How Does a Screw Work | Different Types & Uses

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.

Browse our vast selection of screws online today or contact us to learn more.

Mastering the Ins & Outs of How to Use Tek Screws

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.

Review & Buying Guide for Tek Screws | Screw Types, Purpose & More

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:



  1.  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.
  2.  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.
  3.  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.
  4.  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.
  5.  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.
  6.  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.
  7. Stitching screws – as the name suggests, use these screws to stitch cladding panels.
  8.  Reamer tek screwif 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

    Click for:
    Self-Tapping Tek Data Chart and more detailed information for technical data on self-tapping self drilling screws, which includes the dimensions on shank sizes.


  3. How long is the screw?  Very important.  You would measure from underneath the head to the tip of the screw.
  4. 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?
  5. 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?
  6. 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!

Most Commonly Used Terms for Self-Tapping Screw Types

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
• Self-Tappers,
• Bit Tip Screws
• Pro-Points

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!

History of Self-Drilling Tek Type Screws

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.

Save Money with Bulk | Buy Self-Tapping Tek Screws in Bulk

Buying Self-Tapping Tek Style Screws Bulk

Why should you consider buying in bulk when you can buy in small quantities? That’s too many… right?


We realize that smart business owners are constantly looking for ways to reduce costs for their companies. Bulk purchasing is when an actual contractor, or ‘end user’ reaps the benefits of buying goods, wholesale. This allows for the contractor to reach more of his demands with our product, at a much lower cost than what he would get from his local supplier, in most cases.

There are contractors out there who put in an order for supplies, and need them there, that same day. There are circumstances where convenience is definitely a priority. However, there are obviously items that contractors use EVERY DAY, and this is where we come in with savings, AND a quality product. We provide zip and tek screws in bulk at lower, distributor pricing. Contractors can take advantage of more of a ‘use value’ for the money they’ve spent. For any kind of ‘non-perishable’ item that one uses all the time, it just makes sense!

Buying in bulk is not the ultimate solution for everyone, we realize that. But, we are always available to help a potential customer come to a decision about what would be cost effective to purchase from us, in bulk… and what would not. We are knowledgeable about which products have guaranteed usage for contractors, and which products are less in demand.

Strategizing your need for screws and then realizing where your budget could greatly benefit from buying in bulk is something that all contractors would do well to consider. The results can be very much worth it.

And lastly, consider the story of the Ant & The Grasshopper. The Ant showed foresight and planning, when stocking up for the winter months ahead… whereas the Grasshopper was content to continue on with his routine, unchanged. We think there is definite, applicable wisdom to the Ant’s strategy, and if we didn’t already have Professor Screwart as our official mascot, we would definitely have the Ant from this fable on speed dial! The nice thing about zip screws and tek screws is they ‘aint bananas and won’t go bad.

Here is our motto: Domestic quality tek screws at an IMPORTED PRICE.

Benefits of Buying Zip & Tek Screws Online

Although we still specialize in selling self-tapping/self-piercing screws (zip screws) and self-tapping/self-drilling screws (tek screws) through direct marketing, our business has expanded from what it used to be.

We were, and still are, one of the most reliable resources for contractors for screws and fasteners. But, with the advent of the internet, we are now more available to contractors than we ever were before.

From flowers to shoes, buying online is now common place. But contractor supplies are not so simple and even a good website requires excellent live support. We provide that not only with live chat but with the phone support we have always provided for the last 30 years. We’d like to stress how valuable all these options are in today’s market. We offer contractors many resources with our online website/catalog such as:

  • Convenience – In the “old days”, contractors had to spend valuable time making appointments with supplier representatives to come out and show a product, get pricing, etc. Sometimes contractors would even have to travel TO different supply houses and comparison shop for a supplier. With contractor hourly rates, standing in line waiting to pay for parts can get pretty expensive. We cut all of that out of the equation. We offer detailed product information, pictures, application and technical information on many products. We do everything that we can to ensure that we meet each customer’s expectations.
  • Selection – We offer a FULL, online catalog with detailed information on each of our products, so you can simply find what you need, look at the part, read the specifications, and even ask an online customer service representative for help with any questions that you may have. That way you can make a selection that fits your immediate needs and saves you valuable time.
  • Personalized Service – We provide connections to live customer service representatives on our website, in the form of chat boxes in “real time” for any specific questions or concerns you may have, which so many other online stores are lacking.
  • Online Tutorials – One of the very unique benefits we offer are videos listed on our website that can help contractors further identify uses and application information for several different items and industries. We’ve had several compliments from contractors regarding these useful tools we’ve provided.
  • Free shipping (for qualified customers): We are able to save you time and money by shipping the parts you need directly to your doorstep. No travel required, no lines to wait in, no bad customer service issues. Just simple, direct and easy, leaving you much more time to complete other important projects.

