Bolts being too small and not engaging with the hole


Senior Member
Context: You're trying to tighten bolts on something. It seems the bolts are too small that they can't bite. They just turn around and nothing happens.

Question: How do you describe what this bolt's doing?

Model: "This bolt is too small for the hole. It's ________."
  • Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    I expect the correct word is "screw" rather than "bolt". Bolts are used with machined female threads; if the threads don't match, then you would not use "bite", instead you would say that the bolt (or the thread) was the wrong size. "Bite" is only used for screwing into materials that deform, such as wood or sheet metal, and for this you use screws.