11 Best Skateboarding Hardware in 2020 & Worst You Shouldn’t Get
Often overlooked, skateboard hardware is an important component of your skateboard.
If you use cheap parts, you could mess up how your skateboard performs. With that in mind, today’s article is a simple guide to the best skateboard hardware you can get. I also briefly touch on which ones to avoid.
1. Fireball Dragon Stainless Steel Skateboard Hardware Set
The hardware set comes with a choice of either a flat Allen, flat Phillips or button Allen head screws. I’d recommend the Phillips head screws, they tend to last longer than the Allen head ones. Though the bolts are stainless steel, the nuts are made from zinc. Whilst the bolts won’t rust the nuts might so avoid riding over puddles or in rain.
If you have a skateboard, the 1inch ones should be good. If you have a longboard, the longer ones would be better. Check out the set here on Amazon.com.
2. Independent Genuine Parts Cross Bolts
If you have a thicker board (like a longboard), you want to avoid the 7/8inch bolts.
On average, those bolts are too small to go through the board and the baseplate. Longboards tend to be thicker so they need longer screws. The 1 1/2inch hardware should be good for longboards and skateboards that use risers.
If you don’t like the color options these come with, take a look at the Fireball bolts above. Check out the Independent bolts here on Amazon.com.
3. Bones 1-Inch Skateboard Mounting Hardware
What makes these stand out is that their heads are painted white. This helps you tell where the tail or head of your board is.
That said, the paint fades when you screw in the bolt, so it doesn’t last long. Alternatively, the Shorty Silverado’s below have two silver bolts that you can use to mark the head or tail of your deck.
These 1inch bolts have a Phillips’s head and are countersunk. This simply means they will sit flush on your deck. This is nice if you don’t want any to feel the bolts when doing ollies or flip tricks. Find them here on Amazon.com.
4 Ever Hardware Skateboard Hardware 9PCS
This is a good option for riders who don’t like Phillips head bolts. The set comes in a lime green color, so might be nice if you like the color or want to follow a certain theme.
Finally, what makes these worth it is the extra bolt, nut and Allen head wrench they come with. It’s simply nice to have these extras on hand in case anything goes missing.
If you’d prefer hardware from a skate core brand, look at the Sector 9 bolt pack below. Check out the Ever hardware set here on Amazon.com.
5. Loaded Boards Button Head hardware
This hardware set combines the two worst features for bolts – a dome and Allen head.
The Allen head will be cumbersome to use in terms of screwing and durability. The dome head may get in the way of your skating. That said, if you don’t step over your trucks when riding, the dome head isn’t a problem. It will be ok on some cruisers.
The larger head on these may be better for boards without grip on their mounting holes. It will distribute the pressure evenly and won’t damage the deck. Check out bolts here on Amazon.com.
6. Sector 9 Bolt pack
At 1.25 and 1.5inches, these are more appropriate for longboards than skateboards. However, if you use risers on your skateboard, these bolts may fit just right. Check out the Independents on a smaller size above for skateboard appropriate bolts.
Altogether, this is a pretty high-quality set of hardware. If you need a set for your longboard, this is what I recommend. Find the bolt pack here on Amazon.com.
7. ⅜ – 16 Self-Locking Nylon Nuts
Personally, with screwing and unscrewing, it’s usually the nuts that get ruined first.
So it makes sense if they are what you replace right? So whilst this won’t fit skaters who need a complete set of hardware, they should fit those looking to simply get their hands on some fresh nuts.
Altogether, these are high-quality nuts. They are zinc plated, carbon steel and self-locking – just like those that come with skate hardware. Check them out here on Amazon.com
8. Shorty’s Silverado Phillips Skateboard
They make high-quality gear and have a ton of satisfied customers. Most skaters never go back once they use Shorty hardware.
These 1inch bolts come countersunk and with Phillips’s head. They also uniquely have two silver bolts that a rider can use to mark the head or tail of their deck. Not being paint, the silver won’t strip out or fade. You can rely on them to look the same after months of use. Check them out here on Amazon.com.
9. Dimebag Skateboard Hardware 1-Inch
That said, the pain strips quickly, so you’ll have to handle these gently when screwing them in.
Apart from the paint, the hardware set is otherwise pretty good quality. It has 1inch long bolts, countersunk heads, and a Phillips top. If it wasn’t for the short 1inch length, this would probably one of the best options on my list, but it’s great for skateboards. Check it out here on Amazon.com.
10. Diamond Supply Co. Hella Tight 7/8 Hardware
The last hardware set on my list, this set comes from a brand known for its grip tapes.
Coming in at 7/8inches, this hardware set is the right size for skateboards. It has a countersunk head with an Allen’s head top. It comes with its own Allen key/wrench in case you don’t have your own. If you need bigger sized hardware in a similar format, check out the flat Allens head fireball set above.
