New Deck Screws That Drive and Drill Fast
Putting the fast in fastener: New decking fasteners are engineered for speed.
Two qualities come to mind when I look at the evolution of decking fasteners over the past couple of years: speed and ease. Whether you’re face-screwing deck boards or prefer the seamless look of a hidden-fastener system, manufacturers have begun focusing on tools and fasteners that help to get your deck finished faster than ever.
Plowing pilotless through hardwoods
Years ago, fastening deck planks with screws was a time-consuming, two-step process: Drill a pilot hole in the face of the board, then drive the screw. A few years ago, screw makers engineered special screws that didn’t require pilot holes for softwoods and many synthetic decking brands. The screws have tips that cut cleanly through decking and heads that neatly part the wood or composite surface for a neat, countersunk set. Only recently, though, have these pilotless screws been made compatible on hardwood decking like meranti, garapa, and ipé.
Manufacturers offering autofeed screw guns are on top of this category with the Ejector screw from Muro (www.muro.com), the #IPESS10212 from PAM Fastening Technology (www.pamfast.com), and the DHPD Hardwood Deck Screw from Simpson Strong-Tie (www.strongtie.com). If you’re driving screws with a standard screw gun, consider Splitstop screws or Starborn Industries’ Razorback screws to minimize the chance of splitting. The screws work well in general, but there are always those harder-than-usual boards that bog down a screw until it snaps, or a wild grain that’s just ready to split. To avoid mishaps, set your drill-driver torque limit down a few notches, keep your eye out for wild grain, and take the time to drill pilot holes in butt joints between boards, just in case.
Pneumatic screws to the rescue — again
What if you take a metal-connector nailer, load it with pneumatically driven screws,…