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.
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!
Self-Tapping Screws – Sharp Point or Drill Point
Since starting this fastener blog several years ago, one of the most common requests we hear is “I want self-tapping screws”. “I want self tappers”. We hear this more often than not. We have written several articles on what is the best terminology to use when ordering your screws to make sure you get the right parts and not have to go through the time and expense of returning them to your supplier.
Summer is here and the building season is booming so this would be a great time to go over this again. Even some employees at fastener supplier houses are confused as to the correct usage of ‘self-tapping screw’ Self-tapping is referring to the threads and NOT the point of the screw. For a more detailed description of fasteners that are often referred to as ‘self-tapping’, please click here to watch our informative video.
Most of the time, when we hear someone ask for a self tapping screw, they really are looking for a self-drilling screw. One that has a point sometimes described as looking like a shovel, but in fact, is actually a small drill bit. The confusion comes with so many different screw names describing the same screw. Some are brand screw names that have just been used for so long that they have become synonymous with the part. Some screw names have just been used incorrectly for so long, that you kinda have to give in an say ok. Like “dove” which is now commonly referred to as “dived”.
Here are the most commonly used terms for the screw that looks like this:
• Tek Screws
• Self-Drilling Screws
• Self-Tapping Screws
• Bit Tip Screws
Here is a really helpful Self-Drilling Screw Chart that can be used for submittals.
Please feel free to contact us with your questions regarding self-drilling screws, often called tek screws. If we don’t have the information you need, we’ll do our best to point you in the right direction!
Self-Drilling Tek Type Screw
Teacher taps ruler against desk: “Class is in session!”
Back in the day, the original self-drilling screws were designed by Buildex.
Their brand name was “Tek” screw. They became so popular that the word “tek” screw is now synonymous with self-drilling screw. What they did specifically was decide to put a drill bit at the end of the screw so that it would keep people from having to pre-drill the hole first before they used the screw. This obviously saved a tremendous amount of time and money. The original self drilling screw had a tall head with what are commonly called “serrations” under the washer so they would lock like a locking washer. It was a real quality part, it allowed the screw to lock into the application like a “locking washer”. This part was originally made in the USA. When the importers overseas got ahold of this idea, their idea on how to promote THEIR self-drilling screws (or “teks”) was that they were now going to be cheaper to buy, because labor and materials were less expensive overseas, etc.
But unfortunately, over time, they took the serrations out from under the head, shaved down the heads, and because they had less material to use, it was less expensive it was to make them. After a while, it slowly became harder to sell imported screws to contractors who still cared about quality.
What followed after this phenomenon was the common association that if you’re buying screws from overseas, then they must be bad quality, right? Wrong.
All Points Fasteners decided to go back to the old fashioned tek screw, and we had the manufacturer PUT BACK the tall heads and the serrations, but with a much more reasonable PRICE. We knew back then, and we know now, that there will always be a market for quality. This is a huge part of our business, so much so that it has actually become one of our company’s motto’s: Domestic Quality at an Imported Price.
Part of the way that we ensure that our quality never wavers is that we only use one trusted manufacturer to make our own, particular brand. Our manufacturer has never done anything but right by us, and we’ve always extended that expectation down to our customers. It’s the only right thing to do. And that principal has afforded us our valuable customers who haven’t gone to any other importer distributor in 25 years.
Yet, there are contractors out there who don’t even know if they’re using domestics or imports. To them we say: take a chance, and see for yourself.
Here is our motto: Domestic quality tek screws at an IMPORTED PRICE.
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.
So, All Points Fasteners is all about presenting solutions that solve real problems for contractors.