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.
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.
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.
Get the Tek Screws You Need at All Points Fasteners
Are you wondering: What is the use of a Tek screw? When using Tek screws, you enjoy speed, efficiency and stability that isn’t always available with other types of screws. Now that you know how to use Tek screws, it’s time to find the perfect products.
At All Points Fasteners, we carry a massive selection of fastening solutions — Tek screws included. When you choose All Points as your fastener supplier, you can always count on competitive pricing, high-quality products and industry-leading customer service and support.
Find the Tek screws you need for your next job today. Contact us if you have any questions.
Tek Screws (Self-Drilling Screws) Review and Buying Guide
Self-drilling screws are not very new to the world of fasteners.
Because there are many names for the same part, it can end up being very confusing. They are not much different than standard screws but come with distinct features that make them standout clearly from the rest. They are of different types and each type has its specific role to play.
The following are some of the common types and how and when they are used:
- Bi-metal and stainless steel- tek screws made of this type of material is primarily used for fastening in situations where products made of stainless steel are required. Other situations it can be used include fitting steel to steel, stitching of casing panels as well as fixing composites or timber to aluminum.
- Type 17 point – Also known as an auger point can be used to join together profile metal sheets and timber purlins or cement sheets to light sections steel and timber.
- Heating & ventilation screws – 8×1/2 hex washer head self-tapping needlepoint and self-drilling screws are the most popular. is very simple; manufacture and assembly of air conditioning systems as well as ducting.
- Hex head for heavy steel – if you are out to fix steel to steel, this head style will be ideal for use as well as when fastening general components and liner panels to steel. They are also good for fixing roofing applications and cladding to both cold and hot rolled rails and purlins.
- Hex head for light steel – this head style is also good to fix steel to steel, fasten general components and liner panels to steel in addition to fixing roofing applications and cladding to both cold and hot rolled rails and purlins.
- Metal framing – these self-drilling screws are primarily used to fix any steel to steel even though there are many other options available. But, that is the main purpose of the screws.
- Stitching screws – as the name suggests, use these screws to stitch cladding panels.
- Reamer tek screw – if there are any composites and timber to fix to steel, these will be the ideal screws to use for accomplishing that. They are also good for fastening timber to thick steel sections including situations where normal tek screws cannot be used with very hard steels.
- Zinc coated – these are another type of screws to consider and are ideal for fastening in situations where you will not require high end corrosion resistant coating. Use them also when fixing composites and timber to steel.
- Composite panel fasteners – use these screws to fix roofing applications and cladding to both cold and hot rolled rails and purlins. Other applicable situations are when fastening general components and liner panels to very heavy steel.With all these types, the next big thing will be making out how to make the right purchase. You must be in a position of choosing the ideal screws to help accomplish the task you have at hand. If you are not well informed on how to go about your purchase process, it might end up in frustrations once you are stuck. Regardless of whether you are buying your screws from an online store or physical store, you must ensure everything is thorough.
Plan your purchase well
When you are looking for a quote, you should be ready to supply the following information:
- Head style-is it a hex head? If so, what size hex head will you be using? (1/4″, 5/16″, 3/8″)or do you need something to go flush? There are all types of head styles to fit the type of job.
What size shank will the screw need? The shank is the thickness of the screw. (#6, #8, #10, #12, #14). Keep in mind, the higher the number, the thicker the shank.
- How long is the screw? Very important. You would measure from underneath the head to the tip of the screw.
- What does the point look like? Is it sharp? Does it look like a drill bit? Does it have a groove at the end? Let the salesperson know what
you will be using it for and they can help you decide. Are you going through metal, wood?
- Will a zinc plated screw work for you? Or do you need stainless? copper? If it’s stainless, do you want magnetic, or non-magnetic?
- How many do you want and how quickly do you need them? Remember in the case of painted screws, there is a lead time for painting, so please get your quote early.
Ask questions! Your sales people are there to help you. Whoever you are working with will want to get you the right screw at the right price. All business is designed for customer satisfaction. Nobody wants an unhappy customer. Doesn’t matter if you are a one time customer or a regular account, your sales person wants to make you happy.
