18-8 vs. 304 Stainless Steel
If you have a project that needs fasteners, you have several options to choose from. Screws come in a wide range of sizes, threads, heads and tips. Before you start to narrow your choices down, however, you need to know what type of screw to buy. The 18-8 stainless and 304 stainless screws are some of the most popular fasteners on the market, but they have a few differences that can affect the long-term performance of your finished project.
Getting to Know 18-8 Stainless Steel vs. 304 Stainless Steel
Screws made from 18-8 and 304 stainless steel are both made using stainless steel, but their compositions vary. The differences between 18-8 stainless steel vs. 304 stainless steel may seem minor, but they can have a measurable impact.
18-8 Stainless Steel
This iron alloy earns its name due to its makeup. It is produced using approximate quantities of 18% chromium and 8% nickel, and it covers a family of fittings that include 302, 304, 305 and 384 stainless screws. These fittings all use 18-8 stainless steel as a base before they are modified with additional alloys. Screws made from 18-8 stainless steel are non-magnetic and have excellent resistance to rust and corrosion.
304 Stainless Steel
This stainless steel (SS) type is austenitic and the most widely used alloy in the AISI (American Iron and Steel Institute) 300 series. It has the chromium and nickel content of 18-8 stainless steel but contains a maximum of 0.08% carbon as well. It also shares many similar properties to 18-8 stainless steel, including resistance to corrosion and oxidation. The addition of carbon provides this alloy with extra strength and hardness that sets it apart from other alloys.
The Applications of 18-8 SS vs. 304 SS
With different chemical structures, fasteners made with 18-8 vs. 304 stainless steel offer distinct advantages. Before you make your purchase, consider the ideal applications of 18-8 vs. 304 stainless steel:
- 18-8 stainless steel: The chemical composition of 18-8 grade stainless steel makes it suitable across many industries. Fasteners made with this alloy will perform well in chemical, high-temperature and high-moisture environments. These screws will react to chlorides, like salt, and are, therefore, not recommended for use in marine applications.
- 304 stainless steel: 304 stainless steel is an alloy with a slightly different composition. This alloy provides some of the best corrosion resistance in the 300 series. The extra hardness from the carbon, combined with the benefits of chromium and nickel, makes these screws a favorite for HVAC use and construction applications like deck, gutter or roofing installation.
Order Stainless Screw Fasteners Online
At All Points Fasteners, we will make sure you have the screws you need to keep your projects moving and on schedule. Our experts will help you find the right size and type fastener to match your requirements. Check out our complete inventory to find screws that meet your needs or contact us online for personal support.
Screw Point Types
Screws consist of a head, shank, threads and the tip or point. The point of a screw is the first part of the screw to make contact with the material you’re working with. Different types of screw points serve different purposes. For example, some are better suited for sheet metal or soft materials than others, while other points are designed for misaligned holes or minimizing the risk for surface cracking. Use this screw point type chart to find the best screw for your project.
Tapping Screw Points
If you’re looking for thin sheet metal screw point types, tapping screws are a popular choice because they do not require a pilot hole to begin. These screws are externally threaded and create — or “tap” — their own threads in thin sheet metals and non-metal materials.
Some types of tapping screws include:
- Type A: Type A screws have coarse threads that make them useful when you need to drill or nest a hole in thin sheet metal, resin plywood, asbestos combinations and other materials. They are threading screws and not recommended for new designs.
- Type B: You can use a fine-thread Type B screw for non-ferrous lightweight and heavy metals, plastics, resin plywood and other materials.
- Type AB: Type AB screws are thread forming screws similar to both Type A and Type B points. It has the pointed tip of a Type A point screw but the threads of a Type B point screw. This combination makes them ideal for thin sheet metal, resin plywood, composite materials and several other industry-spanning applications.
- Type BP: These screws have a similar thread style to Type B points but with a slightly longer and more pointed tip. If you’re working on a project with misaligned holes, a Type BP point is a thread forming screw suitable for use in heavy and lightweight sheet metal, plastic and other materials.
Thread Cutting Screw Points
Thread cutting screws work like self-tapping screws and can help you create new holes in different materials like wood and metal. Due to the way a thread cutting screw is designed, it doesn’t take much torque to apply them. Minimal stress is placed on the material, decreasing the chance for product damage.
Common types of thread cutting screws include:
- Type F: Type F screw points are a type of thread cutting and self-tapping screw with cutting edges and a blunt and tapered end at the tip. These features make it useful for heavy materials, like cast iron, sheet metal, brass and some plastics.
- Type D/Type 1: Type D screw points — also known as Type 1 points — are a thread cutting point with a single flute. Type D tips are suitable for field replacement and general use applications.
