When you’re taking on a large project like building a deck or framing a new room, you’ll need an ample supply of screws and other fasteners. If you’re wondering about the different types of screws and when one will work more effectively than another, All Points Fasteners is here to help.
We offer multiple types of screws and have all the information needed to help you use them properly. We’re here to help you get your projects done right and done fast.
How Does a Screw Work?
The world of screws is vast, and you’ll find no shortage of different options when you shop for screws for your next project. How does a screw work?
A screw has the same overall shape as a nail, but it includes a spiraling groove travelling around and down the shaft. The head has several options, including hex, pan, flat and round. Drives can be slotted or made with a Phillips head design for driving.
When you need to hold two materials or objects together, the groove helps keep the screw in place and the bond secure. To drive the screw into a material, you’ll need a screwdriver or drill that’s compatible with the head design.
There are many different types of screws, and while their exact uses differ, what a screw does best is hold two things together. What are different types of screws used for? Here’s a primer on the different types of screws available to you, as well as some key information as you evaluate what types of screws will work best to meet your needs.
What Is a Screw Used For?
Screws are fasteners for all sorts of construction projects, large and small. The reason there are so many different types of screws is that there are so many different ways objects and materials need to be fastened.
Sometimes screws are classified by the material they are used to fasten. For example, you might find you need concrete screws for fastening objects to concrete, wood screws for fastening objects to wood, or drywall screws for fastening objects to drywall. No one screw or fastening could possibly serve as a one-size-fits-all solution, because there are simply too many different needs and applications for screws and fasteners.
What Are the Different Types of Screws?
Because of how many different ways there are to use screws, you’ll find there are tons of different types of screws. Here are just a few of the different kinds you’ll find when searching for the right solution:
These are just a few of the different types of screws. You may find that the screw you need is classified into one of the categories above, but it’s also categorized by its drive type (Phillips, slotted, combination, star, etc.) or by the shape of its head (oval, flat, button, round, pan, etc.). In some cases, you may find a screw is classified by a combination of terms. For example, you might find that you need a slotted flathead metal screw.
What Is the Difference Between a Self-Tapping Screw and a Normal Screw?
With most screws, you’ll need to drill a pilot hole that creates threads and helps guide the screw into a secure spot. That’s not the case with self-tapping (or self-drilling) screws. When you choose self-tapping screws, there’s no need for a pilot hole. The screw creates its own threads as it is installed and remains tightly in place despite any activity or vibrations.
What’s the benefit of self-tapping screws?
Self-tapping screws save tons of time when you’re working on a significant project. For example, if you’re working to fasten objects and you need to use several dozen screws to get the job done, choosing self-tapping screws can significantly decrease the amount of time the project takes you. This is incredibly important in large construction projects where getting the project done on time is of the utmost importance.
These screws are also reliable, as they hold materials together firmly and have a long service life. Installing self-tapping screws with a coating can also prevent discoloration of the material due to rust or corrosion, making these fasteners ideal for harsh environments.
Get the Screws You Need at All Points Fasteners
At All Points Fasteners, we work each day with service contractors to ensure they have the screws they need to deliver outstanding results. We specialize in tracking down even the most difficult-to-find fastening solutions — so our clients always have access to exactly what they need.
You find nothing but products of the highest quality in our selection, as well as affordable pricing that helps your project stay under budget. We provide domestic quality at an imported price. If you can’t find the right part for your project, let us know and our experts will point you in the right direction. We’re committed to your satisfaction, so we’re always happy to work with you to find the products you need.
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!
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).
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
- Bit tip screws
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.
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:
- 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.