Pilot Holes Guide

Pilot Holes Guide

If you’re working on a woodworking project, there’s nothing worse than throwing away a good piece of wood because of a mistake during assembly. Pilot holes are an excellent way to prevent these mistakes, so you don’t lose materials during your projects.

Pilot holes are drilled into wood or other materials before you fasten them with a screw. There are many reasons it’s wise to drill a pilot hole, including preventing unnecessary damage to your materials and spending more to replace them. Learn more about when you should drill a pilot hole, how to drill a pilot hole and how to know what size you need.

What Is a Pilot Hole?

If you’ve ever assembled furniture you’ve bought from a store, you’ve likely noticed small holes where you’re meant to put the screws. While these pre-drilled holes act as reference points, they’re also pilot holes.

These holes help reduce the force you must use when screwing into hardwoods, such as oak and maple. When you screw into hardwoods without a pilot hole, you’re using force to push wood out of the way to create space for the screw. Since the wood that’s forced out of the way doesn’t have anywhere to go, it applies more pressure to the wood surrounding the screw, which can weaken, split or crack the wood.

While drilling pilot holes means you’ll have to take more time fastening pieces together, you’ll make up for it by eliminating the risk of having to start over or buy new materials, which can significantly slow down your project. Pilot holes for screws can do more than protect your wood from splitting or cracking. It can also minimize the risk of screws breaking from force and reduces the chance of stripping the screw head. A little preparation can go a long way in saving your material from damage.

When to Drill a Pilot Hole

It’s essential in some situations to drill pilot holes for wood screws to ensure you don’t damage your wood. The three instances when you should drill a pilot hole include:

  1. When you need to screw through the end grain or near the edge: You can reduce the risk of splitting your wood using pilot holes, particularly if you need to place a screw in the end grain or near the edge of a piece. A pilot hole enables the threads to cut cleanly into the edges of the hole rather than compressing the wood to make room for the entire screw.
  2. When you’re screwing through dense or thick materials: Thick materials such as laminate or hardwood require plenty of force to add a screw directly. A pilot hole reduces the force required by removing some of the material. A pilot hole may not be necessary for softwoods such as spruce or pine, but you may want to drill them anyway, especially if screwing into the end grain or must be very precise.
  3. When you need to screw in precise locations: Without pilot holes, your screws are less likely to enter the wood or your materials accurately. If you need to add a screw to a precise location, you should drill a pilot hole instead of using the tip of the screw to start the hole. You can be more precise with a drill bit and create a more accurate screw location.

pilot hole size for wood screws

How to Know What Size Pilot Hole You Need

Generally, the pilot hole size for wood screws should be approximately the same diameter as the screw’s shank minus the threads. Woodworkers often make the pilot hole too small, believing a tighter space will make the screw hold better. However, a screw only pulls two pieces of wood together. The joint’s strength has little to do with the screw itself, so using a slightly larger or smaller pilot hole makes little difference.

Of course, drilling a pilot hole requires a drill bit to drill into the wood. When choosing your drill bit, you want to choose a size that’s appropriate for your screw size and wood type. Softwoods generally require a pilot hole that’s a little smaller than the screw shank diameter, while hardwoods need one that’s a little larger since they are less likely to compress under the screw’s pressure. If you aren’t sure which size drill bit to use, choose one that’s 1/64 inch larger than the diameter of the screw’s shank.

Frequently Asked Questions About Pilot Holes

You might have a few questions if you don’t have much experience using pilot holes. Below are some frequently asked questions to help you better understand pilot holes and how to use them to improve your projects.

1. Is It Necessary to Create a Pilot Hole?

While creating a pilot hole isn’t always necessary, they prevent material damage and make it easier to drill in the screw. Attempting to drill in screws without creating a pilot hole first can crack the wood or otherwise damage the material. The screw may also become misaligned and break through the side of the piece or be at an angle that doesn’t hold pieces together well.

2. How Do I Make a Pilot Hole?

Drilling a pilot hole is simple. Once you’ve chosen an appropriate size drill bit, drill a hole in the wood where you’ll put the screw. After the pilot hole is ready, you can insert and fasten the screw and progress with your project. If you’re struggling to get your screw into the pilot hole, you can drill a slightly larger pilot hole instead of trying to force the screw into the wood.

