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Decking screws you shouldn't buy

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  1. #1
    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    Default Decking screws you shouldn't buy

    Just finished another deck for one of my daughters. They didn't want to spend much because the house will go on the market next year.
    Bought turpentine deck ... not impressed at all, way too many cracks, reminds me of Cyprus pine.

    And then I bought cheap screws on ebay.
    This crap:
    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/2000-Dec...72.m2749.l2649

    Never buy this crap for yourself if you life depends on it.

    The steel they made this is called "Chinesium".
    You need to press the drive on the head with all you might and some more, to stop the driver from stripping the head. Even with all possible care, you strip some of the screws. If you have enough screw left to grab it with pliers, you can turn the screw back. If it is too close to the board, you are literally screwed and will most likely lose the board and your time.

    And this is not all, to add insult to injury, if there is anything hard in the joist, the screw will snap where the thread end and the shaft begins. And then you are screwed once more.
    Avoid like the plague.
    Buy torque drive. Square drive is the pits and this particular screws stoop even lower. Bottom of the bird cage.
    Caca.
    “In the fields of observation chance favors only the prepared mind.”
    Louis Pasteur



  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    Buy torque drive.
    What are "torque drive" as when I look it up it brings up vacuum cleaners.

  3. #3
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    Think it's Torx drive, like a curved hex drive

    Did you pre- drill, Marc? (I do so regardless of whether it says self drilling)

  4. #4
    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    Absolutely yes, pre drill and countersink with Smartbit number 8. The smart bit came in the box of screws. Broke about 3 drills until the cutter become dull ... probably after 300 lm and bought another one to finish.
    Probably could get away with no pre drilling on TP? Surely not on Turpentine.

    Hudsons is closer than Bunnings so I called them and asked if they stock smart bits. After a short hesitation, the girl on the phone hung up on me ...

    And yes, Bros, it is Torx not Torque nor Torquay
    Come to think of it ... I could use a vacuum cleaner to suck up the sawdust. A torque one sounds powerful.

    I am not sure it is the actual design of the drive, that is the square drive, that is at fault. I used a lot of Robertson screws when i was making furniture and they work a treat. I believe this particular screw is made with rubbish metal. Tried to grab a failed on with the claw hammer and the head squished between the claws as if it was made of lead.
    Stay away from them.
    “In the fields of observation chance favors only the prepared mind.”
    Louis Pasteur



  5. #5
    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    PS
    The two template that came with the screws, seemed to be a great idea at the time. Called "the deckhand" worked a treat for spacing and screws line up ... until I realised that when the design was good, the manufacture was garbage. The position of the holes and their line up with the edge of the spacers is wrong by a mile. Was able to correct the hole position with new holes and file the edges that were out of whack.
    Another good idea badly executed.
    “In the fields of observation chance favors only the prepared mind.”
    Louis Pasteur



  6. #6
    Je pense, donc METRIX's Avatar
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    That's strange Marc, I use those Powers screws all the time, have probably put 30 - 50 thousand of them into various boards from Merbau, Spotted, Blackbutt, Northern Box and others

    Always 9G Trim head and always use the smartbit and I can't really complain about them, I use them with Impacts and don't have any issues.
    I have also recommended many people to buy them, the feedback was great screws.

    What driver were you using, and screwing into pine or HW ?

    I have also used the deck hands, and found them to work fine, none were out of alignment, only problem is the holes will get chewed out way before the deck is finished because the guide is made form plastic.
    I haven't used them for many years preferring to use chalklines instead as I find it quicker and more accurate.

    Sounds like you may have got a faulty box ?

    The ones you got sound like the Zenith ones Bunnings sell, had a box that somehow managed to get into my stock and thought I would just use them on the shed floor as I wasn't to worried about what was screwing the floor down.

    The floor was TP boards into TP, I snapped 2 to 3 in every 5, after about 50 screws I gave up and chucked the box, I grabbed a box of the powers to finish the job off, every one went in without any issues.

    capture.jpg
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  7. #7
    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    Not Zenith but Powers, Makita impact and TP joist. Made a small deck for a neighbour not long ago, with bunnings torx screws he bought with no issues.

    I bought two boxes and they are both the same rubbish. I know a bit about steel and this steel is not 304, it is way too soft.
    Faulty box? Possible, knowing chinese manufacturing standards.
    As for the deck hand, the one I got both were out of whack. I don't drill through the plastic or it will last like a fart in a basket. I use a soft pencil to mark the holes. I was able to adjust by filing the tabs and re drill the one there were out, and they worked OK after that.
    “In the fields of observation chance favors only the prepared mind.”
    Louis Pasteur



  8. #8
    Je pense, donc METRIX's Avatar
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    I would contact Better Hardware and let them know, I have been buying these Powers Screws from them for years.
    Maybe Powers has sold out to some cheap company who is manufacturing them from Plasticine to save money.
    Mieux vaut prévenir que guérir

  9. #9
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    After not being able to rely on the quality of SS deckings crews and trying a few thousand of the ceramic coated ones from Scrooz I never use SS. Like Metrix I've used Powers and they were OK, Zenith are rubbish.

    But after several years of using the Scrooz Razr-deck Highload Ceramic https://www.scrooz.com.au/screws/dec...hload-ceramic/ I'm not going back. Breakages are very rare even into extremes and woods - always pre-drill of course.

    Note that I am inland not on the coast, but two decks I did for friends in beach front locations >6 years ago and many around pools I've had no failures from corrosion.
    Advice from me on this forum is general and for guidance based on information given by the member posing the question. Not to be used in place of professional advice from people appropriately qualified in the relevant field. All structural work must be approved and constructed to the BCA or other relevant standards by suitably licensed persons. The person doing the work and reading my advice accepts responsibility for ensuring the work done accords with the applicable law.

  10. #10
    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    Whatever the reason, I am never buying square drive again.
    There is a say in spanish that goes like this ... "He who burns himself with milk ... sees a cow and cries" ...
    “In the fields of observation chance favors only the prepared mind.”
    Louis Pasteur



  11. #11
    Je pense, donc METRIX's Avatar
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    I agree, Square drive can be poor at times, especially with Stainless, in the US they have a lot of Torx, we don't have much choice here so the prices are high.
    If you wan't to try some screws that are made from paper and sprayed to look like Stainless, get a box of those Zenith, they are a disgrace, I wouldn't even use them as a paperweight.

    Perhaps these will suit your needs.

    https://www.scrooz.com.au/screws/dec...ews-torxdrive/
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  12. #12
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    Cant go wrong with scrooz and good prices on most products. Torx is the best for holding screws but square drive is still superior to phillips head. Only problem i found with square drive is if you screw too quick with the impact. they can slip off. Need to maybe put your impact on number 2 setting.

  13. #13
    Je pense, donc METRIX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sol381 View Post
    Cant go wrong with scrooz and good prices on most products. Torx is the best for holding screws but square drive is still superior to phillips head. Only problem i found with square drive is if you screw too quick with the impact. they can slip off. Need to maybe put your impact on number 2 setting.
    Definitely, the fastest setting on the latest impacts is too much for most smaller screws, I have used the latest DeWalt impacts, they spin so fast they nearly take off

    Most square drives with coatings are too thick, especially that dark grey one that looks like thick paint.
    Because the coating is too the square drive won't fit in them causing it to jump off at the slightest amount of pressure.

    The best coated one I have found are these Buildex Climacoat, never snapped one or had the square bit jump off, comes in 40,50,65mm.


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  14. #14
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    yeah those are good. I pretty much use those on all my merbau decking. I like them as they blend in to the wood as well, unlike stainless which stand out.

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