What Is a Square Drive Screw?

What Is a Square Drive Screw?

The square drive screw is designed to be used in installing decking, furniture manufacturing operations, along with other demanding industries that use tough materials like hardwoods. Screws can utilize several  other drive types, including:

  • Allen drives: Screws with Allen drives have socket heads with multiple sides. They risk camming out under excessive force.
  • Hex heads: Screws with hex heads are used with a wrench or a socket and ratchet.
  • Slotted and Phillips drives: These drives are some of the most common. However, screw heads with slotted and Phillips drives usually cam out easily.

Until the square drive screw was invented, nearly all screws were slot head or straight drive screws. Square drives, also known as Robertson drives, lower the risk of camming out. For one-handed driving and an excellent grip, look no further than the square drive.

How Square Drive Screws Work

Square drive screws are most resistant to stripping out or screwdriver slips.

Square drive screws make it easier for screw tips to remain in place during driving. They also help prevent slipping and stripping. Square drive wood screws have a thick shaft and are made of softer metal, allowing them to drive through wood and reduce cam out. This design means you can avoid scarring up the finish and make joints tight on the first attempt.

The square drive screw has a central square head that fits neatly into a driver, which comes in handy when you’re working on a project that uses join angles and composite materials. You can also disassemble your project without damaging the item or stripping the screw. The heat-treated steel offers dependable strength, and for better holding, the optimized thread depth reduces crumbling between threads.

The sharp thread angle also cuts cleanly into wood to minimize splitting or cracking. Square drive screws reduce driving resistance due to their minimum body diameter, and the sharp point can get a screw started quickly without a pilot hole.

Request a Quote From All Points Fasteners

At All Points Fasteners, we offer several square drive screw types, including square drive wood screws and square drive stainless steel screws. Our fasteners come in finishes including zinc plated, ceramic coated and coated stainless steel.

When you choose All Points, you get a quality part and great service, with competitive prices on products the construction industry uses on a daily basis. We’ll answer any questions and help you find the right product for your particular job. Request a quote from us today for domestic quality at an imported price.

How Strong Are Deck Screws?

How Strong Are Deck Screws?

Screws can be found in a variety of sizes and shapes, and though many people assume screw types are interchangeable, there are important differences between wood screws and deck screws. Though deck screws and wood screws look similar, they have different purposes.

Compared to thin nails, deck screws are much stronger and can hold considerably more weight. Deck screws are also stronger than wood screws and tend to be made from stainless steel or copper for increased durability.

What Are Deck Screws Used For?

Deck screws are used for outside jobs like building decks and fencing. When buying these fasteners, keep in mind that there are different types of deck screws to choose from.

 

  • Wood deck screws: This type of screw has an unthreaded shank and a coarse-threaded portion.
  • Composite deck screws: This type of screw has finer threads and a smaller head. Some also feature an extra thread set that prevents the mounding of the composite materials at the screw’s head.

 

Deck screws are perfect for outdoor use because they’re composed of stainless steel, galvanized steel or copper to prevent rust and increase corrosion resistance, which is particularly important in a wet environment. These screws have flattened, countersunk, flare or bugle-shaped heads. The heads of deck screws can prevent them from sinking into the material and splitting or cracking it.

Deck screws also have unique threaded shanks that increase their durability. The aggressive point and sharp threads increase the screw’s hold once it’s in place. This sharp, deep threading on deck screws allows them to easily cut into a workpiece, and they are also better able to withstand humidity, rain and salty water than wood screws.

If you want to construct a robust, sturdy deck, you’ll need deck screws for attaching decking and railings to the framing.

 

 

 

What are deck screws used for.

Shop the Best Deck Screws From All Points Fasteners

At All Points Fasteners, we offer several different types of deck screws. Our aim is to provide the best possible selection to meet specific needs. Among our current selection of deck screws, you can find:

 

  • Flatheads
  • Bugle heads
  • Square drive screws
  • Ceramic coated fasteners
  • Cedar decking screws
  • Stainless steel options

 

Along with providing the best deck screws, our expert team is here whenever you need information about specific deck screws and fastening solutions. Browse our selection of deck screws or contact the All Points Fasteners team today to learn more about the deck screws we have for sale.

Guide to Buying Tek Screws

If you need self-drilling, tek type, screws for your project, it’s important to know what type you need. There are several things to keep in mind when making a decision.