3. How Deep Should I Make the Pilot Hole?

The length of your screw determines how deep your pilot hole should be. The hole should be as long as the screw so you can drill it in without too much effort. However, making a pilot hole too long removes extra wood and can potentially weaken your project. You can add a piece of tape to your drill bit to mark how deep to drill, or you can use a drill stop to determine and produce the exact length you need.

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6 Common Causes of Metal Roof Leaks Around Screws

6 Common Causes of Metal Roof Leaks Around Screws

A metal roof offers a reliable, durable solution for protecting a building from the elements. The materials are environmentally friendly, and these roofs provide excellent energy efficiency. Despite its strength, metal roofing material is penetrable. Leaks can occur near the areas where contractors used screws to secure the roofing panel.

Why Do Metal Roofs Leak at the Screws?

Specially designed metal roofing screws create a watertight seal by compressing a rubber washer at the base of the screw head. However, water may penetrate the roof for several reasons.

1. Selecting the Wrong Screw Type

The metal screw installation process involves fastening the metal sheets to underlying beams consisting of timber-steel composites, trusses or purlins. It’s imperative to choose screws with the appropriate drilling point size to match the material’s thickness. You can make the correct choice for your current roofing job by checking the vendor’s list of metal screws and their drill point capacities to locate the best option for your needs.

The metal screw’s length is another vital factor when preventing leaks. To determine the appropriate screw length, add the roofing sheet corrugation depth and the thickness of the underlying truss or purlin and increase this sum by two to three full thread lengths. You’ll also need to account for the rubber washer’s thickness when performing the calculation.

The screw’s thread type also plays a significant role in the evaluation process. Metal screw threads range from coarse to fine. Choose the former version when working with thinner sheets — under 4.5 millimeters — and the latter for thicker material — more than 4.5 millimeters.

2. Over-Driving the Screw

Some roofing contractors apply extra torque when tightening metal screws to ensure a secure fit. However, too much torque can cause the screw’s rubber washer to lose elasticity and eventually break. It could also damage the roofing panel.

A properly torqued metal screw will seat firmly without compressing too tightly against the surface. Ensure that the gasket isn’t bulging at the sides of the washer flange.

not making a screw tight enough can cause leaking roofs

3. Under-Driving the Screw

Not making the screw tight enough prevents the rubber washer from seating properly, resulting in an inadequate seal against the surface. Applying additional torque is a simple remedy for this situation.

Even if you supply sufficient torque, selecting a screw with the incorrect drilling tip capacity can lead to under-tightening and cause leaks — another reason to carefully select the appropriate metal screw type.

4. Misaligning the Screw

Driving the screw at an improper angle can also cause metal roof leaks. A crooked screw can prevent the rubber washers from sitting against the surface. It may also cause overcompression on either side of the hole, resulting in premature gasket damage.

A properly driven metal screw should sit flush with the roofing pane. If it appears misaligned or skewered, you can typically correct the issue by unfastening, removing and re-torquing the screw. Check the sides of the hole for damage before reinserting the screw.

5. Missing the Framing or Strut

Contractors may experience leaks even if a screw appears to be installed correctly. This situation typically occurs when the screw hasn’t seated properly grabbed onto the underlying frame or strut. Always double-check to verify that the screw is secure and will perform well.

6. Using Defective Screws

Screw quality can vary widely between brands. For instance, a roof may leak near the screws because the screw manufacturer chose cheap rubber material with a shorter life expectancy and insufficient resistance against the elements. Frequent temperature changes can also cause screw degradation over time.

It’s critical to partner with a metal screw supplier that makes delivering high-quality products a top priority and supports them with exceptional service.

Make All Points Fasteners Your One-Stop Metal Screw Supplier

At All Points Fasteners, we sell fasteners to professional roofing contractors like you. We offer top-quality products from leading manufacturers, ensuring they’ll meet your performance and durability expectations.

Our team strives to establish long-term partnerships with every customer by providing the excellent service you demand and deserve. We’ll help you locate the right metal screws for your projects, including hard-to-find fasteners for unique applications. Our attention to detail ensures you get the products you need quickly to keep your projects on schedule. Plus, affordable prices can help your roofing business save money on essential supplies.

