Decking screws

Decking screws have often been sources of disappointment for me. They’re packaged with big claims about corrosion resistance, sharp points, self countersinking ease of use etc. etc. but in most cases, I’ve found them to fail on more than one of these promises. However, following a recent decking project, I believe I’ve found the best decking screws on the market, that certainly live up to all the manufacturer’s claims. Before I reveal the identity of this king of decking screws, I’ve provided a few words of caution on the other options on the market.

Green decking screws

Up until now, I’ve always been a supporter of the standard, classic green decking screw. However, the problem with green decking screws is that there are an awful lot of sub-standard impersonators around. If you opt for a good brand such as Timbadeck, generally, you’ll be okay, but if you’re tempted to opt for a cheaper green deck screw, trust me, you’ll be throwing their little plastic containers all across your deck frame, very soon after you begin work. Screwheads snapping off, and so called self-countersinking heads, which would be better described as self-splitting heads, have certainly lead me to drop kick many a screw across a garden out of frustration. So be warned, cheap green decking screws = miserable DIY project.

Decking kit screws

Decking kit screws, at the moment of unpacking from your delivery, should really be tossed into that bucket at the back of your shed, which contains that miscellaneous selection of fixings that ought to be taken down to the ‘tip’ for recycling. You can try using them if you like, but as a rule, this is an area where some decking kit companies do try to save a few pounds.

To be honest, I don’t have too much of a problem with this practice, as I’m more interested in the quality of the boards, which as long as they’re up to specification, I really don’t mind supplying the decking screws myself. You may be lucky with your decking kit supplier, but in general, I’d buy separately in order to ensure your project gets off to a good start.

Using standard wood screws

By standard wood screws, I’m talking about general all-purpose screws, and you should always avoid the temptation to use them for decking as you really do need a screw that has good treatment in terms of its anti-corrosion properties. Most all-purpose screws will certainly have some resistance to weathering but bear in mind that, by design, where a screw is inserted into a deck, the fact that its head is slightly countersunk means that it in fact creates a perfect little ‘pool’ for water to accumulate. Therefore decking screws need extra hardwearing properties or they will corrode incredibly quickly, and that’s why manufacturers position them in a category on their own.

Best decking screws

Therefore, without further ado, my discovery of the best decking screws on the market, was in fact a bit of an accident as I saw this new design on the shelf, thought I’d give them a go, expected the worst, and quite honestly got the best. The screws in question are Spax decking screws, and so in many ways it shouldn’t have been a surprise that Spax (one of my favourite fixing manufacturers) produced such a good quality option, but with these little diamonds, I really think they’ve surpassed themselves.

Spax decking screw design

Spax deck screw

The T-Star head ‘locks’ perfectly in the screwhead. The thread design of the screw holds the decking boards securely in place.

  • The screw is designed with two threaded sections in the shank separated by a smooth section. This helps hold the deck board flush with the joists in your frame, essential to stop movement and creaking.
  • The coating, or construction of the screw also provides 15 year corrosion resistance.
  • The small head design means that as visible fixing heads go, it’s about as invisible as it gets when screwed in position.

Ease of use

  • The small screwhead has a T-Star plus design, which I found to be incredibly secure when inserting the screws. No slipping, or rounding off of screw heads.
  • The literature recommends drilling pilot holes, but for me, the screws flew into place with such ease, with no splitting, that I didn’t find pilot holes necessary. If I had drilled pilot holes, it would have totally eliminated the tiniest amount of splintering around the head that I was creating, but believe me this was minute in comparison to the destruction normally caused by large decking screw heads. A word of caution – I was laying a soft wood deck, so with hard wood, I imagine pilot drilling would be a more crucial option. Also, as demonstrated on the Spax website, if you have time to pilot drill every hole, you’ll get an almost ‘factory-fitted’ finish.
  • Furthermore, the T-Star screwhead bit that comes supplied with the screws is of the highest quality, doesn’t lose its grip with use, and would clearly be capable of inserting the contents of more than the pack of screws that it’s supplied with.

Where to buy

Using spax decking screws

Spax decking screws – they’ll certainly be my choice for future decking projects.

The only issue with Spax decking screws is that they’re not the cheapest on the market. I suppose one has to think, is it worth spending £20 or so on Spax decking screws, on a decking project where the timber cost is around £500? Personally, I think it’s well worth it!

You’ll find them available on Amazon, plenty of independent suppliers, and of course, at Screwfix.

 

  1. SPAX International says:

    Hi Julian!
    We’re very happy that you like our SPAX so much! We can
    reassure you: Our SPAX are and will be produced in Germany (Ennepetal) and we
    can guarantee you a very high quality.
    Whenever you build new projects with
    SPAX, please let us know and visit us on http://www.facebook.com/SPAX.
    Best wishes from Ennepetal,
    your SPAX Team

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