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Collated Screw Systems
Collated Screw Systems
  • How Screws Are Measured

    Screws come in a variety of types and sizes for an endless number of construction tasks—from woodworking to metal roof installations. But, choose the wrong length or width, and it can split the wood, or affect the soundness of a structure. As with staples, screw measurement is slightly more complicated than that of nails. Here are three essential measurements every tradesperson should know.

    Screw measurement has three main points

    Screw Measurement, In Three Parts

    There are three main screw measurements: gauge, length, and threads per inch (TPI). When shopping for collated screws at Nail Gun Depot, for instance, you’ll find screws labeled like this: Duraspin #8 x 1-1/4" #08X125CBACTS. So, what do the #8 and 1-1/4" mean?

    Screw Gauge

    The first number is screw gauge, which refers to the outside thread diameter. This is also known as “major diameter.” Screws with a major diameter less than 1/4” are typically labeled in sizes #0 to #14. Screws with a 1/4" or larger major diameter are labeled in fractions of an inch.

    For each gauge size, there is a decimal equivalent. Example: #1 = .073”. That number increases by .013” with each increasing size. For the #8 Duraspin screw (shown below), the decimal equivalent is 0.164”. Engineering Toolbox has a handy screw size chart that lists screw gauges and their decimal equivalents.

    Beyond major diameter, screws have other width measurements. The width beneath the threaded part of the screw is known as root diameter or “minor diameter." The measurement of the unthreaded part of the screw (if not fully threaded) is the shank diameter.

    Durasping Screw, Screw #8 x 1-1/4", #2 Square, Round Washer, Type 17 #08X125CBACTS

    Screw Length

    The next important aspect of screw measurement is shaft length. In the Duraspin screw mentioned above, the length is the second detail in its label—1-1/4". Shaft length is the part of the screw that drives into a surface. 

    The length measurement for a countersinking screw is the distance from the top of the head to the tip. This goes for flat-head, bugle-head, trim-head—and any other countersinking screw where the head can be driven beneath a surface.

    For a non-countersinking screw, it's the distance from the bottom of the head to the tip. So for hex-, pan-, button-, round-, and truss-head screws, length is measured from directly under the head to the tip. One exception: an oval-head screw, which can be partially countersunk, is measured from the widest point of the head to the tip.

    Below is an example of two non-countersinking timber screws from Simpson Strong-Tie. The first screw has a washer head with a low profile. The second screw also has a washer head, but a more prominent hex drive. Note where the length is measured on each.

    SDWS Log screw (SDWS221500)vand a SHWH Timber Simpson Strong-Tie Hex screw (SDWH271500G).

    Threads Per Inch (TPI)

    TPI is a measurement of the number of threads in a one-inch section of screw. The TPI measurement occasionally follows the screw gauge with a hyphen. For example, a screw labeled "#10-12" has a #10 gauge with 12 threads per inch. You may have heard the term "thread pitch," which refers to the number of threads per unit of measurement.

    Check out the detailed measurements, below, for the Senco Duraspin 08X125CBACTS washer-head screw. The #8 gauge screw has a major diameter of 0.17" and 8 TPI. The screw is 1-1/4" long, a measurement taken from the bottom of the head to the point.

    Technical information for Senco Duraspin

    If you're shopping for collated screws and need help, contact Customer Service for assistance.


     

    Shop Collated Screws

    Senco Duraspin Collated Screws

    Quik Drive Collated Screws

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  • 6 Tips: Preserving Tool Battery Power in Cold Weather

    Cordless tools are more common than ever these days, and what’s more, they keep improving as manufacturers continue to innovate. You’ve probably noticed that Lithium-Ion battery power has surpassed NiCad (nickel-cadmium) and NiMH (nickel metal hydride) in cordless tools—and nearly everything else we use. But in cold weather, Li-Ion batteries seem to lose steam. We'll help you preserve power in your cordless tool battery with 6 easy tips.

    Dewalt DCN693M1Li-Ion Cordless Metal Connector Nailer at Nail Gun Depot

    Benefits of Lithium-Ion Batteries

    Lithium-ion batteries have many benefits over their predecessors; they store a larger amount of electricity, have a lower rate of self-discharge, and are more compact/weigh less than other rechargeable batteries. These cordless tool batteries aren’t delicate flowers, but they do have more basic requirements for maintaining optimal performance. You may have noticed, for instance, that your Li-Ion-powered tool is a little less forgiving in colder weather.

