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Frequently asked questions

Choosing a screw:

  • When should I use stainless steel?

    Answer: Stainless steel should be used when you are installing the fastener within close proximity (within 5km) of a salt water body. It should also be used around swimming pools and if the fastener will be covered with water for long periods of time. If in doubt, you should always use the highest level of corrosion resistance available.
  • What length decking screw should I use?

    Answer: The length of the decking screw is determined by the thickness of your decking boards and the type of material used for your decking boards and joists. If you are using softwood joists, the screw should be at least 2.5 times the thickness of the decking board. If you are using hardwood or metal joists, the screw should be at least 2 times the thickness of the decking board.
  • What does gauge mean?

    Answer: Gauge refers to the diameter of the screw and is measured at the threads.
  • What screw point should I use?

    Answer: This depends on the material you are fastening and if you are going to pre-drill. Check out the Blackhawk Decking Screw Points page or the “Choosing The Right Screw” calculator found on the Blackhawk Calculator page for more information.
  • How many screws do I need for my deck?

    Answer: What sounds like an easy question to answer is actually quite difficult. Blackhawk has made this as easy as possible by designing a decking screw calculator which can be found on the Blackhawk Calculators page. It is the most accurate screw calculator available. Check it out!

Screw Material: 

  • What is Blackhawk Protect?

    Answer: Blackhawk Protect is a coating that is bonded to some Blackhawk Fasteners. It uses a high-grade, tri-layer coating process. These layers are joined together through a chemical process which results in a tightly bonded coating on the screw. Blackhawk Protect conforms to AS 3566.2 Class 3. Find out more
  • What is 304 Extreme Stainless Steel?

    Answer: 304 Extreme stainless steel has an improved formula when compared to standard 304 stainless steel. This results in a higher level of corrosion (rust) resistance.
  • Will stainless steel ever rust?

    Answer: The materials that make up stainless steel give it its corrosion resistance. Chromium is the key ingredient and will continue to protect the product from corrosion even if the product is damaged or scratched. Some manufacturers do not use the right amount of chromium which will cause the product to rust prematurely. Stainless steel can also corrode when exposed to chemicals like grease or saline. It can also corrode if exposed to high temperatures for long periods of time.
  • Where can I buy Blackhawk Fasteners from?

    Answer: Check out our Where to buy page to find your local supplier

Common terminology & abbreviations:

  • Gauge:

    Gauge refers to the diameter of the screw and is measured at the threads.
  • Joists:

    A joist is a length of timber or metal (generally steel or aluminium) supporting a structure. They are typically parallel to each other and used to support a ceiling or floor. In most cases the joists will be perpendicular to the ceiling or floor.
  • Cam-Out:

    Where the tool being used to drive a screw slips out of the head
  • CSK:

    An abbreviation for Countersunk. Typically used to describe the head of a screw
  • HDG:

    An abbreviation for Hot Dipped Galvanised. HDG is a method of coating products to increase their corrosion resistance
  • SS:

    An abbreviation for Stainless Steel
  • 304:

    An abbreviation for 304 grade stainless steel. 304 Stainless steel protects from corrosion (rust) in most external applications, has an attractive silver finish and is the material of choice for most decking professionals
  • 304EX:

    An abbreviation for 304 Extreme stainless steel. 304 Extreme stainless steel has an improved formula when compared to standard 304 stainless steel. This results in a higher level of corrosion (rust) resistance
  • 316:

    An abbreviation for 316 stainless steel. 316 Stainless steel offers the greatest resistance from corrosion (rust). It can be used in sever environmental conditions, can be used in close proximity to salt water bodies like the ocean and swimming pools and has an attractive silver finish
  • Type 17:

    Type 17 refers to the long cut section at the point of the screw. The type 17 point helps to remove debris when being driven through the decking timber
  • Wing:

    A wing point refers to the sharp, drill like point at the end of a screw. It is used to fix timber to metal. The winged point incorporates two wings that protrude out from the screw and look like ears. The winged point cuts into the timber creating its own pilot hole, allowing the screw to spin more freely. This makes it easier for the screw to drive through the metal

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