.

* Edited for clarity
I don't think he was being unnecessarily snarky at all. I think he was being MILDLY sarcastic, but as a point of emphasis, not as a measure taken to cause anybody personal embarrassment. His points were correct as were the reasons for them. If you don't have some kind of meaningful reason for why you'd need something out of the ordinary, then I can't see any reason for the question any more than anybody else here does. Aside from aesthetics, ie, color, there are simply no reasons why any fastener of the proper thread length and pitch would be unsatisfactory. There is absolutely zero reason why a motherboard screw or standoff would need to be any better than what any of the commonly available kits come with. It's not like they come with poorly tapped or buggered threads, even on the cheap ones, and there is no need for increased sheer strength of any kind, so it's all sort of pointless unless you're planning to attach it to the wall and do pullups from it with your fingertips.

And if that is too brutally honest, then I appologize, but when you ask a silly question you will, more often than not, get a silly answer. If you were asking about quality loop fittings, I assure you, the answers would be quite different because THAT would be a meaningful inquiry.
 
Reactions: 4745454b

4745454b

Titan
Moderator
I think the screws are normally stainless steel. I'm still not sure why you'd need "quality" standoffs or what they would be made of to make them quality. But he considers me rude for some reason so I should step aside. I hope he's got his answer.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Actually, they are generally brass. And these are the only "high quality" standoffs or screws I've ever seen. Most likely, they are no different than what you could get from a kit on Amazon, if we're being honest. Although Mainframecustoms DOES generally sell only high quality merchandise. In some cases though, there is only ok, ok, and ok, with no real "good" or "better" category.


If you really want high quality hardware, I'm sure you can find or order, to your specifications, the very highest quality hardware, here:

https://www.novadisplay.com/display-systems-accessories/sign-panel-support-systems/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIvsHHpvCr5QIVXSCtBh32Bwo1EAAYAyAAEgKTbvD_BwE
 

Karadjgne

Titan
Herald
What you are asking for doesn't exist. For years motherboards used plastic pushpins, because there was no need for anything more. It's only with the advent of large gpus, heavy cpu coolers that something stronger was needed, so now it's little brass standoffs and nickle plated or black oxide coated brass screws. They are extremely cheap to produce in the millions and have uses in more than just that particular scenario. If you figure all 8-9 screws have a sheer tolerance greater than 40lbs, you'll get a better picture of why it's not economical for anyone to actually manufacture anything 'better' quality. Nobody would buy them. Who would spend $30 on screws to hold a motherboard, are out of sight and last for untold years, even with repeated use, and cost $4 to replace them all?

If you want to pay more, you can usually find higher grade screws in the specialty bins at any major hardware store, you might even get stronger standoffs, but there's no guarantee they'll be the right depth to maintain the same cooler clearance height, but even after all that expense and time you don't end up with anything better than what's sold as pc standoffs, just 100lbs sheer tolerance screws that are set into 16-20gage steel that has a torque rating of 1lb per screw.

You are asking for something better than what's already overkill in the first place.
 
I actually had some 300-series (nonmagnetic) stainless computer screws and absolutely hated them. They obviously wouldn't stick to my magnetized screwdrivers so would keep falling off at inopportune times, and were soft. It should be pretty obvious that brass screws also wouldn't stick to magnets either, so most screws are in fact mild steel that has been copper-plated and then nickel-plated, which you can check with a file. Magnetic 400-series stainless would work too, especially if screwed into brass. In general stainless-to-stainless is frowned upon unless you use an anti-seize type compound in between, because stainless galls so easily to itself.

Standoffs are often unplated brass but then you usually have a lot of free space around them when installing those, so you start them with your fingers anyway. Brass can be work hardened to about as strong as mild steel--the iron age came about because steel was more abundant and could be hardened far more and with less labor using heat. You can only anneal (soften) brass with heat.

OP is probably more interested in harder screws that can both handle more torque without stripping and won't round off the drive end. They can get replacements in hardened carbon steel (including hardened stainless) at a local screw products store or order the following sizes online:
#6-32 UNC is the standard "coarse thread" computer screw for HDD and PSUs
M3 metric screw is the "fine thread" computer screw for optical and floppy drives
#4-40 UNC are usually only used for the thumbscrews on DVI ports and such but I've seen it on heatsinks

Standoffs are more tricky as the tops will generally be #6-32 UNC or M3 while the bottoms can be about anything. As mentioned, they can also vary considerably in height.

I will say, that if the primary reason OP is looking for better screws is because of mangled screw heads, a dot on the screw head indicates it isn't Phillips at all but JIS. Get a JIS screwdriver and your problem will be solved.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
I'm not sure what possible reason you could have for needing "harder" screws that can handle more torque. There is no need for more torque on something that only has to help hold a 3.5-4.5lb object, with the help of 8 other screw and standoff locations.

I'm also not sure I've ever seen a case come with JIS screws for the standoffs, but it certainly seems reasonable that it's possible depending on the region.
 
Yep, I'd much rather the screw stripped than the case metal, for example. I suspect that's not the issue though.

Surprisingly, a lot of computer screws that aren't marked with the dot will fit a JIS screwdriver a lot better than a Phillips one--you can tell because the Phillips driver will be able to tilt/rock in 4 directions while the JIS driver "sticks" so solidly in it, you don't need it to be magnetized. Perhaps because they are from Asia. All of these are properly marked:
Coarse

Fine


Here's the difference:

You can actually dress a Phillips screwdriver with a file until it fits tightly in a JIS screw for a reasonable approximation of a JIS driver, with just a bit more taper on the lands:
 

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