- Type G: Type G screw points are blunt and have singular slots to create sharp cutting edges.
- Type 17: You can use a coarse, sharp Type 17 screw tip for wood and field replacement applications.
- Type 23/Type T: Type 23 points, also known as Type T points, require minimum tightening torque and are good for chip clearing and maximum thread cutting.
- Type 25/Type BT: Type 25 points, called Type BT points, are similar to Type 23 points, except they have coarser threads for use with softer materials, like plastic.
Thread Forming Screw Points
Thread forming screws have a high and low thread. These screws displace and shape the material while in motion, securing it. They typically have a blunt end for use with high-performance thermoplastics, sheet metal, plastic and composite materials.
Thread forming screw points include:
- Type C: Type C screws have a blunt and tapered point and require a higher driving torque. You can use these with heavy sheet metals, die castings and similar materials.
- Type CA: Type CA screw points have either fine or coarse threads and a pointed, gimlet tip.
- Type PT: Type PT screw tips are the ideal solution for low-density materials, such as nylon or wood, that you want to avoid cracking or chipping during screw installation.
- Type “TT”: “TT” tips, or “tri-round” tips, roll materials to form matching threads without producing any chips. This means you can drive the screw in with less torque than you would with other thread forming screws.
Self Drilling and Self Piercing Screw Points
Self-drilling and self-piercing screws are similar, but different points make them suitable for different applications and materials:
- Self-drilling: Self-drilling screws are also known as Tek screws and eliminate the need for hole preparation. They are suitable for metal, plastic and wooden material applications and minimize the amount of build-up or foreign debris common in pre-drilled holes.
- Self-piercing: Self-piercing screws are similar to self-drilling screws, except they have a pointed tip that allows them to quickly pierce through sheet metal without sacrificing any stability. They are also called needle point, speed point and spring point screws.
Machine Screw Points
Machine screws are small and uniform, with either fine or coarse threads. They are intended for use in electronics, casings, manufacturing equipment and other precise applications. Some machine screw point types include:
- Dog point: Dog point, or extended point, machine screws have a protruding tip and a flat end for permanent application.
- Cone point: Cone points are smooth and shaped like their name, ideal for contoured surfaces or applications that require an angle.
- Cupped point: Cupped point machine screws have a gripped, cup-shaped end for quick assembly or temporary projects.
- Header point: Header point machine screws have large thread roots and are small in diameter.
- Pinched nail point: Pinched nail point machine screws have a sharp, squared nail-like tip that can pair wood with softer materials.
- Rolled point: Rolled points are long with a cone-like end known as a chamfer.
- Round point: These screw points are rounded and allow you to apply pressure and create friction without damaging or deforming the material you’re working with.
- Rounded pinch point: Rounded pinch point screw tips are slightly rounded with pinched sides.
- Type U drive point: The tip of these screws is flat with rounded edges, and you can use them for permanent application in plastic and metal material.
What Type of Point Does a Hex Lag Screw Have?
Hex lags — also known as hex bolts and lag screws — are strong, sturdy screws with deep threads and a nut on one side that you can use to hold heavy-duty materials together. You need to pre-drill a hole before using a hex lag screw. All hex lag screws have the same six-sided head, and the most common hex lag screw point type is a pointed gimlet shape.
All Points Fasteners Has the Fasteners You Need
All Points Fasteners has the screws, nails, drill bits, anchors and other top-quality fasteners you need to complete your project. Browse our inventory today and ask us about getting a free sample of our stocked items before you place your order, so you can be confident you’ve made the right decision for your project and your budget.
If you’re not sure what you need, fill out our online contact form or connect with a live chat representative and tell us about your project. We’ll help you find the information and products you need.
Types of Fasteners
Fasteners play a critical role in the construction of all sorts of everyday objects. If you’ve done any DIY projects, you’ve likely used fasteners to help get the job done. At All Points Fasteners, we’re passionate about the role quality fasteners can play for handy homeowners and professionals alike. Let’s take a moment to define fasteners and overview some of the different types, as well as the various uses for them.
What Is a Fastener?
Let’s start by defining what a fastener is. The term fasteners encompasses a fairly broad category of tools, such as screws, nuts and bolts, that share a common purpose: to hold objects together. Of course, things like glue can fulfill this function, but glue is not a type of fastener. Therefore, we need to add to our definition. Hardware fasteners mechanically hold objects together.
Typically, fasteners form a non-permanent joint. In other words, when you use a fastener to connect two components, you can remove it, and the separate pieces should come apart without suffering any damage. The same wouldn’t be the case with a welded joint, for instance. The one exception to this rule are rivets, which fall under the category of fasteners, but create permanent joints.