Do you have questions about the common causes of metal roof leaks around screws? Call us at 800-483-6354 to speak to one of our friendly, knowledgeable representatives. You can also contact us online to request a customized quote.

Anatomy of a Screw

Anatomy of a Screw

Understanding screw anatomy helps you choose the correct screws whether you need screws for furniture, decorative work or marine applications. Exploring various screw parts, materials and coatings can tell you what style and design will fit your needs.

What Are the Parts of a Screw?

Various screw parts serve their own distinct functions. Learning each part of the screw can help you figure out what materials, coatings and finishes may be right for you. Here are the eight parts of a screw you should remember.

1. The Drive

The drive is the area of the screw where you can use a tool to turn the fastener. This part fits into the bit or wrench, depending on the features used on the screw itself. True to its name, the drive’s function is to drive the screw into the final position.

2. The Head

The head is the top part of the fastener and contains the drive section. The head may come in different shapes depending on your preferred application, and its style will determine how you measure the length of the fastener.

3. The Body

The screw’s body is everything from the bottom of the head to the bottom point of the screw. A screw’s body includes the shank, point and threads.

4. The Shank

The shank of the screw refers to the screw’s core — the portion that the threads wrap around. Many people call the shank the stem of the screw.

5. The Threads

The threads of a screw come in different variations depending on what kind of application you need them for. They have a helical shape and spiral down toward the bottom of the screw. The threads’ measurements will vary depending on whether they use standard or metric units.

mechanical advantage of screws

Threads often do the most work in the screw, tightening and locking the screw in place. The mechanical advantage of the screw occurs with the use of threads, especially during rotation when the motion becomes relative to a fixed part. Screws use different thread styles for various material sizes and applications.

6. The Point

The point of the screw is the bottom of the fastener, where the shank and body end. The point, also called the tip, varies in style across various applications. Contrary to popular belief, the tip does not need to be pointed or sharp to be effective and may be blunted, tapered or sliced.

7. The Material

You can find screws made out of a variety of different materials. If you cut a screw open and check the material, you might find anything from steel to plastic to rubber. While steel and stainless steel screws are most common, other materials may also offer strength, durability or flexibility.

Your choice of material may result in a stronger or weaker screw, as some materials may be more ductile or brittle than others. Understanding the mechanical properties of your material — whether you plan to use steel, plastic, metal or rubber — can help you find the right screw to fit your needs.

8. The Finish

The screw’s finish refers to the material coating that protects the screw when it’s in use. A finish is crucial whenever you might expose the screw to harsh weather or outside forces like moisture or chemicals. For example, plain steel without any finish may rust easily, while steel with a coated finish will take longer to deteriorate.

Some of the finishes offered by All Points Fasteners include the following:

  • Zinc: Zinc is a steel coating with features like rust resistance and corrosion protection. While zinc-plated screws may still rust over time, the deterioration will happen slowly. To prevent fast rusting on zinc-finished screws, ensure you apply them to projects without a harsh outside environment and store them safely when not in use. We mainly recommend this finish for screws for indoor projects.
  • Polymer: Polymer acts as a barrier coating, creating a seal around the material with a phosphate-zinc base and a polymer coating overtop. You can use a polymer finish to coat screws with identifiable colors and finishes. This finish is also highly corrosion-resistant.
  • Chrome: Chrome-plating finishes consist of a thick layer of hard chrome. Chrome-plated screws have a hard finish that gives them excellent wear resistance but may not be able to protect against corrosion. Some like to apply chrome over a nickel-plated screw for a nickel-chrome finish that resists tarnishing and corrosion.
  • Nickel plating: Nickel-plating finishes have a silver color and excellent corrosion resistance. Along with screws, you’ll often find nickel plating on cap nuts, washers, spacers and standoffs. Consider using this finish if you want a more decorative look for your project.
  • Antique brass: An antique brass finish is chemically darkened to create a brown color with golden tones that mimics old hardware. Many use antique brass on cabinets for a warm and traditional feel.
  • Bright brass: A bright brass finish is most popular for decorative purposes in cabinet hardware or other applications. Keep in mind that it may not offer much corrosion resistance.

Other coatings we offer include bronze, ceramic and black phosphate.

