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What Is The Difference Between Self Tapping Screws, Wood Screws,  And Chipboard Screws?

What's The Difference? Why Does It Matter?

Selecting the most suitable screw for your woodwork project can make your installation process easier, avoid damage to the wood and ensure that the screws hold fast. Before we summarise how to choose the correct screw, it’s useful to understand the advantages of common types of screws that can be used with wood.

What Are Self Tapping Screws?

Self tapping screws is a broad term to describe screws which create their own thread within a pre-drilled hole. The Accu range of self tapping screws are designed for metal, and they are most commonly used in soft metals such as aluminium.

They are often chosen because of their increased resistance to vibration and ability to cut into materials such as sheet metal. Stainless steel self tapping screws can also be used in woodwork, but their threads are not specialised for this purpose. 

What Are Wood Screws?

Wood screws have sharper, coarser threads with a sharper tip than self tapping screws. This allows the screw to easily cut into the wood with reduced stress within the housing, which helps to prevent splitting. Another key benefit of the coarse thread on a wood screw is that more material sits between the threads as they are installed, making it harder for them to strip or cross thread. Accu wood screws are suitable for most woodwork applications and they are also used for attaching hinges, hardware and locks. Many wood screws are partially threaded, as an unthreaded section beneath the head allows the panel, floorboard or decking a small degree of movement once tightened, this prevents damage from the natural flexing of wood once installed. There are a wide range of wood screws available from Accu including popular countersunk and mushroom head variants.

What Are Chipboard Screws?

Chipboard screws have a thin shaft with coarse, sharp threads which cut into the material to tap their own hole. The tips and threads of chipboard screws are designed to be sharper than standard self tapping screws and wood screws to provide maximum protection from splitting, particularly for soft woods such as chipboard. These screws provide a convenient installation process for synthetic wood applications such as notoriously brittle chipboard.

Accu has a large range of stainless steel chipboard screws in various head types including partially threaded countersunk screws, which are designed to provide a neat finish that is flush with the housing’s surface.