Though most fasteners form a non-permanent joint, this does not mean you only use fasteners when you want to be able to take something apart, and it doesn’t mean the joint is weak by any means. Fasteners can reliably hold together objects that can experience a great degree of stress.
Different Types of Fasteners
Mechanical fasteners come in many forms, including screws, nails, nuts, bolts, washers, anchors and rivets. Each of these different types of fasteners is a category unto itself, with many types to choose from. If you’ve ever been in a fastener aisle at a hardware store, you know how many different types of fasteners are out there. Let’s look at each of these common examples of fasteners and break them down a bit further.
For many people, when they think of fasteners, screws are the first thing to come to mind. Screw fasteners are one of the most versatile types of fasteners out there. Their threaded shafts give them durable holding power, and unlike a bolt, they don’t require anything to hold them in place. Typically, you use a drill to make a pilot hole in a material and then use a screwdriver to drive the screw in place. Screws come in a wide variety of types and sizes. Some of the most common types of screws include:
- Wood screws
- Deck screws
- Drywall screws
- Sheet metal screws
- Machine screws
- Masonry screws
- MDF screws
Nails have been in use since ancient times, and they are still an everyday household item. You can easily spot the difference between a screw and a nail because a nail doesn’t have threading. While a nail doesn’t provide the same holding power a screw does, it has greater shear strength, making it the better choice for some applications. Many types of nails take their names from their applications, which can make it a snap to find the right variety of nail for a job. Some common kinds include:
- Common nails
- Box nails
- Brad nails
- Finishing nails
- Drywall nails
- Flooring nails
- Framing nails
- Roofing nails
3. Bolts, Nuts and Washers
Nuts and bolts are another common type of fastener. These two pieces work in tandem to hold components together. You insert the bolt through the two parts you want to join, then fasten it in place with a nut on the end. Some of the most common types of bolts you’ll use are:
- Carriage bolts
- Flange bolts
- Plow bolts
- Hex-head bolts
- Square-head bolts
- Allen bolts
Some of the most popular types of nuts include:
- Coupling nuts
- Flange nuts
- Hex nuts
- Lock nuts
- Slotted nuts
- Square nuts
- Wheel nuts
Nuts and bolts can function on their own, but sometimes, you’ll want to add a washer in between. A washer is a flat disc with an opening in the center. This little piece can distribute the fastener’s load more evenly across the surface of the material. Some types of washers are:
- Beveled washers
- Flat washers
- Lock washers
- Structural washers
Anchors get their name because they serve a similar function to a boat’s anchor, which embeds itself in the seabed to keep a ship from moving. Generally, people use these fasteners to connect something to a material like drywall or concrete. They embed themselves in the material and hold the object you’re affixing in place. Some common types of anchors include:
- Internally threaded anchors
- Externally threaded anchors
- Masonry screw and pin anchors
- Screw anchors
- Hollow wall anchors
- Sleeve anchors
- Drive anchors
A rivet creates a permanent joint between two objects. They consist of a cylindrical shaft with a head on one end and a tail on the other. You use a unique tool to expand the tail, so the rivet stays in place. Rivets are remarkably durable, compared to other types of fasteners. Some common types of rivets include:
- Blind rivets
- Semi-tubular rivets
- Solid rivets
- Split rivets
- Drive rivets
Different Uses for Fasteners
What are fasteners used for? That question is somewhat tricky to answer, because fasteners have nearly limitless applications. Homeowners are likely to use fasteners for many DIY projects and basic household tasks. Workers in various industries can use industrial fasteners for all sorts of projects. If you need to attach two components, a fastener is likely the way you’ll do so. Here are some examples of common fastener uses.
- Vehicle assembly
- Picture hanging
- Building and construction
- Furniture assembly
- Cabinet installation
- Electronics manufacturing
The list could go on and on. Look around your home or business, and you’ll see fasteners holding countless objects together.
Quality Fasteners From the Fastener Experts
At All Points Fasteners, we carry a diverse inventory of high-quality fasteners, including uncommon fasteners you may not find at your local hardware store. Our experts can give you the advice and guidance you need to find the right fastener for any job. Our company is American-owned and -operated, so you can expect a quick turnaround on your orders. We always go the extra mile to provide excellent customer service, so you can trust us to help you get the job done. Browse through our inventory online and use our live chat feature to ask any questions you have.
Types and Uses of Sheet Metal Screws
Construction industries, HVAC companies, roofing contractors, gutter experts and even DIY enthusiasts need access to the right solutions — whether it be the right power tools or the best set of fasteners. But how do you know if sheet metal screws are your best bet compared to other types?
