If you’ve been wondering which are the most effective screws that easily and efficiently get work done, think no more. You’re in the best hands to get all the information about those screws, namely self thread screw and self tapping metal screw, their functioning, benefits and most importantly, the difference between them. 

This article will feed you with the right information about self drilling and self tapping screws. 

Self Drilling Screws

A self drilling/self threading screw is unique in the sense that it has a thread that runs along its entire length, helping it to drill the surface better than any other standard screw. They have curved end shaped like a twisted grill that can fasten metal to metal and metal to wood. In simple words, they drill, form the thread and fasten. Self drilling screws are for quick drilling into all types of materials. One can identify a screw as a self drilling one by looking at its flute or notch. 


  • How do they work?
    Self drilling screws work on the same principles as drill bits and other cutting instruments. Their fastening speed, feed rate, depth of the hole, and the work material itself determine how well they can perform.
  • Features
  1. These screws eliminate the need to change tools to drill the screw in the wall. They can smoothly anchor the object on the wall without the requirement of additional fasteners i.e. plates and washers. The screw single-handedly is able to drill the object on the surface.
  2. As a cherry on top, these screws are made of stainless steel to weather extreme environmental conditions like heat, wind, rain, etc. Stainless steel self drilling screws are also rot-resistant. EJOT, an industry-leading screw manufacturer, offers weather-resistant screws to smoothen the construction process. 
  3. As per the requirement, these screws are also zinc-plated for unweathered areas. 
  4. Their lengths can vary, but the drill points remain standard, usually donated by numbers 1 to 5, determining their length and thickness. Self drilling screws can work with light and low-density materials as well. 
  • Benefits
  1. Saves Time
    The most distinguishable advantage of self thread screws is that they need no pilot hole to drill or fasten. They are efficient enough to drill, tap and fasten all at one go. This saves time to drill and then fasten separately. Thus, these screws simplify the construction activity. 
  2. Anti-corrosive
    As these screws are made of hard steel or stainless steel, they do not rust and can last decades by keeping the structure sturdy. 
  3. Durable
    If the moisture content in the environment is too high, there are accessories that come with these screws. They omit the slightest chance of corrosion. These additional accessories make self drilling screws immune to deterioration. Thus, they hold the metal envelope tightly with the structure. 
  4. Ductile
    Due to thermal expansion, roofing sheets of various lengths move. Along with them, screws can also move and not break. 


Self Tapping Screws 

These screws are called so because they can securely tap their own threads when screwed into plastic, metal or wood. They are also called sheet metal screws as they contain form mating threads that are able to tap the threads in a pilot hole into which they are driven. Also because their usage is prevalent in the sheet-metal trade. These screws are more commonly used to attach two pieces of material together where only one side of the material can be accessed. They also come in handy while disassembling and reassembling. 


  • How do they work?
    Self tapping screws function by cutting into the screw’s thread, producing a flute and cutting edge that resembles a tap.
  • Features
  1. Self tapping metal screws come in different shapes, such as pointed, blunt and flat. If they are pointed, they are thread-cutting. If they are flat, they are thread-rolling i.e. creating no space between the screw and the material by rolling or extruding the threads
  2. They are commonly used for fastening aluminium sections, attaching metal brackets to wood, and inserting screws into plastic housings or masonry applications.
  3. These screws are also available in varying thread lengths. This depends on the length of the screw, its utility and the fastened object. 
  4. These screws follow the same thread each time to ensure a strong and consistent bond. 
  • Benefits 
  • Easy Installation
    Self tapping screws have become exceedingly popular lately because they facilitate the construction process, thereby resulting in a quick and easy installation process. It not only reduces the time taken but also saves energy, which is the aim of every construction activity. 
  • Better Grip
    These fasteners offer superior handling and thus are easily manageable. This secure grip and strength give you good control. 
  • Negligible Mess
    There is usually a lot of residue and debris that falls out from the object being drilled. But with these screws, that is no longer a problem. 
  • Durable
    Sheet metal screws are ‘ca n’t-miss fasteners that are highly preferred over the standard ones due to their durability and resilience. They can even be reapplied, unlike other types of screws. Above all, they are weather-resistant. 


  • Self-drilling screws feature a point drill bit on the screw that negates the need for a pilot hole, as the screw is able to cut its own thread into the surface. Their widespread use includes cladding, metal roofing, steel framing, and other general construction tasks. 
  • Self tapping screw can somehow tap their own threads but are unable to drill through hardened material like a sheet of metal. Their common uses include 1 and 2-layer thin gauge sheet metal securing, fastening of aluminum sections to each other and into screw flutes, screwing into plastic housings, and fixing metal brackets into ply and timber. 

The design and framework of both self tapping and self-drilling are for specific purposes, the significant difference being the need for a pilot hole. While choosing the right screw, one important consideration would be to check the object into which the screw will be drilled.

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