Impact Tools for Screws – Wrong Tool for the Job!

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.

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.

Chipped paint?
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.

Decoding the Meaning Behind the Screw Label Numbers

What Do All the Numbers Mean?

Did you ever read the label and wonder what all the numbers represented? Well, here’s your decoder ring!  We get that there are a lot of screw numbers out there, and it’s important to find the right one for your specific project. At All Points Fasteners, Inc., we’re here to help our customers make informed decisions and understand the best options for their applications. Let us help you find the right solutions for your projects and get you ready to tackle the job with confidence.

What Do Screw Numbers Mean?

Whatever type of project you’re working on or industry you’re a part of, screw numbers can help you get the precise sizing and specifications you need for your tool. The number can tell you a lot about the screw so you can find what you need for your intended use. Some of the information it shows you includes:

  • Length
  • Shank thickness
  • Threads per inch
  • Material thickness the screw’s tip can drive through

Here’s an example:  12-24 X 7/8 Hex Washer Head Self Drilling #3 Drill Bit

12 – Represents the thickness of the shank. Think dress size. The bigger the number, the thicker the shank.

24 – Represents the number TPI, or the number of threads per inch. The higher the number, the finer the threads, which are best used in metal applications. The fewer the threads per inch, the coarser the threads, the faster the screw will drive and are the preferred threading for wood applications or wood studs.

7/8 – measurement from underneath the head to the tip of the screw. In the case of flat headed screws, the length is measured from the top of the screw to the point.

#3 Drill Bit – Drill bit tips range from #2 to #5. They do not represent the size of the hole that they will drill but do represent the thickness of metal they will drive through. But we will save that for another tip!

Finding the Right Screw Label Numbers for Your Applications

So now you know how screw label numbers work — but how do you choose the right one for proper fastening? You can follow some quick guidelines to help you select the best option for your applications. To decide what size screw you need, evaluate the width of the material you’re dealing with and the weight it will need to support. Once you’ve analyzed how the screw will need to work for you, you can decide how big or small a screw you’ll need.

It’s also important to consider the screw length you’ll need based on the depth of the material and what style head will work best.

Work With All Points Fasteners to Get the Right Screws for Your Project

At All Points Fasteners, we offer quality parts and great service for every customer. As a trusted supplier, we provide the products contractors in the construction industry use every day. Whatever your requirements, we can help you find the right options for your application so you can get started sooner. When you work with us, you’ll get access to a wide range of products and trusted customer support to answer any questions and ensure you have what you need for the job.

We give you more than just the products themselves — we’ll chase down order information, find uncommon fasteners and provide expert guidance on using our offerings. If you’re looking for trusted resources and ongoing product support to make finding the right supplies easier, partner with us. Whenever you have questions or need to find the right fasteners for the job, reach out to our team for help. Get started today and request a product quote.

Designer Screws Other Than Zip & Tek Screws

Not Just Zip Screws and Tek Screws!

Having been in the fastener industry for contractors since 1986 selling zip screws and tek screws you would think there would be nothing new to learn. Wrong! Although we specialize in screws mainly used by the Heating and Air Conditioning and Gutter industries , more and more I am hearing from OEM’S or engineers who are desperately looking for screws that don’t exist. They needs head diameter’s that are smaller so that they will fit in between narrow grooves, points that will penetrate hard plastic, then go through 30 gauge steel and then tap into stucco then into wood. And they are being used outdoors in the snow but should be rust proof but not as expensive as stainless steel. And all in the same screw! It’s a wonder I have a hair left on my head!

In years past, designer screws were a source of frustration for me because one of my contractors would pick up a screw that he really liked on a job site and then want me to locate a source for them. After many hours, maybe days, of diligent searching, I would finally find out that someone like a major hotel chain had the screws made especially for them to install the cabinets in their hotels and getting the same screws with the same dimensions was never going to happen.

Well the good news is that some manufacturers have changed their willingness to do smaller orders so that the chance of having these ‘designer screws’ manufactured is much higher now than it was in the past. Within recent months, we have been successful in procuring parts that in the past would have been impossible to supply. Of course, there are still minimums to be met but instead of having to order containers of screws in order to get the manufacturers interested, we can get away with a pallet or two. Good news for some but still not low enough for others.

Still, there are many more options available to choose from than there were 20 years ago, starting with coatings to keep screws from rusting as quickly. Take a look at our ceramic coated zip screws, available which with painted heads as well. These parts work great in areas where weather conditions are moist. We will soon be supplying needlepoint screws which are stainless steel as well as ceramic coated which will bring increased rust resistance.