Picking the right screws can be the difference between a successful DIY project and a total bottle job. It goes a long way in determining the integrity, durability, and functionality of your work.
But choosing the perfect screw isn’t always easy. You’re bound to come across numerous types of screws when you visit suppliers such as RS, leaving you lost for choice. These range from coach screws to socket screws and wood screws, but each type is only suitable for a specific application. In this article, we’ll show you how to choose the right screw type for your DIY project.
Choose the Right Design
The design of a screw dictates its function. Some common types are drywall screws, metal sheet screws, and wood screws. Looking at the names alone, you can tell the intended use of the screws.
Wood screws are used for woodwork projects to attach wood to wood and have partial or complete threads. On the other hand, metal screws are suitable for roofing, while drywall screws feature self-tapping heads and threads that countersink easily on drywall to avoid damage.
Consider the Size of the Screw
What’s the width of the materials you’re attaching? Your screw should have enough length and thickness to support your material’s width and weight.
You can tell the different screw sizes by looking at the assigned numbers. The larger the number, the larger the screw. If you’re not sure what size you need, you can consult screw size guides to get a better picture of the various sizes and applications. As a rule of thumb, two-thirds of your screw should be on the secondary piece that you are attaching. Avoid the screw being short or poking out.
Consider the Head Type
Screws come with different head types, including flat head, round head, pan head, and countersunk head. While some screw heads penetrate the material completely, others, like the hexagonal head screws, protrude from the material. This key difference can ruin the desired aesthetic of your work.
On top of that, some screw heads are harder to fasten than others. On top of that, some screw head types loosen quickly and can affect the reliability and durability of your work.
Consider the Screw Material
Screws are made of different materials, from aluminum to steel and brass. While some materials are suitable for heavy-duty fastening, others can’t handle heavy loads but are visually appealing and better for decorative use.
When choosing your screw material, consider the weight or force the screw will need to support. If you’re attaching heavy pieces, you need tougher screws with higher load-bearing capacity.
Evaluate the Environment
If you’re using the screws for an outdoor project, it’s crucial to choose screws resistant to rust. For example, while steel screws suit indoor work, you should switch to stainless steel for outdoor projects.
Remember that there are two types of stainless steel – A2, which is rust-resistant, and A4, which also protects against acid corrosion. If you opt for a different material, ensure it has the right coating to protect against corrosion. Some options available in the market include zinc-coated dichromate and chrome-plated screws.
Compatibility With Your Tools
You want to pick a screw that is compatible with your tools. Otherwise, you may be forced to go back into the market. Your primary consideration here should be the screw’s drive type. The commonly used drive types include slotted, cruciform, and pentalobe.
Seek professional advice
A DIY project involves learning on the job, and one of the best places to learn is from experts in the field. If you’re still unsure about the right screw for your DIY task, you can consult an expert and get specific recommendations for your project. This will help you avoid unnecessary expenses and ensure that you end up with a high-quality product.