What You Should Know When Buying Tek Screws

There are many features to consider when buying tek screws. Before you buy, determine:

  • Head style: This aspect will determine how the screw distributes stress and what the finished surface will look like. For instance, hex heads are standard for heavy-duty applications like roofing and HVAC and lighter uses like fastening components to liner panels.
  • Shank size: Shank describes the thickness of the screw. A higher number shank means a thicker screw.  Think dress size.  A #12 is thicker than a #10 shank. You should use higher thicknesses for heavy-duty applications.
  • Length: On Hex heads, pan heads, modified truss heads and pancake head screws, screw length measures from right below the head to the screw tip. Choose this measurement based on how thick your materials are and how much grip you need. On countersinking screws, you would measure the entire screw since the full length of the screw will be embedded in the material.
  • Point type: Self-drilling screws, also known as tek screws, have four popular sizes – #2, #3, #4 and #5.  The higher the number, the thicker the metal the tek screw can penetrate. A #5 drill bit tip can drill through up to ½ inch steel.
  • Plating: Your screw’s outer coating affects its response to the surrounding environment. Zinc plating is standard but can also be found with ceramic coating.
  • Material:    The least expensive self-drilling tek type screws are manufactured in carbon steel.  They are also available in 410 stainless (magnetic) and 18-8 stainless (non-magnetic).  18-8 stainless and 300 series stainless are best used in aluminum.  410 stainless tek screws can be used in heavier gauges but can give you surface rust without compromising the integrity of the screw.  We even have bi-metal tek screws, where the drill bit tip is carbon steel but the body of the screw is non-magnetic stainless.  These screws are pricey but they do the job of drilling through steel but giving you the best in rust resistance.
  • Time: How many screws do you need, and when do you need them? Call us early enough, and we can ship the same day any items we have on the floor.  We offer painted screws for a cleaner look, however, custom paint colors will need time to prepare so don’t wait until the last minute to order!

Buy Tek Screws Based on Application

There are many types of tek screws for specific applications. Some specialized screw types include:

  • Heating and ventilation:  For commercial hvac our 10×3/4 hex washer head is the most popular.
  • Metal framing: You can use these screws to connect steel pieces.
  • Stitching screws: These screws work best for stitching cladding panels.
  • Reamer Tek screws: Choose these screws when you need to attach composites or timber to steel.
  • Beam Busters: When you’re working with thicker metal, these screws work where standard tek screws don’t.
  • Composite panel fasteners: These screws work for roofing applications, cladding, cold and hot rolled rails, and purlins. They also work well for fastening components and liner panels to heavy steel.

Buy Tek Screws From All Points Fasteners

At All Points Fasteners, our team is here to help you find the right tek screws for your project. Contact us today to learn more.

Choosing Self-Tapping Screws

Choosing the right screw can feel challenging when you don’t know what the different heads, shanks and points can do. By understanding these aspects, you will be able to find the best self-tapping screw for your project without having to ask for assistance.

Explore Head Types

The screw head you use will affect the stress distribution and finish of your project. Common head types include:

  • Hex washer: This hex-shaped head is best used for heavy-duty applications, like roofing. It can also come with a neoprene washer for more stable fastening.
  • Modified truss: A big domed head with a flange creates a larger bearing surface with a low profile.
  • Oval: This screw has a countersunk bottom and rounded decorative head.
  • Pan: This type features a domed head with straight sides, and it’s often used for high-torque applications.
  • Flathead: This screw has a flat top that sits below the surface for a clean finish.
  • Bugle: A countersunk head, flat top and concave bearing face allow these screws to distribute stress over a larger area than a flathead screw. Drywall contractors use these for attaching plasterboard and wood to metal studs.
  • Pancake: When you need an unobstructed head and large clamping area, the pancake screw is the right choice. The large head distributes stress across a wider area.

Consider the Shank Size

The shank is the threaded shaft of the screw, and different sizes offer various qualities. You’ll see shank sizes listed as a number without a unit of measure. The larger the number, the larger the shaft diameter. Hex Washer Head sizes often have standard shaft sizes to accommodate typical applications. These standards are:

  • 1/4″ Hex Head = #6 or #7 or #8 shank size
  • 5/16″ Hex Head = #10 or #12 shank size
  • 3/8″ Hex Head = #14 shank size

While these are industry standards, there are exceptions. For example, zip screws for the gutter industry use a high profile 1/4″ hex head with #10 shanks. In the 1980s, #8 shanks were standard for gutter applications, but with the change in wood quality, #10 shanks respond better to knots today. Our hex head gutter screws also have a filet for extra strength.

Think About Threads Per Inch

Threads are the spiral shape around a screw’s shank. The threads per inch (TPI) affect how effectively a screw works through a material. Generally, a lower TPI is better for softwoods, and a higher TPI is better for metal and hardwoods.