    Batteries are a collection of chemicals and other materials assembled to create a reaction that will then power your tool. And chemicals inside of them can be impacted by extreme situational changes. On the plus side, if you can call it that, Li-Ion is more stressed by extreme heat than extreme cold. Protection circuitry mainly prevents over-heating. but It's up to you to prevent over-cooling.

    Here’s a fact: When the temp dips below 40°F, Li-Ion batteries don’t fully hold a charge. And trying to charge them at that temperature can permanently affect run-time. So, what to do?

    Preserving battery power, as in a Senco Lithium Ion 18 V Battery

    How to Preserve a Li-Ion Tool Battery in Cold Weather:

    1. Store (and charge) batteries within the temperature range recommended by the tool manufacturer. While you can discharge a tool battery in extreme cold, charging it in freezing temps (32°F or colder) is a no-no. You may not see the damage, that doesn’t mean it’s not happening inside the battery.

    2. If a Li-Ion battery has fallen below 40°F, place it in a room-temperature area for an hour or two and let it warm up. What is room temperature? About 72°F, give or take a few digits.

    3. Optimal temps aren’t always available job sites. When not using the Li-Ion tool battery in cold weather, remove it and place in a pants pocket to transfer some body heat to the battery. Another option is to use a gel warmer in the tool bag while it’s in the work car/truck.

    4. Don’t let a Li-Ion battery completely discharge before re-charging it. Unlike older battery types, Li-Ion doesn’t need to be completely drained/re-charged. Li-Ion batteries suffer from little to no “memory effect,” or low-charge capacity when continually charged from a partially charged state.

    5. Once you start to feel power lagging, swap out the battery with a spare and recharge the first one. Having a few spare batteries on hand will keep you powered up. Yes, you should have a spare battery. And yes, we sell those at Nail Gun Depot.

    6. When it’s time to store the battery for an extended period, leave 40% to 50% life in it. This helps keep it stable and keeps the circuit protection operational. Store the battery in a cool (40°F to 60°F), dry area on a plastic or wood (not metal) shelf. 


     

    Shop Cordless Tools

    cordless nailerscordless staplers and accessories, and cordless screw guns

    Shop Batteries

    Metabo HPT (Hitachi) batteries, Dewalt batteries, Senco batteries, and Bostitch batteries

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  • Installing Subfloors: Nails vs. Screws

    Can’t decide whether to use nails or screws to install subflooring? Choosing the right fastener can make all the difference in the quality and value of your installation. Before making a decision, consider the following key points:

    Which is faster?

    When time is of the essence, nailing is the quickest fastening option when installing subfloor. Regardless of firing mode, an air nailer lets you drive nails within seconds of each other, which saves time compared to using a screw gun. Screws need to be twisted into the subfloor, which takes more time than simply shooting a nail into subfloor material.

    SN902XP_SUB-FLOOR

    However, some screw guns, like the Senco DuraSpin DS440-AC, are auto-fed. A collated strip of screws in this case makes screwing subfloors a little faster, although it’s not as swift as nailing.

    Which is more economical?

    If you’re on a tight budget, nails are the more economical solution. But, not all nails are created equal. Stainless steel nails, for instance, offer a higher quality, but are pricier. Overall, screws tend to be somewhat more expensive, but like nails, some offer better quality for a higher price.

    With that said, it’s imperative you choose a fastener compatible with your subfloor thickness and material. The quality and correct type of fastener can literally make or break your floor. The better the quality now, the longer your floor will last later – not to mention the sturdier it will be.

    Which has better holding power?

    As far as nails go, ring shank nails are a popular choice for subflooring. A ring shank has extra grip and holding power, compared to other shank types, and creates a tighter subfloor. Although ring shank nails have a good hold, screws have more overall holding power by comparison. With a larger thread gripping a bigger surface area around them, screws hold your subfloor very tightly – allowing no wiggle room for shifting or loosening.

    Paslode TetraGrip Installation

    Several nail manufacturers, such as Senco and Paslode, have released their own proprietary solutions to improve the holding strength of a subfloor nail. Senco's Whisper Grip nail features lower rings designed to fully engage and grip the joist or studs, while upper rings ensure the nail remains countersunk - even if the joist or studs are missed. Paslode's TetraGRIP System takes it a step further, with a barbed thread design that when driven into wood, bonds with the fibers without destroying the wood. Paslode describes it as “rotation without destruction.”

