Fasteners and Fixings: Choosing the Right Self Tapping Screws

Picture this: You are standing in the aisle at the home improvement warehouse, staring at a wide variety of fasteners and fixings. There are hundreds of shapes, sizes, and types to choose from, and you have no idea what you are looking for. All you know is you need a self tapping screw. Frustrated? Yes, you probably are. There is no need to be though. Here are a few helpful hints that will have you navigating the screw section like a pro.


What are Self Tapping Screws?


Self tapping screws are able to advance into a material as they are turned, meaning a hole will not need to be drilled before these screws are used. There are typically gaps between the threads on the screw, which make it easier for the screw to stay in place and advance into the material. Self tapping screws are generally preferred over nails because there is less of a chance the screw will pop out of the wood in a deck or wall.


What are the Main Types of Self Tapping Screws?


Many times, the types of screws you decide to use will be determined by the materials you will use the screws with. Here are just a few different types of these specific fasteners and fixings and what materials they may work best with.


  • Round Head:

While self tapping screws are generally used with tough materials, if you need to use on for a thin material, a round headed screw may work best. These are the most common types of screws available. Many times, this type of screw is used in combination with a washer.


  • Pan Head:

If the material you are working with is heavy duty, you should consider using a pan head. These are oval with a tapered base and work well for tougher materials.


  • Flat Head:

For those ‘assemble yourself at home’ types of furniture, you may want to consider using a flat head self tapping screw. These will generally last much longer than the nails and bolts given to you with your home assembly package.


  • Phillips Heads:

Are you working with drywall or a wood project? A Phillips head may be the best choice for you. This type of head provides more control and less slippage, which can be helpful if you are working with a type of material that can easily be damaged.


  • One Way Heads:

If you are working on a project that needs the security of a type of screw that is tamper proof, a one way head screw may be your best option. These screws require special tools to be used if they are going to be loosened.


The wide variety of fasteners and fixings can be confusing for those who don’t understand what they are looking for and what their specific project requires. In addition to these types of screw heads, self tapping screws also come in an assortment of materials, including metal, plastic, and wood. Choose the one that fits your project the best.


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