Simpson Strong-Tie® Strong Drive® SDWS Timber Screw

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Updated: April 29, 2019

Strong‑Drive SDWS timber screws by Simpson Strong-Tie are your go-to, easy to install, high strength alternative to bolting timber, or batten screws and coach bolts in external applications.

A few issues back we reviewed the Simpson Strong-Tie Strong-Drive of fasteners being used as a structural alternative, replacing strapping, triple grips and brackets in structural timber framing, rafter and joist fixing applications. In this review we really wanted to focus on other external applications like in timber retaining walls, timber external stairs and any other use where you really need a high strength external timber screw with the capability to pull in and hold timber structural applications, giving a significantly superior bite and pull than a shark tooth bugal.

The screws are perfect for deck framing and retaining walls. The double-barrier coating makes them equivalent in corrosion protection to hot-dipped galvanised, which means they are suitable for treated pine applications. These screws are going to last!

The bold thread design provides superior holding power and is easy to install without pre-drilling in most cases, unlike a lot of coach bolts that require pre-drilling and then swapping the tool to a socket bit for driving the bolt in.

The patented SawTooth™ point on the SDWS ensures fast starts into the timber and reduces installation torque, which is a major factor in the no need for pre-drilling. All this reduces tool wear and extends your battery life!

Great Looking Finish With Superior Strength

What I really like about the Simpson Strong-Tie Strong-Drive SDWS timber screw is the low-profile head that not only looks a lot nicer than a coach bolt, but also acts as a washer to rescue the head of the screw being pulled down too far into the timber. The low-profile head also leaves less interference after installation with no protruding heads to knock, sit on or trip on – just a flush-looking finish that is super strong!

Perfect For Landscapers, Builders And Chippies

Building new retaining walls with the new SDWS timber screws is an absolute dream. It was when testing these SDWS screws into retaining walls that others had built with normal batten screws where the difference between the two became apparent. The top timber’s caps (100mm) were all twisted and not sitting well with batten screws. Many screws that were in were pulling out or had significantly lifted. We pulled out the existing screws and tried to reuse and reinstall them to see how well they would pull the timber down, but they didn’t. So we replaced the existing batten screws with the new SDWS and we were impressed with the clamping force of the screw. The twisted timber capping pulled back into shape with only a few of the new SDWS screws. Where the others failed, the new Simpson Strong-Tie Strong-Drive SDWS screws were victorious. A great way to see the strength and hold compared to the batten screws that were used in the original install.

What I did notice with the batten bits and also the hex heads was the number of cam-outs (screw head stripping) compared to the SDWS’s deep 6-love recess that also makes driving in easier too. The star shape grips well making it easy to install or remove.

A Large Range Of Sizes Available

The Simpson Strong-Tie Strong-Drive SDWS come in a range of different sizes from 75mm all the way to 250mm with the 250mm being great for larger timber sleepers and walls needing superior strength. They also come in six lengths, and two pack sizes to choose from; will cover a variety of jobs!

Installation of the Strong-Drive SDWS compared with coach bolts is almost twice as fast because it’s a one-go application compared with having to pre-drill, swap tools and also washer your coach bolts. The SDWS will save plenty of time, without sacrificing any structural integrity as well as enhance the look of the project.

Next time you’re out building a few retaining walls or balconies, think about giving the Simpson Strong-Tie rep a call and see if they have the right product for you. They have a massive range of innovative products along with great customer service to go with it! Give the Simpson Strong-Tie Strong Drive SDWS timber screws a go for any of your jobs that require a strong finish, but with good looks too! You won’t go back.