1/4-20 vs 5/16-18 t-bolts tracks and others, which is better?

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Forum topic by MiniMe posted 11-03-2019 03:29 PM 729 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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140 posts in 587 days

11-03-2019 03:29 PM

I am seeing that Veritas in entrenched in using 5/16 while Kreg is using 1/4-20
There is a smart company (Magswitch) that built a track that has both type of slots

Why the two options and which one is better?

10 replies so far

View MrRon's profile


5767 posts in 3779 days

#1 posted 11-03-2019 05:01 PM

A 5/16 bolt is stronger than a 1/4 bolt, but as a track hold down, either is strong enough. I don’t see anyone using torque busting force to tighten.

View Andybb's profile


2149 posts in 1139 days

#2 posted 11-03-2019 08:01 PM

A 5/16 bolt is stronger than a 1/4 bolt, but as a track hold down, either is strong enough. I don t see anyone using torque busting force to tighten.

- MrRon

But what are you doing that you think you need that kind of torque?

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View MiniMe's profile


140 posts in 587 days

#3 posted 11-04-2019 12:30 AM

Doing nothing but I am unclear on why one vendor chooses one size while the other uses the other
I think the 20 is a less coarse thread and if you need to adjust it allow finer adjustments

View Dark_Lightning's profile


3636 posts in 3644 days

#4 posted 11-04-2019 03:27 AM

1/4-20 Vs 5/16-18 doesn’t change the tightening torque all that much. It’s probably a choice by the manufacturer to avoid having a product too similar to another’s.

-- Steven.......Random Orbital Nailer

View PaulDoug's profile


2216 posts in 2239 days

#5 posted 11-04-2019 03:19 PM

Personally, I would go with 1/4”-20 is the more common used in jigs and fixtures, so that is what I would go with. I always have some of that size around so it I drop a nut or bolt, I can probably fix things without a trip to the store.

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

View xeddog's profile


257 posts in 3543 days

#6 posted 11-04-2019 04:49 PM

Two questions. Aren’t there some tracks that can use either? And even if you have track that takes 5/16 bolts, can’t you still use 1/4” in them too, possibly with the use of a washer?

View HokieKen's profile


11296 posts in 1674 days

#7 posted 11-04-2019 06:13 PM

Lots of T-track will use either 5/16 t-bolts, 1/4 t-bolts or 1/4 hex head bolts.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

6682 posts in 3730 days

#8 posted 11-04-2019 11:56 PM

I think the T tracks you get from Rockler uses either one. More than anything, I think it’s just personal preference.

-- " The secret to staying young looking.....hang around old people.." R.D.

View DrTebi's profile


347 posts in 3802 days

#9 posted 11-05-2019 11:41 AM

From my experience, most things in woodworking are in 1/4-20. I decided to stick with that. It makes life easier, since you will only ever have to have one driver and one wrench for your screws and bolts. Well, maybe a couple of drivers, if you also use flat head 1/4-20 screws and occasionally larger nuts.

BTW: That’s one thing I really like about ShopSmith. They chose to use pretty much only one size of hex driver for all adjustments on every tool they made (with very few exceptions).

Personally, I hate looking for the right wrenches and drivers… it really pays off to stick with one size.

View gwilki's profile


325 posts in 2009 days

#10 posted 11-05-2019 12:50 PM

Your original premise is mistaken. Lee Valley is not at all “entrenched” with 5/16. If you look on their site, you will see more options for 1/4” than for 5/16”. It’s your choice.

-- Grant Wilkinson, Ottawa ON

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