Fasteners for Building a Deck

Fasteners for Building a Deck Fasteners Inc DenverWhen choosing fasteners for building a deck, Fasteners, Inc. in Denver has the most extensive selection of fasteners to select from and over 100 years combined experience. Our expertise enables us to offer all the products you need, whether you’re building a deck for your home or operate a business building decks for homeowners across Denver and throughout Colorado. No matter the situation, we only stock quality fasteners, giving you the ability to get the job done right.

With the massive selection of fasteners available these days, no one will say that it’s an easy decision to make. And you’ll likely find that there a few schools of thought for the various options. Bottom line, you want a new deck that’s as sturdy as it is beautiful. That means you’ll also need to consider factors such as climate, moisture levels, usage and the size of the build. So, whether you’re a novice or professional builder, let’s take a look at recommended fasteners for building a deck.

Nails vs. Screws

Each has their benefits, but nails and screws provide the builder with a different experience.

Screw Pros

  • Drive in almost as quickly as nails
  • Excellent holding power as long as driven correctly
  • Easier to remove as long as head is not stripped
  • Missing the nail head may mar and damage the wood
  • Difficult to remove nails

Nail Pros

  • Experienced builders sometimes prefer nails to screws
  • Nails drive faster than screws
  • Screws puddle water unless the nail is driven too deep

Nail Basics

Sized by length, nails are either penny or d-size. The gauge of the nail, its diameter, increase as the penny size increases. Hence, an 8d nail is smaller in length and width than a 16d nail.

Common Nails

  • Used for framing
  • Have large heads with thick shanks
  • Relatively hard to drive due to their bulk
  • May split wood

Box Nails

  • Similar to common nails
  • Offer thinner shank
  • Reduced splitting of ¾-inch wood and thinner

Spiral or Ringshank Nails

  • Excellently grip of the wood
  • Stay anchored
  • Difficult to remove

Finishing Nails

  • Offer thinner shanks with barrel-shaped head
  • Use for trim

Casing Nails

  • Heartier option similar to finishing nails
  • Stronger hold for finishing work

Screw Basics

Coming in every size imaginable, a #10 Decking Screw is a popular standard screw size for building decks. You can choose from 2 ½ and 3 ½ inches, depending on the project. These screws are coated with an anti-corrosive. Usually coming with a square, Phillips, or combination head, so be sure to match the drill bit to the screw head, to avoid stripping. One can drive these self-sinking, sharp, and tapered deck screws just about as fast as a nail, so their great fasteners for building a deck. Although, square-headed deck screws drive the best.

While building your deck, you will need to fasten larger wood pieces such as posts. For this, use either a Carriage Bolt or a Lag Screw. Bolts are heavy duty fasteners and offer the capability to tighten down more, later, when the wood shrinks over time. Remember to always use a nut for these fasteners to avoid damaging and compromising the integrity of the wood below.

Other Fastener Options

Sometimes the average is just not good enough. In that case, we have other fasteners for building a deck.

Invisible Deck Fasteners

If you are going for an even finer appearance than average fasteners offer, try Invisible Deck Fasteners. With many options to choose from, you can up your decking game with fasteners that leave your new deck super clean, smooth and finer in appearance. These systems require fastening from below the deck, so are better suited for raised decks.

Often, invisible decking fasteners are used for contemporary designs with intricate patterns. They are somewhat more time-consuming and pricier, but they offer an uncluttered surface to admire. Although, deck clips are an option for working from the top of the deck, being easy to install.

Masonry Fasteners

Masonry fasteners for building a deck come with a pre-assembled anchor bolt that’s sleeve easily slides inside the pre-drilled hole, expanding against the sides and securing there as you tighten the bolt. To use this version, drill a hole of the same diameter but a ½ inch longer. Blow out any dust, then drive the bolt with the nut at the top of the threads. Do not allow the bolt to turn while tightening. Use soft metal or plastic expansion shields which spread out as the bolt tightens, by first drilling a hole of the same size as the expansion shield, then tighten the screw.

Power Fasteners

Speed up your deck project with help from a power-actuated fastening system. With a screw gun or nail gun, your deck will be completed even faster with fasteners for building a deck. Using either air compression, mini-explosives, chemicals, or power cell charges, power fasteners are expensive but can be rented for a reasonable price. Check out the advantages of using power fasteners:

  • Can be used with only one hand, while the other hand can be used for alignment and steadying work
  • A single measured blow is all it takes to drive the fastener, hence much faster
  • No risk of bending or missing nailhead
  • No chance of damaging wood due to missing nailhead
  • Blunt tips on power fasteners rarely split wood
  • Reach difficult spots easily
  • Some power guns can be custom set to countersink the fasteners, leaving them perfectly flush for a better finish

Typical Fastener Sizing

With all of the fasteners for building a deck out there, it is worth noting the most common fastener sizing. This will help you get a quick start without making a big mistake doing it.

Decking Screws:

5/4 Decking with 2 ½ coated screws

Decking Nails:

12d Ringshank/Spiral nails

Railing Nails:

6d, 8d, 10d galvanized finishing or casing nails

Now that you know about some basic fasteners for building a deck, you can get started right away. The dedicated team at Fasteners, Inc. is ready to help out whenever you are ready to get started. Our vast inventory and friendly service will ensure that you find the perfect fasteners for every project.

