Tapping is when screws create threads in the material they are driven into. Whereas regular screws are typically driven into specially prepared drill holes, a self-tapping screw makes its own threads as it enters. However, they still require a pre-drilled pilot hole, especially with tough materials like hardwood or metal. Self-tapping screws are compatible with softwood, hardwood, metal and plastic.
Self-Tapping Screws vs Self Drilling Screws
The main difference is that self-drilling screws do not need a pilot hole. Their tip is shaped like a drill bit, allowing them to drill ahead of themselves while creating their own thread like a self-tapping screw. With self-tappers, a pilot hole is usually needed. The reason a pilot hole is drilled for both self-tapping metal screws and regular screws is to avoid cracking and damaging the material you’re working with.
Toolstation stocks a wide range of self-tapping screws in various sizes and designs. Our selection includes countersunk self-tapping screws and pan head self-tapping screws at affordable prices.