When your project requires fasteners to hold together, do you know what kind is the best type for your project? Using the right fastener can mean all the difference between a high-quality finished project and one that falls apart or needs constant repairs. Here’s a quick look at the different types of fasteners and in which applications they work best.
What are the different types of fasteners?
Nails are a very common type of fastener, featuring a metal shaft with a point on one end and a broader head on the other, which is driven into the material with force. They come in a wide range of options, including ring-shank that tend to stay in wood better, plastic-washer heads that work well with sheet foam insulation and framing nails that are designed to hold framing lumber in place in a structure.
Screws take advantage of the principle of the inclined plane. It’s laid out in a similar fashion to a nail, but includes threads that spiral up the shaft towards the head and has a drive receiver at the head, typically a cutout to receive a regular, Phillips, star or square drive or a hex head for a wrench. They work well when you don’t want the material to shift, such as in drywall, or when you’ll need to tighten the fastener down further in the future, such as furniture joints that may work loose over time.
Staples are commonly used for fastening lightweight material to a surface, such as plastic vapor barrier or insulation. Larger staples can be used to hold trim or small pieces of wood in place, especially in places where a perfect finish isn’t needed such as a pallet or hidden areas of furniture.
Nuts and Bolts
When you need to fasten through material rather than to material, nuts and bolts are used. The bolt is similar to a screw but lacks the pointed tip. It’s often secured either in a threaded receptacle in the material you’re working with or a nut with the same thread as the bolt. They’re often used in mechanical connections and with larger tie plates or straps to ensure a strong hold.
What are the applications for different fasteners?
Within each fastener category, there are a wide range of types to meet most applications. Nails and staples are typically used in installations where they’re expected to remain in place, such as a home’s framing. Screws and bolts are used either when a material is placed temporarily, where adjustment may be required or to ensure that the materials do not separate. The often smooth shafts of nails or staples can pull out with force, but the process of removing them may mar the surface of the material or bend the fastener. Screws or bolts, which are held in place by the threads, can be removed by applying force with a screwdriver or wrench, putting little to no pressure on the surface of the material while still keeping it locked in place.
By using the right fastener for your project, you’ll get great results without having to go back in and fix problems with the installation or assembly later on. If you need help finding the perfect fastener for your project, the professionals at Poulin Lumber are ready to help. Please feel free to contact us today for more information or with any questions.