What Are Pan Head Machine screws?

Pan head machine screws are a type of fastener with a specific head design that resembles a flat disc with rounded edges, creating a low-profile, slightly rounded appearance. The term “pan” refers to the shape of the head, which is characterized by a flat top surface and short vertical sides that slope down and away from the center.

These screws are commonly used in various applications where a smooth and flush finish is desired, and they are suitable for both manual and automated assembly processes.

Key characteristics of pan head machine screws include:

  1. Head Design: The pan head design provides a broad and flat surface with a slight curve, offering a neat and aesthetically pleasing look when installed.
  2. Drive Types: Pan head machine screws typically feature various drive types, including Phillips, slotted, or other types such as Torx or hex socket drives, allowing for compatibility with different tools and applications.
  3. Materials: These screws are available in various materials, including steel, stainless steel, brass, and other alloys, providing flexibility for different environments and applications.
  4. Thread Types: Pan head machine screws come with a range of thread types, including machine threads for use with nuts or tapped holes and self-tapping threads for applications where the screw needs to create its own threads in the material.
  5. Applications: Common applications for pan head machine screws include securing components in electronic devices, assembling appliances, installing panels or covers, and other situations where a low-profile, flush finish is desired.
  6. Versatility: Due to their versatile design and compatibility with different materials and applications, pan head machine screws are widely used in industries such as electronics, automotive, construction, and manufacturing.

When selecting pan head machine screws for a specific application, factors such as material compatibility, length, diameter, and drive type should be considered. Additionally, the choice between machine threads and self-tapping threads depends on the specific requirements of the assembly.

What Is A Pan Head Machine Screw? 

A pan head screw is a machine screw with a large circular head that is slightly rounded on the top. It is free from pointed edges for safety and aesthetic purposes. They are also available from Accu with a larger head for a greater distribution of the load to avoid embedment. 

What Are Pan Head Screws Used For?

Pan head screws are used to achieve a neat, polished look on metal applications. Range of pan head screws are available in a range of drive types including the popular torx drive which allows for greater control over the amount of torque applied for a faster installation while reducing the chances of cam out. 

One Of The Best Aesthetically-Pleasing Screws For Security Applications. 

Pan head fasteners are frequently used in public spaces due to their aesthetic appeal, but this does raise some issues regarding tamper protection.

In addition to standard drive types, Accu has a large range of security pan head screws which are used for high-security applications and for increasing resistance to tampering. As a result, pan head screws with a security drive are often used for public spaces where vandalism is a concern, such as bus stops and park benches.

This also helps to increase theft resistance because the thief would need to have the corresponding security screwdriver to be able to unscrew the screws. 

It is still convenient for maintenance technicians because the Pan Head Machine Screws with Security Drives allow the user to quickly uninstall the screws using the corresponding driver that is specifically developed for the security screw. 

This provides a fast solution for projects which require regular maintenance. Like the rest of our stainless steel machine screws, pan head screws are designed to be able to be removed and replaced without damage to the screw itself or the material it connects. 

What Is The Difference Between Pan Head Machine Screws, Cap Head Screws, and Mushroom Head Screws?

These stainless steel screws are often confused with each other because pan head screws and countersunk screws both have flat heads. The key difference is that countersunk screws sit flush with the housing surface whereas a pan head machine screw protrudes the surface. However, a pan head screw has a lower profile than round screws, which have a domed screw head.

The Difference Between Pan Head Screws And Button Head Screws

Button head screws have chamfered sides which curve all the way down to the bottom of the screw head. They have a slightly domed top but they do not have straight sides like pan head screws. 

The Difference Between A Pan Head Screw And A Mushroom Head Screw

Mushroom screws have a domed-shaped head but a low profile.  

Precision mushroom screws are available in either Phillips or slotted drives. 

The Differences Between Pan Head Screws And Slotted Round Head Screws

Slotted round head screws have a larger profile than pan head screws and they have a domed head. The top of these screws have a very round finish, forming a half sphere. This makes them a common choice for applications such as mirrors. 

How Do Pan Head Screws And Cap Head Screws Compare?

Pan head screws are sometimes confused with cap head screws because they both have straight sides. However, pan head screws tend to have a slightly more chamfered edge and a much lower profile than cap head screws and are therefore chosen to achieve a neat finish.

However, cap head screws are extremely versatile and can be installed to sit flush with a housing’s surface to provide a cleaner finish. This is achieved by using a counterbore to make a hole for the cap head to sit into. The screw can then sit flush with the housing’s surface to provide a flush finish for aesthetics. 

The Benefits Of Using Stainless Steel Pan Head Machine Screws

Pan head screws are similar to Cap Head Screws and can be held captive with the use of a captive washer or retaining washer. This means that pan head screws can offer some of the same functionality as a Cap Head Machine Screw while offering the aesthetic appeal of Accu’s popular Button Head Screws.  

Accu has an extensive range of imperial and metric pan head machine screws in various head shapes, materials, and drive types. The entire range of Precision Screws is available with AccuPro delivery. Unlimited express delivery service that was created specifically for UK customers.


The pan head screw emerges as a versatile and indispensable fastening solution, showcasing its adaptability across diverse applications. With its distinctive flat, rounded head design, this screw type offers a flush finish, making it ideal for projects where a sleek appearance is desired.

Whether used in woodworking, metalworking, or general construction, the pan head screw provides a reliable and secure connection. Its compatibility with different drive types and materials enhances its usability, catering to the needs of both DIY enthusiasts and professionals.

As we’ve explored the features, applications, and variations of pan head screws, it becomes evident that these screws play a pivotal role in the world of fasteners, contributing to the success and durability of countless projects.”


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