The Different Screw Materials We Sell

At All Points Fasteners, we offer many kinds of screw materials that our customers may find helpful. While some materials are more popular than others, they all provide benefits for a variety of applications and projects. Customers also enjoy coating their screws to add durability and corrosion resistance.

Our four most common materials include the following:

  • Steel: One of the most common materials we offer, steel is an excellent option for those who want a less expensive but durable material.
  • Copper: Copper material fights corrosion even in applications that expose it to bad weather, moisture or chemicals. In many cases, using copper screws helps your projects last longer.
  • Ceramic-coated: Our ceramic-coated screws are water-resistant and can handle long exposure to the elements.
  • Stainless steel: Stainless steel screws come in various shapes and sizes. We offer magnetic or non-magnetic features depending on your needs.

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Find Reliable Screws at All Points Fasteners

At All Points Fasteners, our company provides high-quality fastener screws, including self-tapping, ZIP, gutter and roofing screws. Whatever your industry, our company offers quality parts and excellent service to fit your needs. Contact us today to speak to a representative and request a quote or call us at 800-483-6354.

Nail Size Chart

Different construction projects require fasteners with various qualities to ensure the project’s structural soundness. Construction workers use nails in all kinds of tasks, from roofing to flooring. It’s essential for workers to use a suitable nail size, type and material for their application.

Nail size is standardized according to several factors, including diameter, gauge and shank length. These characteristics make various nails suitable for different projects. Understanding nail size is essential for selecting the proper hardware for your job and potentially saving yourself money and time. Discover the right nail for your application with these nail size charts.

Standards for nail sizes

Standards for Nail Sizes

The nail sizing charts below provide the industry standards for nail sizing. To understand a nail size chart, you first need to know the measurements used to determine nail size:

  • Penny size: The penny size is a standard unit of measurement for nails, abbreviated as “d.” This measurement initially referred to the price of 100 nails, with longer nails costing more. Now penny size indicates nail size, although it doesn’t correspond precisely to another unit of measurement. For example, a 16 penny nail is abbreviated as a 16d nail and is longer than an 8d nail.
  • Gauge: A nail’s gauge is a unit of measurement referring to its diameter or thickness. Higher nail gauge sizes correspond to thinner nails, with smaller nail gauge sizes correlating to thicker, stronger nails. For instance, a 12-gauge nail is thinner than a 5-gauge nail.
  • Shank diameter: The shank of the nail refers to its longer portion driven into the material rather than the flat head. The shank’s diameter is a measurement of its thickness in inches.
  • Shank length: Shank length refers to nail length and is measured in inches.
  • Head diameter: The nail head diameter is an approximate measurement of the nail’s head in inches.

Nail Types

Nails exist in various sizes and types to serve different functions. Pullout resistance is one factor that influences nail selection. Nails with threaded or ringed shanks resist pullout more than those with smooth shanks. Whether a project involves hardwood or softwood also influences a construction team’s choice of nail.

Nail materials vary, with stainless steel and copper-plated nails some of the most common. Copper nails provide excellent structural support and longevity, making them ideal for environments with high humidity. Stainless steel nails work well with soft materials and provide corrosion and climate resistance.

Different applications also require unique nail heads. For roofing, nails must lie discreetly under shingles while providing tear resistance. Flat, wide nail heads are ideal for this situation. Specialty nail designs and coatings allow construction workers to find suitable hardware for their job.

Based on these factors, the three most used nail types include:

  • Common nails: Common nails have smooth shanks ideal for structural work, repairs and other applications requiring typical resistance. The smooth shank of common nails makes them adequate for supporting lateral loads where pullout resistance is a minor factor.
  • Box nails: Box nails have smooth shanks similar to common nails. The primary difference is that box nails typically have a slightly higher gauge. These nails are ideal for projects where the construction team is less concerned with holding strength, like working with thinner wood, crates, trims and other non-structural projects.
  • Annular and threaded nails: Annular or threaded nails have threaded shanks that provide additional grip once inserted into the material. These nails offer superior pullout resistance and structural support. Construction workers use annular nails in projects that require extra holding power, like subflooring and drywall replacement.

