LedgerLOK vs. 1/2" Lag Screws: Find the Best Fastener for Your New Deck

Numer­ous deck-build­ing pro­fes­sion­als rely on the lag screw to cre­ate a firm, stur­dy con­nec­tion between ledgers and rim boards. But, there’s a bet­ter option: the Ledger­LOK struc­tur­al wood fas­ten­er from Fas­ten­Mas­ter. This sim­ple, yet inno­v­a­tive, screw gives builders every­thing they need to cre­ate a code-com­pli­ant con­nec­tion while short­en­ing the instal­la­tion process.

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Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/o8C5SxNCGaw

LedgerLOK vs. 1/2" Lag Screws: What’s the Best Fastener for Ledger Boards?

What is a Lag Screw?

A lag screw is one of the strongest fas­ten­ers used in the con­struc­tion of new homes and decks, as well as oth­er appli­ca­tions that require heavy lum­ber con­nect­ed to anoth­er mate­r­i­al. They are intend­ed to bear a heavy load, so they have a much stronger capac­i­ty than wood screws, deck screws, sheet met­al screws, dry­wall screws, and oth­er fas­ten­ers that are used dur­ing home construction. 

Lag screws con­sist of the screw itself, which usu­al­ly has a large hex-head that allows installers to firm­ly dri­ve the fas­ten­er into the wood. It will also have a wash­er that keeps the wood from pop­ping over the screw.

Installing Lag Screws

A lag screw pro­vides a firm, long-last­ing hold that can bear hun­dreds of pounds, and the process for instal­la­tion requires a detailed step-by-step process.

First, a builder has to pre-drill a hole into the fas­ten­er. The hole starts with a 3÷8” pilot hole that goes through the ledger and into the rim. This first hole needs to be at least the depth of the lag screw. Next, the pilot hole needs to be made wider at the front, to reduce the out­ward ten­sion in the ledger in order to reduce the chances of split­ting. This hole is cre­at­ed with a 1÷2” drill bit. 

Once the dou­ble pre-drilling is com­plete, installers need to fix the wash­er into place and dri­ve the screw firm­ly down into the lum­ber using an appro­pri­ate sock­et bit or wrench. 


The Ledger­LOK struc­tur­al wood screw from Fas­ten­Mas­ter is a code-com­pli­ant fas­ten­er that can replace lag screws in a vari­ety of appli­ca­tions, includ­ing new con­struc­tion, build­ing repair, and deck build­ing. It is designed specif­i­cal­ly for installing deck ledgers to rim boards, to cre­ate a firm, last­ing, code-com­pli­ant con­nec­tion with less time and few­er tools.

LedgerLOK® Flat Head Wood structural deck screws

The fas­ten­er con­sists of the screw itself, a large hex-head for dri­ving the screw, and a built-in wash­er head. There is also a flat-head option that cre­ates a flush appear­ance on the wood. This screw requires a TORX tap bit, which comes with the package.

Installing LedgerLOK

The instal­la­tion process for a Ledger­LOK wood screw is fast and easy. There is no pre-drilling, so builders can sim­ply place the tip of the screw where it needs to be secured and dri­ve into the wood until the wash­er head sits flush and firm on the lumber. 

Builders must fol­low a spe­cif­ic instal­la­tion pat­tern that is out­lined in the Ledger­LOK instal­la­tion guide, found in each box or at Fas​ten​Mas​ter​.com.

How much faster is the Ledger­LOK screw? In this demon­stra­tion video, we see how a Ledger­LOK requires only three sec­onds to install, while a lag screw requires 26 seconds.

A Code-Compliant Connection with Less Time and Effort

With­out sac­ri­fic­ing a trace of qual­i­ty, you can cre­ate a faster code-com­pli­ant con­nec­tion on your next deck. 

Vis­it Fas​ten​mas​ter​.com today to find a retail­er where you can pur­chase a box of high-qual­i­ty Ledger­LOK struc­tur­al wood screws!