Skate hardware is the nuts and bolts that hold your trucks onto your deck. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, fitments, and colors.
Unlike other skate components, you don’t really get manufacturers that only produce skate hardware, the best skate hardware is usually made by Truck or Wheel companies.
Size & Diameter
They start at about 7/8” and go up to about an inch and three quarters. The size you need depends on whether you want to use riser pads or not.
Risers go underneath your trucks and provide more height. They can be a great addition to your board if you like riding big wheels and don’t want to get wheel-bite.
If you do want to ride riser pads, then you’ll need longer hardware as the added height means that small hardware can’t be tightened up.
I ride risers and currently ride 1 1/4” Independent hardware. This size gives you loads of room for risers.
If you want to ride a thick pair of risers or more than one pair, you may need even bigger hardware.
If you just want some hardware for your board and aren’t going to ride risers, the smaller hardware is great.
There’s no price difference with smaller and larger hardware, it is just that they are made for different setups.
Now that you know what hardware is and which hardware would be best for you and the type of skating you enjoy, we need to delve into a question that has plagued the skate world since the beginning of time…
Philip’s Head or Allen Key?
In our opinion, it doesn’t matter whether you choose Philip’s or Allen-key skateboard hardware. Both will hold your trucks to your deck.
Philips-head hardware has been given a bad wrap for a number of years. Now, there may be a very simple reason for this, skate tools.
With all skate tools, you get a detachable bit that allows you to tighten your hardware which looks a bit like an “L”. Most of these detachable bits have the Allen-key part on the shorter piece of the “L” meaning you can crank down on this easier.
So the reason that Philip’s head hardware has a bad wrap is that they can be trickier to do up than Allen-key hardware with a skate tool. That doesn’t make them bad, just a little bit more frustrating sometimes.
However, if you go to any number of high-street shops, you can buy a very cheap screwdriver to keep in your skate bag and use that to tighten up your truck bolts. This may actually make tightening your bolts easier and faster. So, in our opinion, this hotly debated hardware debate really doesn’t matter at all.
The Best Skateboard Hardware in the world
So, onto the list of the best skate hardware available in the world right now.
We aren’t going to focus on Philip’s or Allen-key or even the length of the hardware.
We have created a list of hardware that we have used from numerous different skateboard hardware companies. These are the companies making the best hardware we have ever skated, and they make all the different lengths and types you may want.
So, although we have included some of their offerings below, that doesn’t mean this is the only hardware they make, all the companies below make any type/size of hardware your board needs.
Independent is renowned for making some of the best skate products in the world. Their trucks are loved by many (including us), and their hardware is exceptional too.
These are heavy duty nuts & bolts that are likely to last you many setups. We always recommend buying fresh hardware with new setups, but we always keep our old hardware too. Keep them in your bag, and if you ever lose a bolt or a fellow skater does, you’ll have some.
I’ve had a spare set of this hardware in my skate bag for about six years. I’ve skated this hardware that entire time and have never needed to dip into this supply for a spare because of losing or breaking one of these bolts, as it just hasn’t happened, that’s how good these are!
For no-nonsense hardware, Independent is your best bet.
Bones are another skate company that all of us here hold dear to our hearts. They make the best skate wheels in the world, and their hardware is damn good too.
This one-inch hardware will keep your board together no matter how many cobbled streets you skate down. It is tough hardware built to last.
There is actually an argument between our writers at the moment as to which is better, Independent or Bones. We can’t choose unless we put them to fight to the death. However, that might be a little too extreme, so let’s just agree that both are very robust and will last you for years.
Pig hardware the only colored skateboard hardware on this list.
Included are two different colored bolts. These allow you to identify your nose and tail at a glance quickly. These can be really helpful if you like to skate plain grip tape and have no marks on the tail or nose.
These Pig Skewers are colored red, so they really stand out against your grip.
Once again, these are some robust hardware, but some argue that these may not be as tough as the other hardware on our list, but they will certainly last you a setup or two.
This hardware comes with an Allen-key too so you’ll never not be able to tighten your trucks bolts, unless you lose this and the one on your skate tool, of course!
We hope this look at skate hardware has helped you understand which hardware you need for your board and which companies hardware we suggest you try.
In reality, there is very little difference other than length, fitting and color. The only thing for certain is that if you are building a custom skateboard you need to buy some hardware.
To find out more about the building the best skateboard, explore our website some more.
We have loads of articles showing the best skate products for every level of skateboarding.
We also have loads of articles about skateboarding tricks too.