Structural Screws Vs. Lag Bolts: What's The Difference?

When working on a construction project, have you ever wondered about the differences between structural screws and lag bolts? In this article, we will explore the key differences between these two types of fasteners, "structural screws vs. lag bolts," and provide valuable information to help you choose your specific needs. We'll cover their purposes, applications, benefits, drawbacks, and when to use each.

What are Structural Screws? 

Structural screws are special fasteners made for construction. They make strong connections in different building projects. They're made of tough steel and come in many sizes, lengths, and threads to match project needs.

Structural screws are made of different materials. There are wood screws, concrete screws, and metal screws.

 Using structural screws has many benefits. They are easy to install, handle much weight, and won't rust easily. However, they have some downsides. They cost more than other fasteners and need pre-drilling sometimes.

What are Lag Bolts? 

Lag bolts, or lag screws, are tough nails that join wood to wood or metal. They are big, have thick threads, and have hexagonal heads that make them strong and able to hold a lot of weight.

Lag bolts come in various sizes, lengths, and materials to suit different applications. There are a few kinds of lag bolts. They include stainless steel, galvanized steel, and hot-dipped galvanized steel.

Lag bolts have many benefits, like being tough, lasting long, and can be used in many ways. However, their disadvantages include the need for pre-drilling, the potential for splitting wood if not installed correctly, and the requirement for a wrench or socket.

Differences between Structural Screws and Lag Bolts 

Structural screws and lag bolts have key differences to consider. These differences include their strength, installation process, and cost. Although both fasteners offer high strength, structural screws typically have a higher load-bearing capacity and are less likely to cause wood splitting. Structural screws are easier to install than lag bolts. A power drill can drive the screw directly into the material. Lag bolts need pre-drilling and a wrench or socket to install. Structural screws cost more than lag bolts due to their design and materials.

Structural Screws Vs. Lag Bolts: What's The Difference?

When to Use Structural Screws and When to Use Lag Bolts 

Know when to use structural screws or lag bolts for a structure to be safe and last a long time. Different fasteners have unique uses. They work better for some things than others.

When to Use Structural Screws

  • Furniture assembly:Structural screws provide strong connections while maintaining a polished look.
  • Decking:Using structural screws is a secure way to attach deck boards to joists. This method won't split the wood or be seen from the surface.
  • Framing: Structural screws are great for strong connections in light framing. You don't even have to pre-drill.

When to Use Lag Bolts

  • Securing posts:To securely attach posts to concrete or other supports, you can use strong lag bolts.
  • Attaching ledger boards:Lag bolts are often used when building decks to attach a ledger board securely to a house. This makes a tough and long-lasting connection.
  • Thicker materials:If you use thicker materials or need a stronger connection, use lag bolts. They're very strong and durable.
  • Heavy load-bearing applications: If you need to support heavy things like machines or buildings, use lag bolts.