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Everything you need to know when buying deck screws. Which screw is the best one for your project? In this blog, we give you tips about selecting the right deck screws and how to use them.
Building a deck is quite an investment of time and money, so you want to make sure it is done right. Good screws can significantly increase the lifespan of your new deck, so we advise you not to scrimp on the screws.
Which deck screws do I need?
When it comes to deck screws, we recommend using screws made of 410 stainless steel. In addition to being rust-resistant, 410 stainless steel deck screws can easily withstand the expansion and contraction of both hardwood and softwood. Other types of stainless steel have the same rust-resistance, but are not nearly as strong as 410 stainless steel. There is a big chance that they will break after a few years.
If you are making a deck out of wood that contains tannic acid, we recommend using coated deck screws. The special coating on these screws protects the steel against oxidation and acids found in Oak, Garapa, Western Red Cedar, Accoya, and Kapur hardwood. The organic coating consists of 3 different layers, so you do not have to worry that the coating will be damaged when using in the screws.
Wovar's 410 stainless steel deck screws have a flat, countersunk head with milling ribs. The milling ribs cause the deck screw to sink beautifully into the wood. Added to that, the razor-sharp cutting tip of the screw prevents the wood from splitting and means you do not have to pre-drill in softwood, like pine wood. We do still recommend pre-drilling in hardwood. Next to the milling ribs and cutting tip, Wovar's deck screws are equipped with shank ribs. The shank ribs are right above the thread and make room for the shank (sometimes called shaft) to enter the wood. On top of that, they remove the tension from the screw.
We recommend getting 5 mm thick deck screws. The length of the deck screws depends on the thickness of the wood you are using. Double the thickness of the wood and then round up to get the required length of the screw. For example, for a 24 mm piece of wood, you will need a 5 x 50 mm deck screw.
How do you install a deck screw?
With smooth boards, use a countersink drill bit. This allows the screw to sink into the wood smoothly and cleanly. Just three seconds of drilling with a countersink drill bit is enough. If you are not working with smooth boards, this is not necessary. When you are building your deck out of hardwood planks, we advise you to pre-drill with a 3.5 mm hardwood drill bit. This reduces the tension on the screw, and minimises the chance of breaking a screw. If you live in a place where the deck dries fast and often, use 3 screws per junction.
The best way to secure deck screws is by using a cordless drill with a corresponding bit. We recommend using the right bit to prevent damaging the screw. The most commonly used drive head for deck screws is Torx 25. Simply attach the TX25 bit to the drill, and you will find that the screws easily cut into the wood. Tip: use a magnetic bit holder for extra comfort.
You can find the different kinds of deck screws and other tools for building a deck on our website. Choose stainless steel deck screws or coated deck screws, and add decking clips or deck board spacers to your order to make sure you have the right distance between all the boards. And for that final touch, or if you are working with smooth boards, do not forget a countersink drill bit.