Finally, these come with one gold screw. You can use it to tell you which side of your board is the head or tail. Find the Diamond supply co hardware set here on Amazon.com.
11. Fireball Dragon Precision Truck Hardware | Axle Nut, Kingpin & Nut
Similar to the hardware set from Fireball above, this is also made from stainless steel. The nuts are self-locking, so will stay on once you tighten them down.
The steel spacers will allow you to tighten your nuts down. This allows you to get the best performance from your wheels and bearings. Skaters don’t like to tighten their axle nuts, but doing so the right way makes skating better. Check out this hardware kit here on Amazon.com.
How to pick your skateboard hardware
Does the material matter?
In a way yes, you simply want to get high-quality parts. If you get cheap parts, they could snap or fail on your when it matters most. Imagine bombing a hill and having the nuts rattle off your skateboard trucks, scary right? Not only that but cheap parts also tend to shear off from hard impacts.
Though hardware is cheap, it is kind of annoying to have to constantly replace them. You’d rather buy them once and call it a day.
The best way you can guarantee the quality is simply buying from a brand with a good reputation. Try to choose carbon steel, steel or aluminum hardware to ensure you are getting quality gear.
You can also buy titanium hardware, but those tend to be quite expensive and are often overrated. They are lighter than steel hardware, but not by much.
Guide to bolts, which are the best?
Hex/Allen or Phillip’s head bolts, which to avoid?
This is the shape of the head of the bolt. If you choose either, you will need different tools to open them up.
I think the Phillips head bolts are superior. They last a lot longer during use. The Allen head nuts tend to strip and get very loose around the Allen keys.
Sometimes, they become so stripped that they become impossible to take off with the keys altogether. I’ve found myself in situations where I had to use pliers and work very hard to take them off.
If you have the choice between the Allen or Phillips head bolts, always pick the Phillips head bolt.
Dome or flat head bolts?
I prefer flat head bolts. They feel more natural under your feet and on your board. They are also countersunk so sit flush on deck and smooth out the screw holes.
You can use the dome heads if you don’t tend to put your feet over your truck. This may work for longboards and some cruiser boards. However, for skateboards, these may feel awkward, especially if you’re doing ollies and flip tricks.
How long should they be?
Just long enough, if they are too long, your skate tool might be unable to reach the nuts and screw them tight. You ‘ll have to walk around with pliers or an extra tool just to tighten or take them off.
They should be longer than the board and truck. Remember, they need to accommodate the thickness of the board, the thickness of the baseplate and thickness of the nut with a bit of thread showing on top for safety.
Another thing to be careful with is if you use a riser. Risers come in 1/4in, 1/8in or even 1/2in sizes so you need to pick bolts that will be long enough to accommodate them.
So on average, if you have a longboard, you need a longer set of bolts. If you have a skateboard, you can typically take a shorter set of bolts.
What about the Nuts?
Nuts come in different sizes. Some are taller or smaller than others. This doesn’t affect how you use them much but might make a difference if you have a bolt that is too small for your truck and board.
You need to make sure the nuts are wide enough that you can comfortably use your skate tool to tighten them. Some nuts on cheaper, Walmart-Esque boards tend to be tiny. Too small for skate tools and require additional tools to tighten them.
Finally, always choose self-locking nylon nuts. These stay locked and are less likely to unscrew themselves and fall out.
How to make your hardware last longer?
Here are some tips to help your hardware last longer with use:
- Don’t get them wet – if you get them wet, they could rust and seize up. If you do get them wet, wipe them down.
- Hold the bolt down with the screw/key and use your skate tool to tighten the nut. This will stop you from stripping the head of the bolt. Do this and your bolts will last a long time.
- Don’t unscrew them too often, this will ae the nuts lose their integrity and self-tightening capability.
- Tighten them now and again – sometimes they come loose and could fall out.
- Buy and use a skate tool – a skate tool is just a combination of the things you need to maintain your board. Keeping one handy will allow you to avoid using inappropriate tools that could damage your kit.
The siizes of skateboard hardware
If you don’t want to buy from Amazon or your skate shop, you can walk down to your local hardware store and get nuts/bolts in these sizes:
- Kingpin – ⅜-24 nut with self-locking nylon
- Axle nuts -5/16 nut with self-locking nylon
- Bolt sizes – Number 10-32 (US)
- Mounting hardware nuts – 3/8inch
- Axle washers – 8mm
That said, you’d rather buy from skate brands. Whilst the sizes are common and readily available, skate brands make their stuff from materials appropriate for skating. For example, it is not easy to get a cupped washer that fits right on a kingpin from a hardware department. All the stuff like washers tends to fit a bit loosely – which could give you wobbles.
Which hardware set will you choose?
It can be hard to choose, especially if you’re not sure which is best. If you’re putting together a cruiser, one of the colored options from Dime bag might work well for you. Otherwise, Independent makes really good nuts that won’t suddenly fail on you. You can’t go wrong with a brand that has a good reputation.