    Which is more durable?

    Consider the heating and cooling of floors during the summer and winter months. Subfloors and fasteners, like any other material, will expand and contract with temperature. This means that movement, even at a micro level, will occur. The smaller thread on a ring shank, compared to the larger screw thread, doesn’t provide as much grip as the larger one does. This means that the ring shank nail acquires less stress, but can essentially “move with the floor” more so than a screw can.

    By comparison, the screw has much better holding power, and can therefore contribute to an overall tighter subfloor. However, when the subfloor expands and contracts with temperature, or even house movements, the screw can’t move with the shift. This builds stress in the screw, which can cause the screw head to shear off in extreme circumstances. Likewise, if a screw is not driven flush, is over driven, or the wrong size screw is used, the screw head as an increased chance of breaking.

    Which fastener prevents floor squeaks?

    The fastener you choose will certainly play a part in whether your floor squeaks or not. Nails have greater potential for causing squeaking floors, due to their temperature flexibility. Movement between the subfloor and nail (even a ring shank) inevitably causes the two to become loosened over time, which creates floor squeaking – particularly in high-traffic areas.

    Screws, if driven properly, prevent creaking floors. A screw firmly holds the subfloor in place, which ensures a squeak-less floor for years to come.

    Quik Drive Subfloor Installation

    Are there any alternative options?

    Perhaps a happy medium in the subfloor nail versus screw debate, SubLoc Pro Scrail Fasteners offer a hybrid between the traditional nail and screw. Combining the versatility of a nail with the hold strength of a screw, they can be used with most framing nailers – meaning Scrails can be driven much faster than screws. Like a screw though, Scrail Fasteners can be adjusted and removed after placement.

    With aggressive threading along the whole shank, Scrails have exceptional holding power, ensuring the subflooring remains tight. Scrails also have a diamond coating, which provides extra grip once installed into the subfloor material. This improved holding strength means floor squeaks are virtually non-existent.

    For any subflooring project, always consult your local fastening schedule, and find out what fastener length is appropriate for your subfloor. Nail Gun Depot offers nails, screws and Scrails, as well as specifications for all of our subfloor fasteners.

     

    ~ The Nail Gun Depot Team

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  • Hitachi Power Tools To Become Metabo HPT

    Big news from an age-old brand, as Hitachi Power Tools announced they will transition the iconic "Hitachi" brand name to "Metabo HPT." The branding change is set to begin September 2018, with the launch of the company's new MultiVolt cordless platform. Hitachi anticipates existing product lines will transition no later than early 2019.

    But, what does this mean for Hitachi tool owners?

    Hitachi Power Tools Renames to Metabo HPT in North America

    Here's what we know:

    First, and foremost, Hitachi wants owners to know this transition will have no effect on the quality of their tools and service. Warranties will remain unaffected by the re-branding, so if you recently purchased a new Hitachi tool, rest assured that your warranty will not change.

    Furthermore, build quality remains the same - Metabo HPT tools will share identical parts and engineering technology as current Hitachi tools.

    So, what will change? In Hitachi's official announcement today, the company emphasizes they are simply re-branding their tools with a new name and logo. Users may see minor changes to part numbers, once the transition is complete, but will otherwise enjoy the exact same tools that built Hitachi's reputation for quality and value.

    Hitachi Metabo HPT

    Why change the name? Hitachi Power Tools USA was acquired by an investment firm, which elected to change the company name, as it is no longer affiliated with Hitachi Ltd. While Metabo HPT and Metabo are both owned by the same group of companies, each brand will operate independent of the other.

    What won't change? According to Hitachi, products will retain current brand identity: same color, same models, same warranties and the same battery interchangeability. They will be made by the same people, in the same factories, with the same specifications and focus on innovation that customers have come to expect. All products will continue to be covered and supported by the same industry-leading warranties and service. Hitachi Power Tools products will be interchangeable with Metabo HPT products, and Metabo HPT products will be interchangeable with Hitachi Power Tool products.

    Hitachi Metabo HPT Transition

    What products will transition to Metabo HPT? In the official release from Hitachi, the company states their full line of power tools, fasteners, accessories and outdoor power equipment products for North America will transition to the new Metabo HPT brand name.

