Thread cutting screws are categorized under the self-tapping category. This means that such screws have a self-drilling configuration. Some people refer to them as thread-forming screws too. A tapered or notched end and strong, sharp threads are the characteristics of such screws. The construction and manufacturing sector is highly dependent on such screws for fastening purposes. Where rapid insertion and a secure fit is needed, these screws are often seen.
Characteristics of self-drilling screws
The self-drilling characteristics of such screws make them easy to use with hard materials such as steel, wood, high-quality plastics, plywood, and other composites. Fabricators and technicians can save time while working with these screws because they don't need pre-drilled holes. The screw can be directly inserted into the desired material as it creates a matching threaded hole with the mating surface. Once inserted, these screws do not lose their grip for several years at a stretch. Available in standard and metric sizes, such screws are extensively used all across the world.
Sheet metal screws are among the most common type of self tapping screws. They are used mainly for holding together two or more sheets of metal. You might find such screws in automobile body panels, or HVAC piping. They are widely used in the construction sector as well.
Applications and usage
While some thread cutting screws are threaded right from the tip of their shank to the underside of the screw head, the threading on some other types of screws stops a few centimeters short of the base of the screw head. However, screws that have a fully-headed shank are known to offer very tight fastening properties. These screws become are efficient when used with sheet metal as they pull the sheet metal tightly around their threads.
There is a separate variety of screws for wood-work projects. In some cases, sheet metal screws could be used on wood, but never the other way round. Self tapping screws for wood are mainly used in the industries such as furniture manufacturing and interior decoration in homes, marine vessels and even trains. These screws are often simply referred to as a 'wood screw'.
Choosing screws based on the head type
The head of a screw is an important aspect to consider when you make a purchase decision. For instance, you might want an oval head screw will protrude ever so slightly from the surface. But a flat head screw will be at the same level as that of the mating surface, without protruding. A Phillips screw driver would be needed with a flat head screw.
Irrespective of whether you are purchasing fully threaded thread cutting screws or any other type of screw, you should only purchase ones that have been duly tested for high performance and durability. Screws should always be made using high-grade materials otherwise they might corrode in no time.
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