Hope this helps you in your pursuit of choosing a fastener. Whether you are a contractor, purchasing agent for an OEM or a DIY guy/girl, we hope this information help you choose the right screw for the job!
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!
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 of Threads per Inch also known as TPI. 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!
Self-Drilling (Tek® Screw) Primer – It’s All About Education
Sharing our knowledge of commercial fasteners such as self-drilling screws, also known as Tek® screws, with contractors is important to us.
Based on years of experience having to match screw requirements with nothing more than descriptive word phrases, we knew the primer teaching contractors how distributors call out fastener specs would be beneficial and probably save not only time but money when ordering screws.
And we know that the more information we arm contractors with on the screws they could be using to improve their business, the more we will be contributing to their success.
So, All Points Fasteners is all about presenting solutions that solve real problems for contractors.
It’s Not So Difficult Ordering Self-Tapping Screws!
So you picked a self-tapping screw off a job site and it was just what you have been looking for but it didn’t come in a box that was labeled – it was just sitting there on the floor. What do you do? How can you ask for something when you’re not really sure what to ask for? The nice thing is that it isn’t so difficult if you know what dimensions to measure when you are asking your fastener sales representative to help you.
First describe the head. Is it a…?
- Hex Washer Head
- Hex washer head with a neoprene washer attached
- Modified Truss Head
- Oval Head
- Pan Head
- Bugle Head
- Pancake Head
There are other style heads available but these are the most common head styles that you should know. Once you can identify the head style that you are looking for, it makes things much easier.
To identify the shank size of the screw, it’s much easier if your screw is a hex head. When considering the shank size, think dress size. The smaller the number, the thinner the shank. The bigger the number, the thicker the shank.
The standard for the industry is:
• 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
Of course there always have to be exceptions just to keep things interesting.
In our case, we have needlepoint screws (aka zip screws) developed especially for the gutter industry with have high profile 1/4″ hex head but #10 washers and #10 body shanks. In the 70’s and 80’s, standard #8 screws worked fine for the gutter industry but when the quality of the wood used for homes changed, it was necessary to increase the thickness of the shanks so that the screws wouldn’t snap when hitting knots in the wood. We also added a filet underneath the head to give the screw a little extra strength.
Next, there is TPI or threads per inch to consider. As a rule of thumb, the less threads per inch, the screw is intended to be used in wood. The more TPI, the screw is meant for metal or metal studs. These are sometimes called out as ‘coarse threaded’ or ‘fine threaded’ screws. If you try and use a coarse threaded screw in metal studs or hard woods, the quality of the screw can’t really be blamed when it snaps although that happens all the time. It is simply misapplication and the more you know what screws were made for what applications, the less problems you will have when using your screws.
Now we get to the points of the screws.
Does the point look like a pencil point?
Does the point look like a drill bit tip?
There are other type points like Type 17’s used with woods and others but the two listed above are the most common.
And lastly, you should remember to state the plating that you need. Zinc plating is most common with under normal situations will last you about two years on average. Hot dipped galvanized is generally five years. But these are old school type plating. We have started stocking Dacronized®, ceramic type plating, which we normally have stocked in 500, 1000 and 1200 hour salt spray tested. They give you extra protection and even are available with the heads painted as well to match exterior applications.
When you are looking at a label on a box, the screws will generally be labeled something like “8-18×1 HWH SDS Z/P”. This would translate to #8
shank, 18 TPI by 1 inch long, hex washer head, self drilling screw (tek type point) zinc plated.
This is not everything that there is to know about self-tapping screws, zip screws and tek screws included, but it will give you a good baseline to start!
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.
Zips Screws for Siding
A remodeled home may be constructed of the best internal materials and have the safest and most up-to-date wiring and plumbing. But, if the exterior doesn’t look good, many possible consumers will routinely reject it. Amongst other factors, climate and environment can make siding replacement necessary over time. When deciding on siding, you may want to consider, “What are the ideal products for the job?” These products include the materials used in the zip screws used to install siding.
At All Points Fasteners, we have a wide selection of vinyl siding screws and other zip screws for drilling into vinyl siding. We’ll help you find the right screw type for your siding project to complete it efficiently and quickly.