How to Choose Wood Screw Length

How to Choose Wood Screw Length Fasteners Inc DenverAt Fasteners, Inc. in Denver, we believe that knowing how to choose wood screw length is going to help you determine a better fastener to use and hence create a better product. We’d like to share some tips on just what to look for, depending on your specific project.

The American Wood Council offers a Connection Calculator that determines connector capacity. Be sure to check it out along with this guide to find out how to choose the right wood screw length for your upcoming carpentry projects.

Screw Categories

There are two main types of screws for fastening wood out there. Utility screws (also known as deck screws) and steel / stainless steel screws. A utility screw is a workhorse; it’s used for framing and outdoor carpentry, coming in a range of materials, including corrosion-resistant metals. They work great with chemical-treated wood and are sold by the length.

On the other hand, steel and stainless steel wood screws are used for more precision woodworking projects including indoor furniture. They have a thicker body and are identified by length and gauge (thickness). Larger gauges are thicker, smaller gauges are thinner.


The main goal when choosing the right wood screw is to use one that is long enough and stout enough to secure the boards together efficiently without splitting the wood or poking through the other side.

Pilot Holes

First, drilling a pilot hole with countersink bit is the ideal scenario when working with hardwoods. Softwoods, on the other hand, probably do better without a pilot hole, as the screw gets its holding power via the wood fibers. Softwoods are less prone to splitting, so letting the screw grip the wood without a pilot hole will increase the screw’s holding strength.

Lateral Pressure vs. Withdrawal Pressure

The ultimate purpose of the piece you are constructing will determine the type of wood screw to use. If the piece will be subject to lateral pressure (pushing down or against), it is advisable to use a thicker screw.

If the piece is subject to withdrawal pressure (pulling apart), then you will want to make sure that the screw is long enough to withstand those forces. In this case, 1-1½ inches of screw thread should go into the receiving end. Obviously, avoid poking through to the other side of the board while doing so. If this is the case, then use a shorter screw but compensate by using more of them.

Grain Orientation

As a general rule, attaching two boards across the grain requires a shorter screw than when inserting into end grain, which requires at least two inches of screw thread into the board.

General Tips

  • For a sheer strength piece, use a ¼-inch lag screw
  • Use #8 diameter utility or deck screw for most tasks
  • Use 1¼-inch screw for basic tasks such as attaching ¾-inch boards across the grain
  • Have on hand some 2½-inch utility screws for using into end grain
  • Use 3-inch screw for 2x boards for into end grain, for a stronger connection

Hopefully, now you know how to choose wood screw length for your next woodworking project. At Fasteners, Inc. we are ready to help determine what wood screw you need and offer a wide assortment of fasteners for every project.

Bolts and Thread Galling

Bolts and Thread Galling Fasteners Inc DenverAt Fasteners Inc. in Denver, we would like to share some pointers on bolts and thread galling. Thread galling is also known as cold welding and although that may sound like a good thing, it’s actually not! Once galling has taken place, the only way to get the bolt out again is to split the nut. Thread galling happens when the heat, pressure, and friction of a bolt being fastened causes it to seize to the nut, unable to move in or out again. If you’ve only secured the nut halfway, this can be very frustrating.

What actually happens during the process of thread galling is that the microscopic surfaces of the bolt thread have high points. Generally, they are passed over without incident, but sometimes those high points are too high, and they get sheared off increasing heat and friction. This in turns builds upon itself with more heat and friction, to the eventual point that it seizes and no longer turns.

Fine and damaged threads are particularly susceptible to thread galling. Most often, galling happens with titanium, aluminum, and stainless steel, especially when using lock nuts. These fasteners come with a protective oxide coating to prevent corrosion. Sometimes that film can get rubbed off or get scraped off. When that happens, the layer is no longer there to prevent metal on metal contact. This greatly increases friction, hence heat, and the chances of thread galling when fastening bolts with nuts. On the other hand, hardened steel bolts, particularly when plated with zinc, seldom gall.

Prevention is the key when it comes to bolts and thread galling. Here are a few tips.

Clean and Undamaged

Make sure that you are using clean and undamaged bolts, especially when it comes to fine threaded bolts. Check each one as you get ready to use it to ensure that there are not particles stuck in the threads and that the threads are even and aligned.

Stop if Galling Starts

Stop immediately, if you notice extra friction while fastening. Wait a couple of minutes for the nut and bolt to cool down, then back it out and start fresh with a new set.


There are a number of lubricants for this very purpose on the market. They are called either anti-seizing or anti-galling. Some nuts offer a waxed finish in order to prevent galling before it starts.

Slower Drilling

Even though we like to work at a quick pace, slowing it down a bit is going to help avoid galling. With less heat and friction happening, you will see fewer instances of thread galling. In some cases, it is best to avoid using power tools when working with stainless steel and nylon insert lock nuts.

Avoid Pulling Together Joints

Remember, that bolts are not made to bring joints together. Joints should already be held together (use a clamp if necessary) before using a bolt to fasten. Otherwise, your chances of thread galling are substantially increased. It’s worth the extra effort to avoid thread galling at all costs.

Extra Caution with Lock Nuts

When working with nylon insert lock nuts and torque nuts, they generate a significant amount of heat and friction. Try to keep your speed down or consider switching to an alternative locking mechanism.