Common Nail Sizing Chart

Here is the nail size chart for common nails:

  • 2d, 15 gauge: 15-gauge shank, 0.072-inch shank diameter, 1-inch shank length and 3/16-inch head diameter
  • 2d, 14 gauge: 14-gauge shank, 0.083-inch shank diameter, 1-inch shank length and 13/64-inch head diameter
  • 3d: 14-gauge shank, 0.083-inch shank diameter, 1.25-inch shank length and 13/64-inch head diameter
  • 4d: 12-gauge shank, 0.109-inch shank diameter, 1.5-inch shank length and 1/4-inch head diameter
  • 5d: 12-gauge shank, 0.109-inch shank diameter, 1.75-inch shank length and 1/4-inch head diameter
  • 6d: 11-gauge shank, 0.12-inch shank diameter, 2-inch shank length and 17/64-inch head diameter
  • 8d: 10-gauge shank, 0.134-inch shank diameter, 2.5-inch shank length and 9/32-inch head diameter
  • 10d: 9-gauge shank, 0.148-inch shank diameter, 3-inch shank length and 5/16-inch head diameter
  • 12d: 9-gauge shank, 0.148-inch shank diameter, 3.25-inch shank length and 5/16-inch head diameter
  • 16d: 8-gauge shank, 0.165-inch shank diameter, 3.5-inch shank length and 11/32-inch head diameter
  • 20d: 6-gauge shank, 0.203-inch shank diameter, 4-inch shank length and 13/32-inch head diameter
  • 30d: 5-gauge shank, 0.220-inch shank diameter, 4.5-inch shank length and 7/16-inch head diameter
  • 40d: 4-gauge shank, 0.238-inch shank diameter, 5-inch shank length and 15/32-inch head diameter
  • 60d: 4-gauge shank, 0.238-inch shank diameter, 6-inch shank length and 17/32-inch head diameter

Box Nail Size Chart

This box nail length chart can help you determine the best size of box nail for your application:

  • 3d: 14 1/2-gauge shank, 0.076-inch shank diameter and 1.25-inch shank length
  • 4d: 14-gauge shank, 0.080-inch shank diameter and 1.5-inch shank length
  • 5d: 14-gauge shank, 0.080-inch shank diameter and 1.75-inch shank length
  • 6d: 12 1/2-gauge shank, 0.098-inch shank diameter and 2-inch shank length
  • 7d: 12 1/2-gauge shank, 0.098-inch shank diameter and 2.25-inch shank length
  • 8d: 11 1/2-gauge shank, 0.113-inch shank diameter and 2.5-inch shank length
  • 10d: 10 1/2-gauge shank, 0.128-inch shank diameter and 3-inch shank length
  • 16d: 10-gauge shank, 0.135-inch shank diameter and 3.5-inch shank length
  • 20d: 9-gauge shank, 0.148-inch shank diameter and 4-inch shank length

Annular and Threaded Nail Sizing Chart

Consider this annular and threaded nail size chart when selecting threaded nails for your project:

  • 6d: 0.12-inch shank diameter and 2-inch shank length
  • 8d: 0.12-inch shank diameter and 2.5-inch shank length
  • 10d: 0.135-inch shank diameter and 3-inch shank length
  • 12d: 0.135-inch shank diameter and 3.25-inch shank length
  • 16d: 0.148-inch shank diameter and 3.5-inch shank length
  • 20d: 0.177-inch shank diameter and 4-inch shank length
  • 30d: 0.177-inch shank diameter and 4.5-inch shank length
  • 40d: 0.177-inch shank diameter and 5-inch shank length
  • 50d: 0.177-inch shank diameter and 5.5-inch shank length
  • 60d: 0.177-inch shank diameter and 6-inch shank length
  • 70d: 0.207-inch shank diameter and 7-inch shank length
  • 80d: 0.207-inch shank diameter and 8-inch shank length
  • 90d: 0.207-inch shank diameter and 9-inch shank length

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Find the Right Nails at All Points Fasteners

Nail size varies widely depending on the type of hardware your project requires. Understanding the requirements of your work and the types of nails available can help you select the best one.

At All Points Fasteners, we offer a wide selection of quality nails, screws, bolts and other fasteners to fit your application. We will work with you to find the products to help you accomplish your project.

To work with our support team on a fastener solution to fit your unique needs, request a quote today!

