How to Distinguish Between Screw Spikes and Dog Spikes?

Introduction: How to Distinguish Between Screw Spikes and Dog Spikes?

A railroad spike, which is equipped with an offset head, is a large rail nail used to secure and fasten the rails in the railway system. With the development of industrialization, the rail spike was invented by Robert Livingston Stevens and the first use was in 1832. The main function of railroad spike is to ensure the correct position of the gauge. And the common sizes are usually between 9-10/16 inch and 5.5-6 inch long. With a flat edged point and chisel-shaped, the spike can give greater resistance to loosening. During the transportation of railway, it is not necessary to require the spike to provide a strong vertical force, which provide a nice environment than can allow the rail track freedom of movement.

Among the railroad spikes, dog spike and screw spike are the two common railroad spike in the market.

Step 1: Screw Spike

At before, the screw spikes are usually used to fasten the ribbed base plates and sole plates to wood sleepers. With the construction and development of the concrete sleepers, the screw spikes play an important role in railway fastening systems with the help of a plastic dowel. In order to meet the different use and standards of railway tracks, the screw spikes can be classified into so many types. Through the different specific geographic requirements such as lengths, diameters, drive heads and thread profiles, the railway screw spikes can be classified into four types: Ss series sleeper screw, square head screw spike, hexagon screw spike and double-head screw spike.

Step 2: Dog Spikes

Dog spike is another important component of railroad spikes. Because of the two lugs on either side, the dog spike looks just like the dog’s head. Just like the screw spikes, the dog spikes have the similar dimensions. But as to the head, it has a pointed penetrating head.

Step 3: Comparison of Dog Spikes and Screw Spikes

1. Surface

The screw spikes are the railroad spikes with the screw thread on the surface. But as to the dog spikes, it has a pointed penetrating head with a smooth suface.

2. Power

As to the holding power, the screw spikes can provide more than twice of the power than the dog spikes.

3. Cost

Because of the greater fixing power and the feature that can be combined with spring washers, the cost of manufacture of the screw spike is higher than the dog spikes or dog nails.

In a word, the railroad spikes are all used to ensure the safety of the railway fastening system and railway transportation. So if the railroad spikes are used in the right place, it will have a striking effect, no matter what type it is.

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    6 years ago

    Could this steel be useful in construction of a cold chisel


    Reply 6 years ago

    simple answer, no. Without significant modification, it will never hold up to the abuse needed from a cold chisel. Even case hardened to a significant depth, it is likely to not last very long at all. Masonry chisel? probably would work, but you would be sharpening it more often than you desire.

    Cutting cold steel is a BRUTAL fate for any metal blade, and is best left up to proper materials like heat treated spring steels and modified tool steels(O1, A2, S7, or even a 1095) . One of the rail spring clips MIGHT have the correct properties to be made serviceable, but your best bet for scrap metal turned cold chisel is a piece of axle shaft from a car or a suspension spring.