Better deck screws?

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Old 04-30-13, 07:22 AM
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Better deck screws?

Ok I have the whole nail vs screw thing worked out from the other thread. I eventually went with the strongtie screws made by simpson. They are so strong, fast and easy to use I don't know why anyone would even bother with nails anymore other than a slight cost savings.

Unfortunately I'm having the exact opposite experience with the deck screws I bought. I am using the SPAX 2.5" stainless steel screws, which use a #2 square drive. They strip out if you look at them wrong! And once stripped you can't back them out. Tried a brand new bit and they still do the same at any speed or pressure.

I'll be staining the deck later on so I didn't want to use a colored screw, so I figured the SS was the was to go but it's so soft. Is there a better screw out there?
 
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Old 04-30-13, 07:42 AM
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Stainless is a soft metal.
Use ceramic coated instead. If you use the trim head screws there not going to show.
 
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Old 04-30-13, 08:20 AM
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I have had trouble with the ceramic coated screws rusting so use stainless whenever possible. They are soft and do strip out if not careful. I pilot drill and counter sink before installing the screw which cuts down on the torque required and no more stripped heads. Most home centers sell a counter sinking pilot drill just for the job and it makes it go much faster.

 
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Old 04-30-13, 08:26 AM
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I thought the trim head screws were only for composites, I'm using 5/4 PT boards. Will they hold?

If I go with a deckmate or something like them, will the different colors (gray, brown, yellow) be very noticeable? I eventually want to stain the deck to a very mild cedar or something.

Also some of the screws came is star/torx drive, will that strip less then square?
 
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Old 04-30-13, 10:20 AM
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I use stainless steel flat (actually bugle) head screws which are intended for wood.



Yes, generally the torx drive screws are very resistant to stripping. Partially due to the shape of the driver and partially because the premium screws are made with a better quality steel.
 
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Old 04-30-13, 11:02 AM
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I prefer a # 2 square drive screw but those who put them in all day long seem to always prefer torx drive.
 
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Old 04-30-13, 11:40 AM
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I hate the Torx because there are several different sizes commonly used. I've even seen some brands use a different size Torx on different lengths of the same diameter screw. It leaves me cursing and walking back to the truck to look for the correct bit. Square drive and Philips are pretty standardized and make life a little easier.
 
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Old 04-30-13, 01:35 PM
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Well I gave up on the square drive SS screws. I got a brand new bit and on the first screw, with my drill set on low speed and clutched light, it stripped out again with the screw only half way in! I'll never use a square drive stainless steel screw again, just to dang soft.

I then went to Home Depot for a different type. I'm looking at what they had and then I asked the guy for some advise. It turned out to be a vender, and he had a demo set up of the GRK deck screws around the corner. He handed me a drill and told me to strip it out as much as I want. I beat on it for a few seconds, but it would still drive and remove just fine. Also no predrilling needed, He had PT, oak, and cedar 1x there, no splits on any of them. The torx bits it uses are all color coordinated and come with the screws so you know which ones to use. I was impressed, but we will see how it goes.
 
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Old 04-30-13, 05:17 PM
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Oh, I finally noticed you're in lakeland. I'll remember to not spit out the window next year coming into Sun-N-Fun.

Stainless is good but it is soft. I've had to throw away more than one fastener, and they are not cheap. Make sure to post back and let us know how those screws work out.
 
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Old 04-30-13, 05:46 PM
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Simpson makes a stainless t-25 torx screw you could look into.
 
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Old 04-30-13, 06:17 PM
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Using an impact driver might also help reducing the stripping out the screws.
 
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Old 04-30-13, 06:44 PM
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Well according to the rep, they have a better corrosion resistance then anything else short of SS, but we will see. I only got to drive a handful of them tonight, but they worked great. Drove in with ease, no splitting, and even at angles the bit never came close to slipping. He also said something about them being grade 8 steel and much stronger then SS. So far so good.

I live right by the airport, I get to watch the sun n fun airshow from my backyard, so the deck will come in handy soon.
 
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