When attaching a ledger to a rim board on a new construction project, the traditional method has been to use lag screws, usually a half-inch-wide lag screw with an additional washer to secure the boards and create a firm connection.
But there is a new option: LedgerLOK screws from FastenMaster. Should you replace lag screws with this code-compliant technology, or is the old way still the best way?
To find out, let’s compare the installation process, as well as the capabilities, of these two options.
LedgerLOK vs. 1 / 2” Lag Screws
Process for Lag Screws
To install lag screws, you first need to drill a pilot hole; actually, you need to drill twice to meet code. Assuming you are installing 1÷2” lag screws, you’ll need to start by drilling for the narrowest diameter on the screw; in this case you use a 3÷8” bit to drill the full length of the fastener. Then you drill with a 1÷2” bit to clear space for the shoulder of the lag screw so it doesn’t create significant, unnecessary outward pressure.
Once your hole is properly drilled, you need to place the washer on the lag screw and drill the screw into the ledger board.
Process for LedgerLOK
With a LedgerLOK screw, no pre-drilling is required and the washer is already fixed to the screw itself. With a standard drill, you simply drive the screw into the ledger board until the washer comes firm against the material.
That’s it. That’s all it takes to install LedgerLOK screws.
How Long Does it Take to Install Lag Screws vs. LedgerLOK?
In our comparison video, you can see the processes for installing lag screws vs. LedgerLOK screws.
Here are the results:
|Time to install
|Lag screw and washer
With two-phase drilling, preparing a washer, then drilling the fastener, lag screws took 26 seconds to complete. The LedgerLOK screws took 3 seconds to complete a code-compliant connection.
Throughout a large building project or the development of multiple homes, the time savings could significantly enhance your overall productivity.
LedgerLOK screws are a code-compliant wood screw that has been engineered to meet the specific needs of a ledger installation. Ledgers need to be firmly and securely fastened to a rim joist, and the process calls for strong, reliable screws or bolts.
LedgerLOK screws are thinner than 1÷2” lag screws, but they are strong enough to meet the high demand of a ledger installation.
One of the most important features is the built-in washer, which eliminates the need for fixing an additional piece before installing the screw. The large hex head creates superior bit engagement to reduce “cam out” when driving the fastener.
Most important, it’s code-compliant and has been tested and supported by engineering data. These screws also conform to current International Code Council (ICC) standards.
You can find LedgerLOK, as well as other world-class fasteners, when you work with FastenMaster. We specialize in strong, efficient fastening systems to make your building projects more effective and profitable.