The Best Deck Screws for Your Outdoor Build

Find the right screws to secure your deck, dock, or porch decking, and to achieve a professional appearance.

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The Best Deck Screws for Your Outdoor Build

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Deck screws are the fasteners used to secure the decking boards that make up the walking surface of a deck, porch, dock, or boardwalk. If you plan to construct a new deck or repair an old one, selecting the best performing deck screws is important.

To choose the best deck screws for your project, consider the decking material and climate. The most commonly used decking material is pressure-treated lumber. The chemicals used to make that type of lumber resistant to decay also cause iron to corrode. In order to build a sound deck without worrying about possible corrosion, multi-coated galvanized or stainless steel deck screws are used since they are compatible with treated lumber.

Decks made of non-treated lumber, like cedar or redwood, are susceptible to staining from galvanized screws. Stainless steel deck screws are used with natural wood decks. Composite decking material is typically fastened with special corrosion-resistant deck screws with small heads that are often colored to match the deck material.

Corrosion can also be an issue when there is salt spray in coastal areas and salt exposure from ice melting products. While galvanized and 304 or 305 stainless steel deck screws provide ample corrosion resistance in normal use, more expensive 316 stainless steel deck screws are a better choice for harsh, salty conditions. The 316 stainless steel options include higher nickel and molybdenum content that increases resistance to pitting from chloride exposure.

Beyond the type of screw, screws need to be long enough to penetrate at least an inch into the deck joists beneath the decking. Three-inch deck screws are the usual choice for most standard decking boards. Actual screw length will vary based on the thickness of decking you are using.

Our Top Picks

Whether you’re building a backyard deck or repairing a dock, the type of deck screw that is best for the job may vary among your planned projects. To help you get started with selecting the best deck screws for your work, we’ve compiled some of the best deck screws for a variety of applications.

Best Overall

Deck Screws Options: 100 Qty 9 x 2-1 2 Inch Tan
Photo: amazon.com

If you need an adaptable deck screw that handles a range of challenges, you may want to consider SNUG Fasteners Fence & Deck Screws. These premium corrosion-resistant deck screws feature a tough ultra-guard coating for use in pressure-treated lumber and a star drive for fast, easy installation. Nibs on the bugle-shaped head allow for better concealment after installation. A star-drive bit is included in the package, along with 100 #9 2½-inch screws. These screws are suitable for decking materials less than 1½-inch thick.

Best Bang For the Buck

Deck Screws Options: Hillman Fasteners 48419 Deck Screws
Photo: amazon.com

For a plentiful supply of deck screws with deep attachment strength at a value price, Hillman Fasteners 48419 Deck Screws could be just the thing. These coated deck screws are recommended for pressure-treated lumber. They feature a self-drilling cut point, a coarse, serrated thread for a stronger hold, and a flat head with countersinking nibs for a clean, even finish. Also called Torx drive, the star-drive head helps transfer torque to prevent cam-outs, which occurs when the driver slips out of the screw’s head. This is a five-pound package of #10 3-inch deck screws.

Best For Pressure-Treated

Deck Screws Options: Power Pro 48611 Premium
Photo: amazon.com

For a deck screw that will help you work faster and provide cleaner results in pressure-treated lumber, check out the Power Pro 48611 Premium No Strip Exterior Wood Screws. They have a bronze polymer coating that protects the screw from corrosion caused by wood preservative. The unique thread design drives up to 20 percent faster without predrilling, and the no-split twist shank eliminates splitting and cracking. Countersinking blades enable a more secure connection into the wood surface. The star drive eliminates cam-out for a smoother drive. This pack includes 450 #9 3-inch deck screws.

Best For Composite

Deck Screws Options: 10 x 2-3 4 Dark Brown
Photo: amazon.com

If you are working with composite decking, Jake Sales Composite Decking Wood Screws could be a great screw choice. The corrosion-resistant finish is available in seven color options to match your decking material or stain, including brown, white, gray, dark brown, madeira, tan, and winchester gray. The self-countersinking design and extra sharp point reduces the need for predrilling, even in hardwoods. The threads are deep, wide, and sharp, and are compatible with treated lumber deck framing. The star drive withstands up to twice the torque that Phillips or square-drive screws handle. Choose from packs of 75, 350, or 1,750 #10 2¾inch deck screws.

Best For Deck Framing

Deck Screws Options: GRK RSS-185 10 by 3-1 8-Inch
Photo: amazon.com

The screws normally used for decking are not made to handle the working loads of framing. Although many deck framers use galvanized nails, GRK RSS-185 Structural Screws are a useful option. They are made of specially hardened steel for high tensile, torque, and shear strength. The sharp threads and points quickly bite into frame material, reducing splitting. Six CEE threads along the mid shank enlarge the screw hole for the non-threaded upper shank, allowing the wood to settle and increasing the screw’s drawing strength. The round head with a built-in washer plus the added shoulder beneath have no sharp edges. This helps center the screw into predrilled connector plates. Package contains 50 #10 3⅛-inch structural screws.

Also Consider

Deck Screws Options: 10 x 3 Inch Stainless Steel Deck Screws
Photo: amazon.com

For decking material that is not pressure-treated, consider Eagle Claw 304 Stainless Steel Deck Screws. This stainless steel formulation provides plenty of weather resistance in most environments at a lower price than comparable 316 stainless steel screws. They also won’t stain non-treated wood like galvanized screws. They are suitable for hardwood and softwood, including redwood and cedar. The screw features a star-drive head, and nibs under the head to help seat the screw. Pilot holes are recommended as these are not self-drilling screws. The package contains 5 pounds of #10 3-inch 304 stainless steel deck screws.