Security Screws: Everything You Need to Know

No matter the job, you’re always going to need the right screws to ensure the best outcome. You want something that lasts and something that you can easily apply if you’re working on a project single-handedly. So, the first step is knowing which type of screw you need to purchase to get the job done.

Security screws and security bolts are the tamper-proof fasteners of the DIY world. They are different from other screws and feature a unique design which makes them a special component for specific jobs. You can use them for a range of security purposes to upgrade your home and workplace security, from preventing vandalism to deterring thieves to preventing unauthorised entry.

If you’re looking for added security for your home and valuables, security screws are an excellent design that is well-equipped for the job. This article covers everything you need to know about security screws, from what they do to the many types available.

What Are Security Screws?

Security screws are a type of standard screw that features a unique head that makes them almost impossible to remove or tamper with. For this reason, these security fasteners are also known as tamperproof screws, anti-tamper screws, and anti-vandal screws.

Once in place, security screws are permanently fixed or removable with only a matching driver. The heads of security screws are designed in such a way that they are only compatible with specialist screwdrivers or drill bits for both installation and removal. They are exceedingly difficult to remove with standard tools and effectively deter thieves, vandals, and trespassers.

Security fasteners are made from various materials, but you can typically expect to purchase them in stainless steel, galvanised steel and BZP (bright zinc plated).

You can use security screws and security bolts in various ways to ramp up the safety and protection of your address, from securing belongings outdoors to locking away potentially dangerous machinery.

Why Do We Use Security Screws?

You can use security screws and security bolts for a range of purposes. You can select security products suitable for indoor and outdoor use, depending on your security needs.

Security screws are ultimately designed to upgrade protective measures for anything you wish to remain safe and intact. High-quality security fasteners will ensure even your most valuable positions are locked down safely.

Popular uses of the security screw include:

  • In residential properties for waste bins, wheel locks, planters, entry points, artwork, computers
  • Strengthening valuable items to deter thieves, such as licence plates on valuable vehicles
  • Reinforcing items kept outdoors, such as security cameras, electronics, park benches, garden furniture
  • Shielding components such as junction box wiring or dangerous machinery 
  • Securing gutters and safety grills
  • Dissuading vandalism
  • Industrial infrastructure 
  • Medical and pharmaceutical facilities
  • Correctional and financial institutions 
  • Colleges and universities for desks, electronic devices and other furnishings
  • The hospitality industry as hotels may use security screws to prevent guests from tampering with the fittings, fixtures and furniture 

Types of Security Screws

The DIY world is full of secure fasteners, including security bolts, nuts and screws. When shopping online and in your local DIY store, you will come across a broad range of screws labelled as security screws, including self-drilling and self-tapping screws

Tamper-proof screws come in different designs, types and sizes, as multiple industries use them. To give you an idea of what to expect, here are some common types of security screws.  

Torx Screws

Torx is a trademark for a particular type of screw drive that features a 6-point pattern that resembles the shape of a star. The Torx screw is often called a star screw that provides an excellent fastening system, making it one of the most popular security screws used worldwide. It requires a matching ‘star’ screwdriver and bit to install and detach them.

Torx screws reduce cam-out (slippage) and offer better torque than other standard screw heads, which means you can tighten them further for extra security. You can typically see the Torx screw in vehicles, bicycles, computer systems and electronics. 

Pin Hex Screws

Pin hex screws are another type of security screw that demands a specific tool for installation and removal. Pin hex fasteners have a hexagonal socket with an internal security pin, making removal highly challenging without the correct drill bit.

Oval Pan Head Screws

Oval pan head screws are a good security measure as they have an oval head that you can only fasten and take out with the matching tool. The oval head is deceptive as, from the outside, the oval pan appears to have a circular stud or rivet rather than its actual oval shape.

One-Way Screws

One-way security screws or clutch head screws are a permanent security solution. Once fixed, the one-way screw becomes permanent, and you can’t remove it again, although fastening requires only a standard screwdriver. 

It’s hard work to remove a one-way screw, so it’s essential to note whether you intend to release your security measures in the future. 

Spanner Screws

Spanner screws, snake eye screws or pig nose screws are security screws that feature a double marking in the head, resembling the eyes and nose of the above creatures. 

These specialised screws are more aesthetically pleasing than other conventional screws. If the visual aspect of your project is a primary factor, you might want to consider spanner screws. 

How to Choose the Right Tamper-Proof Screws

It’s critical to choose the right type of security fastener. That way, you can rest assured that whatever you want to protect is safe and sound. The screw you need to install depends on what you’re going to use it for and where you want to use it. 

Before you purchase security screws, remember to take into account the following key points:

  • The level of security you want to achieve
  • The strength required to secure a particular item or items
  • The location where you intend to place the screws 
  • If you want to permanently fix the screws or remove them later
  • The finish and overall appearance, where applicable  

The Bottom Line

While security screws don’t offer 100% protection, they’re hard to beat when it comes to maximising security. Due to the purposeful design, individuals are doubtful to mess with a security screw as the task would be inordinately tricky without the precise tools. 

At Trade Warehouse, we want to ensure all our customers find the right fastener to suit their needs, whatever the project. We stock a range of security products that optimise safety, from high-quality nuts and security bolts to hardy cable ties. If you’re unsure which fastener to go for, you can always contact a professional in the trade to acquire their services.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are anti-theft screws?

Anti-theft screws are more commonly known as security screws. Security screws have a unique head that makes them incompatible with most tools, making them tamper-proof and an excellent screw for deterring thieves. Anti-theft screws are also called anti-vandal screws, anti-tamper screws and tamperproof screws.

What is the purpose of security screws?

Security screws are purposefully designed screws for protecting materials and other items from being tampered with. They feature a unique head, making it incredibly difficult for an end-user to remove them without the right equipment. You can find security screws on licence plates, gutters, safety grills and wiring boxes.  

Can you remove the security screws?

In most cases, security screws are permanently fixed in place for security purposes. However, they are removable. Security screws can be removed, but only with the specialised tool. With the right tool, you can unscrew a security screw quite easily. Common tools like Phillips screwdrivers will not loosen a security screw.