Selecting the Ideal Self Tapping Screws: Types & Considerations

If you have taken on a DIY project or found yourself needing to fasten something around your home, you know that having the right screws can make all the difference. This means that before you start assembling that furniture or working on your home renovation, it’s important to understand the world of screws. The most popular ones for home projects are self tapping screws, as they don’t require you to have tapping or pre-threading material.

But if you are not familiar with this field, don’t worry. Today, we’ll help you understand the main types of self tapping screws out there. We’ll also look at the key considerations when choosing the ideal one.

What are Self Tapping Screws?

A self-tapping screw is a unique type of fastener in that they have the ability to create their own threads when driven into the material. This means that when you select this type, you won’t require a pre-drilled hole that is the same size as the screw. Some may need a small hole to guide them, but the screw itself acts as a drill bit, and the self-made threads help hold everything together.


Types of Self Tapping Screws

There are two main types of self-tapping screws.

Thread-Forming Screws

Thread-forming screws have a flat tip. Instead of drilling, they are designed to reshape the material they are used on. The shape of the tip means that you need to make a small hole the screw can use as a starting point. This hole is usually smaller than the diameter so that the screw displaces the material itself.

Since they don’t have the ability to drill, thread-forming screws are mostly used with softer materials like plastics and aluminium. You can use them when you want to make a strong bond, like attaching two materials together.

Thread-Tapping Screws

Thread-tapping screws are designed with a sharp tip and sharp threads that can cut into the material. Some of them come with a flute-like tip, which makes them quite effective in removing material.

And since they can drill, thread-tapping screws are mostly used to attach harder materials such as steel and hardwood. These screws can be used when you need a more aggressive and efficient cutting action.

Key Considerations When Choosing Self a Tapping Screw

When it comes to selecting a self-tapping screw for your project, there are several key considerations to keep in mind.

Material Compatibility

Different screws are specifically designed to work with specific materials. For example, a thread-forming screw can only work well with soft materials like plastics. As such, ensure that you consider the material you are working with. This will help ensure a secure and effective connection.

Screw Size

This one is a bit of an obvious one, but it’s quite important. Before you select a type of screw, ensure you consider the thickness of the materials you want to join. When you combine this with the load requirement, it will help you ensure a strong and secure connection.

Head Style

Although there are only two major types, a self-tapping screw comes with different head styles. These make the screws produce different results, both aesthetically and in terms of functionality. Some styles that you may come across are flat, pan, and hex. Flat and pan will help you produce a more aesthetically pleasing result. But if you may need to remove the screws often, then hex heads will work better.

Installation Method

There are some screws that you can fix easily, and all you need is a screwdriver. However, others will only work best if you have a power tool. As such, considering the installation method is important. Remember that if you select the right screw, you will set yourself on the right path to achieve a secure and reliable fastening outcome.