All Points Fasteners gives you a sheet metal screw definition, along with its different types and how to use them. We provide enough guidance to eliminate the guesswork when you’re deciding between sheet metal screws and what type matches your applications.
Sheet Metal Screw Features
As suggested by its name, a sheet metal screw is often used for sheet metal applications. You can fasten metal pieces to other metal objects, or you can attach metal to another surface like plastic, aluminum, plywood, hard rubber or wood.
The fasteners are fully threaded to increase retention between materials. They have sharp tips and threads to help pierce solid metal surfaces and other sturdy resources.
Sheet metal screws are usually made of stainless steel, which aids in durability and long-term performance levels. This coating feature also helps prevent rust and corrosion from forming over time. You can even opt for zinc-plated fasteners or other coatings that are available, but stainless steel is the most common.
Sheet metal screws are categorized by three numbers that represent the screw’s diameter, length and thread count. The diameter, or size, is indicated with a number between zero and 24 to describe the shaft and head diameter. The length represents the measurement of the entire screw. Each fastener also has a pitch that indicates the number of threads per inch of a fastener’s length.
For example, a screw that reads 8-32 x 1 indicates it’s a size 8 with 32 threads per inch and is 1 inch long. Sheet metal screw sizes will vary depending on your project, material and whether you require a pre-drilled hole.
Sheet Metal Screw Types
Like any hardware, fasteners are available in different materials, lengths and gauges. They also have different point, head and slot variations. The two main types of sheet metal screws are self-tapping and self-drilling, each having many features to choose from.
Self-tapping screws are ideal for jobs that have pre-drilled holes. The screws often have sharp tips to drive the screw through the metal. The technique of using a pilot hole helps prevent the splitting of the material, creating a more seamless finish.
Self-drilling sheet metal screws have a tip that’s more like a drill point to penetrate metal without the need for a pilot hole. It helps preserve the integrity of the material by avoiding denting. You can fit the screw to your drill bit and drive it into a surface.
Which type and features you need will depend on the task at hand. The point, head and slot type of sheet metal screws work for a variety of jobs in every industry.
Sheet metal screws are available in three point types.
- Type A screws have coarse threads and gimlet points that are used in thin metals and wood.
- Type AB is a fine thread screw, also with gimlet points. AB fasteners are ideal for more fragile materials, producing a wider range of applications compared to Type A.
- Type B has blunt tips and spaced threads for plastics and plywood, as well as thinner metals.
Each sheet metal screw also has varying head types — flat, hex, hex washer, oval, pan and truss.
Based on the requirements of your job, do you need the screw to be flush against another surface? Or, will your project do well with a screw that sits above?
- Flat: A flat head has a Phillips or slotted style that provides an ideal countersink for various materials, which means it rests below the surface. A flat head design features self-drilling options with a drill point at the tip of the fastener.
- Hex: A hex has a hexagonal head that’s often used with a nut to make a secure attachment.
- Hex washer: A hex washer is a secondary name used for sheet metal screws. Like the hex, it has a hexagonal head, but it also has a washer to secure the screw’s shaft to the material.
- Oval: An oval sheet metal screw head is like a flat head screw. However, it has more girdles on the top to provide a finished look. The head sits flush against a surface for a reduction in wind resistance and enhances installation. You can use a Phillips or slotted screwdriver.
- Pan: A pan head type is rounded and protrudes above a surface when the installation is complete. It features a Phillips or slotted-head variation. A pan head also has self-drilling options with a drill point at the tip of the fastener. Along with a stainless steel or zinc coating, a pan can also be white or black-coated.
- Truss: A truss has a wider head and rounded top with a Phillips style slot.
Depending on the tools you have available, you may be able to work with all three slots — cross, slotted and square.
- Cross: A cross, also known as a double slot, has two slits perpendicular to each other. You can use a use a slotted or Philips screwdriver.
- Slotted: Known as the original slot type, slotted versions have a single slit down the center of the screw head. You can use a flathead screwdriver to tighten the fastener.
- Square: A square type is recessed, making it resistant to slipping when you’re screwing.
Figure out which point, head and slot type best suit your projects, whether you work in the construction, gutter or roofing industries.
How to Use Sheet Metal Screws
Uses of sheet metal screws can differ if you’re working with sheet metal one day and attaching metal to a plywood surface the next. Always start with the right protective gear for any hardware project. For example, eyewear will shield your eyes from metal shavings and other potential hazards.
Be careful not to over-tighten the screws because you can strip the heads or damage the material.
