Whether you’re doing something for your home, job, or just for fun, any project is likely going to involve at least a few screws. While practically all projects require them, that doesn’t mean you can just use any screws. You need to pick the right ones, and that means knowing a few things about screws. The following are four things, in particular, you should know about choosing the right screws for your next project.
1. What Do Screws Do?
The first thing that you should know is what screws do. They’re typically used to hold two objects together in threaded fasteners. They might hold pieces of metal or wood together. This might sound like what nails do, but screws have four advantages over nails. First, they offer more strength. Second, they have more holding power. Third, screws result in a tighter seal. Finally, screws can be removed a lot easier than nails can.
2. What Kinds of Screws Are Available?
Before you visit a website or store that sells things such as screws, nuts, bolts, washers, and rivets, you need to know the kinds of screws available so you can find the right one.
- Deck Screws: Designed for outdoor use, such as window boxes, planters, and furniture, these screws are usually made using stainless steel in order to resist corrosion.
- Drywall Screws: These are flat-tipped and coarse-threaded screws that connect drywall right to metal or wooden studs.
- Masonry Screws: When you need to fasten materials to brick, mortar joints, or concrete, these would be the screws to apply.
- Pocket Hole Screws: These fasten pieces of wood together using a pocket hole that’s pre-drilled.
- Sheet Metal Screws: Given how hard metal is, special fasteners are necessary, whether the second material being connected is also metal but also potentially wood or plastic.
- Wood Screws: These semi-threaded shanks join pieces of wood together.
3. What Size Do You Need?
All screws can be identified by not just their type and intended application. You can also identify them by how long they are in inches. Also, you can see the size and their thread gauge, which is just a measurement of how close the threads are to each other. Wood screws have more space between the threads than sheet-metal screws do; this is necessary so the screws can actually bite into the wood rather than work as a drill bit might.
4. How Thick Should It Be?
The thickness of any material you are going to join also matters in your decision process. Your screws usually have to go through the top material and into the second material so they can be held together. For instance, if you’re trying to attach a 3/4-inch piece to a birdhouse, then a screw of the same length won’t attach the two pieces. Also, a 1-inch screw might not penetrate the second piece enough for proper attachment. However, a 1 1/2-inch screw might be just right.
While there are obviously multiple factors involved in choosing the right screw for your next project, they’re not that complicated. Use this knowledge to figure out the right pieces you need.