Threads per inch are a clear example of why choosing the right screw is essential for your project. Any screw can snap if it experiences too much force.  The threads are finer (more threads per inch) when you go into harder woods or metal so that the screw penetrates slower, otherwise, the screw will snap.  Most users think that they received ‘bad’ screws when they actually just have the wrong screw for their application. The right TPI can ensure smoother fastening and fewer wasted screws.

Choose Your Screw Point

A screw’s point affects how it interacts with metal during initial material entry. The most common types of screw points are:

  • Needlepoint: These screws feature twin lead threads and sharp points for self-piercing in light sheet metal.
  • Drill point: Rather than a sharp point, drill points have a wide, blunter tip. The bulkier end makes it easier to insert these screws on initial impact. These screws are helpful for a range of construction applications, though they are not recommended for roofing.

While these are the two general point categories, there are other specialty points for specific applications. For example, type 17 screws have a fluted point for capturing wood chips and preventing splits.

Pick a Plating

The plating will affect how your screw interacts with its environment. Zinc plating is standard for most interior screw applications, and it can last up to two years. Hot-dipped and mechanical galvanized screws can last up to five years. These two types are the traditional plating styles, but other types include:

  • Ceramic: This plating resists rust and comes in 500-, 1,000- and 1,200-hour salt spray tested options. These screws are well-suited for outdoor applications where the fasteners will have to withstand different types of weather.
  • Stainless steel: As another rust-resistant option, stainless steel screws are also ideal for outdoor applications. All Points Fasteners offers both magnetic and non-magnetic styles.

Read the Labels for Screw Types

Now that you know how to choose the right screw for your application, you need to know how to find it based on the label. Self-tapping screws will have a label that reads “8-18×1 HWH SDS Z/P.” In order, the label means:

  • #8 shank
  • 18 TPI
  • 1 inch long
  • Hex washer head
  • Self-drilling screw
  • Zinc plating

Turn to All Points Fasteners When Choosing Screws

Explore our screws index today, and request a quote to receive more information.

What Kind of Screws to Use for Subfloors

What Kind of Screws to Use for Subfloors

During the course of a construction or renovation project, you may encounter subfloors. Every builder, renovator and homeowner should know which kind of screws are best for subfloors to achieve optimal results. When you shop products from All Points Fasteners, you can find the size you need to fix squeaky floors and finish your projects within budget.

What Screws Are Best for Subfloors?

Rather than nails, screws are best to use for subfloors — these fasteners are convenient, easy to remove and capable of providing torque that nails lack. Because of their structure, screws can penetrate plywood more easily and improve the connection, whereas nails can weaken the plywood. The main categories of screws designed for subfloors include galvanized screws, steel screws and cement board screws.

 

  • Galvanized screws: Galvanized screws are named for their manufacturing process, which gives these screws a special coating that protects them against deterioration and rust. A galvanized screw is durable and moisture resistant, so it’s great for installing chemical-treated lumber and for use on exterior flooring like deck floors or porch floors.
  • Steel screws: Steel screws usually have a helical thread that spirals most of the way up the shaft. These screws are designed to keep plywood intact, minimize fiber damage and sustain lateral movement without snapping or warping. This durability, known as shear strength, is why steel screws are frequently used for interior subfloors.
  • Cement board screws: Fully threaded screws like cement board screws are designed to fasten subfloors for tiling jobs. These screws have a coating for resisting corrosion that can be caused by mortar or moisture. Cement board screws can be used with wood or metal.

What are the best screws for subfloors.

Deck screws can also be compatible with subfloor projects. Drywall screws, however, shouldn’t be used for subfloors, as they aren’t strong enough and tend to snap off when used in this application. To choose the right screw for your job, you should consider the following:

 

  • Material: Determine whether an aluminum, brass, bronze or steel screw is right for your project based on what materials you’ll be working with. For wood projects, for example, steel screws are usually the best option.
  • Head type: The head type will determine the joint strength and how the screw will be driven into the surface of the plywood.
  • Coating: Most screws are either coated or plated. Coated screws are protected from moisture that can lead to loosening and rusting.

 

Get the Best Screws for Subfloors From All Points Fasteners

At All Points Fasteners, you can find the screws you need for subfloors. Our premium-quality products come in zinc plated, ceramic coated and coated stainless steel configurations, and they are designed to be rust-resistant to various degrees. Browse our screws for plywood subfloors or ask us for a free quote today.