Now you have a real handle on bolts and thread galling. And you’re better equipped to have a successful project without this issue to deter your results. Count on the experts at Fasteners, Inc. to help you not only find the right fastener system but be more productive by avoiding thread galling.

Deciding on a Nail, Bolt or Screw

Deciding on a Nail, Bolt or Screw Fasteners Inc DenverWhere do you go for help when deciding on a nail, bolt or screw? Fasteners, Inc. in Denver has an inventory of over 30,000 items and if we don’t have the perfect nail, bolt or screw for your projects, we’ll get it. When you are securing, attaching, and fastening it’s hard to know which fastener is the best. They come in different lengths and gauges or thicknesses. They also come in a variety of metals. There are a lot of considerations. For example, some metals are more corrosion-resistant and others are less expensive but may rust if exposed to moisture.

So, you have to think about the gauge, length, and type of metal you need for your specific application. Then there’s always the big factor of price. What you have to do is evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each kind of fastener and find out what applications each one is best suited for. We can discuss these considerations with you and guide you in making the right choice when deciding on a nail, bolt or screw.

Uses of Nails and Screws

Nails can be hammered by hand or shot out of a nail gun. They are great when you need basic construction and the components won’t be facing strong force or pressure.

There are some things to think about if you are trying to choose between nails or screws:

Nails are usually cheaper than screws

If you are working on a tight budget, nails are the best way to go, if both nails and screws would do the job equally well.

Nails are faster to use

A few pounds from a hammer can drive the nail but installing a screw takes more time.

Nails are more flexible than screws

If you hit a nail with a hammer at the wrong angle it will bend. Screws don’t have that flexibility. A screw will just snap in two if it has too much weight or pressure on it. On the other hand, you can pummel a bent nail to make it straight and reuse it again. Screws are much more brittle under pressure. When gravity and weight bear down on a nail, it has less strength than a screw to withstand that pressure. It will continue to bend until its holding power fails or it justs snap off if the force is great enough.

So, how do you decide between nails and screws on particular projects? It depends on the demands being put on the fastener. Here are some examples: If you need to hang heavy cabinetry on your kitchen wall or put up bookshelves, don’t use nails. The heavy cabinets and shelving will collapse as soon as the nail bends.

But nails are perfect if you are putting up 2 x 4 studs to make a wall. Most homes have nailed studs, sheetrock, and wood, as well as nailed flooring. Nails are usually used to attach molding around the edges of your floor, or tacking decorative molding around the frame of a doorway. Finishing nails, with the tiny heads are great for many decorative applications because they can be hammered flush or even below the surface of the wood. After that, a wood filler can be used to cover over the spot where the nail went in. This makes the nail almost invisible and gives it a nice finished look.

It’s a good idea if nails are being used to construct something, that you also use proper adhesives to help bind the joints together. This will give it some additional support and help take some of the pressure off the nails so they hold their strength and don’t bend.

Specialty Fasteners

Sometimes you might need a specialty fastener that combines the screw design with devices such as anchors or toggles that spread open inside the wall. The anchor acts similar to the nut on a bolt to hold it there in case the screw begins to fall out. The anchors and toggles on specialty screws keep the shaft of a screw from becoming dislodged and falling out of its hole.

Washers are flat discs that are used along with screws or bolts and give a stronger hold. It also provides a protective buffer so the screw or bolt doesn’t scratch up whatever it is surrounding it. A cup washer is a specially-shaped washer that works well for aesthetic or decorative reasons because many people think they are more attractive. For example, if you are using screws that are exposed and you want a clean and neat finished look, use cup washers.


Now let’s talk a little bit about screws. They tend to work best when the application will be experiencing forces of weight, pressure or gravity. Screws are shaped like a corkscrew to let them to bore into the wood and grip it tightly. This strength makes it hard for the wood or other material to wiggle or move and creates a sturdier placement.  If it was a nail, the extreme weight or any pulling or pushing would cause the material to slide off the nail.


But what about bolts? In what applications do bolts perform best? If the application requires strength, holding power, or the convenience of easy disassembly, then the best bet is to use nuts and bolts.

Taken apart or disassembled

Bolts are great for any project that will need to be easily taken apart or disassembled. For example, bunks beds use bolts.

Extreme holding strength

Bolts offer huge holding strength. Did you know that trucks and even massive structures like commercial buildings are sometimes held together with bolts? Bolts are held in place with nuts which can be tightened by using a pair of pliers or even a wrench. The wheels on vehicles are usually bolted into place and the lug-style nuts are tightened using a tire changing tool or a pneumatic wrench that is powered by compressed air. That gives it a tight fit that guarantees it won’t shake loose, even under the intense force of high road speeds or over rough terrain.

Another consideration when deciding on a nail, bolt or screw is the strength of the material the fastener is embedded in. Some material can become so weak or deteriorated that no fastener will work. We can help check the recommendations of manufacturers and local building codes when choosing the right gauge and type of metal. Fasteners, Inc. in Denver can help you make the right choice of fasteners, so your construction project can be successful.

Choosing the Right Fastener for the Build

Choosing the Right Fastener for the Build Fasteners Inc DenverAt Fasteners, Inc. in Denver, we know that choosing the right fastener for the build is a key decision. If you have a construction project, the right choice of fasteners means a successful completion of your work, so it’s important to understand the type and scope of the project and role the fastener plays in it before you can determine which fasteners will work best. Once you have that nailed down, you can rely on us for an extensive inventory of fasteners. Nuts, bolts, screws and more – we’ve got them for prompt, accurate delivery or shipment.

