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Collated Screws – A Beginner’s Guide
What is a collated screw? How do you use it? And which screw is suitable for your project? Here’s our guide.
What are collated screws?
To ‘collate’ is to collect or combine, and that perfectly describes this type of screw. Rather than supplied in boxes of loose screws, the steel or stainless steel screws are gathered together on a long strip, like bullets in a machine gun belt.
Benefits of collated screws
Certain types of collated screws are best suited to certain applications, but all of them offer one major advantage over their loose counterparts: speed. On major projects, think of the amount of time lost to scooping up handfuls of screws, picking up the ones you drop, orientating them the right way, locating the screwdriver or drive bit in the screw head and so on.
Screws that are collated hold themselves uniformly on a single strip. This dramatically reduces drive time. We’ve heard plenty of tradesmen say that the time savings from just one job paid for the collated screwdriver. So whilst the strips of screws cost a little more than loose ones, it can be an investment that’s well worth making.
Speed, productivity and efficiency aren’t the only benefits either. They’re far less demanding than a manual or even electric screwdriver. This helps to keep wrists tendon and strain injuries at bay as you drive each screw into wood, flooring, decking and drywall.
How to use collated screws
For specific instructions, please refer to your manufacturer’s handbook. In general, however, and depending on driver type, you would:
- Select the correct nosepiece. You may have alternatives for collated drywall screws and collated decking screws.
- Load the correct bit. Some collated chipboard screws, for example, offer a choice of Phillips or square drive.
- Check the heads of the screws you are about to use are resting on the holding tape. Screws that sit proud of the tape could jam your driver.
- Select the correct screw length on your driver.
- Feed the screw strip into the housing
- Replace any safety guards or screens
- Press the trigger, then press the nose of the driver down onto the material being worked in a smooth action. Don’t remove the driver from the worksurface until you feel the clutch disengage.
Types of collated screws
Collated drywall screws: In fine or coarse thread, with a bugle head for even stress distribution to protect the drywall surface.
Collated self-drilling screws: No pilot holes required with these self-drilling screws, which makes fixing faster.
Collated decking/wood screws: Designed for exterior use and a secure fix with individual innovations (depending on brand) to prevent splitting the wood (Timco) or for fast, easy driving (Senco)
Collated flooring screws: Countersunk screw for a flush finish and greater stability, with a square drive for faster fixing and fewer cam-outs.
Collated chipboard screws: Coarse threaded screws for easier driving and fewer jams in chipboard/particle board applications.
Collated stainless steel screws: A durable screw, ideal for moist or humid conditions.
Buy collated screws at Tradefix Direct
No other UK collated screw supplier offers a better combination of range, quality and value. Order your collated screws now and receive free next day delivery on orders over £60. Get price break discounts on large orders.
For advice on which of our products is best suited for your application, feel free to get in touch.