What Are the Different Kinds of Siding?
The types of siding include:
There is no solitary siding option that suits all construction. The background of siding is lengthy, and products have become popular and then declined in favor.
The most prevalent variety today is vinyl, a plastic compound first found in 1872. It became commercially viable in the 1930s and was widely used in home construction after the 1960s. It has retained much of its popularity since that time, and vinyl for this function consumes a big percentage of production.
Many of the difficulties associated with vinyl have been overcome, allowing it to become the dominant material used today. It competes directly with aluminum. Vinyl siding these days generally covers up older products such as wood.
Wood was the predominant choice for years. When available, wood is attractive, occurs naturally, doesn’t require a chemical processing plant, and adds charm and warmth to a home. It is still a very popular form of siding, but environmental and manufacturing issues have made it less economically possible for many people. Wood must be repainted just about every few years, and damp climates can cause it to deteriorate over time.
Through the 1950s, many homeowners began to cover their home’s wooden exteriors with asbestos, prior to acknowledging asbestos’ inherent health hazards. This kind of siding was manufactured until the 1970s, and there are still homes with this form of material. Its main advantage was fire and insect resistance, but as soon as other products became obtainable, asbestos use was largely deserted.
Another economical siding alternative was asphalt. This low-cost building material was one of the least attractive options available and consisted of a base sheet covered with a thick, gooey black mixture that contains crushed rock. This material was very weather-resistant and could be disguised to look like other materials such as brick. After an initial boom during the post World War II years, the use of asphalt was eclipsed by aluminum.
Aluminum siding was also a post-war phenomenon of the second half of the 20th century. It is lightweight, relatively easy to install, and covers worn and unattractive older exteriors with a minimum of effort. Aluminum rarely needs repainting, won’t rust, and in general, has been considered a much more viable and permanent solution to external home needs.
The biggest disadvantage of aluminum is production. Creating aluminum from bauxite is energy-intensive and can be environmentally degrading. This metal is easily dented and won’t bounce back into shape.
Hardboard, a material composite of wood chips and epoxy resin, was touted as a substitute, but there were really serious moisture retention issues. Because of those issues, vinyl regained the lead in siding popularity.
What Are the Benefits of Vinyl Siding?
Vinyl has been the popular siding choice for years because of its many benefits. The advantages of vinyl siding material include:
- Cannot dent.
- Won’t snap in subzero temperatures.
- Doesn’t need grounding.
- Won’t erode.
- Cost-effective during construction.
How Do I Decide Which Siding to Use?
Deciding on the correct material for siding installation means finding the right material appropriate to the style of construction (zip screws or tek screws, which are self-tapping, included) and overall budget. For example, using vinyl to cover the exterior of a stately Victorian home would be a mismatch and simply not look right. On the other hand, using expensive wood siding on a tract home may not be the most practical solution, either.
A very good idea is to gather samples before deciding on alternative material and look at other homes in the neighborhood to see what has worked best. Once the choices are narrowed, then it is time to start working out the details of construction with the contractor of your choice.
What Are Zip Screws and Why Should I Use Them for Siding?
Zip screws are fasteners with a threaded design and fine point that can pierce through hard materials, like siding, and create their own hole. Its penetration capability comes from its threading, which extends to the pointed end. After the first penetration, a second thread catches the material for quicker fastening. Zip screws are made with a heat-treating process for long-lasting strength.
At All Points Fasteners, many of our zip screw options have a hex head. Compared to other head styles, the hex head is more secure during and after installation. They are available with zinc plating, ceramic coating (for additional corrosion resistance) and stainless steel with ceramic coating. All these are also available with painted heads to match your siding. With all these options available, you are sure to find the right zip screw for your project.
Contact All Points Fasteners About Screws for Vinyl Siding Today
If you need siding screws for vinyl, come to All Points Fasteners. We have the hardware you need to get the job done and help your siding last for years. Our large selection is sure to have what you need.
For answers to your questions about zip screws for siding, contact our team by completing our online contact form or calling 800.483.6354.