Drilling their way into the Australian market, Blackhawk has swooped in, delivering their new range of decking screws with the Speed Drive series leading that range!
The Speed Drive Decking screw has a sharp Spade point, which is extremely easy to get started and also makes easy work of cutting through hard timber and wait for it… removing the need for pre-drilling and countersinking. You will even notice a much smaller head than traditional decking screws – this discrete trim head cuts through the surface of timber and leaves a beautiful finish!
The Speed Drive decking screws feature a specific timber-cutting drill point, which cut through hardwoods like a hot knife through butter. It looks like an arrow tip and penetrates Aussie timbers just like an arrow.
An aggressive thread pattern for improved holding power into your joists bites exceptionally well. The Speed Drive Series uses the T20 star drive for maximum grip when installing, which we found to have far less cam-outs than standard screws. It was also easier to pull them out if needed.
The Speed Drive Series are available in 304 stainless steel, which has excellent corrosion resistance, and 316 stainless steel, which is also suitable for marine applications. To see first-hand the importance of using stainless steel around coastal and wet areas like pools, a friend invited us to witness the aftermath of a deck around his pool near the coast where he was talked into using an all-weathernon-stainless. Some four years later the screws are rusted up severally and one out of three are snapping when he’s trying to replace them with stainless, forcing him to have to make a second hole to pick up the joist.
It’s vital that you use stainless steel screws when you are closer than 5km from a body of salt water. Anything outside of that, it is all systems go to use any class 3 rated screws like the Blackhawk Protect coating that is found on some of their decking screws. It is a high-grade coating that creates a chemical barrier against the formation of rust.
Blackhawk Protect uses a unique processing technology that consists of three layers: the first is a metallic zinc layer, the second is a high-grade anticorrosion chemical conversion film, and the third is a ceramic surface coating that is baked onto the fastener. These three elements combined are perfect for Australia’s harsh conditions, but it is still recommended to use stainless within 5km of saltwater.
To test the no pre-drilling or countersinking theory, which to be honest I was a little dubious about, I grabbed a few offcuts of blackbutt decking boards from a mate’s house who had just laid a beautiful front entrance to his house. The boards were 140×22 spotted gum and the sharp arrow-like head of the screws really did surprise me how clean and quickly they ripped in through the spotted gum. The smaller sized screw head was sunk below the surface of the decking by around 3mm and looked great. It created a much smaller hole and it was a lot less intrusive.
The Speed Drive Series decking screws were a pleasure to use. They left a fantastic finish and were extremely easy to install, but one other thing I will make special mention of is the container they came in! Blackhawk’s exclusive Versi-Tubs are an excellent way to store and stack, not only onsite but in your work vehicle shelving. They fit in the shelves like a perfect glove and all the labelling is easily seen. The lid also folds back effortlessly so you can just grab a few if needed.
The Blackhawk Screw range was pretty special from design, ease of use and storage to high levels of corrosion resistance and the discrete trim heads. Check out the range next time you have a deck project. Your clients will love them for years to come!