Stainless steel fasteners, such as stainless zip screws and stainless tek screws, are made of steel that has been mixed with at least a ten percent compound of chromium, and possibly other metals, so that the steel doesn’t rust or corrode. This makes stainless steel fasteners great for outdoor conditions, where there is a lot of water or moisture. What many contractors don’t know, however, is that there are several types of stainless available for them to use.
For simplification, we will categorize these into two different groups: magnetic and non–magnetic.
Magnetic Stainless screws have a small amount of carbon steel in them which will give them slight surface rust but the screws themselves won’t rust through. It is common for self drilling screws (tek screws) to be made with magnetic stainless because the carbon steel makes the drill bit point a little stronger for drilling its own pilot hole.
Another benefit is that you can use magnetic drivers to drive the screws such as magnetic hex drivers which make installation much easier. A common magnetic stainless is 410 stainless.
Non-magnetic stainless screws, commonly 18-8 stainless, won’t rust at all but you will lose the convenience of using magnetic drivers for installation.
For our customers, many of whom are gutter contractors, we offer stainless steel with the additional protection of ceramic coating to give them even a longer life span.
Depending on what your fastening needs are, you will be buying different types of stainless steel fasteners, zip screws or tek screws, for different fastening jobs.