How Supply Chain Issues Are Impacting the Fastener Industry

How Supply Chain Issues Are Impacting the Fastener Industry

From the pandemic to sky-high inflation, the past few years have been challenging for many industries. Factory shutdowns and port disruptions slowed the production of many products that the world needs to continue functioning. Recently, the fastener supply chain hasn’t been immune from problems, including shortages.

Supply chain troubles can cause your company to fall behind on its projects or even lose customers. Fortunately, there are ways to manage the shortages and adjust to keep your projects on time and on schedule as much as possible.

What’s Driving Fastener Supply Chain Issues?

Supply chain problems are complex, and there are several factors that contribute to the overall issue and lead to material shortages. Some of the concerns behind fastener supply chain issues are:

  • Labor shortages: Companies need employees to work in the plants that manufacture fasteners like screws and bolts. They also need workers to load the containers and work at the ports. Labor shortages, due to illness, isolation requirements or people leaving their jobs, have affected the speed at which companies can produce and ship fasteners.
  • Container shortages: Fasteners that come to the U.S. from abroad usually make the journey on container ships. A shortage of available containers has made it challenging for supplies to be shipped. The container shortage is partly caused by a labor shortage, as there aren’t enough drivers or vehicles to return the containers to their origin.
  • Port congestion: In addition to a limited number of containers, many of the ports that receive container ships have also experienced congestion, with ships having to wait to be unloaded. The delay in unloading ships has led to a delay in products getting to the companies that need them.
  • Limited materials: There’s been a shortage of raw materials needed to produce specific fasteners, such as stainless steel. In some cases, material shortages are directly connected to labor shortages.

How to Cope With Industrial Fastener Supply Chain Issues

If your company can’t get the fasteners it needs, it may have to delay projects or use sub-standard supplies as a stopgap. Sometimes, an alternative fastener isn’t an option, as it can void warranties.

The best way to deal with fastener supply chain concerns is to work with a fastener importer and distributor, particularly one that specializes in finding hard-to-locate screws and other fasteners. All Points Fasteners is working hard to find a solution to the insulation screw shortage for its clients and will work hard to find and source other hard-to-locate fasteners you need.

Contact All Points Fasteners Today

Finding and sourcing reliable screws and fasteners is more critical today than ever. If you’re currently waiting on delayed orders or need to get a product as soon as possible, contact All Points Fasteners for a customized quote today.

Why You Shouldn’t Over-Torque Fasteners

Installing screws to fasten materials is a standard procedure for construction contractors, HVAC technicians, roofers and other professionals working in the trades. While the tendency is to make the fasteners as tight as possible to ensure a secure fit, it doesn’t always produce the best results. Over-tightening screws can even do more harm than good in some situations.

What Happens When You Over-Torque Screws?

Making screws too tight can have numerous detrimental consequences.

Damage to the Screw Thread

The thread on a screw performs the essential function of converting torque into linear force during the fastening process. Over-tightening the fastener can damage the thread, preventing it from maintaining a secure fit.

Inability to Remove the Screw

It’s possible to install a screw so tightly that you won’t be able to take it back out again without significant effort. You may need several items, including a hammer, impact driver, rotary tool and a lubricant such as Liquid Wrench to remove the screw.

Ruining the Fastener

You can damage screws by making them too tight. Embedding the fastener too deeply into the material increases the torque required for subsequent tightening or loosening. If the screw is so tight that the tools mentioned above cannot move it, applying them may cause the screw head to strip out or snap off, which compromises the integrity of the attachment and renders the fastener useless.

Damage to the Workpiece

damage the work piece

If you’re not careful when tightening screws, you could potentially harm materials such as sheet metal or wood. This could lead to costly project delays, and replacing the materials creates additional expenses and cost overruns.


Although it might sound counterintuitive, over-torquing a screw won’t prevent it from loosening over time. Vibrations, wear and tear and other external factors will eventually take their toll and cause the screw to lose its grip on the material. You’ll need to install a locking nut, locking washer, threadlocker solution or a combination of these items to keep the screw secure.

Contact All Points Fasteners to Learn More

As a leading distributor of high-quality screws for various construction applications, All Points Fasteners can help your business get the best results when installing fasteners. Contact us for more information about our product lines and services and request a quote today.

Top Mistakes to Avoid With Fasteners

Top Mistakes to Avoid With Fasteners

Fasteners are vital for all types of projects, but when you don’t use them in the application they were designed to be used, you can affect your project in the long term. Understanding the top fastener mistakes can help you use screws, bolts, nails and other types more effectively.

