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How to Choose the Right Security Screws


Making the right selection when choosing security screws can be bewildering. In this post we aim to help you avoid making mistakes when selecting the best security screws for your application.

There are many different types of security screws available today making it difficult to determine which is the right choice for any application. The best way to approach this challenge is to ask some relevant questions that will guide your selection.

  1. What do you need security screws for?
  2. Do you need security screws for a permanent fixing?
  3. Do you need screws which are tamper proof but removable?
  4. What type of screw thread do you need?
  5. What style of screw head do you need?
  6. What gauge and size of screws do you need?
  7. What material and finish do you require?


What Do You Need Security Screws For?

The first question to answer is exactly what you need security screws for. There are many types of security screws, some of which are designed for specific applications. For example:

  • If your aim is to secure electrical sockets and switch plates to prevent them from being removed or tampered with you need to replace the standard, slot-head or cross-head screws. You will need appropriate electrical security screws.
  • Alternatively, if your aim is to install security fencing such as Palisade fencing, Galvanised Saddle Bolts are typically used.
  • Maybe your aim is to affix a security anchor point to brickwork or concrete, in which case anchor bolts are likely to be most appropriate. 

Your security screw application will often define the most optimum type of security fastening.

If you are not certain which type of security screw or bolt is appropriate for your needs, give us a call on 01273 475500 and we will help you.

Do You Need Security Screws for a Permanent Fixing?

If the application for your security screws is to achieve a permanent, non-removable fixing then one-way, clutch head screws, which are installed with a standard flat blade screwdriver, or Sentinel One-way screws which are installed with a standard phillips / cross head screwdriver, would be a good choice. One way screws can’t be easily undone so they are ideal for fixings which are permanent, never to be removed.

Do You Need Screws Which are Tamper-Proof but Removable?

Many security screw applications need to be tamper-proof while remaining removable. This is achieved using security screws which require special tooling for installation and removal. These include snake eye (pig nose) screws, security hex screws and security torx screws.

 Security Screw Types

Both security hex and security torx screw heads include central security pins which prevent standard hex keys or torx screwdrivers from being used. And snake eye (pig nose) screws require a specialised tool to both install and remove them.

What Type of Screw Thread Do You Need?

The screw thread type that you require is determined by the security screw application. If your security screws are required to attach to a nut or a threaded socket then you need to select a machine screw. If you are securely attaching something to wood, plastic, laminate or similar - you need self-tapping or wood screws.

To save time during installation you might opt for self-drilling screws which feature a drill tip that creates the required hole, optimally sized for the screw. These cleverly designed screws avoid the need to pre-drill screw holes.

What Style of Screw Head Do You Need?

There are a variety of screw head types including countersunk, raised countersunk, round head (button head) and pan head. If it’s important that your security screws don’t protrude above the surface then countersunk screws are the right choice.

An often overriding factor is what the selected security screws look like once installed. Most security screw heads are aesthetically attractive due to their symmetrical appearance.

What Gauge and Size of Screws Do You Need?

The Whitworth thread was the first national screw thread standard, specified by Joseph Whitworth in 1841. These days metric standards are used and ISO metric standards define threads and sizes from M1 to M64.

Another important consideration is how long your security screws need to be. It is worth remembering that the length of countersunk screws is the total overall length, whereas the length of non-countersunk screws is the length of the screw shaft excluding the screw head.

What Material and Finish Do You Require?

If you are selecting screws for an outdoor application then you should be considering stainless steel screws, galvanised screws or another form of protective finish. For indoor applications weather-proofing is less important but aesthetic appearance may be.

Remember that here at Insight Security we are always ready to help you select the best security screws for your needs - give us a call on 01273 475500.


This message was added on Thursday 22nd August 2019

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