- Select a power drill or screwdriver.
- Choose the right size screw.
- Select the ideal material.
- Determine the right head style.
- Pick between pilot-hole screws and self-drilling screws.
- Clamp together the two objects you need to fasten.
- Press the screw firmly onto the surface, making sure it doesn’t spin and stray from the desired point.
- Begin drilling at a low speed.
- When the sheet metal screw starts to pierce the material, speed up the drill.
- Don’t continue to drill once it’s tight because you will strip the slots.
- Drilling too tight can also stretch out the screw’s threads and cause it to lose optimum strength.
Once you have all the supplies you need, make sure to drill slowly with precision and caution. Operating too fast can split the sheet metal or cause other damage to the material. If you need further help understanding which is best for your jobs, rely on the professionals for advice.
The Fastener Experts Have You Covered
All Points Fasteners is a fastener distributor that goes the extra mile to chase down what you need. We provide sheet metal screw solutions and even find uncommon fasteners when your projects rely on unique results. Our specialists will suggest what premium parts will work best for your applications to keep your operations running. We are American owned and operated, striving to build long-term relationships with your company.
Browse our inventory of sheet metal screws or reach out to our service team online for support. You can also call us at 800-483-6354. All Points offers a live chat to help you find the right part for the job, too.
Gutter Installation Guide
Do you want to install rain gutters on your house and save money doing it? Lucky for you, there’s a straightforward way you can install your own gutters and save substantially. Almost all hardware stores and home centers sell guttering designed explicitly for easy installation. With just a little more work, you’ll be able to assemble gutters — along with downspouts — that have strong, sleek lines.
Before you start your gutter installation project, make sure there’s no rotted wood on the fascia and soffit. Any rotted wood will need replacement before gutters are installed. Also, you’ll need to prime and paint all wood before hanging the gutters.
Tools Needed for a Gutter Project
Gutter installation requires the following tools:
- Extension ladder
- Cordless drill
- Offset tin snips
- Pop rivet gun
- Duckbill tin snips
- Hex head driver
Materials Needed for a Gutter Project
Before jumping right into your gutter project, make sure you have the following supplies:
- Gutter sealant
- Gutter flashing
- Gutter hanging strap
- 1/8-in. medium length rivets
- 1/4″ hex head screws, or sippers
- 1 1/4″ self-tapping hex head screws
How to Install Gutters
Gutters are designed to prevent soil erosion, basement leaks and siding damage and divert rainwater away from the foundation of your house. A practical guide for gutter installation involves the following steps:
- Purchase needed materials.
- Place a chalk line across the fascia to create an appropriate angle toward the downspout end.
- Determine the length of the gutter by measuring the fascia.
- Apply gutter sealant to the end cap.
- Press the cap onto one end of the gutter.
- Using a crimper tool, secure the end cap to the gutter.
- Use tin snips and a hacksaw to cut the gutter to the appropriate measurements.
- Use a hole saw and hammer to cut out a round hole in the gutter for a downspout outlet.
- Administer gutter sealant to the flange of the downspout outlet.
- Screw the outlet to the hole in the gutter.
- For the time being, screw the gutter to the fascia. Make sure the gutter is approximately 2 inches below the chalk line.
- Set up hanging brackets on the gutter, arranging one in front of each rafter.
- Elevate the gutter to the chalk line.
- Screw through the fascia and into the end piece of the rafter to join together each bracket.
- Place two concrete pavers that are 2 inches thick on the ground directly underneath the downspout outlet.
- Position a rain barrel over the top of the concrete pavers.
- Use a hacksaw to incise and assemble the downspout and elbows.
- Screw the upper portion of the downspout to the downspout outlet poking out from the gutter.
- Use mounting straps to fasten the downspout to the house.
- Install a diverter in the downspout, arranging it even with the top of the rain barrel.
- Attach a small length of downspout to the underside of the diverter.
- Hook up the diverter’s flexible hose to the port on the side of the rain barrel.
Contact All Points Fasteners Today
At All Points Fasteners, we specialize in ceramic, copper and stainless steel ZIP & TEK® Screws. We also provide quality fasteners, self-tapping screws, self-drilling screws, zip screws, copper rivets and stainless rivets, and we can suggest any premium part for your job. All Points uses the same company for manufacturing when it comes to our brand of tek® screws — this means we can ensure all fasteners are made to the exact specifications.
If you choose us, you’ll enjoy free samples before you order, free quotes, easy pricing and customer service unmatched in the industry. Buy from All Points and get your product on time. Or, contact us to ask any questions about gutter installation or gutter screws that we offer.