Choosing the Wrong Material

When selecting fasteners, it’s essential to consider the material you’re using and the environment the fastener has to operate in.

For example, grade 316 stainless steel is corrosion-resistant in extreme saltwater environments, which is useful in some applications, but not others. You’ll also want to consider how your fastener will interact with the material you’re working with. Aluminum and stainless steel cause galvanic corrosion that weakens the material and makes it more susceptible to rust.

Forgetting About Dimensional Accuracy

Your fasteners need to be the right size to work with your project. The size of your fastener will determine how well it connects your materials and how stable that connection is. For example, a fastener off by a single millimeter can create uneven load distribution with a washer, leading to loosening over time. As these parts loosen, they corrode faster and decrease the life span of your project.

Creating plans before building your project is valuable for dimensional accuracy. With these plans, you can see how thick your materials are and determine which length is best for every fastening application.

Using the Wrong Tool

If you use the wrong tool with your fastener, you may negatively affect the structural integrity of your project. For example, using the wrong screw gun bit may make it difficult to tighten the fastener as much as it needs. Rotating between a screw gun and an impact driver could cause an unevenly distributed load. Even if you choose the right screw size and material, the wrong tool can stand in your way. Using impact tools to drive in screws is by far the most common inappropriate tool use which can, over time, cause the heads to pop or compromise the structure of the screw.


While tightening your fasteners is essential for stability, overdriving can also cause issues. When using a washer, overdriving causes excess pressure that reduces sealing performance over time. These sealing capabilities are necessary for many applications, and without them, your project may sustain water damage or corrode faster.

Find Your Ideal Fasteners at All Points Fasteners

Every project needs the right fasteners to last. At All Points Fasteners, we offer a vast inventory of products, including screws, rivets, nails, washers and more. With our assortment of fasteners, you can understand what materials and dimensions are available to make the best choices for your project. If you need assistance, give us a call at 800.483.6354. For more information on a product, request a quote.

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Coarse Thread Vs. Fine Thread Fasteners

Coarse Thread vs. Fine Thread Fasteners

When you’re planning your next project, choosing the best fastener type is essential to the overall function of your final product. Coarse and fine thread screws are two specific fastener types that work well in various applications. The difference between fine and coarse thread screws can help you determine which one is right for your next project.

What Is a Coarse Thread Screw?

Coarse thread fasteners have a wider thread pitch — the distance between each row of threading. Since this pitch is wider, coarse thread screws have a low number of threads across the distance of the fastener.

Coarse threads allow more material to settle between the threading, making it harder for these screws to strip or cross thread. The threading can take on damage like nicks and marring and still function efficiently. Coarse threads are also less likely to gall or seize during tightening, making them easier to install.

What Are Fine Thread Screws?

In contrast, because of a narrow thread pitch, fine thread screws have a larger number of threads per distance. These threads offer higher tensile strength than coarse thread fasteners, and they’re often easier to tap. Since fine threading involves narrow, shallow ridges, there’s material to cut when forming threads.

Fine thread screws also have a shallow pitch or helical angle, making them more resistant to vibration. These fasteners also have less heft than their coarse counterparts, so they require less torque to install.

Which One Is Right for Your Application?

Choosing the right fastener for your application is about understanding the environment, the material and how the screw will need to perform.

Generally, coarse thread screws work well in most applications. These fasteners offer the strength and ease needed for many construction and industrial applications. Coarse threads work well with the following materials:

  • Softwoods
  • Plywood
  • Oriented strand board (OSB)
  • Wood studs

Fine threads are best for applications where vibration may be an issue. You’ll often find fine thread fasteners in machine parts, transmission parts and hydraulic systems because these applications involve high vibration. The materials best suited to fine thread screws include:

  • Hardwood
  • High gauge metals, including aluminum, titanium and stainless steel
  • Metal studs

Find the Right Screw at All Points Fasteners

At All Points Fasteners, we have an extensive inventory of screws, nails, bolts and other fasteners. Whether you need coarse or fine thread screws, we can set you up with the best products for the job. If you’re unsure what fastener you need, call us at 800.483.6354.

Get a quote today!

Find the right screw