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McFeely's Tested Visible Composite Deck Screws

Over the years, numerous manufacturers have developed composite decking boards. Each composite board has unique qualities that impact how a visible decking screw performs. McFeely's carries a variety of visible decking screws made specifically for composite decking. Each type of screw McFeely's carries has its own unique advantages. Some come in more color choices while others performed best in the more demanding types of composite decking materials.

Choosing the best Composite Decking Screw

McFeely's believes the following characteristics should be considered when choosing visible decking screws:

  1. Driving ease through the composite decking material
  2. Cleanly seated screw head (no bulging of the deck material around the screw head)
  3. Virtually no Cam-Out or Head Stripping
  4. Color Match - aesthetic appeal.

Visible decking screws can be visually appealing especially if the spacing of the screws is uniform. To achieve a consistent uniform spacing, McFeely's recommends using the Screw guide jig by Fast Cap (SKU # FSC-6027)

Composite Decking Screw Features

The properties of composite decking require special features in a composite decking screw in order to avoid bulging of the decking material

Composite Decking Screw Features

As seen, composite decking screws are self-drilling, have both deep aggressive threads and most importantly reverse threads.(Screws designed for natural wood do not have reverse threads.)

What do reverse threads do?

Reverse threads are an essential feature of composite screws. They push down the composite material into the hole created by the screw and create a clean-cut circumference around the screw head. The following examples shows what happens when the wrong screw is used:

 Various Screws in Composite Decking

As seen, the screws designed for natural wood do not have reverse threads, so they cannot push the displaced material back into the hole resulting in protruding board material. The two pictures at right show that even screws designed for composite materials do not always work as well as the dexxter screw. (Note, these screws were driven into Capstock decking material.)

See demonstration below:


McFeely's Testing

McFeely's tested a number of composite decking screws in a variety of decking materials including WPC and Capstock materials. Our tests showed that the Dexxter composite screws by Simpson Strongtie performed the best in all the materials we tested. Importantly, the Dexxter screw performed better than many of the screws sold alongside of composite decking boards.

Because of the large variety of composite decking that is available, McFeely's cannot make any explicit claims as to how well the screws will work in every case. We can only state that the Dexxter screw was the best of the screws and materials we tested. Your results may vary.

What about the other composite decking screws McFeely's offers?

McFeely's offers other composite decking screws. Some of these come in a wide variety of colors which could have more aesthetic appeal. Specifically, the TrapEase™ screws performed well in materials like WPC and boards made by Trex®; however, we do not recommend them for Capstock composite decking.