Norman Shimwell, founder of Optimaxx, discusses the importance of consistency in wood screws and gives us an insight into the design and production process.
Wood screws are undeniably one of the most populous items in any toolbox, with their multitude of different shapes and sizes. And with such a wide range of manufacturers to choose from, consumers are spoilt for choice. But if you were to talk to any wood screw consumer, they will tell you how rarely wood screw manufacturers deliver screws that perform consistently.
Consistency is a fundamental design principle that gets violated frequently by manufacturers. Shockingly, if you were to take a handful of wood screws, you’ll find many of the are not identical in appearance and performance. Nevertheless, in order for a wood screw to perform to its highest standard, maintaining a consistent design is the most critical factor.
What does a consistent wood screw design mean?
The value in being consistent is that people know what to expect from the product and have confidence it will perform the job perfectly every time. When a wood screw is consistently designed, the common problems users experience is also removed. For example, splitting the wood is a common frustration amongst users and for this reason, pilot holes have become fundamental. However, by simply incorporating consistent serrated threads the screw drives into the timber more easily, therefore reducing splitting.
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Why do some wood screws have an inconsistent design?
Product testing and quality control is fundamental in the production of wood screws. However, this is often overlooked by manufacturers which means you end up with inconsistencies. This means that elements of the screw are not exactly alike which can cause the screw to underperform in comparison to a screw that is manufactured consistently. For example, many manufacturers incorporate a self-drill slash point and if it’s consistent, you would expect an immediate start every time. However, if the slash point is randomly placed due to the manufacturing process, this feature is completely ineffective and meaningless.
Whilst largely skipping the testing and quality control stage of manufacturing does enable brands to meet the lower price bracket users demand, it does of course lead to inconsistently performing and therefore lower quality products. In effect, you get what you pay for.
Another critical factor to look out for is the CE certification, which all wood screws should conform to. The CE certification indicates that every individual batch has been assessed accordingly to meet the CE standard that’s been set before the manufacturing started. By placing the CE certification on a product, the manufacturer is declaring it meets the CE standard that make it a safe, functional product.
What happens in the manufacturing process to avoid inconsistencies?
The biggest concern when it comes to inconsistencies is multi-sourcing. Ideally, manufacturers would be sourcing from as few places as possible. However, some cheaper wood screw brands will source from multiple factories and they will have no control over the testing and quality control measures. Commonly, this will cause inconsistencies between different sizes of screw. For example, even if they are all an essentially sound product, you could find an exceptional 50mm screw, but a sub-standard 100mm screw even if it’s from the same brand.
How common are inconsistencies in a wood screw design?
Understandably, there is a need for the lower quality price point. But knowing what goes into the production of a high-performance screw is fundamental to appreciating what you are paying for in the higher bracket.
With that in mind, inconsistencies are very common in lower quality screws as you essentially “get what you pay for”. Of course, there is a place in the market for cheap wood screws with the knowledge that they’re not going to be the highest quality. However, when it comes to the high bracket, you’re paying for the testing (amongst other things) that’s involved that make them a high-quality and consistently performing screw.
What are the benefits of a wood screw having a consistent design?
A consistent design will always yield higher results and user satisfaction because the screw will always perform to the same level in every application. Therefore, by having a consistent design, you will become familiar with the product at hand and your expectations will always be met.
To reiterate, a wood screw that has a consistent design will always perform to the same level in every application, whilst providing you with a range of product benefits. Including an immediate start, removing the need for pilot holes by providing consistent serrated threads. Plus, a consistent double collar will ensure that every screw has the same level of strength and protection on the underside of the head to prevent snapping from the body.
It goes without saying success is the natural consequence of consistently applying basic fundamentals. Without it, the screw will simply perform inadequately.
What is an example of a consistent wood screw design?
Optimaxx is a brand leading by example in the wood screw market. By incorporating a range of unique features, along with the measures that make a consistent design, Optimaxx are recognised as the highest performing range of wood screws in today’s market.
One of the main features to the Optimaxx wood screw is the consistent self-drill slash point which is designed to give you an immediate start. While other wood screws may include this similar feature, Optimaxx boast about the consistency of their slash point placement which enables every Optimaxx wood screw to consistently perform to the same standard.
The main factors that contribute to consistency of Optimaxx screws are frequent testing and high levels of quality control. While this is a costly procedure that many other manufacturers avoid, it is crucial to the production of a consistently high-performance screw, something which Optimaxx are dedicated to distributing.
If you’re currently selling wood screws, be sure to add the Optimaxx range to your collection! Contact us today to become an Optimaxx stockist.