History of Screws
If you use screws frequently, you may have, at some point, wondered about the history of the screw. Who invented the screw? How were screws used in ancient times as compared to how they’re used now? When were flat head screws invented? Whether you work in construction or you’re simply a fan of trivia, we’re here to sate your curiosity with some facts about the history of screws.
You may be surprised to find out that screws have been around for quite a long time — since about 400 BC when Archytas of Tarentum invented them. Archytas has been referred to as the founder of mechanics. In addition to his work in mechanics, he also worked in philosophy, mathematics, science, geometry, music theory, acoustics and public affairs.
1. How Were Screws Used in Ancient Times?
One of the initial uses of the screw principle was the extraction of juice from grapes and oil from olives. The screw was then developed to be used in devices for raising water for land irrigation and removing water from ships. Screws were also adapted for use in paper and printing presses.
Though screws have always been useful, it would take centuries before the use of screws became widespread. This delay in extensive use was due to the difficulty of making these tools.
When the first successful screw-cutting lathe was made, long screws could be cut from others. This allowed for correctly sized screws to be mass-produced and for precision screws to be used in the building of steam engines. After that time, screws could also be used in the construction of bridges, canals and roads.
2. When Did Screws Become Popular?
Though the use of screws became more widespread in the mid-1400s, it wasn’t until the mid-1700s that screws were produced in factories. Then in the 1840s, a machine was developed to mass-produce screws in factories. Screws were made in several different shapes and sizes until the National Screw Thread Commission came up with a standard to abide by in 1928, though custom screws continue to be made today for specific jobs. Today, Americans use more than 200 billion screws each year.
Now, what about the history of specific types of screws?
3. Who Invented Tek Screws?
Buildex designed the original self-drilling screws and called them “Tek” screws. Today, the term “tek screws” is used to refer to self-drilling screws. To create this self-drilling screw, a drill bit was placed on the end of a screw. This allowed consumers to avoid pre-drilling a hole before using the screw, saving them time and money.
Initially, self-drilling screws were made with a tall head that had serrations. This was placed under the washer and allowed the screw to lock in place. Once importers began manufacturing their version of the self-drilling screw, they used wanted to save money on materials. This resulted in producers shaving down the heads and removing the serrations so that fewer materials would be needed and the end product would be cheaper to make.
Unfortunately, this also meant a decline in quality. All Points Fasteners returned to the style of old and have reverted to the original design, putting the serrations and tall heads back, while still maintaining a reasonable price. Quality is the priority, and that’s what consumers will find with our tek screws.
Common Uses of Screws
Screws are a vital part of any construction or building project. You wouldn’t hang up a small picture frame in your living room with a house nail, would you? Or use an upholstery tack to build furniture? Yet when it comes to selecting the right screw for the job, many people will simply grab whatever’s closest to complete projects or make a repair. Using the correct screw is crucial for completing a project correctly and avoiding problems like snapping screw heads or loose screws.
Screws are created in various shapes, so figuring out which screw is the right tool for your project comes down to knowing how you’ll need to use it. What type of materials and items will you be fastening together? What sort of machinery will you be using?
The categories related to screw design include drive type, head style and the type of point on the screw. As you can imagine, the combinations are nearly endless, which is why screws are such a versatile tool with many common uses. The following are a few examples of screws and their uses:
1. Tek Screws
Tek screws can be used in various industries. These screws are typically used in metal-to-metal applications and you can use them with different substrates and gauges of metals. Tek screws are commonly used in HVAC, sheet metal and roofing. Some of these screws are designed for specific purposes, so consider the screw specifications when making your selection.
2. Copper Screws
Typical uses of copper screws are gutter installation, construction and sheet metal roofing. Copper screws are durable, sustainable and aesthetically appealing. They also conduct heat and energy and have antimicrobial properties. These qualities make copper screws an excellent tool for construction, as they are resistant to deterioration and corrosion, and their conduction properties are beneficial for pipes and wires in heating and cooling systems. Because of its antimicrobial properties, a copper screw is also the perfect tool for hospitals and other facilities that need to remain sanitary.
Copper screws can also keep gutters from sagging after they’re exposed to heavy rainfall or snow, and these screws give the home a beautiful aesthetic. Copper screws designed for sheet metal can also preserve the roof’s integrity over time better than nails and can offer a secure fit.
3. Wood Screws
The appropriately-named wood screws are designed to be used in wood. They’re typically made of bronze, brass or steel, and they’re easy to identify due to their coarse threads at the end and unthreaded shanks at the top. Because of their design, wood screws can move through the fibers of wood without much resistance, which reduces splintering.
