Planning for Your Year in Fasteners



Tapcon masonry screws hold securely in concrete, block and brick.

ITW

Some regard fastener selection as a simple “toss in the cart” decision in-store. However, that approach can add up to trouble if you haven’t chosen the best one for the job. Professionals need fasteners that fit the specific project at hand and meet or exceed the industry standards. 
To help take your work to the next level in 2017, we have compiled a list of five key considerations to guide choosing the right fastener for the job.
 
Consideration #1 — Does the fastener’s type fit the needs of the job? 
Every fastener has an intended use, and often times factors like the head shape or style, shank size, and finish will help a renovator match the right fastener to the task at hand. 

For example, fasteners made from stainless steel might provide the right amount of corrosion protection for an outdoor job using wood materials, but it may not have the right thread form or diameter to make a secure attachment to the structure. It’s important to take all of a fastener’s attributes into consideration when choosing which one to use.

Consideration #2 — Does the fastener meet industry standards?
Fastener manufacturers produce and test to industry developed standards such as those created by ASTM and ANSI. These organizations ensure that materials and processes meet standardized industry agreed upon performance. For wood, concrete and masonry fasteners and anchors (and many other types), professionals should also look for a test report developed by the ICC (International Code Council). This assures structural engineers and inspectors that the product has been rigorously tested to meet specific applications in the field. 

Consideration #3 — Does the manufacturer stand behind its products? 
The importance of product warranties and support can’t be underestimated. Check that the fasteners you’re considering have backup to their warranty claims. Claims of a multi-year or “lifetime warranty” are common but may not be backed by a reputable company that offers timely field support and customer service. Check the product’s packaging, website, or call its customer service line to ensure the right kind of warranties are in place for the needs of the project. 

Consideration #4 — How simple is the installation?  
Technological innovations have made mechanical fastening simpler and more reliable than ever. Some fasteners, such as Tapcons, can be installed with just a hammer drill, drill bit and sleeve/socket combo. But, be aware of the added costs—in both supplies and labor—that can come with purchasing certain fasteners that require special or additional tools and steps—all of which lead to lower productivity and profits.

Consideration #5 — How are other trades talking about the product and its performance on the job site? 
The best way to understand a fastener’s reliability is to listen to the experts: the renovators who use them every day. Be sure to actively search reviews online through general searches, industry message boards, and trade publications to get a full range of peer feedback. 

If you keep these five considerations in mind, you will be well positioned to deliver high-quality results throughout 2017. 

– Mike Dill is innovation manager for Paslode. Reach him via www.paslode.com.

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