With skilled labor hard to find just as the construction market's rebound seems to finally be sustainable, general contractors, framers, custom home builders and remodelers are scrambling to find ways to get more done with a limited workforce.
The market is responding, investing in research and development as the driving force to produce innovative fastener products that generate demand based upon the time and cost savings they deliver. The result is that contractors are increasingly realizing the vast improvement in profitability that can be attained by switching to new and innovative products - right down to the fasteners they are using.
Construction fasteners may appear to be simple, yet the implication of product and process improvement in this category is tremendous when you consider the sheer number and range of construction applications that require fasteners, especially those as mundane as the ordinary nail or screw.
Pneumatic tools and collated fasteners are now saving time and reducing costs on job sites every day. The process of fastening today has never been faster or more cost-effective, led by collated fasteners now capable of being driven in with a pneumatic tool at speeds up to two times that of collated screws and eight times the speed of manually-installed bulk screws.
This video demonstrates one vs. the other in a fun "time trial":
Collated nails can be installed with lightning speed, and collated screws are used when specified for a stronger hold over nails. Both outstrip the installation time required to drive bulk nails or screws, but combining the hold of screws with the speed of nails is really the ideal. This has spurred an entirely new hybrid category of collated nail screw fasteners, featuring innovations that add incredible versatility to this once stagnant product category.
The market's gradual transition to new combination nail screws is occurring across an ever-increasing range of applications; virtually everywhere ordinary fasteners are used throughout a typical construction project and in many specialty applications:
- Drywall: A large problem with drywall installation is that fasteners can loosen with the naturally occurring swelling of wood studs. A collated fastener that is driven pneumatically drives farther into the wood, reducing the possibility of it becoming loose.
- Framing: The strength of the frame within any building is essential to its stability. It is vital that there are no missing fasteners, or screws that are insufficiently sunk into studs and joists. Collated fasteners powered by a pneumatic tool help ensure the frame is sturdy and stable, and the nail screw combination fasteners will have even better holding power than collated nails, yet also allow for easy adjustment or removal.
- Steps: Most steps and stairs are built using nails and will begin to creak as they are used. A nail screw fastener sunk into the wood can not only be adjusted to prevent creaking, but will also provide a cleaner surface once wood filler has been applied.
- Sub-flooring: In the past, most subflooring was applied with nails. As with steps, this eventually leads to squeaking. By using collated nail screw fasteners, squeaks are reduced significantly. The broad variety of fastener lengths available is valuable when installing flooring over inconsistent materials, such as radiant heat panels.
- Decking and Fencing: The construction of a deck can be back-breaking and time consuming, whether using a hidden clip system or screws inserted into joists from the top of each board. New nail screw fasteners dramatically reduce installation time, and are adaptable to all manner of deck boards - grooved, non-grooved, composite, or exotic hardwood for example. Fencing projects can also benefit with securely set nail screw fasteners in much less time than using traditional fasteners.
- Light Gauge Steel Construction: This construction method is an efficient way to build strong, yet light weight, structures, but fastening drywall, wood, or deck boards to steel can be problematic. Displacement of the steel material can tear into the gypsum, tearing the exterior paper. A new generation of nail screw fasteners has addressed this problem, even increasing holding power and creating a stronger structure.
- Furniture: When you build something that is intended to support weight, you want the screws set as firmly and as deeply into the wood as possible. Using nail screw fasteners creates sturdier furniture, increasing load capacity due to greater holding power.
Evolution of SCRAIL® Fasteners and the Nail Screw Fastener Category
As far back as 1998 the market saw the beginnings of innovation with a nail screw combination fastener that emerged from the BECK Fastener Group®, a leader in technological advances in pneumatic tools and a broad range of fasteners with over 100 years of experience. This flagship product was called Scrail®, an assortment of collated nail screw fasteners that offered a dramatic increase in holding power compared to nails with easy adjustment and removal. The market took notice that Scrail® could be utilized for almost any need where ordinary screws are used, and switching costs were low since they could be used with most pneumatic nailers they already owned.
The way we see it, delivering fasteners that are faster and do the job better is something that is a constant necessity in this industry, not just a trend. When others were pulling back as times grew tough, BECK was creating new geometries and features to address more and more application requirements, continuing expansion of what was becoming an entire family of Scrail® fasteners.
The original premise was simple: Scrail® performs at a rate that is eight times faster than bulk screws and two times faster than collated screws, delivering the time and cost savings our customers needed. The new items that followed each offer unique application benefits such as SubLoc® Scrail® with a special adhesive to eliminate squeaks in subfloor applications, the InvisiDeck® Hidden Fastening System which utilizes Scrail® fasteners in hidden deck fastening for both wood and composite decks, and Mini-Scrail® fasteners that are the perfect size for finish work.