You can also use concrete screws to fasten objects to concrete and drywall screws to fasten objects to drywall. If you need screws for a project, the odds are good that you’ll be able to find screws that are perfect for the job.
Purchase Screws From All Points Fasteners
You’ll find an extensive inventory of screws at All Points Fasteners. No matter what project you’re working on and what material you’re working with, you can find the screws you need.
We value our customers, so we offer tools of exceptional quality. Contact us to find top-quality screws for your next project.
Different Types of Screw Threads and Terminology
From professional contractors to the DIYers at home, virtually every individual performing a construction, remodeling or decorating project will use screws and fasteners. These small tools come in many shapes and sizes, typically labeled using terminology that the average homeowner or novice repair servicer may not be familiar with.
At All Points Fasteners, we understand that learning and memorizing the different types of screw threads can be confusing. To help you identify the type and use of various screws, we’ve created this helpful screw thread terminology guide that you can quickly reference any time you need to select a specific screw and screw thread measurement.
What Are the Different Types of Screws?
If you’ve ever felt lost walking down the fastener aisle of the hardware store, you’re not alone. The types of screws you need for a woodworking project like building a table are different from the screw types and sizes you would use when building a deck. Refer to our list of the different types of screws to help you identify which is the right fastener for your job:
- Woodworking: Woodworking screws are some of the most common types of screws. Used for connecting two or more wooden objects, woodworking screws feature a tapered shank with sharp threading to dig into the wood.
- Drywall: Although they can be used for woodworking, drywall screws are designed for use on drywall projects. However, the wrong-sized drywall anchor screw could damage pure plaster walls. The drywall screw size, length and weight must match the type of wall or ceiling drywall being used. Many drywall screws as twinfast screws which feature two threads.
- Machine: Similar to woodworking screws, machine screws are a common type of screw used in machining applications to connect two or more metal objects.
- Lag: Also known as coach screws, a lab screw is a type of screw that forms its own thread in pre-drilled holes and is usually used to fasten metal to wood.
- Gutters and siding: Screws used for gutters and siding are designed to provide a stronger hold, typically coated with a weather-resistant material and available in finishes to match the gutter or siding color.
- Security: Security screws are unique in that they do not have an operable head like other screws, which protects them from being removed or tampered with. To install or remove these screws, special tools are required.
- Self-drilling: Self-drilling screws are available as “magnetic” and “non-magnetic” stainless steel varieties that are used for metal-to-metal and wood-to-metal applications. Roofing screws are an example of self-drilling screws.
- Self-piercing: Self-piercing screws have powerful penetration capabilities because their threads are machined down to the end of the point.
- Self-tapping: Self-tapping screws are threaded to create their own holes when installed. They form a matching thread in whatever material they are installed into. Self-tapping screws like sheet metal screws may be used in HVAC applications. Self-tapping deck screws are often coated with a corrosive-resistant material, such as ceramic.
- Thread-forming: Used with plastic materials, thread-forming screws feature two separate threads: one high and one low. This makes the pullout strength higher while also ensuring plastic does not crack or otherwise break.
- Type U: Type U screws have a unique spiral thread, and they are typically fastened into a plastic or metal casing material via a hammer instead of a screwdriver.
Screw Thread Terminology
Knowing the different screw types and sizes is helpful, but to accurately select the right screw for your project, you’ll likely need to know a little about how screw threads work, as well. So, how do screw threads work? Like the screws themselves, screw threads are designed to meet the needs of specific applications.
You can try to find a screw thread chart that outlines all of your different options, but what you really need is a guide to screw thread terminology that answers all your questions and provides a comprehensive rundown of different screw and bolt thread types and why they matter.
To help you make the best investments in fasteners for your next project, here’s a thorough guide to screw thread terminology:
- External Threads: External threads (ie: male threads) mean the threads are on the bolts or screws. Threads are sometimes on the nuts rather than the bolts or screws.
- Internal Threads: Internal threads (ie: female threads) mean the threads are on the nuts rather than the bolts or screws.
- Machine Screw Threads: Machine screw threads are unique in that they are specially designed to mate with threads on nuts or threads present in tapped holes. Not self-tapping threads.
- Spaced Threads: Spaced threads are designed to form their own threads in pre-drilled holes. You’ll most often find spaced threads on self-tapping, wood and coach screws.
- Lag Screws: Lag screws are just one example of screws that form their own thread in pre-drilled holes. Typically, coach screws are used to fasten metal to wood.
- Self-Tapping Screws: Self-tapping screws are threaded to create their own holes when installed. They form a matching thread in whatever material they are installed into. This makes using self-tapping screws incredibly efficient.
