Selection Guide: Captive Panel Screw

Captive Panel Screws are designed to remain attached even if unscrewed when used with a captive panel retainer. The captive panel screw is most commonly used on control panel doors to keep the door screwed shut during normal operating conditions. 


When access is needed, unthreading the screw allows for the door to be open, while the retainer keeps the screw attached to the door. Selecting captive panel screws for access panel doors is the perfect solution to prevent a lost screw from becoming lost during a field repair or creating a safety hazard.

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Step 1 - Types of Captive Panel Screw

The type of captive panel screw selected predominantly depends on your aesthetic or personal preference for the head style. You can start by reviewing our catalog of Lyn-Tron captive panel screws. All the captive panel screws listed below are slotted with the exception of Type 1, which can be tightened by hand as it is knurled. All other types can be tightened down with a standard screwdriver.

Captive Panel Screw Type 1

Type One

This captive panel screw has a larger head diameter which helps disperse the load over a wider area, and many customers find it easier to grip.

Captive Panel Screw Type 2

Type Two

This screw has a smaller diameter head and is preferred when wanting to save space.

Captive Panel Screw - Type 3

Type Three

This type of captive panel screw has a washer face machined onto the part, which customers report finding easier to grip since it sits up higher. With that, you're able to get your fingers securely around the part.

Captive Panel Screw - Type 4

Type Four

This is a screw with a basic Pan Head design and is less noticeable than the other types of screws.

Step 3 - Material 

The type of material selected for captive panel screws has a direct effect on its strength, corrosion resistance, and cost.


choosing steel as the material will be less costly, but won't be resistant to corrosion, is magnetic, and of average weight.

Stainless Steel

choosing stainless steel as the material will be more costly, but is resistant to corrosion, though is non-magnetic and of average weight.


choosing brass as the material is more costly, is highly corrosion-resistant, though non-magnetic, and is heavier in weight.

Step 3 - Thread Type

Lyn-Tron offers all of our captive panel screws in a wide variety of common thread sizes in both inch and metric.

Inch Metric
2-56 M3x0.58
4-40 M3.5x0.6
6-32 M4x0.7
8-32 M5x0.8
10-24 M6x1

Step 4 - Shank Length

The shank length determines how long the captive screw is for the panel. To know the proper length needed, first decide if you will use a spring or not, the size of the retainer, the material thickness, as well as the distance between the mating parts.

A general rule of thumb is that the longer screws will make it easier to engage while shorter ones will have a tighter fit.

Panel Screw Type Shank Diameters Available Shank Lengths Available
Type 1 0.078 - 0.235” 3/8 - 1 5/8”
Type 2 0.078 - 0.280” 11/64” - 1 3/8”
Type 3 0.078 - 0.175” 3/16” - 1 1/8”
Type 4 0.061 - 0.130” 3/32” - 1 7/32”
Panel Screw Type Shank Diameters Available Shank Lengths Available
Type 1 2mm - 4.5mm 9.5mm - 41.5mm
Type 2 2mm - 4.5mm 3mm - 38mm
Type 4 1.5mm - 3.3mm 2.5mm - 30.9mm

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