Tek screws

The Difference Between Tek and Self-Tapping Screws

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Tek screws. Self-tapping screws. Same thing, right?

They might be similar, but on closer inspection, you’ll find they’re not the same. Understanding the subtle differences will help you to choose the right screw for the job.

Here’s a quick guide to the differences between them and when to use each one.

Self-Tapping Defined

Before we start, let’s just clear up any confusion about what’s meant by self-tapping.

The tapping means that it cuts its thread through the material it’s being drilled into. Either mechanical or muscle power is still required to get the mark in.

Self-Tapping Screws

These screws drill their way into wood, metal or plastic by cutting their own mating threads into the material as they’re being drilled.

They work well in pretty much all materials and are used for joining different materials together. Insert self-tapping screws with a hand-held or electric screwdriver.

While it’s not essential, drilling a pilot hole will help the self-tapping screw go in straight. This pre-drilling will ensure that it does its job and the thread isn’t damaged.

More heavy gauge materials, such as some metals and plastic, will require pre-drilling for the screws to work. Always check out an application guide before purchase to make sure that you have the right product for your job.

Key Points

  • Work well with most materials
  • Require minimal prep regarding drilling in most materials
  • Form a very strong bond with the material through cutting own thread

Tek Screws – Self-Drilling

While Tek screws are a brand, they’ve become synonymous with the generic ‘self-tapping screw’ name. Tek screws do work on a similar principle, but with a key difference – the drill head tip.

The fact that they come equipped with their own drill tip means that there is no need for additional drilling.

It’s important to note though that while they’re great for metal to metal and metal to woods, they don’t work well when joining wood to wood.

You save time and effort and create cost savings as you don’t wear out expensive drill bits. This need to be considered when deciding whether to use Tek or self-tapping screws.

Check out our in-depth analysis of when to use Tek screws here.

Key Points

  • Own drill tip means time and cost savings
  • More limited in their applications

The Verdict

As can be seen, self-tapping and Tek screws both have their own merits and limitations. It’s not a case of choosing one over the other, so much as weighing the merits of the particular job at hand.

When it does come down to a choice between the two, keep in mind that there are cost savings to be had from Tek screws that self-tapping might not give you.

Click here to contact us and see how we can supply your Tek screws and other fastening needs.

Automated Fastening Systems has been in the business of high-quality tools and fasteners since 1982. We stock a wide variety of specialty fasteners, anchors, power tools and accessories for commercial as well as residential construction. Our years of experience and our highly trained sales staff help us to determine the proper tool or fastener for your job.

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