zip tek screws ceramic and steel

Zip Screws and Tek Screws

Sometimes, the terminology connected to screws and fasteners can be confusing, especially when used interchangeably. Characteristics like self-drilling, self-tapping, and self-piercing are essential functions of a screw and often dictate the intended application. At All Points Fasteners, we’re here to offer the best technical advice when it comes to fastening, all while making your product-buying decisions quick and easy.

Self-Tapping Screws

Self-tapping screws tap their own threads into the material they’re entering. Self-tapping is NOT referring to self-drilling screws (although, those are ALSO self-tapping) it is JUST referring to the threads themselves. The tapping action keeps both materials fastened together.

A ZIP screw is a brand name for a screw called a self-piercing, self-tapping or sheet metal screw. ZIP screws taper down to a needlepoint, allowing them to create holes as they enter a substrate. The shank of a ZIP screw has threads entirely from the head to the tip.

On a ZIP screw, both the threads and tips are sharp, allowing the fastener to cut through and penetrate metal surfaces with ease. It can puncture thin sheet metal without any screw prep work and mishaps due to resetting or shaking.  You can use ZIP screws to secure metal objects or attach metal to plastic, wood, rubber or other materials.

With their fast-driving application, ZIP screws can fasten lighter gauges of sheet metal. When using a ZIP screw, you create a hole before any threads reach the material, making for a more secure connection.

All Points Fasteners carries ZIP screws in a wide range of dimensions and specifications.

Self-Drilling Screws

Self-drilling screws are often called Tek® screws, which is the name of the original brand. These fasteners have a drill bit-shaped tip and are standard when securing metal to metal.

TEK® type screws are self-drilling and self-tapping, meaning they have a point with a small carving piece and do not need pre-drilling. This characteristic speeds up the installation process and requires less tools. TEK® type screws are prevalent in HVAC ductwork, electrical applications, solar panels and metal roofing.

All Points Fasteners supplies a wide selection of TEK® type screws in various shank diameters and lengths. The diameter indicates a numeric size that runs from #6 to #14, with #6 being the thinnest and #14 being the thickest. The #8 TEK® type screws and #10 TEK® type screws are the most popular.

TEK® type screws come in many types of head styles. Listed below are two of the most popular, especially among HVAC and electrical contractors:


  • Hex washer head: Features a built-in washer to distribute loads and weights over a large area. This head is perfect for roofing applications and other heavy-duty projects.
  • Modified truss: Features an oversized dome head and a flange to create a larger area under the head for a greater bearing surface.


Choosing All Points Fasteners as Your Zip and Tek Screw Supplier

Whether you’re looking for ZIP screws, TEK® type screws or any other types of fasteners, be sure to contact All Points Fasteners for all your needs. We can provide the perfect tools for the job at affordable prices.

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.