why you shouldn't over torque fasteners

Installing screws to fasten materials is a standard procedure for construction contractors, HVAC technicians, roofers and other professionals working in the trades. While the tendency is to make the fasteners as tight as possible to ensure a secure fit, it doesn’t always produce the best results. Over-tightening screws can even do more harm than good in some situations.

What Happens When You Over-Torque Screws?

Making screws too tight can have numerous detrimental consequences.

Damage to the Screw Thread

The thread on a screw performs the essential function of converting torque into linear force during the fastening process. Over-tightening the fastener can damage the thread, preventing it from maintaining a secure fit.

Inability to Remove the Screw

It’s possible to install a screw so tightly that you won’t be able to take it back out again without significant effort. You may need several items, including a hammer, impact driver, rotary tool and a lubricant such as Liquid Wrench to remove the screw.

Ruining the Fastener

You can damage screws by making them too tight. Embedding the fastener too deeply into the material increases the torque required for subsequent tightening or loosening. If the screw is so tight that the tools mentioned above cannot move it, applying them may cause the screw head to strip out or snap off, which compromises the integrity of the attachment and renders the fastener useless.

Damage to the Workpiece

damage the work piece

If you’re not careful when tightening screws, you could potentially harm materials such as sheet metal or wood. This could lead to costly project delays, and replacing the materials creates additional expenses and cost overruns.


Although it might sound counterintuitive, over-torquing a screw won’t prevent it from loosening over time. Vibrations, wear and tear and other external factors will eventually take their toll and cause the screw to lose its grip on the material. You’ll need to install a locking nut, locking washer, threadlocker solution or a combination of these items to keep the screw secure.

Contact All Points Fasteners to Learn More

As a leading distributor of high-quality screws for various construction applications, All Points Fasteners can help your business get the best results when installing fasteners. Contact us for more information about our product lines and services and request a quote today.

Head Screw Lady Since 1986! Specializing in breaking down the language barrier between suppliers and end users. During her 35 years working in the fastener industry, MaryLouise has worked directly with end users, contractor’s, OEM’S and DIY, as well working within the import industry, working with fastener manufacturers and distributors. This has given her the unique perspective of having the technical knowledge needed to perform in the fastener world but also be familiar with the needs of end users who don’t necessarily know the fastener jargon or applications to know exactly what they need for their jobs.