trio of ap 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 Are Tek Screws?

Tek screws are incredibly common due to their self-drilling or self-tapping nature. Whether you’re a service contractor or a do-it-yourself enthusiast, time is precious — and Tek screws help you save time.

Each Tek screw features a carving piece on its tip, which is what makes self-drilling possible. This means you don’t need to create a pilot hole before the fastener, and it also means your work moves forward efficiently.

Plus, Tek screws are versatile. While they are often used in the electrical industry, you can apply them to almost any project where a Tek screw’s self-drilling ability will be helpful.

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.

How to Use Tek Screws

Tek screws are among the most popular screw types, and for a very good reason — they are a broad category that includes many different self-drilling screws. Tek screws are commonly used in the electrical industry and other service jobs where there’s a need to attach metal to metal or wood to wood. Tek screws are especially helpful when you are fastening in volume. Naturally, the self-drilling nature of Tek screws makes the work go much faster.

If you’re considering Tek screws for an upcoming job, here’s a look at what they are, how to use them, as well as the different types of Tek screws you can find.

The Ins and Outs of Using Tek Screws

The best way to use a Tek screw is with an electric screwdriver or drill. You can choose to create a pilot hole, which will ensure your Tek screw goes in straight. Just make sure your pilot hole is slightly smaller than the Tek screw, or else the screw’s grooves won’t be able to catch.

Many choose not to drill pilot holes, though, as one of the significant benefits of using Tek screws is that you don’t need to. Still, drive Tek screws as slowly as possible, which will help them drive straight even without a pilot hole. Tighten the screw, but make sure it’s not too tight. Tightening too much can lead to the head stripping, which will make it difficult to remove the Tek screw if necessary.

Different Types of Tek Screw

You’ll find a wide range of diverse types of Tek screws. Your application is unique, which is why you need to find a Tek screw that’s well-suited for the job. Some of your options will include:

  • Low-Profile Tek Screws: Low-profile Tek screws are perfect when you need to limit how far the screw’s head protrudes from its hole.
  • Hex Head Tek Screws: Hex heads always provide greater stability during installation. Find Tek screws with hex heads when you’re engaged in roofing and other applications that require self-drilling through aluminum or other metals.
  • Pan Head Tek Screws: Pan head Tek screws are perfect for light-duty applications, and they diminish the need to create a pilot hole.

This is just a sampling of the many types of Tek screws available on the market. Once you understand the job at hand, you’ll be able to identify the perfect Tek screw for completing the task effectively and efficiently.

FAQs About Tek® Screws

Read our frequently asked questions about Tek® screws for more information:

How Do You Remove Tek® Screws?

Tek® screws can be easily removed with a driver or similar tool. Fit the driver into the slots on the Tek® screw and unscrew it from the wood. If the Tek® screw is difficult to remove, don’t force it, as too much force can strip the screw and make removal much more challenging.

What Materials Are Tek® Screws Good For?

Tek® screws are used for drilling in materials such as:

  • Sheet metal
  • Aluminum
  • Timber
  • Stainless steel
  • Wood

These materials are common in applications like:

  • HVAC
  • Insulation
  • Electrical
  • Construction
  • Roofing
  • Cladding

Do Tek® Screws Rust?

Tek® screws are engineered to resist rust. These fasteners are typically made using high-grade stainless steel, a material with excellent corrosion resistance, and often feature coatings like zinc plating for extra protection against rust.

Can You Reuse Tek® Screws?

Tek® screws can be reused for other projects once removed from the substrate. Since the various Tek® screw types are designed for specific uses, be sure to match your Tek® screw to the right application.

Removing the Tek® screw to reuse elsewhere can damage the substrate. When fixing a new screw into this hole, you may need to use a larger diameter screw to ensure a secure fit.

What Are the Different Tek® Screw Finishes?

Steel and stainless steel Tek® screws have various finishes available, including zinc plating, green ceramic and black oxide. These finishes give the Tek® screw additional protective and functional properties.

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.

Head Screw Lady Since 1986! Specializing in breaking down the language barrier between suppliers and end users. During her 35 years working in the fastener industry, MaryLouise has worked directly with end users, contractor’s, OEM’S and DIY, as well working within the import industry, working with fastener manufacturers and distributors. This has given her the unique perspective of having the technical knowledge needed to perform in the fastener world but also be familiar with the needs of end users who don’t necessarily know the fastener jargon or applications to know exactly what they need for their jobs.