Let’s look at some of the types of fasteners and different kinds of projects and which ones might go together, taking into account the project, materials, durability, and design.

Types of Fasteners


These have a cylindrical protrusion on top of the head. You need a rivet gun to put the rivet through holes drilled in the materials to fasten. The gun makes the tip of the rivet collapse against the back of the material. This flattens out the tip of the rivet, pulling the material together against the head of the rivet. This makes the materials squeeze together. Rivets are durable and tamper-proof. They are also inexpensive. However, rivets need pre-drilled holes and high-quality tools. Rivets are hard to remove so make sure they’re what you need when choosing the right fastener for the build.


Threaded fasteners, screws are good at holding two pieces of materials together. They are driven by rotation. The screw threads grip and hold the materials and pull the two pieces tightly together. The head of the screw stops the screw when it reaches its proper depth. Screws offer a secure hold but are easily removed. They seldom become loose and there are a large variety of styles. However, it’s hard to hide the screw head and it can sometimes strip. Screws sometimes rip and tear the materials.


These fasteners are like dowels but are metal. Pins are pressed into materials to hold them together. They might have holes on either end, so a clip can be placed into it to secure the pin. Pins are easy to install and remove if not pressed. They can be used as a good temporary fastener. However, pins can be hard to get a tight connection and need drilled holes, so it’s an important decision when choosing the right fastener for the build.


Spiked pieces of steel, nails are driven into the wood to hold the wood or something attached to it securely in place. A hammer or are a nail gun are used to drive them in. If you are dealing with nailing into concrete, a tool with an explosive charge is used. Nails are easily installed, particularly if you have an air gun. They can be countersunk into trim materials and they are inexpensive. However, nails sometimes work loose, split materials, and if your hammer misses, the small head it can damage the materials.


This kind of fastener is U-shaped and is fired into materials to hold them together or keep them in place. You will need a spring-loaded or air-powered staple gun. Staples can be installed fast and removed easily. They can be a good temporary fastening solution and they can bridge seams. However, staples can be loosened easily. They are not load bearing and sometimes they rip through light materials.


These are wooden cylinders that are placed in drilled holes with two different pieces of material. They are tightly pressed into the drilled holes and are secured with wood glue. Dowels have strong holding ability. They are easily installed and you can’t see them. However, you can’t remove them. The drilled holes have to match perfectly and there needs to be time for the glue to dry. 

Nuts and Bolts

Threaded fasteners placed in holes drilled through two or more materials are bolts. A threaded nut is placed on the threaded bolt to hold the materials together by screwing it tightly. Washers are used under the head of the bolt to add more holding power. Lock washers or locking nuts are often used to prevent the nuts from loosening or falling off. Nuts and bolts are secure and offer high load bearing. They are easily removed and come in a variety of sizes. However, they require pre-drilled holes in order to install them and you will need multiple tools to tighten them.

Construction Projects

Of course, these are just a few of the more common fasteners. There are many other specialized fasteners that are used for specific needs. What material you are working with is key for choosing the right fastener for the build. Keep in mind that most construction projects will be using many different materials, so you will need many different types of fasteners. 

Let’s examine what fasteners would be recommended for certain projects. Just a reminder, choosing the right fastener must be followed by the proper use and installation. 


Screws or nails are used to install roof panels. Nail guns make a roofing project go faster. You can use staples to hold down the roof tar paper. Roofing nails are best for asphalt shingles.


If there are wooden studs, nails are an option for installing drywall but most of the time you will be using drywall screws. If you have metal wall studs, then drywall screws are the only choice.

Trim Work

Nails can be used for trim work. Using a brad nail gun, brad nails attach trim, moldings, and surface pieces for a nice finish. In areas you can’t see, you can use screws. Dowels are used when all the sides will be visible.

Furring Strips

Using a construction adhesive is the first step in attaching furring strips, but you might also want to add one or two fasteners like concrete screws, anchors or lag screws, per strip for extra holding power.


Screws are often used for building decks. The planking, railings, and slats are installed with deck screws which are specially designed for easy installation and rust resistance. The actual deck structure would be bolted together with high-grade nuts and bolts.

Tell us what your project is, and our fastener experts at Fasteners, Inc. in Denver can get you the best fasteners. It’s important in choosing the right fastener for the build to consider the project, the materials, the durability, and the design. Our inventory is large and we can deliver or ship your fastener order.

All About Bolts, Nuts, and Washers

All About Bolts, Nuts, and Washers Fasteners Inc DenverNo matter the project, it’s important to know all about bolts, nuts, and washers, so you choose the right fastener. Fasteners, Inc. in Denver can help you determine what length, gauge, shape, strength, and material that you will need for your project.


Bolts go through a pre-drilled hole in two or more materials. Bolts are made for a variety of purposes and may also need a nut or washer. Here is an explanation of the types of bolts.

  • Standard Bolt: The standard bolt uses a hexagonal head. Used in metal, wood, and plastic applications, it will have a smooth shoulder right under the head and before the thread if it is a long bolt. With shorter standard bolts they may be fully threaded. This kind of bolt goes through a drilled hole and uses a nut on the other side.
  • Coach or Carriage Bolt: With a domed head, a coach or carriage bolt has a square section underneath the head that is intended to hold the bolt once it is in the wood. Sometimes two bolts are used to prevent a beam from swiveling.
  • Tap Bolt: This kind of bolt is completely threaded. It is used in a threaded or tapped hole and does not need a nut.


