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.
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.
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
- Stainless steel
These materials are common in applications like:
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.
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!
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.
The History of Self-Drilling Screws
Tek is to self-drilling screws as Kleenex is to nose tissue – a brand name. As the first of its kind, “tek” became synonymous with the self-drilling screw design, and now tek screws are essential for a range of applications today.
At All Points Fasteners, we know what professionals look for in self-drilling screws. It’s helpful to learn more about this essential fastener and how our team can help you find the right tek screw for your project.
How Do Self-Drilling Screws Work?
The original self-drilling screw featured threading like a regular screw, but the end had a drill bit shape. This drill bit end eliminated the need to pre-drill a hole before using a screw, saving time and money. After the drill bit punctured the surface, the sharp threads tapped the material to create a strong seal with the screw.
The original design also included a tall head with serrations under the washer to add additional locking abilities. This detail ensured self-drilling screws stayed closely fastened to their materials, making them reliable for many applications.
As this time-saving screw design became more popular, other companies found ways to produce a similar product with low-cost materials and fewer features. Many modern self-drilling screws have eliminated the serrations but maintained the signature drill bit end.
What Are Self-Drilling Screws Used for?
Self-drilling screws are useful for fastening wood and metal. They can attach wood to wood, metal to metal and metal to wood, and they’re ideal for most lightweight and low-density materials. It’s also easy to know how to use a self-drilling screw due to their simple design. Applications for these screws include:
- HVAC projects
- Metal roofing
- Steel framing
Tek screws are also helpful for many types of metal building and light-gauge metal assemblies, making them common in most general construction environments. With a range of head types, lengths and shank sizes, these screws adapt to your project with ease.
Find Well-Made Self-Drilling Screws at All Points Fasteners
We work with reliable manufacturers to deliver self-drilling screws you can trust. While most other importers put their parts up to bid for manufacturing, we stay with one manufacturer in order to maintain quality control. Talk to one of our experts today to learn more about our products, or browse our site to find what you need.
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.
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.
What Are Self-Drilling Screws?
Self-drilling screws – also known as Tek® screws, self-tapping screws, pro points, drill screws and more – are manufactured with a drill bit tip instead of a point so that they can drill into heavier gauge metals without pre-drilling. In turn, self-drilling screws save contractors money on the time they need to complete projects. These screws are also self-tapping, which means that they tap their own threads as they enter a material. This unique feature makes them ideal for HVAC, metal roofing, carports, barns and more.
Tek® Self-Drilling Screw Measurements
Each self-drilling screw has a designated wire diameter, otherwise known as a shank. Shank sizes increase in width as they ascend, but if you can’t tell the shank size of a screw, try narrowing it down based on the size of the hex head. To determine the shank size of a hex-headed screw, measure along the flat of the hex head:
- 1/4″ hex drive (#6 or #8 screw shank)
- 5/16″ hex drive (#10 or #12 screw shank)
- 3/8″ hex drive (#14 screw shank)
Self-Drilling Tek® Screw Sizes
The most common Tek® screw (self-drilling screws) diameters are #6 to #14, with the highest number being the largest diameter. You can use self-drilling Tek® screws for numerous applications, including fastening metal to metal and metal to wood.
Self-drilling Tek® screws also have drill point classifications of one to five. The longer the drill bit, the thicker the material it can handle, with the number five drill bit as the longest. A #5 drill bit is a 1/2″ thick and can drill through up to 1/2″ steel. Drill bit sizes two through five work well for metal applications.
Self-drilling Tek® screws are powerful enough to fasten sheet metal without pre-drilling. These four drill points work with metals, including but not limited to aluminum, stainless and steel. Overall, self-drilling Tek® screws give businesses an advantage over the competition by eliminating time spent on pre-drilling.
Find the Right Self-Drilling Screw for Your Project at All Points Fasteners
All Points Fasteners is proud to be a leading provider of Tek® screws for your metalwork projects. Learn how you can save time and increase your projects’ strength when you contact us today.