The Ultimate Guide to Self-Drilling Screws for Thick Steel


In the realm of construction and manufacturing, encountering a tough, thick piece of steel is not uncommon. These "mild steel" pieces are often complex, alloy-rich structures that present a formidable challenge for standard self-drilling tips. The key to overcoming this challenge lies in the use of top-tier self-drilling screws for thick steel.


Understanding the Challenge

Drilling into thick steel is not a walk in the park. One of the primary tasks a self-drilling screw must execute is the expulsion of excess material. While a hardened drilling point and sharp cutting blades assist with the initial drilling, it's the fluting that matters most. A screw with a sufficiently long and accurately designed flute facilitates the removal of the fine bits and shavings that accumulate during the spiraling action, avoiding drill burnout caused by the heat of trapped iron shavings.


The Market Deception

Many well-known brands claim their screws to be the ultimate self-drilling screws for thick steel or heavy-duty self-drilling metal screws. They advertise these as capable of drilling through steel above1/2" thick. However, the reality often falls short of the lofty claims made in marketing campaigns.


Enter Elco Extended Drilling Capacity Drilit® Self-Drilling Screws
Drilit® self-drilling screw eliminate the need for separate drilling and tapping operations making for faster, more economical installations. Drilit® extended capacity self-drilling screws are a heavy-duty self-drilling screw designed to speed installation in steel applications up to 1/2" thick steel.
The General application and uses are for steel-to-steel connections, wood-to-steel connections, and composite material-to-steel connections.
Each Drilit® self-drilling screw is coated with Stalgard® and Gray Stalgard® finish and typically show no red rust or other base metal corrosion on significant surfaces after 1000 hours of 5% neutral salt spray exposure (per ASTM b117).
Tanner offers a diverse range of self-drilling screws, From Structural Screws, Bi-Metal, Wafer Head Self Drills with Wings, Hex Self Drill Screws with a Bonded Sealing Washer , made in USA product, the variety is outstanding. Each screw type has unique benefits, designed for specific tasks and materials. Understanding the different types of self-drilling screws and their uses is key when selecting the right screw for the job. Check Out the Tanner Selection guide to help better understand the differences and common features of our self-drilling screws.
Choosing the right self-drilling screw for your project is crucial for both the quality of your work and your convenience. When it comes to heavy-duty tasks, such as drilling through thick steel, it's essential to go for a reliable and tried-and-tested product like Elco Extended Drilling Capacity Drilit® Self-Drilling Screws. With its unique design and superior performance, it stands as a testament to what self-drilling screws for thick steel should be.