A bolt is a type of fastener that often needs a nut that is tightened on the end and helps fasten several materials together. Here are the types of nuts.

  • Cap Nut or Acorn Nut: These nuts have domed shapes. The acorn nut’s dome is higher and more pointed than the cap nut. The bolt needs to be the exact length of the material and the nut since the bolt thread doesn’t pass through the nut.
  • Nylon Insert Nuts: This type of nut makes a thread as it’s screwed onto the bolt. This helps prevent the nut from slipping or backing out from the bolt. A nylon insert jam lock nut is a shorter version of this type of nut.
  • Flange Nut: This kind of nut has a washer that is built in which allows it to be assembled faster. Some of these have toothed washers.
  • Wing Nut: The wings on this type of nut allow it to be tightened by hand.
  • Hexagonal and Square Nuts: These nuts are used to fit standard bolts.


Often the fastener will need a washer between the nut and the bolt to distribute the load. Sometimes washers are used between the bolt head and the material without a nut.

Washers reduce the wear on the hole and stop the inward pressure on softer materials. In addition, the washer can stop the bolt from coming undone. These are the types of washers.

  • Split Lock Washers stop the bolt from backing out.
  • Flat Washers are flat and help distribute the load.
  • Fender Washers are a flat washer with a bigger diameter.
  • Tooth Lock Washers are used to prevent the bolt or nut from backing out.
  • Finishing Washers are used for appearance and fits neatly with the nut or bolt.

Learning all about bolts, nuts, and washers and choosing the right fastener for your project is not as hard as it may seem. Our team of fastener experts at Fasteners, Inc. in Denver can assist you in picking the fasteners you might need, including bolts, nuts, and washers.

Basics of Construction Fasteners

Basics of Construction FastenersAt Fasteners, Inc. in Denver, we know that the basics of construction fasteners include figuring out the type of material for the job, such as carbon steel, alloy steel, stainless steel and others. The construction industry uses fasteners to join two or more things together, and that could be just about anything. That’s why we have an inventory of over 30,000 items and the experience to help you find the fasteners for your construction project and budget. Our fastener experts can help you decide what type of material will be needed for your fasteners.

Fastener Applications

In determining which fasteners are needed, you should take into consideration the particular application it will be used for and then we can help you select the correct fastener material by looking at:

  • What type of materials are being joined
  • Accessibility of the area
  • Weight of the materials
  • Surrounding environment, such as temperature and exposure to the water and the wind
  • Reusability of the fasteners

After we have a better understanding of your construction project we can determine what types of fasteners are needed. Now, let’s take a look at the basics of construction fasteners.

Construction Fasteners

  • Anchors attach material to concrete. There is a threaded end that is attached to a nut and a washer.
  • Studs have no head and are used as a threaded rod to attach nuts to.
  • Bolts are placed through a drilled hole into a material and need a nut to tighten it on the other end.
  • Nuts tighten the bolt or threaded rod at the threaded hole center.
  • Screws use their helical surface thread to pierce into the material.
  • Washers distribute the weight of a threaded fastener. They are thin plates with a hole that are used for locking devices, springs, wear pads and spacers.

Construction Fastener Material

Fasteners are made from different material and offer strengths for different applications.

Carbon Steel: Some fasteners are made of carbon steel and offer good workability along with strength and affordability.

Stainless Steel: This material can resist corrosion and heat, and yet remain strong. It can be chemically modified for different projects’ needs. It is an austenitic, nickel-chromium-iron-silicon alloy. It is resistant to oxidation and carburization up to 2200°F but still retains its strength.

Aluminum: The weight to strength ratio of aluminum exceeds most other materials. It is also non-magnetic with electrical and thermal conductivity, and it can be easily hot and cold forged.

Brass: This type of copper-based alloy is affordable, stronger, and ductile. Known for its strength and resistance to corrosion, 360 brass is one of the most popular copper alloys.

Silicon Bronze: These materials offer strength and toughness along with corrosion resistance and non-magnetic properties. It is often used for fasteners for naval construction, particularly minesweepers. Cold-formed fasteners made from silicon bronze should be stress relieved to reduce the risk of corrosion failure.

When looking at the basics of construction fasteners, you’ll need to look at the application, the type of faster needed and the material that your fastener is made from. Our experienced fastener staff at Fasteners, Inc. in Denver can work with you to determine exactly what you need, whether it’s a construction project or just about any other job under the sun.

How to Use Wall Anchors

How to Use Wall Anchors It’s important to know how to use wall anchors so there are no issues with them loosening up or damaging the wall. At Fasteners, Inc. in Denver, we offer a broad assortment of standard and specialized fasteners like the perfect wall anchor for every surface, as well as bolts, nuts, washers, screws, rivets, clips, clamps, wiring products, fittings, anchors, pins, rods, and retainers. Our goal is always to provide you with the ideal product for your application at a fair price and always with your complete satisfaction.

Let’s take a look at everything you need to know, including how to use wall anchors.

