Screws come in all sorts of styles and sizes, offering a bewildering choice for the uninitiated.

There are several ways to differentiate screws, here are just a few of the more useful ones. 

Thread Type

Machine screws are designed to screw into a pre threaded nut or aperture. They are often referred to as bolts (particularly the larger sizes) and are available in a range of head styles including; countersunk, raised countersunk, dome head and cheese head for example. Machine screws typically have a parallel sided shaft, another words, the width of the threaded shaft at the tip is the same as the width immediately below the head.

Threaded screws where the shaft tapers from just below the head to the tip, are designed to cut into various types of material to fix them together. The most common type is the simple woodscrew which is designed primarily to join two or more pieces of wood together securely.

Other examples of this type of threaded screw include: self tapping screws, self drilling screws and concrete screws among others. 

Drive Head / Driver type

Over the years, many different types of driver head have evolved, some more successful than others. Early forms of drive head featured a simple slot cut into the head of the screw, which enabled the screw to be done up or removed using a flat bladed screwdriver. Although widely used, this type of drive head allows the screwdriver blade to easily slip out and damage the surrounding area as the screw is being tightened, so alternatives have evolved.

The Philips or Posidrive head driver type have been available for many years and have been the saviour of many a DIY handyman, as this type of drive head seriously reduces the chance of driver blade slippage during installation.

More recently different types of recess have been introduced into screw heads, all designed to primarily provide a more secure fit between the driver and the screw during installation, allowing greater torque to be applied safely.

Examples of this are the Allen type hexagonal recess, the Robertson style square recess and the 5 or 6 lobe Torx or Star Drive style recesses. Many modern screws have now adopted the Torx style drive head, which seems to offer the best performance for high torque applications. 

Material Type and Finish

While the bulk of screws are manufactured from steel, alternatives include plastic, brass and aluminium among others, each of which is typically designed for use with very specific types of application.

Steel screws are available in a range of types and finish. Stainless steel screws for instance are designed to offer better protection against weather or hostile environments, that will cause standard mild steel screws to quickly rust.

There are even different grades of stainless steel screws available. A stainless steel screw described as an "A2" grade, will be great for general outdoor applications, but if your screw is going to be used near the coast or in other hostile areas, you will need an "A4" grade screw which is designed for use in marine environments.

For certain applications, mild steel screws can be hardened with a heat treatment to make them stronger, however this process can also make them more brittle, which can cause them to shear during installation if used for the wrong type of application.

Most standard screws have a surface coating applied, such as BZP (Bright Zinc Plate) which offers some protection against rust and corrosion, however this will offer very little protection against weather if used outdoors. 

Application Specific Screws

Woodscrews are designed for use with wood based materials. Standard woodscrews feature a single thread and are typically used to secure softwood materials together while the more advanced Twin thread woodscrew cuts installation time in half and is therefore an installers favourite. More recently a new generation of super woodscrew has evolved (at significantly higher selling price), designed basically for used with hardwoods which benefit from a sharper thread and hardened structure.

Decking screws are designed to offer secure fixing of wooden deck planks to the timber support beams. They are hardened for performance and weather treated to protect against rust and corrosion.

Plasterboard screws are designed specifically for securing plasterboard sheets to timber framework

Masonry screws are designed for fixing items to concrete, brick or stone. Although this type of screw is self tapping, they require a pre-drilled pilot hole to screw in to. 

Security Screws and Fasteners

For security applications – there are a vast range of security screws and fastenings to choose from including specialised security screws, bolts, nuts and secure enclosures amongst many other security products. Visit our Security Screws and Fixings section for details of the hundreds of security fasteners available from stock to purchase for immediate delivery. 

Screws and Bolts Summary

Screws and Bolts is a vast subject to cover and is the subject of endless volumes of books and manufacturers websites.

We are very conscious that we have merely scratched the surface here, but hope that you will find the brief introduction offered above, a good starting point from which you can explore what is important to you for your application.

See all Screws and Bolts at Insight Security

See all Security Screws and Fixings at Insight Security  

Screws for Various Applications

Woodscrews Twin thread CSK hardened steel, BZP - No.4

Quantity

1 - 4

5 - 10

11 +

Price

£0.58 ex VAT

£0.52 ex VAT

Call 01273 475500


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Woodscrews Twin thread CSK hardened steel, BZP - No.6

Quantity

1 - 4

5 - 10

11 +

Price

£0.84 ex VAT

£0.36 ex VAT

Call 01273 475500


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Woodscrews Twin thread CSK hardened steel, BZP - No.8

Quantity

1 - 4

5 - 10

11 +

Price

£0.97 ex VAT

£0.88 ex VAT

Call 01273 475500


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Woodscrews Twin thread CSK hardened steel, BZP - No.10

Quantity

1 - 4

5 - 10

11 +

Price

£1.70 ex VAT

£1.53 ex VAT

Call 01273 475500


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Woodscrews Twin thread CSK hardened steel, BZP - No.12

Quantity

1 - 4

5 - 10

11 +

Price

£3.60 ex VAT

£3.24 ex VAT

Call 01273 475500


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