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 Self-Tapping Wood Screws
When executing Do-it-Yourself projects, quite a few folks get perplexed about what fasteners to use to perform their job. There are a lot of choices…so many dimensions to decide upon. What length should the screw be? How thick of a shank do I need? Philips drives? Torx drive? Hex Head? What type of point do you need? Zip? Tek Point? Type 17 point? There is a reason why each fastener has a certain specification or attribute and if you don’t know how your screw is going to perform you will end up blaming the screw if it doesn’t perform how you want it to when the real cause was how it was used.
All hardware stores which are truly really worth the name have an extensive assortment of wood screws and tools, bolts and nails for utilizing these items. Adding more difficulty, each type of tool and securer may possess a somewhat different method of correct usage.
Let us take a glimpse into how you will make use of wood fasteners as well as what you do not do with wood screws. At All Points Fasteners, we have a variety of self-tapping wood screws for do-it-yourself projects.
What is a wood Screw?
As the name suggests, wood screws are used when you are doing work with wood. Many of your wood screws will be produced from a metal that isn’t likely to react with the resins as well as treatment chemicals within the wood. Some metals will leave a rather unpleasant-looking stain if they come into contact with particular chemicals or resins. It used to be that you only had two choices of material for wood screws – plain carbon steel or carbon steel with zinc plating. Sometimes you could locate stainless wood screws. Now, however, you can find screws for wood, usually deck screws, with special plating to protect them from chemically treated wood. They are generally available in 500 and 1000 hour salt spray tested.
There are a few selections when it comes to wood screws or rather, screws you use in wood. There are wood screws that require pre-drilling since their point isn’t sharp or hard enough to self-start. They have coarse threads so that the wood will fill in between the threads and help to prevent them from pulling out of the softer wood or particleboard. Generally, they have a prominent smooth shank (sometimes called a shoulder) to help pull together the two pieces being fastened.
Another option is what is referred to as a Type 17 point, which has a very sharp point and the thread will go all the way to the tip of the point with finer threads, generally 18 threads per inch. These work wonderfully in the harder woods. As you put pressure on the screw and turn it using a drill it’ll cut into the wood and create its very own hole. These are typically rather tight-fitting and don’t often tear loose. They have a cut at the tip of the point so that the displaced wood has an avenue of escape and keeps the wood from splitting.
The vast majority of wood screws may also have an area of non-threaded metal just beneath the head. This is so that you are able to allow the top of the screw to slide through the top piece of wood so you are able to tightly fasten the two bits of wood together.
For DIY projects to go easily, make certain that you pick the proper screw with the right features for the wood you’re going to be using and for the correct application. You should also determine if you need to use of the self-tapping variety or if you will need to have to pre-drill. Just about all wood screws will work for just about all woods, however getting the best fastener for the job is definitely ideal.
What Does a Wood Screw Look Like?
A wood screw has shorter threading that is not throughout the whole body and fewer pitches, made for projects involving lumber, plywood and wood materials. Compared to other screws, they are easier to drive into wood, which is why you should always use a wood screw for wood projects.
You need to make certain the materials the wood screws are produced from will be the best sort of fasteners for your project. Some metals tend to be a lot more corrosion-proof, plus most can leave a terrible spot if you use them in wood because they react to the sap still left in the wood. Before purchasing self-drilling wood screws, do some study and ascertain exactly which type of screws you will be using.
Are Wood Screws Self Tapping?
Wood screws are self-tapping because they can tap their threads into the wood material. Before you can use a wood screw, you must drill a pilot hole, because self-tapping screws are not self-drilling. This pilot hole must be smaller than the screw, so the threads can go into the wood material and create a secure fastening.
How to Use Self-Tapping Wood Screws
The first thing you need to do when using wood fasteners is to get hold of individual tapping anchoring fasteners and regular wood screws. The self exploit fastener generally is a lot easier to install because it requires much less to do the job.
All you need to do is make use of either a Philips or flat head screwdriver. Set the point of the fastener on the spot you wish it to be and begin screwing. As you turn the screwdriver, the fastener should cut into the wood and make a hole for itself completely — no drills required.
Afterward, there is the standard self-tapping wood fastener. You will require a drill for doing so. You will have to mark out all of the places where you need to place fasteners and drill a hole in the wood, which is the correct size for the fasteners you will be using. Then, you need to go along and, while employing the proper kind of screwdriver, screw all the screws into place.
What Are the Risks of Self-Drilling Wood Screws?
The hazards of using self-tapping wood screws are:
- Not getting all of them in straight: An individual tapping screw might go in the wood skew because of the grain of your wood or from unequal pressure on the screwdriver as it’s flipped into the wood. If you help a drill afterward, you run a slightly decreased chance of going askew, as you are not going to place a lot of pressure on your drill to bite into the wood, and the drill isn’t possible to get pushed close because of the wood grain.
- Making the pilot hole too big: As a substitute, you risk utilizing a drill bit that’s a touch too large for the anchoring screws you will be utilizing in your do-it-yourself project. Using an oversized drill bit means that the fastener is not going to hold well, so the fastening won’t be secure.
Contact All Points Fasteners About Wood Screws Today
Picking the greatest kind of fastener for any job may not be as simple as it appears when the professionals get it done. There are truly lots of details to look at before you commit to a specific wood fastener or nail for your specific do-it-yourself project.