Different Types of Hex Head Screws

Different Types of Hex Head Screws

Hexagon head screws — also called hex screws, hex socket screws and hex head cap screws — have a six-sided head and preformed machine threads on the shank, or shaft. You might have seen hex screws abbreviated as HH or HX, depending on the manufacturer or retailer.

Different Types of Hex Head Screws and How They Are Used

Since there are multiple types of hex cap screws varying in material, application and size, you can use them in a variety of commercial, residential and industrial projects.

Hex Head Screw Materials

Hex screws are either fully threaded from one end to the other, offering optimal strength, or partially threaded, ending before the head. These screws are ideal for alignment. Both types are made from various materials depending on the application.

For example, residential or commercial projects might require a more visually appealing finish that fits in with a specific design, while heavy-duty outdoor industrial projects need a screw made from a high-resistance, anti-corrosive material.

Screw materials include:

  • Stainless steel
  • Hot-dipped galvanized steel
  • Low and medium carbon steel
  • Brass, bronze and copper alloy steel
  • Zinc, chrome or nickel-plated steel
  • Oil-coated steel

Contact the experts at All Points Fasteners if you’re not sure which type of hex head screw material is right for you.

Hex screw sizes and types.

 

Hex Screw Sizes and Types

Hex screws are available in the following types:

  • Self-drilling hex screws: Self-drilling hex screws are commonly referred to as Tek® screws, and they do just what the name suggests. These screws self-drill as you install them, eliminating the need to pre-drill a pilot hole. They are suitable for metal-to-metal applications and have a fluted tip available in various lengths, depending on how thick the metal you’re working with is. It’s a common choice in the HVAC industry, which typically relies on 10×3/4 washer head self-drilling hex heads for installation.
  • Internal hex screws: Internal hex screws have an internal-facing head indentation and are a common choice for furniture pieces. They require an Allen wrench for installation and removal.
  • Combi screw: Combination screws, also called combi screws, refer to any screw type that combines more than one head style. Common combi hex screws are slotted hex fasteners or hex and Phillips head combinations for easy use with a standard screwdriver.
  • Lag screws: Lag screws are heavy-duty fasteners for landscaping, lumber and thick sheet metal applications. They are large with coarse threads and support more weight than standard hex screws. Lag screws with hex heads are often used for wood and sheet metal materials requiring high torque levels.
  • Sheet Metal Screws: Some hex head screws have built-in washers where the head meets the shank. They have a sharp point on the end for effectively penetrating wood and sheet metal. This design distributes weight evenly over the screw’s entire area for metal-to-metal fastening and some heavy-duty loads.
  • Zip screws: Many hex washer head screws are also self-piercing. These are usually referred to as zip screws
  • Painted hex washer head: Painted hex washer head screws  are available in various colors and finishes, perfect for siding, roofing, decking and gutter installation where appearance matters to the finished product. Professionally painted screws have a clean finish, free of chips or seams.

Hex bolts also come with an assigned grade, indicated by markings on the head or a manufacturer stamp. The higher the number, the stronger and more hardened that bolt is.

Ways to Use Hex Head Screws

Though you can’t install and remove a hex screw with a screwdriver — unless it’s a special combi screw — the six-point design lets users get more torque when using a hex head screw than they would with a traditional circular head screw. The hexagonal head distributes force across all sides for high-strength fastening and reliable security. If you look closely, you’ll spot hex head screws in most of the buildings, docks and infrastructure projects surrounding you.

Popular hex head screw applications include:

  • Machinery: Hex head screws are a common choice for fastening and disassembly in machinery projects and equipment assembly.
  • Construction: Hex screws are used in masonry and construction projects, especially those using steel and wood.
  • Tight spaces: With six access points, hex head screws are easier to access in tight spaces or spaces with only one side clearance for installation, tightening or removal.
  • Dirty applications: Hex screws with a solid head instead of an indented or recessed one are perfect for dirty applications, where debris and build-up might threaten the screw’s integrity over time. With no opening to fill, there’s no chance for clogging, and they’re easy to wipe down and shine if appearance or hygiene is important.

How to Screw a Hex Screw

Screwing in hex head screws requires a wrench that fits around the outside of the screw’s head. You need a wrench that matches the size of the screw or an adjustable wrench.

Using a Socket Wrench

Socket wrenches are for hex head screws with an indentation or opening on the top. Before you begin, make sure you have the correct size socket to match the screw you’re trying to install or remove.