The Basics

As part of a fastening system, an anchor attaches one object to another when screws, nails, adhesives or other fasteners just don’t work. They are often used on very hard surfaces like concrete and on hollow surfaces like walls, doors, and ceilings, particularly if there isn’t an available wooden stud or beam behind the surface.

The strength of an anchor depends on the type of anchor, what you are hanging, and the kind and condition of the surface. If the wall is structurally weak, has been repaired, or has seen water damage, its strength may be compromised.

There are two types of anchors: expansion anchors, and hollow wall anchors.

  • Expansion anchors

These kinds of anchors are used in concrete, brick, mortar, metals or even wood.  These anchors expand when a screw or bolt is threaded into them. Expansion anchors are only as strong as the surface material they are installed in. It may look like the anchor is strong at first but if the material it’s installed in is weak, the anchor may loosen and pull out with too much stress.

  • Hollow-wall anchors

These types of anchors are used in thin materials or on hollow walls.  They spread within the hollow of the wall and can’t be pulled back through the smaller installation hole.  The bigger the spread, the stronger the anchor.

Plastic Expansion Anchors

The most commonly used anchors are the plastic expansion anchors.  They come in different of sizes and designs. The greatest holding capacity comes with larger plastic anchors that can handle the larger screws. If you need gripping strength, regardless of the wall material, go with the more heavily ribbed anchors.

A plastic anchor expands when a screw is installed into it. This puts force against the material it is installed in and holds it in place.

Now, here’s how to use wall anchors. Make a hole in the surface, using a drill or an awl, depending on the material. The hole should be a little bit smaller than the width of the anchor. Then press the anchor into the hold and make sure it is flush with the surface. You may need to use a hammer to tap the anchor flush. Be careful, because if the hole is too small, the anchor may collapse when you tap it in. Plastic expansion anchors are the weakest and should not be used with drywall unless the load is light and the force is perpendicular to the anchor. Skip using a plastic expansion anchor in a ceiling unless what you are hanging is very light.

Here are short descriptions of different types of even more anchors.

Sleeve-Type Hollow Wall Anchors or Molly Bolts

Molly bolts are easy to install but have much greater strength. The largest molly bolt can hold up to 50 lbs. A molly bolt gives permanent screw threads to any material it attaches to.  So, if you install something with a molly bolt it can be taken down a number of times and not lose its strength.  It adds support to hollow doors for hanging things like towel bars or coat hooks. 

Winged Plastic Anchors

Since these are plastic anchors they are much less expensive to manufacture than metal anchors but offer more than double the strength of plastic expansion anchors. These anchors are made entirely from plastic, so you need to be careful when installing them or they can pull through the wall and leave a large hole.

Threaded Drywall Anchors

These are called EZ-Ancor or Zip-It and are large, outside-threaded nuts with a point on the end. The pointed end of the metallic kind spreads open in the wall when a long screw is installed.  They are available in both nylon and metal. These anchors hold better in drywall than the plastic expansion anchors.  They can be used for light-duty hangings.

Threaded Drywall Toggles

These combine the threaded anchor’s ease of installation with the strength of a toggle.

Traditional Toggle Bolts and Snap Toggles

Toggle bolts are some of the best hollow-wall anchors. There is the toggle itself, which looks like a pair of spring-loaded metal wings, and the machine bolt. They are very strong and are great for hanging things from ceilings.

Standard toggles don’t tighten to a precise location. You have to position them as they are tightened. So, once the toggle is almost tight, check the position of the object and then go ahead and fully tighten the toggle. A solution to this problem is to use a toggle in one hole to supply strength and a plastic expansion anchor in the second hole to get the bar into the correct position. Try not to overtighten the toggle in drywall or it might either break the toggle or the wall. Toggles are also the easiest anchors to remove.

The Snap Toggle uses a solid bar, not hinged wings, and keeps the threaded bar’s position so you can remove and reinstall the bolt. This toggle is strong and easy to install. It’s a reusable toggle, so it does less damage to your walls.

Knowing the types of expansion and hollow-wall fasteners and how to use wall anchors can save you time and trouble, not to mention damage to your surface material. At Fasteners, Inc. in Denver, we offer a broad assortment of standard and specialized fasteners like anchors and toggle bolts. We have the knowledge and experience, the inventory, and the purchasing power to get you the best fasteners for every project.

Get to Know the Various Fastener Materials

Get to Know the Various Fastener MaterialsAt Fasteners, Inc. in Denver, we know that the world couldn’t exist without fasteners. So, let’s get to know the various fastener materials. It’s really amazing how fasteners can do so many different things depending on what they are made out of and their design.

Most people have no idea that fasteners can be made from so many materials, including steel all the way to titanium and plastic. But that’s just the start. Then those materials can be divided into different grades to specify alloy mixtures, hardening processes, and other differences like coatings and platings that enhance corrosion resistance or alter the fastener’s appearance.

Why is the material important to a fastener?

What material the fastener is made out of will affect strength, corrosion resistance, brittleness, galvanized corrosion properties and cost.

Keep in mind, if you need any type of fastener, you should try to match the material that you are replacing. You need to consider the environments, like salt water and galvanic corrosion if you are changing fastener materials. Often trying to replace a bolt with a stronger bolt may jeopardize safety. A harder bolt may be more brittle and could fail in specific applications. Did you know that some equipment is designed so that the bolts will fail to protect the more expensive or critical parts of the equipment?

