Making the Choice Between Ground Screws & Precision Rolled Screws

Ground and Rolled Screws

If you had to choose between a Formula One racecar and a luxury sports car to win a quarter-mile race, I’d bet you would choose the Formula One. If I asked you to choose between the same two types of car for normal driving conditions, however, you’d probably choose the luxury¬† sports car. After all, life isn’t simply made up of quarter-mile races.

The argument to choose precision rolled screws versus ground screws is a similar story. Nothing matches the performance that ground screws can provide. However, when your application doesn’t require the highest level of performance, a high-performing precision rolled screw may be the answer to your problem. Typically, the decision to choose one over the other is driven largely by accuracy and cost for both new applications and replacing units.


Precision ground thread screws are the most accurate of all screws. However, advancements in manufacturing techniques have greatly improved the accuracy of precision rolled screws, to the point that they can almost produce the accuracy and repeatability of ground ball screws. The graph below illustrates the lead error difference between four different screw options.

Lead Error Precision vs. Ground Screws


When it comes to cost, that of a ground screw is usually incomparable to that of a rolled screw. This is because it takes significantly longer to grind than roll, and machining components for ground screws are much more expensive. These two factors can lead to as much as a 50% lower cost for a rolled screw, compared to a similar ground screw.

As with any selection, there are many factors that go into selecting the right component. Contact your local Kaman Automation, Control & Energy representative today to help with your screw selection.

Estimated Reading Time: 1 minutes

Spencer Hepworth

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