If you’re not sure which kind of self-drilling wood screw you need, ask the team at All Points Fasteners for help and get it right the first time. Between our quality products and helpful customer service, you will find what you need with ease. Get in touch with us by completing our contact form or by calling 800.483.6354.
Wood Screws vs. Sheet Metal Screws
In deciding whether to use wood screws or metal screws, the answer usually depends on the material you are working with and the environmental factors surrounding the project. When comparing metal versus wood screws, there isn’t one perfect option that does it all. Understanding the different types of fasteners will help you know what to purchase for each job.
At All Points Fasteners, we have numerous varieties of screws and other fastening products available. If you need help choosing the right one, our service-oriented customer representatives will work diligently to find you the information on any screw-related product out there. Let us help you find the correct fastener so you can complete your work with satisfaction.
Sheet Metal Versus Wood Screws
While it’s certainly possible to use just any fastener for a project, your work will only last if the product suits the material and the environment. Each situation is unique, and it’s helpful to know when to use a wood screw versus a sheet metal screw. The differences between the two include:
- Sheet metal: These fasteners are fully threaded all along the shank and have a sharper tip at the end. You can attach thin sheets of metal with this option.
- Wood: The threading takes up two-thirds of the shank, while the rest is smooth up to the head. This design grips two pieces of wood together.
If you need fasteners of a specific length or diameter, All Points Fasteners can help you find the right option. We are one of the only online fastener companies with a live chat on our website, so support from us is available at any time. Our representatives will do their best to help you choose the right product based on the information you provide.
Applications for Sheet Metal Screws and Wood Screws
Particular jobs need certain screws for them to be successful. You can apply these two types of fasteners in many situations, such as:
- Heating and air: You can use sheet metal screws to attach thin metals in jobs such as HVAC installations.
- Constructing outdoor decks: Wood screws have a special coating to prevent corrosion that could result in stains on your lumber. Sheds or other projects that will be exposed to the elements are also opportunities to use wood screws.
- Residential and commercial: Both fasteners have their uses in building homes or larger structures.
If you want to know which screws to use in specific situations, such as when you need to screw metal to wood, All Points Fasteners can guide you in the right direction.
Purchase Sheet Metal Screws and Wood Screws Online
Here at All Points Fasteners, we distribute a vast selection of screws, washers and other essential fastening products spanning all kinds of industries. We know contractors need premium tools to do their best work,
so we source quality fasteners and back them up with outstanding customer service.
We can also send you free samples before you place your online order to ensure the fasteners you receive will suit your purposes. Contact us today for a free quote on the screws you need for your projects.
Zip Screws and Tek Screws
Self tapping screws, such as zip screws and tek screws, are perfect for jobs when you plan to connect materials that are of different varieties, such as wood to metal, metal to plastics and metal to metal. Self tapping screws are really versatile and simple to use since they will tap their own threads as you drive them into your materials, and this in turn will save you time and time equals money! There are many kinds of self tapping screws you can buy today and they each have their own purpose.
There are fundamentally two sorts of popular self tapping fasteners available, zip screws and tek screws. Type A screws are also self-tapping, as they tap their own threads, even so, they are not as popular as they normally need a pilot hole to get them started.
There are two kinds of tips for self-tapping screws and that they are the self piercing screw, also identified as zip screws, and the other is the drill bit tip, tek screw type.
Tek screws are intended for use in soft steel or other metals. The points are numbered from 1 through 5, The larger the number, the thicker metal it can go through without a pilot hole. For example, a # 5 tek point can drill a 0.5 in (12.7 mm) of steel. Contractors at times question the quality of their tek screws when the screws break, when the actual reason for breakage is the application for which they are being used. The following is a very simplified reason for heads of tek screws sometimes popping or screws twisting and breaking when drilled into steel too thick for the tek screw used. With a standard tek screw, the front of the fastener will be drilling in slower while the drill bit is drilling the pilot hole than when the threads of the tek screw catch the material being drilled. Once the threads catch, the screw will turn as fast as the TPI. In other words, if the screw is 16tpi, the screw will go in a 16th of an inch each time it turns. The problem becomes, if it is a thick piece of metal, the threads will catch before the drill bit is done drilling through the metal. The consequence is that the front of the fastener will be moving slower than the back of the screw and the screw will break. However, by having the drill bit of the screw longer up the shank of the screw and changing the threads per inch to a finer thread (24 threads per inch), the front and the back of the screw will move at the same time and the tek screws won’t break.
While self-piercing zip screws can pierce their own hole in to soft metals and create its own threads, this is usually done with thinner gauges of metal starting at 24 gauge. Needlepoint screws, are also commonly known as zip screws and are self-tapping in that they tap their own threads.
They are also sometimes referred to as self-piercing screws because they will ‘self start’ with soft metals when pressure is applied. #8 x1/2 Hex Washer Head Needlepoint screws (zip screws) have reportedly worked best when used in square duct with 30 and 28 gauge metals. Contractors state that they have better luck with a #7 needlepoint when doing round pipe with 24 and 26 gauge metals. Application is very important when choosing which fastener to use in your specific job, otherwise, the screws may not perform in the way that they were expected. Many screw ‘failures’ are actually misapplications. Although some say that they have been able to use #7 zip screws in up to 20 gauge metals, it has been our experience that when working with metal 22 gauges and thicker, drill bit tip (tek screw type) really does the job much easier.
Zip screws and tek screws are readily available to help save you time and money.