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Simpson Strong-Tie Strong-Drive Sdwc & Sdws

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Simpson Strong-Tie has been providing a vast range of framing anchors and hangers for connecting top and bottom plates, rafters and trusses for a while now.

As much as there has been developments and innovation in these products the release of their Strong-Drive range of structural fasteners is set to turn the industry on its head.

The new Strong-Drive SDWC TRUSS Screw and Strong-Drive SDWS TIMBER Screw are going to change the way you fasten structural timber to timber applications along with truss to plate connections, and here’s why. First of all, you are going to save a pile of time. After speaking with several builders who have just used the products for the first time, the general feeling is you will take at least a full day off the time you would typically spend on fastening triple grips to rafters and joists when working with a team of three chippies on a new roof. The amount of money saved just in wages is enormous.

Save Time and Money

As you know, the original process of fixing a pile of nails into each and every triple grip has now been replaced with fixing a single SDWC (152mm) Orange screw. The screw design is unique and features a 6-lobe drive that reduces cam outs and enables easier driving with the provided torx bit. The fully threaded shank guarantees the entire length of the screw pulls a solid and secure connection. The type-17 point offers faster starts and easier driving with no pre-drilling required. The cap-style head easily counter sinks fully into the double top plate with no interference with plasterboard or finish trades.

Simplicity at Its Best

I can’t over emphasise how simple and quick the SDWC Truss Screw is to use. The provided metal guide is simply placed onto the edge of the stud, rafter and top plates and perfectly angles the SDWC screw up through the stud and double top plate and structurally fixes rafter or joist. It’s that simple.


The new second generation SDWS screw is another awesome product. Simpson Strong-Ties original SDWS was released two years ago and they have just improved the design with a new SawTooth™ point. The builders I visited have been using this product to come up through bottom plates to structurally join to studs, as well as coming down through top plates to fix into the end grain of studs. The bold thread design doesn’t require predrilling and doesn’t split timber. The new SawTooth™ point tip ensures fast starts and reduces installation torque. The low profile head design has a sleek look and easily pulls beneath the surface of the timber when seating the head.

The entire screw has a double-barrier coating that provides corrosion resistance equivalent to a hot dip galvanisation, which makes it ideal for a range of external and preservative-treated timber applications. So as well as being great for framing scenarios I mentioned above, it’s also great for timber retaining walls, pergolas and deck framing. The combination of the large washer head and bold thread is perfect for securing timbers together to close gaps in multi-timber connection assemblies.

The builders I visited have been working with certifiers on their projects and have had no issues with the structural performance of these screws. The SDWC Truss Screw uplift values were analysed and calculated based on the characteristic values of determined following AS1649-2001 (Timber – Methods of Test for Mechanical Fasteners and Connectors – Basic Working Loads and Characteristic Strength). The SDWC has also been tested in accordance with ICC-ES AC233 (screw) and AC13 (wall assembly and roof-to-wall assembly) for uplift and lateral loads between wall plates and vertical wall framing and between the top plate and the roof rafters or trusses. In short, they are bloody strong and will replace the time-consuming exercise of installing triple grips.

The Wrap-Up

Simpson Strong-Tie has stepped up to the plate and smashed a home run with these two new products. It’s not going to take long for a huge number of builders and chippies out there to realise the time and money saving potential of these two new innovative products. From talking to the early adopters of this product, there is definitely no going back.

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