Now let’s examine what the different fastener materials offer for your project.



The most common fastener material, steel fasteners can be plain or with various surface treatments such as zinc plating, galvanization, and chrome plating.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is an alloy of low carbon steel and chromium that offers enhanced corrosion protection. Its anti-corrosive properties will not lose its resistance if is scratched during installation or use.

Some people think stainless steel is stronger than regular steel. But it isn’t. In fact, because of the low carbon content, many stainless steel alloys cannot be hardened by heat treatment. So, if you compare stainless steel to regular steel, the stainless alloys often used in bolts will be slightly stronger than an unhardened (grade 2) steel, but they will be significantly weaker than hardened steel fasteners. One of the problems is, unless you are very careful, stainless fasteners can be susceptible to seizing up during the installation process. This is called galling.

Most stainless steel fasteners are much less magnetic than regular steel fasteners while some grades will be slightly magnetic.

Stainless 18-8

If the stainless steel contains approximately 18% chromium and 8% nickel, it is called stainless 18-8. It is the most common stainless designation for hardware.

Stainless 316

This is a highly corrosion resistant grade of stainless steel. It works well in salt water and chlorine environments. It is more expensive than 18-8 stainless.

Stainless 410

This is a stainless alloy that is harder than 18-8 stainless steel, but it’s less resistant to corrosion.


Steel fasteners are available in grade 2, grade 5, grade 8, and alloy steel and are usually plated with a slightly bluish or yellow zinc coating, or are galvanized to resist corrosion. There are other grades but they are not used very often. The grade is marked on the head of the bolt.

Grade 2

This is a standard hardware grade steel. It is the cheapest and the most common grade of steel fastener. Unless there is a manufacturer’s mark, Grade 2 bolts will have no head markings.

Grade 5 / Grade F

These are hardened to increase the strength and are most commonly found in automotive applications. These bolts have three evenly spaced radial lines on the head. Grade F is roughly equivalent to Grade 5 and Grade F nuts are used with Grade 5 bolts.

Grade 8 / Grade G

Grade 8 bolts are more hardened than Grade 5 bolts. This type of fastener is stronger and are used when a more demanding application is needed like in automotive suspensions. Grade 8 bolts have six evenly spaced radial lines on the bolt head. Grade G is pretty much equivalent to Grade 8. Grade G nuts are used with Grade 8 bolts.


This metal is light and soft, but scratches and nicks will not affect its corrosion resistance.

Fasteners can be made from different aluminum alloys, with elements like manganese, silicon, zinc, copper, iron, magnesium, and silicon being added to increase the strength and melting point. Rivets are commonly made from aluminum alloys in the 5000-series, which uses magnesium as the primary alloying element.

Alloy Steel

These bolts are made from a high strength steel alloy and are heat treated. They are not usually plated, so they have a dull black finish. Alloy steel bolts are very strong but somewhat brittle.


This is an alloy of mostly copper and zinc. Brass is highly resistant to corrosion and electrically conductive. However, it’s relatively soft and so, its use is limited. In fact, it is often used mainly for its appearance.

Silicon Bronze

Silicon bronze or bronze is an alloy made out of copper and tin and a small amount of silicon. This is often used in marine environments, used in wooden boat construction, and re-fastening because it is superior in corrosion resistance and strength. Bronze looks copper in color and is sometimes used for its appearance in fine woodworking. Bronze comes with a higher cost.



Fasteners can be chrome plated and polished for a nice appearance and have corrosion resistance like zinc plating. Polished chrome costs more. If you need more corrosion resistance, you can chrome plate stainless steel, preventing any corrosion should the chrome be penetrated.

Hot Dip Galvanizing

This also involves an application of a zinc layer, which is the thickest possible coating on a metal. This makes it have superior corrosion resistance. You will need to use galvanized nuts because the thickness of the coating is not compatible with other nuts. Galvanized nuts are tapped slightly larger than other nuts to accommodate this thicker coating. These fasteners are used outdoors, especially in coastal environments.

Zinc Plating

Steel fasteners can be electroplated with zinc for improved corrosion resistance but they will rust if the coating is destroyed or exposed to a marine environment. The fasteners have a shiny silver (clear) or golden (yellow zinc) appearance.

As you get to know the various fastener materials, keep us in mind. We are Fasteners, Inc in Denver. We are an industrial distributor for the Huck Fastening System, including Magna-Grip, Magna-Bulb, Magna-Lok, C6L, C50L, BOM, Huck Automatic Rivets and Huck Industrial Tooling. Our extensive inventory is available for prompt delivery or shipment of materials, ranging from aluminum to stainless to heat-treated steel and almost everything in between.

Common Fasteners for Common Repair Jobs

Common Fasteners for Common Repair JobsIf you need common fasteners for common repair jobs, including nails, screws, and bolts, our staff at Fasteners, Inc. in Denver can help you decide what will work best for your project. We have them all.

According to a How Stuff Works article, the particular purposes of nails, screws, and bolts vary depending on your fastening needs.


Nails are most commonly used to fasten two pieces of wood together. They come in different sizes, shapes, and metals. If a nail is shorter than 1 inch it is called a brad. If a nail is longer than 6 inches it is called a spike. Nails are made of steel, aluminum, brass, nickel, bronze, copper, and stainless steel. They have coatings that prevent rust and increase their holding power, including, galvanized, blued, or cemented.

