Often when people are working on little or big projects around the house they tend to just make due with materials and supplies they have found around the house. Wood screws are often one of those items that are simply used as available. While many different screws will work for several projects, taking the time to have the right fasteners on hand really does make a difference.
Wood screws are different than metal screws or other types of specialty screws. They have a slightly coarser thread and they come to a definite point at the end to allow the screw to self-start into wood. The thread on the screw literally bites into the wood, holding the screw in much tighter than a smooth nail. In addition these types of screws generally are designed with a flat head that allows the screw to be positioned flush to the wood surface, leaving a smooth surface. Round head screws have a dome shape to them and will protrude slightly from the wall or wood surface. These are typically used in areas where the screws will not be seen. Oval head screws are the least common and they are just slightly raised or convex through the head, not as noticeable as a full round head. These screws can be used to make a very finished looking fastening on furniture or other items. Generally all types of screws are available with a slotted or Phillips type of head as well, with the choice a personal preference. Specialized types of screws can also have different slot types, perfect for a variety of woodworking and construction projects.
Wood screws come in a wide variety of lengths depending on your needs. Typically the longer the screw the heavier and larger the objects are that are being connected or held in place. Smaller screws are used for the smaller objects or in wood that is very brittle or hard. Drilling hole in these types of wood surfaces before starting the screw is recommended and this greatly reduces the chance of splintering or splitting as the screw is inserted.
Depending on the size and type of screw it can be made of several different materials. Carbon steel is the most common metal for wood screws and this steel is generally coated with zinc to give a nice, shiny, rust resistant surface. These screws are resistant to corrosion and are good for both indoor and outdoor use. Brass screws are also popular and they may be left in the natural brass color or they can be coated with another color or material as well. Brass screws are very resistant to corrosion and degradation over time, making them a good choice for outdoor construction needs.
Stainless steel screws, sometimes known as 18-8 stainless steel, are a good option for all types of uses. These are the screws most often used in building boats or any type of construction where the surface will be exposed to water, snow or ice. They are very resistant to rust and corrosion and they are very hard and not prone to breaking or twisting even when used in very hard wood. Hardened steel and 305 stainless steel are also excellent options for all weather types of construction. Silicon bronze screws are likewise extremely strong and durable and can be used in all types of construction, including marine remodeling and building.
Wood screws can also be coated or finished to match with specific colors and finishes. Different colors including green, black, brown, tan and blue are available as are yellow zinc finish screws. Checking out the variety of different screws for different projects is a good idea before you get started as you can really add to your project by choosing the right hardware.
Sandy Winslow is a writer on many topics, including construction and home improvement. There are literally hundreds of types of wood screws available to give you everything you need in fasteners for your next do-it-yourself project.