Most Commonly Used Terms for Self-Tapping Screw Types

Terms for Self-Tapping Screw Types

Self-tapping screws are a standard fastener in many HVAC and general construction applications. If you’ve used them before, you may have realized that self-tapping is not the only name for this type of screw. It’s important to know the names for these fasteners and the types of self-tapping screws in order to purchase the correct type.

Self-Tapping vs. Self-Drilling Screw Types

Many people will ask for self-tapping screws, but they may not know what they’re actually requesting. The term “self-tapping” refers to a screw’s threads, not its point. “Self-drilling” is the correct term to refer to the point of the screw.

When a person asks for self-tapping screws, they’re often looking for a type of self-tapping screw called a self-drilling screw. These screws have sharp threads and a drill bit end that eliminates the need for pre-drilling. Once the drill bit pushes the screw into the material, the sharp threads manage the self-tapping. There are many applications for this screw type, including metal to metal and wood to metal fastening (reamer teks).

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Common Screw Names

The confusion is that people will interchange calling self-drilling screws as self-tapping screws. Some terms come from original brand names that have become synonymous with the screw type. Other names started as incorrect references to a self-tapping screw but have become commonplace terms over time.

It’s helpful to know the different names so that you can find what you’re looking for regardless of how the screw is listed. Common names for self-drilling screws include:

  • Tek screws
  • Self-tapping screws
  • Self-tappers
  • Bit tip screws
  • Pro-points

While self-drilling screws are a common type of self-tapping screw, there are other types, as well. For instance, needlepoint screws use a sharp point with twin lead threads for highly secure fastening. If you’re looking for this type of self-tapping screw, make sure to request the needlepoint type.

Once you find the screw end you need, you can think about shank sizes, lengths and platings. At All Points Fasteners, our experts can help you find the right tek screws for your applications.