    When will the transition take place? While the official announcement released March 12, 2018, the company plans to kick-start the transition in September, with the launch of their MultiVolt cordless platform. For existing Hitachi products, we don't expect to see most models' branding change until December - and into the 2019 calendar year.

    Metabo HPT packaging and signage at point of sale during the transition will feature both names and logos, to clearly communicate the changeover from Hitachi Power Tools.

    As the transition approaches, stay tuned for additional details. Here's a link to Hitachi Power Tools' official news release.

     

    ~ The Nail Gun Depot Team

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  • Video: Introducing The Grabber SuperDrive N7 Screw System

    A game-changer in auto-feed fastening, the Grabber SuperDrive N7 series screw gun kit (SDN740DT) comes complete with the SDN7 screw gun attachment, Rocker 4000 RPM screw gun motor, drywall clip and Phillips bits. The SDN740DT features a smaller head design ideal for tighter spaces, SureLock fine depth control adjustment, durable aircraft aluminum body, and a rounded tip on the attachment that will not damage drywall or wood. The N7 series tool uses a widely accepted tape collation system, holding up to 50 screws per strip. The SuperDrive N7 SDN740DT corded screw system is recommended for drywall, sub floor, sheathing to wood or metal, light or heavy gauge metal, wood to wood, and metal to metal applications.

    SuperDrive SDN7 screw gun attachments are designed with a snap-on coupler, making it easy to attach with select Dewalt, Makita and Rocker corded and cordless drivers. No separate couplers or conversion adapters required - simply snap-on the Grabber SDN7 attachment. Featuring a smaller head design, this SuperDrive attachment uses a widely accepted tape collation, and can hold 50 screws per strip. The SDN7 indexing head is excellent for drywall and sheathing to wood or metal, metal to metal, light or heavy gauge metal, subfloor, and wood to wood applications. Learn how to use the SuperDrive SDN7 screw gun attachment below.

     

    ~ The Nail Gun Depot Team

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  • Choosing The Best Fastener For Drywall - Nail Vs. Screw

    Thanks to modern fastening tools and techniques, hanging sheets of drywall is easier than ever.

    But, which fastener is best for drywall - nail or screw?

    Choosing the best fastener for drywall doesn't have to be hard, if you know what to look for. Builder-grade projects typically use a drywall nail, selected for its budget friendliness and ease of installation. If using drywall nails, space them about 7" apart during installation - or double nail every 12" for an easier finishing job. Before you start, you may decide to invest in a drywall nailer, specifically designed for this type of application.

    How To Fasten Drywall

    What drywall nailing benefits in reduced cost and improved productivity, it lacks in holding strength and versatility. One issue with nailing drywall, you can't use a nail when attaching drywall sheets to steel.

    However, an even bigger issue that often presents itself after nailing drywall. Over time, the nail may begin to work itself out of position - leading to nail pops and breakthroughs.

    You can learn more about repairing a nail pop here, but why not prevent the issue altogether?

    Sample Nail Pop

    To prevent nail pops, we suggest using a drywall screw, such as those by Senco DuraSpin or Simpson Quik Drive. Instant benefits to using a drywall screw include significantly improved holding strength, and the versatility to attach drywall onto a variety of surfaces - including wood and steel.

    Even with drywall screws, you'll still have to decide between thread type and length.

    Coarse thread screws are more common in residential drywall, as they are specifically intended for use in drywall to wood applications, and most residential construction is wood frame. On the other hand, fine thread drywall screws are made specifically for drywall to steel applications, as found mostly in commercial construction. While fine thread screws can technically be used in drywall to wood applications, it is not recommended since coarse thread screws offer a stronger grip once embedded in the wood stud. However, it's even more important to note that coarse thread screws SHOULD NOT be used when attaching drywall to steel framing - always use fine thread only.

    Quik Drive Drywall

    Once you've figured out thread, you'll also need to determine an appropriate length of drywall screw. Commonly found in 1-1/4" and 1-5/8" variations, drywall screws can run in size from as small as 1" up to 2-1/2" in length. Keep in mind, the shorter the screw, the easier it is to drive; just make sure your drywall screw is long enough for the thickness of drywall being installed. For 1/2" or 5/8" drywall, 1-1/4" drywall screws will suffice. For double layer drywall, plan to use a 1-5/8" drywall screw at minimum - with potential to go all the way up to 2" length depending on sheet thickness.

    PRO TIP: Make sure the screw shank is long enough to sink at least 1/2" into the wood stud - or steel frame.

