HomeConstructionYour Comprehensive Guide to Screw Types

Your Comprehensive Guide to Screw Types

Maybe the most common fastener type you’re going to find is screws. Even though they might not look like much, screws come in a huge range of lengths, sizes, and thread types that will hold just about any two materials together.

Before you go find highly durable screws from a vendor like RS, take a little time to learn about the different screw types out there. When you’re done reading this guide, you will know what screws to use for applications like drywall, flooring, decking, and more.

Wood Screws

Wood screws are just what they sound like in that they are used to join two pieces of wood together. Most of the time, that’s going to include stuff like molding, wall studs, and furniture. It also happens to be arguably the most well-known screw type that you will see in any hardware or home improvement store.

Wood screws have a sharp tip so that they can penetrate most types of wood with little to no issue. Check any home improvement store and you’ll find these bad boys in different drives and sizes, suiting whatever it is you need them to do.

Masonry Screws

Masonry screws are best for attaching either metal or wood to concrete (or similar masonry materials). Don’t just use any old screw when attaching something to concrete, brick, or mortar joints as they either won’t take or will crack, chip, or otherwise damage those masonry materials.

You can use masonry screws for outdoor projects like attaching rain gutters, attaching wooden floor plates to a foundation, or attaching something to a brick exterior. This is a good illustration of why you should know the different types of screws out there.

Decking Screws

There is a little bit of a misconception that wood screws can work for decking. If you want to do things right, however, make sure that you have decking screws before taking on any decking-related projects. They are built to resist corrosion and rusting while also providing a sturdy connection point.

These screws are meant to be applied to installing and repairing decking. You should also use decking screws to secure the deck boards to the joists. The flat head is ideal here because it can be countersunk, sitting below the surface of the material.

Drywall Screws

Drywall is cheap and easily installed but it is also pretty brittle. Use the wrong screw or apply too much force and you could be staring down a gouge, a missing chunk, or even a hole. That’s why you need to have drywall-specific screws in your arsenal.

Drywall screws are used to join the drywall to wood studs, keeping the drywall nice and stable. Fine-thread drywall screws work when the studs are metal instead of wooden.

Self-Tapping Screws

Ask any professional or experienced DIYer and they are probably going to have self-tapping screws in their arsenal. They are great for softer materials but aren’t perfect, so you might need a pilot hole depending on what you’re screwing into.

The fine tip at the end is meant to limit the need for a pilot hole. Best of all, they can work for wood, sheet metal, and other projects, making it one of the most versatile options out there.

Sheet Metal Screws

These look similar to self-tapping in that they have a really fine point at the end. That makes them sharp enough to get through tough metal sheets while the fine threads give them a superior grip. You’ll find a ton of different heads and sizes, including rounded, flat, and hex heads, all of which serve different purposes.

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