In an early post talking about 304 Stainless Steel, we discussed toughness, corrosion resistance, and long term wear characteristics. 304 Stainless is considered the top choice for the medical and marine industries, and it is the material of choice for every structural-strength component in the Squatch USA Crusher...except one, the Thumb Screw.
The Thumb Screw is the primary link between the operator’s hands and the rest of the crushing unit. This single component is basically the only thing that ALLOWS you to crush a can, split a piece of wood, or cut a baker-stack of steak fries. This tiny 1/4” x 20 threaded bolt is what makes it possible to crush a can...and impossible at the same time. If this screw fails, you are out of business and we designed it that way on purpose!!
Just like the shear pin in an old outboard motor or the key way on a motor shaft connecting a large fan blade, the Thumb Screw on the Squatch Crusher is meant to fail first, protecting the rest of the unit. You see, we knew we were building a powerful tool from the beginning. We knew it would be used for way more than crushing cans and we knew people would push the limits. Therefore, we designed the most critical component to be the easiest to change, cheapest to replace, and most likely to fail. Don’t get me wrong, it’s plenty strong enough to crush any aluminum can you put in front of it. At the same time, if you have a failure, we wanted to know exactly where it was most likely to be, we wanted you to be able to repair it right away, and we wanted it to be an inexpensive fix.
With all of this being said, the Thumb Screw on Squatch Crusher is made of 303 Stainless Steel, the very close sister material to 304 Stainless. 303 SS is made to be more machinable than 304 and it has reduced physical properties (elongation %, tensile strength, hardness coefficient). It should fail first, and yes, we planned it that way!!