Then, follow these steps:

  1. Place the square hold onto the socket’s square knob to attach.
  2. Wait until you hear or feel a click, indicating the wrench and socket are connected.
  3. Choose which direction you want to move on your wrench by turning the dial to the right for tightening or left for loosening.
  4. Place the socket on the screw. Twist the wrench all the way to one side until you feel the screw remove.
  5. If you have a ratcheting socket wrench, instead of removing the wrench, twist it back to the starting point and repeat the same process until the screw is in or out.

Using a Standard Wrench

As with socket wrenches, standard wrenches are available in various sizes and widths and need to match the screw you’re installing or removing. Open-end wrenches surround a hex-head screw on four sides and can slide sideways onto a screw in a hard-to-reach place. Box-end wrenches are closed and must be placed over the top of the screw. Some box-end wrenches have ratchet capabilities.

Here’s how a standard wrench works:

  1. Choose the wrench with a corresponding size to your screw.
  2. Set the wrench around the screw.
  3. Turn clockwise to tighten or counterclockwise to loosen.
  4. If your wrench doesn’t have ratchet action, remove the wrench and reset it on the screw to continue turning.
  5. Repeat the process until the screw is tightened or loosened.

Using an Adjustable Wrench

An adjustable wrench has a moveable jaw so you can make the wrench bigger and smaller as needed to match the size of the screw. You don’t need to find the matching size tool with an adjustable wrench, but it won’t ratchet.

Here’s how to use an adjustable wrench.

  1. Place the wrench loosely around the screw.
  2. Adjust the wrench until it fits tightly around the head.
  3. As with a standard wrench, turn clockwise to tighten or counterclockwise to loosen.
  4. Remove the wrench and reset to continue turning, and repeat until the screw is in or out.

Shop HEX head screws.

Shop Hex Screws and Other Fasteners at All Points Fasteners, Inc.

All Points Fasteners has the premium fasteners you need, including hex screws from many manufacturers. Fasteners are available in multiple types and sizes that fit your budget and application. Browse the shop today or reach out to a member of our team and tell us about your project — we’d love to help with personalized recommendations.

National Insulation Screw Shortage

National Insulation Screw Shortage

There are only a couple of companies that have been allowed to provide the insulation screws with the plates. Using any other part would cause the roof warranty to be voided. However, these companies had a break in their supply chain that has caused a nationwide shortage that is not estimated to be resolved until March 2022.

We are hard at work finding an alternative to these specialty insulation screws that will not void your warranties.

To be the first to know when we come up with a solution, please fill out your information in the form below to join our email list. We promise not to spam you or sell your email address.

In the meantime, we’d be happy to work up a quote for any other parts you need. Please click here to submit a quote request.

Screws for Metal Studs

Screws for Metal Studs

Contractors use metal studs in commercial and industrial buildings to prevent fires, termites and other hazards. Recently, many contractors have begun using them in residential homes as well. Metal studs are stable and sturdy for both load-bearing and non-load-bearing walls. However, most screws will not penetrate through metal studs.

Often, contractors have to use special screws for metal studs due to the material’s durability. These screws have finer threads and sharper tips to better pierce and provide hold in metal studs. Fine-threaded screws work best because drywall screws are not strong enough for the job.

Self-Tapping Screws for Metal Studs

A self-tapping screw is commonly referred to as a “metal screw” since they are frequently used to fasten metallic materials. Self-tapping screws “tap” or cut threads into a metal. However, these types of screws enter material at a slow rate because they have finer threads for greater fastening power. Self-tapping screws may require a pilot hole to drill through metal since their points can have different shapes:

  • Thread-forming tips: Displace material as the screw drills into plastic
  • Thread-cutting tips: Remove material as the screw cuts into metal or wood

Self-Drilling Screws for Metal Studs

A self-drilling screw is a type of self-tapping screw with a point shaped like a drill bit to provide an easier start into the base material. Contractors often know these fasteners by the TEK® brand name because this company popularized this type of screw.

Self-drilling screws drill, tap and fasten metal to metal in a quicker, cost-effective way. Though the screw lengths vary in size, the drill bit tip is the defining component. These tips are numbered from #1 to #5 to denote their length and thickness, which are the factors that determine the thickness of metal they can pierce. The main benefit of self-drilling screws for metal studs is that their specialized tips eliminate the need for a pilot hole.

Shop Screws for Metal Studs From All Points Fasteners

At All Points Fasteners, we have an extensive selection of TEK® screws to help you get the job done right the first time. We know how important it is to have the right fasteners to maintain productivity on the work site, so we offer a free quote and free samples of products before you make a purchase.

If you’re looking to pick up and purchase screws for metal studs, call us at 800-483-6354 to place your order or contact us online to talk about your options.