NO Screws are Created Equal

Types of screws:

  • Zinc
  • Ceramic
  • Stainless
  • Nylotec

When picking a screw to use it is wise to know the properties of each.

  • What is the head made of?
  • How was the screw tested?
  • How long will it last?
  • How does it react with a dissimilar metal?
  • How strong is the screw?


It was originally the most used screw on the market and still is heavily prevalent. It is a steel screw coated with zinc. It is the least expensive and lasts the shortest amount of time out of any screw. The rusting process starts quick when the drill chips the paint off when driving it into aluminum. These screws will show the wear and tear of rust faster than any other on the market. Since it is primarily made of steel it is a strong screw. Roughly lasts 1-5 yrs. Medium reaction to the aluminum.


Ceramic is an upgrade of zinc. It’s a steel coated screw with a ceramic coating. When the drill chips the paint when fastening it, it starts the rusting process. Since it’s primarily made of steel it is a strong screw, and lasts roughly 5-10 years depending on your location. It has a medium reaction to the metal.


There are 2 grades of stainless, the 300 series and the 400 series. The 400 series has more steel & carbon in it than the 300 series, making it a stronger screw but it rusting faster than 300 series (marine grade) in the long run. I like to use gold as an example. The more pure the gold the softer and the same goes for stainless. The 300 series is more pure so it’s softer. It doesn’t rust as quick as the 400. ALL stainless DO in fact rust. It just takes longer than others. 300 series reacts to the aluminum more than the 400 series causing the aluminum to oxidize. There’s a big difference in the dissimilar metal contact and it creates what’s known as white rust on the aluminum itself. Both fasteners last far longer than zinc and ceramic coated screws.


The paint on the head is warrantied against chipping or rust when fastened. You eliminate the dissimilar metal occurrence in the head because the nylon is touching the aluminum. The fastener though from the inside does in fact rust and the head of the screw can break when fastened It’s still better than ceramic and zinc in our opinion.


If the overall question is do all these screws rust? The answer is YES! They all rust over time. If the question you’re asking is…… Which screw is the best?. The real question you may want to ask yourself is…. which screw is best for my situation. Depending on your location, how long you plan on staying in your home, and the look your trying to acquire should be the reasons to pick a different fastener. The truth is that if you plan on living in your home for less than 2 years there’s no reason to spend extra money on upgrading. Don’t let someone sell you on something you don’t need. It’s only worth spending the money if you get the value out of it. Take a good look at your situation, your finances, and weigh out the pros and cons. Our recommendation for someone living in their house longer than 5-7 years should go with 400 series stainless especially if they are close to salt areas.