Johnsons Home & Garden - Fastener Tensile Strength

Teco nail (high strength steel) vs. Decking Screw (cast iron).

No, we’re not talking about the Christmas Tree decorations here… 🙂  Do-it-yourselfers (DIY’ers) are very busy building things this time of year, like decks and deck coverings, sheds, shelving, etc.  One of the issues facing DIY’ers is knowing what fasteners should be used and where?  Depending on what you’re building, it can be a highly important safety factor when building something that’s load / weight bearing. You don’t have to be a structural engineer to build your own deck, but knowing fastener tensile strength is an important factor in any building plan.

The way all solid materials are measured for their strength, is by their “Tensile Strength.” The definition of tensile strength is the maximum amount of “tensile stress” that can be applied to a material before it fails or breaks. There is a wide variation in fasteners, and all are designed for specific things. For example, if someone were building a deck using galvanized brackets for the joist connections, they would need to use Teco nails, which are made of high strength steel (high sheer strength).  I’ve personally seen people use decking screws in brackets for beams and joist, which is a bad idea. Decking screws are for decking. They are typically light-weight cast iron and don’t have nearly the sheer strength that’s needed around support structures.

If you’re not sure about the type of fastener to use for your project, please come into Johnsons.  We have one of the largest selections of fasteners in the entire State of Washington and the experts to make sure you get the right type of fastener.