There was a day when there were only two options of screws to choose from. You either had a slotted or Phillips. You picked the one you liked, chose a length and were ready to tackle the job you had in front of you.

A lot has changed in recent years and the industry has created a wide variety of options to choose from in regards to fasteners. This is due in a large part to changing technology. Back in the day when a screwdriver was the primary method for inserting screws, the Phillips was the king. However, most people have switched to cordless drills/drivers and the hardware has upgraded as well in order to limit bit slippage and stripping of the metal.

The Quadrex is the combination of a square (Robertson) and Phillips head screw. It provides a great amount of surface area and allows lots of pressure to be used in application. It’s a great option for intense-driving needs, such as in framing.

Torx or star drive heads, provide a lot of power transference between driver and screw. They’re a great choice when a lot of screws are needed and provide minimum wear on bits. They’re often referred to as “security fasteners,” as they’re the top choice of many schools, correctional institutions and public buildings. They’re also used in automotive applications and anywhere else where removing them needs to be difficult to accomplish.

Sheet metal or panhead screws are most useful, when there is no need for the screw to be flush or countersunk to the material. The heads are wider and the thread extends the entire length and are excellent for attaching wood to other materials such as metal.

When choosing your screws, don’t discount the material that comprise each type. Indoors, you can use a less expensive zinc screw or materials and coating chosen for visual appeal. However, outdoor screws need protection against corrosion. Your best bet are silicon-coated bronze screws are those made of stainless steel.

In regards to size, a good piece of advice is that the screw should enter at least half the thickness of the bottom material. Thickness should also be considered since screws are gauged from sizes 2-16. Most of the time you’ll want a #8 screw. If the material is especially thick or of above average weight, upgrade to something around #11-14. If the material is very fine, #6 is a great choice.

If you’re looking for the right screw for your next home improvement project or for any tool you may be seeking, come check out our warehouse in Joplin, MO. We have tools for every application and look forward to seeing you.