Rack screws and matching screwdrivers

Dalis

New Member
Apr 20, 2021
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Arizona, USA
Hi all – Say I buy a homelab rack that uses 12/24 or M6 screws. What's the matching screwdriver size? It doesn't seem like "12/24" or M6 mean anything on the driver side – apparently they don't determine or constrain the head size, and the screwdrivers are using different codes. For Phillips, I'm seeing codes like P3, P2, etc. Which Phillips driver size goes with 12/24 and M6 screws?

Also, I like Torx and star drives instead of Phillips. Will this be hard to find for rack screws? Amazon doesn't have much selection there, but I haven't tried more specialty fastener sellers.

Thanks.
 

JSchuricht

Active Member
Apr 4, 2011
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12/24 and M6 refer to the thread, it has nothing to do with the screwdriver used. The most common in the US is #2 phillips. It isn't hard to find torx head screws outside of computer shops, just search for the thread, length and drive head. A button head or truss head style would be similar to most screws used in racks.
 

Blinky 42

Active Member
Aug 6, 2015
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#2 Phillips (P2) tends to be most common for rack screws.
Unless it is just a 2-post for patch panels and switches, I would highly advise against getting a rack that has tapped holes for screws vs square holes that would need cage nuts & screws.
The small angled desktop frames like https://www.servethehome.com/startech-rk8od-review-8u-open-frame-rack/ would be another use case where screws could make sense, but in general you will have to fight to find rails that work with screw holes or use shelves for everything if you stray from square hole racks these days. Might not apply to what you are thinking but to keep in mind if shopping around the used market.
 
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Dalis

New Member
Apr 20, 2021
11
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Arizona, USA
#2 Phillips (P2) tends to be most common for rack screws.
Unless it is just a 2-post for patch panels and switches, I would highly advise against getting a rack that has tapped holes for screws vs square holes that would need cage nuts & screws.
The small angled desktop frames like https://www.servethehome.com/startech-rk8od-review-8u-open-frame-rack/ would be another use case where screws could make sense, but in general you will have to fight to find rails that work with screw holes or use shelves for everything if you stray from square hole racks these days. Might not apply to what you are thinking but to keep in mind if shopping around the used market.
Thanks. I didn't know about the square holes and cage nuts deal. I want at least a medium-depth rack, probably 24 - 30 inches deep, four post, 8 - 12U. I want it to sit on top of a custom steel shelf unit, probably 30 - 36 inches tall, then the rack sits on that. The steel shelf foundation would be like those heavy duty steel shelving units they have at Home Depot and Lowes, e.g. Husky brand with the several thousand pound capacity, but will probably have to be custom.

How are these "Rackstuds"? They look nifty: https://www.rackstuds.com/
 

Blinky 42

Active Member
Aug 6, 2015
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Huh don't know about the rack studs but might be worth a shot, but the all plastic aspect is concerning at first glance, probably wouldn't be an issue in reality.
The CPI Clik Nuts are another option to consider https://www.servethehome.com/chatsworth-products-cpi-clik-nut-review-meaningful-cage-nut-innovation/

We have used these guys for small setups at offices etc 12U 19in Open Frame Server Rack 23-41in - Server-Racks
Unless you want the servers high to work on easier, quality racks are going to be more sturdy and stable than the shelving you can get at Home Depot / Lowes.

Regardless of the size or style of rack, if you do want to slide equipment in/out of the rack then you will want it direct on the floor and really bolted down. Having even a partial rack of equipment topple over and squish body parts is no fun for anyone :)