Self-Tapping Screws V/s Self-Drilling

Self-tapping screws and self-drilling screws are the two important screws used in the metal building and general construction work. They are also used in many other industrial applications.

What are self-tapping screws?
They are the fasteners that have the ability to tap threads into the material. These screws are used for all sorts of materials including wood, brick and steel. These screws cannot be drilled through metal and need a pilot hole to be pre-drilled before installation.

The self-tapping screws are designed to create their own threads as they are driven into a material. The key feature of this screw is their sharp, cutting threads that carve a mating thread into a material ensuring a secure fit.

What are the types of self-tapping screws?

The self-tapping screws are of two types – thread forming and thread cutting.

also read: What is self-locking bolt?

What are the applications of self-tapping screws along with their advantages and disadvantages?

Self-tapping screws are widely used in varied industry verticals including automotive construction and manufacturing. Their ability to form threads makes them ideal for situations where pre-tapped hole is not available or practical. Common applications are assembling metal panels, securing plastic components and more.


  • They are versatile and thus can be used for multiple materials.
  • No need for pre-tapped holes.
  • Create secure connections.


  • Can crack or split soft material if not used properly.

What are self-drilling screws?
They are also known as Tek®screws. They can be identified by the drill bit-shaped point of the screw and are designed for varied applications like fastening metal to metal and metal to wood. Self-drilling screws do not need pilot hole. This makes them highly efficient for projects requiring fast and repetitive screw installation.

What are the types of self-drilling screws?
These screws come in varied sizes and shapes tailored to meet the specific materials and thickness.

What are the applications of self-drilling screws along with their advantages and disadvantages?
Self-drilling screws are used in roofing, metal working, and cladding projects. Their efficiency and speed make them ideal for securing metal to metal or metal to wood. The common uses are attaching metal roofing sheets, installing HVAC systems and more.


  • They are efficient in the sense they combine drilling and fastening in one step.
  • They reduce the time of installation.
  • They also minimize the risk of misalignment.


  • More expensive than self-tapping screws
  • Not suited for very thick materials.

How to choose the right screw?

  • If you are working with the variety of materials and need a versatile solution, self-tapping screws are better choice.
  • If there is need for repetitive metal fastening and maximum efficiency is required, self-drilling screws are the way to go for such projects.
  • When working with material that has pilot holes, self-tapping screws is good choice.
  • If one needs to drill through light gauge metal sheeting, without a pilot hole, self-drilling screws is better.

Both self-tapping and self-drilling screws have their unique benefits. By understanding their strengths and differences you can select the right screws for specific requirements.


  1. What is self-tapping screw?
    It is a type of screw that creates its own threads as it is driven into a material.
  2. What is self-drilling screw?
    It is a type of screw that drills its own hole and forms threads in one own operation doing away with the need for pilot hole.
  3. What is the difference between self-tapping screw and self-drilling screw?
    Self-tapping screws create their own threads in pre-drilled hole while self-drilling screws drill their hole and create threads simultaneously.