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What are cam or locking screws?

You will normally find cam screws on furniture designed to be shipped as flat-pack or where some assembly is required. Cam or locking screws are 2-part screws where the cam is fitted in one piece and the screw in a piece to be joined to this piece. By slotting the two pieces together and tightening the screw you have a reasonably secure join.


As flat-pack furniture gains popularity, many of today's more affordable furniture incorporates an element of flat-pack design, and that element is the cam screw system of assembly.





When you buy flat-pack furniture unassembled, especially kitchen carcass or cabinets, some assembly is required and various components will be included in order for you to assemble at home. Cam or locking screws will definitely be one of those components. It helps to understand how cam screws work, so that assembly - or taking the furniture apart at a later stage - makes more sense.

When assembling or taking apart furniture that is assembled with cam locking screws, it's important to correctly install or remove these components to prevent damaging the furniture. When assembling flat-pack furniture the cam locking nut it is important that it faces in the right direction - to allow the screw to be slotted into the cam, so that the cam can be turned, pull the pieces together, and lock the screw in place.

With the cam nut in place, locking screws are placed in the section to be joined and the two pieces fitted together before turning the cam nut to pull the pieces together and lock in place.

Unfortunately, where dowels have been glued in place there is little you can do to separate various sections.