When looking at some of Lee Valley’s new tools and hardware, I noticed their new “best ever” picture screw.
These screws are designed to screw into plaster (and maybe drywall?), and have large diameter screws with thin threads for a secure and snug hold against the wall. The 3/8″ wide inner head, or flange, stops the screw from being pulled into the wall, and leaves a short section of shaft and another head protruding outwards.
The inner head gives you a consistent space for hanging picture wire and other fixtures off of, and also prevents the screw from loosening when weight pulls down on it — up to 20 lbs per screw. The die-cast zinc alloy screws have a #2 square drive and are zinc plated. They also appear to have a self-drilling tip.
Price: 10 for $4.50, or 10 for $3.80 if you buy 50 or more
Buy Now (via Lee Valley)
Similar 2-Headed Nails and Screws
The “best ever” picture screw reminded me of a type of nail I’ve seen that has two heads – one that stops the nail from going in further and one that sticks out about 1/2″. Not remembering what they were called, I did an image search on types of nails and found out that they were called double head nails, duplex nails (that rings a bell), or scaffold nails.
They are used on temporary structures, like scaffolding, and the second head protrudes from the surface, making it easy to pull or pry out when it’s time to take the structure apart. But I also seem to remember them being used to hang tools on my grandparents’ farm when I was a kid.
Do a search for “scaffold nail” or “duplex nail” and you’ll find a ton of sources, or you can pick them up just about anywhere that sells nails.
When looking into double headed nails, I discovered that the “best ever” picture screws aren’t the first double headed screws on the market. Hangman products sells a very similar screw called the Bear Claw.
The Bear Claw screws are designed for hanging saw tooth hangers, D-rings, keyholes, wire, and probably other similar hardware that’s meant to be supported by a screw head.
Bear Claw hangers can be driven directly into drywall, plaster, or better yet a stud, but they also work with plastic anchors if you need to hold more weight. These are touted as actually having a self-drilling tip that doesn’t requite a pilot hole to be drilled.
The Bear Claw screws are a probably a better deal, as you can buy a 50-pack for $15 at Amazon — unless you can’t stand Philips head screws.
Buy Now (via Amazon)
If you don’t need a gold finish, the black versions are even cheaper at AMZN… $9.99 for 50.
These are a great add to the fastener collection… thanks for the heads up!
I’ve used the Hangman Bearclaws. I think that the package said they were rated for either 50 or 100 lbs being sunk just into drywall. They have been holding a crafting cabinet up for my wife for about six years. That thing is loaded with weight and those screws haven’t given up. If I remember correctly, one is into a stud and the other isn’t.
The cabinet is something like this and is filled with heavy, glass jars:
I need to look into double headed machine screws. I really like the plastic Toggler brand anchors but they perform best with machine screws and they’re also kind of a pain to remove.
Koko the Talking Ape
The Lee Valley version has visibly deeper and sharper threads. I wonder if that would make a difference in practice.
Our (domestic) walls are all brick and mortar so I don’t know the difference between plaster and drywall. Thought it was the same thing actually. Here we will Rhinolite the recessed joint in the drywall to level it with the rest of the wall.
Drywall/sheetrock is a prefab panel (typically 4′ x 8′) that is attached to wall studs, then covered with mud just on the joints. Cheap and easy. Plaster is an older method that involved a lathe (later on, they started using plaster board panels) and the entire wall is then covered with multiple layers of plaster. Labor intensive, but thicker and heavier, with generally better sound proofing, strength, and fire resistance.
Thanks A W, much appreciated.
It would be cool if you could get a variety pack of BearClaws in SS with different sized heads for all the keyhole mounting of item.
But I love and use Fastcaps Powerhead screws on tons of projects, I use the black oxide outside they offer several years of rust protection in the PacNW rainy areas.
But they have self tapping heads for both wood and metal and a variety of links but the normal head is about the size of a dime a hair smaller.
Lee valley has always had neat items kind of reminds me Brookstone back when they carried wood working tools (80’s-early 90’S) and only carried high quality items.
Duplex nails are a must have for concrete forming, since they can be removed and have a shear strength many times higher than screws(which the heads can get filled with spilled concrete also)
I wish there were Lee Valley stores in the U.S.
I like the concept, but I prefer having the ability to adjust the gap between screw head and wall so the picture or item is as flush to the wall as possible.
I like the Hangman screws. They sell a kit that comes with nifty little “buttons” you can put into the keyhole slots, hold/position/level the frame where you want it, then push to leave a small impression where the screws need to be installed.
That’s cool to know thanks.
I picked up a 12 pack of the 60lb screws at HD today:
I’m using them to hang up the Milwaukee OPE tools since they have a keyhole slot. I put them into the drywall and purposely missed the studs. They seem to be holding the tools up fine. They don’t seem to be enlarging the hole when I take the tools on and off like a normal screw would.
I like that better than the cheap plastic drywall toggles that are included with some items install kits or the more expensive screw within a screw system as both are pain to deal with after the fact for a flush surface in drywall.
One of the hanging systems I’ve found I prefer for pictures, paintings, and even large 80# mirrors and drywall are the 45° downward nail systems with 1-5 trim nails with large heads. The leave a tiny 15-18 gauge nail hole thats easy to spackle.
Granted doesnt address the keyhole issue but I think I’m going to buy some Bear claws just for using to insert into the keyhole that doesn’t have a template in order to have an easy way to transfer pilot hole drill marks for perfect spacing.
Looks like a wall dawg. Great idea
Almost everything at least 90 percent of the things hanging on our walls is hung on a Hangman. The list includes large mirrors and quilts. Going on 21 years now. My wife thinks I’m a little nuts insisting on using them, but 21 years I think is a good track record.
The bear claws you pictured are great. I had some that were left behind by the previous homeowner and they’ve been really nice for hanging up pictures. Much faster than other drywall solutions I’ve used.