Tapping, drilling and piercing. No, this isn't some kind of extreme tattoo parlour these are three of the main types of screws used all over the world in a multitude of diverse projects. And the bonus is, they do these things themselves! Welcome to the original Selfie Collection.
You may have heard one, two or all three of the terms 'self tapping', 'self drilling' and 'self piercing' and even used them interchangeably but there are obviously differences between them and getting it right is easy with our handy breakdown of each type below.
This is the most common term and is broadly used to mean any of the three types. A self tapping screw has the ability to advance as it is driven, creating its own threads as it goes - this is in contrast to components such as machine screws, where a pre-threaded cut is necessary to achieve good results. Each screw is given an accurate, continuous cutting edge to drill away whatever material it is used on and it is this edge that does all the work, not the point of the screw as is commonly believed.
These can be most closely compared to sheet metal screws but have a drill-shaped point which can cut strongly through metals without the need for pilot holes. Usually used on soft steel, self drilling screws are arranged by size and numbered 1 to 5 - higher numbers are used for thicker metals. A five-point self drilling screw, which can also be referred to as a tek screw, pro point or drill bit tap screw, is capable of drilling through a 13mm piece of steel sheet.
Another component with a lot of names (just to confuse you!), self piercing screws can also be named zip, needle point or pencil point screws. They are externally threaded and can piere through metals of light gauges as well as tapping their own mating threads as they are driven in. These high-performance screws have sharp angles of as low as 25 degrees.
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