    Because drywall screws offer superior holding strength compared to nails, you'll be able to sink each screw about 12" apart - compared to the 7" spacing suggested for drywall nails. That translates to approximately four or five screws per stud, when hanging 48" drywall sheets.

    Senco DuraSpin Drywall

    When it comes to the tools for installing drywall screws, we recommend investing in a collated screw gun, or a screw gun attachment for your driver motor. A variety of products are available, but we've received particularly good feedback for screw guns by Senco DuraSpin, Simpson Strong-Tie Quik Drive, and Grabber Construction Products.

    Ready to get started? Learn how to install flawless drywall on the Nail Gun Network.

     

    ~ The Nail Gun Depot Team

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  • What Fasteners To Use For Deck Boards

    A common question we get this time of year is, "What fastener should I use for deck boards?" Most contractors will give the short answer: a deck screw. But regional conditions and new decking materials may expand - or narrow - the list of suitable deck fasteners. Take a look at the questions and answers, below, then decide what works best for your decking project.

    Quik Drive Decking

    What type of fastener can I use for wood deck board?

    Standard wood decking is pretty versatile in how it can be assembled to the deck frame. The least expensive option for installing wood deck boards is to use framing nails, though we don't necessarily recommend them. You'll see a lot of builder-grade decks assembled with framing nails, which remains the fastest installation method, but can lead to maintenance headaches down the road.

    Over time, the nails will start to work themselves out of the wood board, which greatly compromises holding strength - and can even make the deck dangerous to walk across if nails begin to protrude. For decking boards, we recommend using a deck screw such as DuraSpin collated screws or Scrails. Both offer improved holding strength thanks to a threaded shank, which keeps the fastener locked into place - and can be reversed, allowing for easy removal if a board needs to be replaced.

    Senco DuraSpin Deck Screw Diagram

    What fastener coating, color, or material should I get?

    Choosing the right type of fastener is only part of the process; you'll also need to figure out the size and variation of fastener. Collated deck screws come in several different colors, coatings and materials. If you're installing composite deck boards, we recommend color-matching yours with DuraSpin composite deck screws or BeckDeck Scrails.

    In damp or coastal regions, or for decks that are regularly exposed to weather, opt for a stainless steel deck screw or Scrail to prevent rusting and corrosion over time. Most standard wood deck screws by Senco or Quik Drive fasteners by Simpson Strong-Tie feature a basic corrosion-resistant coating.

    Deck Building Diagram

    What are hidden deck fasteners?

    A growing trend in designer decking, hidden deck fasteners and hidden deck screws are rapidly increasing in popularity. Hidden deck fasteners are more luxury than necessity, but for high end decks, they may prove worth the extra investment. The beauty to using hidden deck fasteners is that you get a flawless deck surface with no apparent blemishes or gaps.

    Senco Mantis Hidden Deck Fasteners are held in place with a clip, which allows the fastener to be driven into the base of a deck board at an angle. CAMO also offers a hidden deck screw system, which eliminates the need for clips, and also installs the deck fastener at a similar angle. Hidden fastening systems create evenly spaced boards and a flawless looking surface, however, they typically command a higher price and require a longer installation time.

    Senco Hidden Deck Fastening System

    How many fasteners do I need?

    Different fastening systems often require different quantities of fastener. On average, you can complete around 100 square feet of decking with approximately 450 deck screws, using two screws per joist. The true number of deck screws required ultimately depends on the width of your deck facing, and the spacing between your joists.

    A 3-1/2" face with 12" on center joists will run closer to 700 deck screws for 100 square feet; whereas a 5-1/2" face with 24" on center joists will only require about 225 deck screws per 100 square feet. Knowing your joist spacing and facing width will help narrow the project estimate window tremendously.

    Ready to get to work? Contact us if you have a question about deck fastening or decking tools.

     

    ~ The Nail Gun Depot Team 

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  • How To Contact Your Tool Manufacturer

    Need to contact your tool's manufacturer? We can help.

    As an authorized sales and service center for Senco, Paslode and Bostitch - among several other leading brands in fastening - we understand that sometimes you still need to go straight to the source, especially for local and regional questions. For the questions we can't answer, here's a list covering most of our major brands - just in case.

    And, of course, you can always contact Nail Gun Depot by phone (1.888.720.7892), email (sales@nailgundepot.com), or live chat.

     

    ~ The Nail Gun Depot Team

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