We pride ourselves on being one of the top distributors around and offering such specific, online perks. We’ve gone the extra mile with regards to convenience and efficiency for contractors. We believe we’ve set the bar higher in our industry and that’s the way we like it!

We are so much more than self-tapping zip screws and tek screws!

Here is our motto: Domestic quality tek screws at an IMPORTED PRICE.

Mastering Customer Service for Selling Zip & Tek Screws

Selling Zip and Tek Screws – The Art of Customer Service

Mastering customer service, so you don’t have to perform ‘customer service’. When I first started this job, selling tek screws and zip screws, I knew I had the right intentions in mind. But, I also knew there were things I needed to focus on, in order to make this position fulfilling, all the way around. Fulfilling for our customers, for our prospects and for the company I work for itself.

  • What were my goals?
  • What were my priorities?
  • What could I bring to the table, for all involved?

It always starts with the customer. When you put yourself in their shoes, you are just much more geared to be a valued source. What are their needs? In what ways can I benefit their business? Having this particular mindset during a conversation with a prospect or a customer pretty much guarantees a healthy, business relationship.

How can I answer questions or concerns that any contractor would understandably have for me, during an introductory phone call?
Answer: By having a thorough and consistent knowledge of my product. By having confidence in the product that I’m selling. By staying on top of a changing market and doing the best I can to offer the best deals, and the products that are conformed to suit their business. But more importantly, by understanding the customer’s needs from the beginning.

What is customer service?
Answer: Service to the customer: before, during and AFTER the order is placed.

This is why I ask questions. Questions that are constructed FROM THE BEGINNING to find out what I can do to benefit the customer.

  • “What items are you using the most of”?
  • “What application are you putting your current fasteners through”?
  • “What are you main concerns when it comes to screws/fasteners”?
  • “What quantities would work for your overall needs, while saving you the most money”?

Questions like these guide both me, and the contractor I’m speaking to along a certain path. The path to a mutually beneficial relationship between my company and our customers, a path to success. We are always geared towards gathering information that can only benefit the client.

Taking the time, in the beginning, to find out more about a customer’s needs, and listening, REALLY listening, are key to my position, here.
Another position I take when I’m on the phone with a prospective client: I pretend I am THEM.

Now, before you jump to the conclusion that I am off my rocker, this I what I mean by that statement: I put myself in the customer’s shoes, IN THE BEGINNING.

  • “What would I want to have happen, if I were the person on the other end of the line”?
  • “What would make ME happy”?
  • “What would make ME satisfied”?

Thinking along those lines from the beginning goes a long way towards creating a productive, functioning, business relationship, from the start.

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned along my road to learning better customer service: Accept responsibility:
This kind of attitude means that we truly start out with an attitude of servitude. In other words, we are here for YOU. If there is something we can do BETTER, we will do everything in our power to do so. Having an open mind and attitude as representatives of this company allows for the quickest, most efficient process, possible.

Another one of the ideologies I try to stand by is: “Leave the customer with more service than he/she was expecting to get”. Helping a customer make the correct and most cost-effective decision is paramount, in what I do.

Lastly, we are not entirely selfless in our pursuit to be Number One in customer service in our industry. We realize that a strong business connection with our customers can only instill an even stronger foundation under our own feet. It also confirms that All Points Fasteners stands out, among the many suppliers available to contractors. We understand that the more successful our clients are, the more successful our business is.

I want to change the perception people have about telecommunications. I want them to finish a conversation with me, having full confidence that I’ve just provided them with quality, and lasting service. I want them to feel GOOD about having received my call.

The goal, ultimately, ends up being this: Good Customer Service. So, I don’t end up doing any… ‘customer service’.