Struggling with what to use for your DIY project?  Nuts and bolts, dowels, nails, screws or even using bostitch 18 gauge staples are all possible options

Trying to decide what type of fastener to use for your project or DIY job can be quite difficult. It is important to make the correct choice and that you pick the option that is the most effective possible.  The advantages and disadvantages of different types of fasteners will determine which option is best for your particular project.


One of the advantages of screws are that they produce a very secure hold and a large variety of styles are available.  They do not loosen easily, and they are removed with ease.  Disadvantages of screws are that hiding the head of the screw can be difficult, the heads can strip and it can rip and damage some types of materials.  


Staples represent a good temporary fastener and they are quickly installed.  They can also be easily removed.  Another advantage is that they can be used to bridge seams if bostitch 18 gauge staples are used.  Disadvantages of staples are that they can easily loosen, can rip through lighter types of materials and they are not load bearing.


Nails can be easily installed if an air gun is used and they are very inexpensive, unless the copper variety are chosen.  A further advantage of them is that they are very easy to countersink into materials.  Disadvantages of nails are that they can split or damage some material, they can work loose and some varieties are susceptible to corrosion and rust.  

Nuts and bolts

The positives of using nuts and bolts are that they are very high load bearing and are extremely secure.  In addition, they can be easily removed and they come in a wide range of sizes from extremely small to very large.  Disadvantages of nuts and bolts are that in order to install them they require pre-drilled holes and to tighten them requires the use of specialist tools.


Dowels have a significantly powerful holding ability and their installation is easy.  They also offer an out of sight attachment solution.  Disadvantages of this method are that they cannot be removed.  Precisely matched drilled holes are required and time for the glue to dry is also needed.


Rivets are both irremovable and tamper proof, both advantageous qualities.  They are relatively inexpensive and they last for a long time.  Disadvantages of rivets are that they necessitate the use of high quality tools to fasten them securely.  Also, pre-drilled holes must be made to accommodate them and they are very difficult to move.


Easy installation is an advantage of pins and they can be removed swiftly.  Providing a sound temporary fastener solution is another positive aspect of using pins.  A disadvantage of using pins are that it is very hard to get a sufficiently tight fastened connection with them. In addition, they need precise holes to be drilled to fit them.

The choice of fastener you make requires some careful thought to ensure you get the appropriate fastening method for each project you do.