How do you call a screw that once loose won't fall off from its shaft?

I don't mean a stuck screw, but a screw that per design remains attached (for not losing the loose screw).

2 Answers 2


According to Accurate Screw Machine, captive screw assemblies are also called captive panel screws, which involve threading and sometimes washers that prevent the loosened bolt from falling from the hole.

My experience with screws of this type is that the threaded portion is of a larger diameter than the hole through which it passes, but the portion of the bolt that remains in the hole is smaller. According to the above link, the threaded portion is forced through the hole, perhaps by high pressure and a threading action.

I have used captive panel screws that have a circlip attached on the opposite side of the panel in a groove for this purpose. This allows the hole to be large enough to avoid forcing the threaded portion, yet retains the bolt/screw.

I suspect this question is best suited for the Engineering StackExchange, as it is not specific to the automobile industry, although it is related to maintenance and repair.


Another method to capture screws is to put a circlip around them once they are through the hole, as long as it does not interfere with the clamping or fixing of the object.

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