- Thread-Forming Screws: Used with plastic materials, thread-forming screws feature two separate threads: one high and one low. This makes the pullout strength higher while also ensuring plastic does not crack or otherwise break.
- Type U Screws: Type U screws include an unusual spiral thread that is most often driven with a hammer into materials like plastic and metal casings.
- Wood Screws: Wood screws feature a tapered shank with sharp threading.
Additional Fastener Terminology
Here are a few additional terms related screws and threading that are helpful to know:
- Major Diameter: This refers to the diameter of a screw including the raised helix’s height. Measure using a slot gauge or a caliper rule. You can only measure major diameter with an external thread screw
- Minor Diameter: Minor diameter is a screw’s diameter measured at the base or root of the thread at the innermost part of the screw. You need specialized equipment to measure the minor diameter accurately.
- Effective Diameter: The effective diameter is essentially the average of the major and minor diameters. It is measured halfway up the raised helix, and, again, you need specialized equipment to get an accurate sense of a screw’s effective diameter.
- Pitch: The pitch is the distance between two threads on the same screw.
- Crest: The crest is the height of an external thread. Or, you can find the crest by subtracting minor diameter from major diameter. The crest is the difference between the two.
- Thread angles: The thread angle is the actual angle of both flanks of a screw. Symmetrical threads indicate that both sides of the thread are angled to the same degree. It’s common for thread angles to be referred to as simply “the flank.”
At All Points Fasteners, we offer an unmatched selection of different types of screw thread options, as well as different types of screw heads and other features. We often work with service contractors in the HVAC and gutter industries, as well as do-it-yourself enthusiasts who want to achieve professional-grade results with their projects. No matter why you need different types of screw threads, we want to offer access to the type of screw you’re looking for.
Free High-Quality Fastener Samples From All Points Fasteners
Using our quick reference guide, you can effortlessly determine which screw thread is right for your application. If you’re still uncertain about which screw is right for you, we encourage you to request a free sample of our stocked items. We’re ready to go above and beyond to help your source the exact fasteners you need for your project. Browse our site today to discover the best high-quality fasteners in the industry and visit our blog for more helpful advice Call All Points Fasteners today to speak with a knowledgeable staff member who will be happy to answer all your questions.
Impact Tools for Screws – Wrong Tool for the Job!
Screw design adapts to changing needs.
Having been in the industry for more years than I’d like to count, I have had my share of conversations with contractors and purchasing agents. If I simply do the math, well over a half a million calls during my career. So, saying that, I’ve had a pretty good finger on the pulse of the changes that have been made over the years in the designs of screws to adapt to the changing needs of contractors throughout the recent decades. For instance, changing the standard head size on larger size diameter screws for the gutter and roofing contractors from the 5/16 and 3/8 hex heads to a one size fits all ¼ tall high hat to save them time from having to constantly change their drivers while working. One thing that has never changed, however, is using anything other than screw guns to drive in screws.
Not everyone on YouTube is an expert.
With the growing popularity of do-it-yourself videos, everyone with a camera phone and an idea has the resources to reach a larger-than-life audience. This can be good or, in some cases, not so good. Not everyone is an expert. If you are not sure what tools are best to use with your fasteners, ask your fastener representative. If they don’t know the answer, a good representative should be able to find out the answer for you.
In the fastener industry, we have seen the not-so-good side of these types of do-it-yourself videos. I’ve seen videos that were directed to contractors and do-it-yourself guys, encouraging them to use impact tools to drive their screws in order to make the job quicker and easier. If you have already tried this, you would think that this was the case. At first. Until, months later, when your gutters are falling from the eaves, and you have the additional cost of labor and materials returning to restore them. The old saying ‘pinch a penny to lose a pound’ becomes a reality.
NO IMPACT TOOLS WITH SCREWS!
The impact wrench was designed to drive large wheel nuts into wheels. When you think of the way that a screw was designed to work, the motion of ‘impacting’ a small screw in the same way, doesn’t at all make sense. Screws being installed with this improper tool can be fractured or otherwise compromised in their ability to do the job they were designed to do because the impact tool is adding stress to the fastener which can be dangerous as well as costly. The damage that these improper tools are causing is creating enough concern among manufacturers and distributors that there have been discussions of stamping ‘NO IMPACT TOOLS’ on the boxes of screws in order to get the word out.
Using an impact tool with your painted and powder coated screws can also cause your paint to chip. After spending the extra money to make sure that your screws match your metal roof or gutters, who needs chipped paint?
It’s the wrong tool for the job.
Although initially, an impact drill may drive your screws in quicker, in the long run it could be the biggest headache you’ve ever created for yourself.