Here are some common types of nails.

Common Nails

These are usually used for medium to heavy construction work because they have a thick head and can be driven into hard material. They are made from wire and come in sizes 2d through 60d.

Drywall Nails

With an indented head and ringed, drywall nails are used for drywall installation. Annular-ring nails have sharp ridges along the nail shaft, which give it holding power.

Corrugated Fasteners

Often called wiggly nails, these are used for light-duty joints where strength is not needed. They are set at right angles to the joint.

Roofing Nails

Having a much bigger head than common nails, roofing nails are usually galvanized. They are designed to prevent damage to asphalt shingles.

Masonry Nails

Used with concrete and concrete block, they come in round, square, and fluted shapes. Masonry nails are not used for high strength situations. If you are looking for a fastener for brick, stone, or reinforced concrete it would be best to use screws or lag bolts.


They are used to hold carpet or fabric to wood and come in round or cut forms. Upholstery tacks have decorative heads.

Box Nails

These nails are smaller in diameter and lighter than common nails. They are used for light construction and household use.

Finishing Nails

The finishing nail has a small head and is lighter than common nails. It is used when you don’t want the head of the nail to show, like in paneling and trim.


Another one of the most common fasteners for common repair jobs are screws. Stronger and with more holding power than nails, screws can easily be removed. They come with different heads and slots (either plain or Phillips-head). Flathead screws are countersunk so the head of the screw is flush or below the surface. Oval head screws are partly countersunk, with half the screw head above the surface. With round head screws, the entire head is above the surface. Fillister head screws are raised above the surface on a flat base so the screwdriver doesn’t damage the surface as it is tightened. They are measured in both length (in inches) and diameter at the shank (gauge number from 0 to 24).

Sheet Metal Screws

If you need to fasten pieces of metal together you need sheet metal screws because they form threads in the metal when they are installed. Coarse-threaded pointed pan head screws are used for fastening light sheet metal (gauges from 4 to 14 and lengths from 1/4 inch to 2 inches). Heavier sheet metal needs blunt pan head screws (gauges from 4 to 14 and lengths from 1/4 inch to 2 inches).

Lag Screws

For larger jobs like masonry or wood framing and for more holding power, lead expansion anchors and heavy-duty lag screws are used. They are inserted into holes drilled in the masonry and driven with a wrench firmly into the anchors.

Roundhead Screws

These are partial-tapping screws with finer threads and can be used in soft or hard metals. They come in sizes 3⁄16 inch to 11/4 inches. Self-tapping round head screws are best for heavy-duty work with thick sheet metal and come in sizes from 1/4 inch to 2 inches and in lengths from 1/8 to 3/4 inch.

Wood Screws

If there could be corrosion, wood screws are the best. They are made from steel, brass, nickel, bronze, and copper. Wood screws are used for most home repair projects.

Machine Screws

These are blunt-ended screws made from steel or brass and fasten metal parts together. They have coatings of brass, copper, nickel, zinc, cadmium, and galvanized. They come in flat head, oval head, round head, and fillister head. They come in gauges 2 to 12 and diameters from 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch and in lengths from 1/4 inch to 3 inches.


There are many different types of bolts, including stove bolts, carriage bolts, and machine bolts, toggle bolts, masonry bolts and anchors, and expansion bolts, which are used to distribute weight when fastening something to a hollow wall. Nuts and washers are used with bolts. Bolt size is measured by shank diameter and by threads per inch.

Hollow Wall Bolts

Toggle bolts and expansion bolts help fasten lightweight objects to hollow walls. Toggle bolt wings opened inside the wall with a spring. Expansion bolts are inserted into an expansion jacket, which expands as the bolt is tightened. They are available in diameters from 1/8 to 1/2 inch and in lengths up to 8 inches for walls as thick as 13/4 inches. They are often used to hang picture frames.

Stove Bolts

These bolts can be used for almost any fastening project. They come in a wide range of sizes, with flat, oval, or round heads. They are driven with a screwdriver or tightened into place with a nut and wrench. Most stove bolts are completely threaded, but the larger ones may have a smooth shank near the bolt head. Stove bolts are coarse-threaded and come in diameters from 5⁄32 to 1/2 inch and lengths from 3/8 inch to 6 inches.

Masonry Bolts and Anchors

These bolts work like the lag bolt or screw by expanding a plastic sleeve inside a predrilled hole as the bolt is tightened.

Machine Bolts

Machine bolts have either a hexagonal head or a square head. They are fastened with square nuts or hex nuts and are wrench-driven. Machine bolts are made in very large sizes with the bolt diameter increasing with length. Machine bolts come in two gauges. They are either fine-threaded and coarse-threaded and come in diameters from 1/4 inch to 2 inches and lengths from 1/4 inch to 30 inches.

Carriage Bolts

For making furniture, carriage bolts are used. With round head and a square collar, they are tightened into place with a nut and wrench. The collar fits into a pre-bored hole or twists into the wood. The bolt is prevented from turning when the nut is tightened. They are coarse-threaded and come in diameters from 3⁄16 to 3/4 inch and lengths from 1/2 inch to 10 inches.

If you are looking for common fasteners for common repair jobs including nails, screws, and bolts, you can turn to Fasteners, Inc. in Denver. We have almost every kind of fastener you can imagine, in fact, we have over 30,000 items.