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It’s typical to find homeowners, DIYers, or even professionals confuse about self-tapping screws and self-drilling screws. How can you identify a self-tapping screw and what should you look out for?
A self-tapping screw is a bolt that can tap its own thread as you drill it into wood, plastic, or metal. They require a pilot hole – which is a pre-punched hole – before you go ahead to install the screw. This is particularly true for metals.
It is different from self-drilling screws (also Tek screws) because a self-drilling screw does not need a pilot hole. Their threads also don’t start from the screw point, unlike the self-tapping ones.
A self-tapping screw can come in different types and sizes and is easily distinguished from drill screws by their threads and drill point.
These work best on metal, aluminum, and plastics, like fiberglass and polycarbonate. Our self-tapping screws are made with galvanized carbon or stainless steel material. This ensures durability since they prevent metal from rusting over time.
- They can tap their own threads into the material substrate, unlike regular machine screws. This saves pre-drilling time and facilitates easy workflow.
- Because they self-tap, they create stronger, more firm, and more precise connections.
- Not all self-tapping screws have sharp tips and this can be helpful in handling, packaging, and shipping
- It has a wide assortment of thread patterns and is available in different heads type.
Before you choose the self-tapping screw right for your task, pay attention to these.
- Production material of screw: Most self-tapping screws are made from carbon steel, which is ideal for its strength and durability.
Our galvanized self-tapping screws such as the Hex-Washer Head are perfect for outdoor constructions since they don’t rust easily and are corrosion-proof.
- Screw thickness: Determine if you would require a thinner or thicker screw based on the material thickness. When used inappropriately, a thin screw might do shabby work and a thick bolt might damage the wood, plastic, or metal used.
- Alignment: Before you insert a self-tapping screw, take note of the alignment to ensure that it fits the target housing at the correct angle. You can do this using several means including improvised jigs and high-precision guidance tools.
The process is a simple one. Push the screw into the pilot hole using your hand. This keeps the screw fitted in the hole. Then use a screwdriver or power drill to drill it firmly in place.
There are two types of self-tapping screws– thread-forming and thread-cutting screws. Knowledge of their difference would enable you to know which one is best fitted for your construction applications.
These screws are best used for plastics and sheet metal. They function by displacing the material without removing chips from it.
This type of screw is used to create resistance to loosening and has large holding power. It doesn’t require further use of a fastener such as a lock washer, thread washer, or lock nut. It lasts longer than others.
Thread-cutting screws also bore holes into the materials to hold them together. However, when you drill them, they remove chips from the material. They have chip cavities in the threads that give them a cutting edge.
They require low torque for effective insertion. Like the Torx drive Countersunk screws, these bolts are efficient for wood or plastic materials.
They are not as resistant to loosening as thread-forming screws and might need reinforcement.
Oukailuo’s collection of steel and carbon self-tapping screws meets all your construction needs.