Where fixings are used in public places, there can be a temptation for some people to interfere with them whether as an act of casual vandalism or something more premeditated.
Tamper proof screws have been developed to prevent or at least significantly hinder the possibility of interference with the fixture. Some tamperproof screws offer a fairly low level of resistance, enough to deter opportunistic interference, whilst others require a special screwdriver or drill bit to install and remove. 1-way tamper-proof fasteners are designed to be permanent fixings.
Some of the common tamper-proof screw types are listed below:
- Pin Hex head screws. Conventional socket screws have a hexagonal recess and are fixed using a hex bit or allen key. Pin hex screws use a similar drive, the difference being that there is a pin inserted in the middle. This means that these fixings require a special tool to fix or remove them, as a conventional hex bit or similar tool would not work
- Pin TX screws. Like the Pin Hex the Pin TX has a pin inserted in the recess of the drive, which in this case is a 6 lobe or Torx® drive. These screws also require a special tool to fix and remove them
- Sentinel screws have a unique drive design which can only be turned one way. They can be fixed using a cross head or pozi driver and are a one-way fixing used mainly for large volume applications
- Sentinel Screws (where the drive makes them a superior one way screw for large volume use) and clutch head screws are similar to Sentinel screws in that they can be fixed using a conventional tool, in the case a standard slotted screwdriver. Again once this screw is fitted it cannot be unscrewed, making it a permanent fixing
- 2 Hole or Pig Nose screws. These screws have 2 holes drilled into the head (the appearance resembling a pig’s nose, hence the name) which need a special bit for fixing. This type of screw is used mainly where aesthetics are important
Generally, these screws can be used as a direct replacement for standard screws. Fastenright stock a wide range of tamper proof screws usually finished in A2 stainless steel, offering low to medium security resistance.
Using tamper proof screws on products
Security Screws are certainly a worthwhile consideration in not just preventing theft, but also for manufacturers to prevent unwanted tampering of their products.
It’s likely that you’ve seen various iterations of the following message featured in product instruction manuals or even on products themselves: “Do not attempt to take this product apart, ensure that a qualified professional is sought”. This particularly features in electrical products where opening up the product could result in electric shock. The use of security screws would be ideal in such instances by manufacturers of products ensuring that it is made difficult for an end user to take the product apart.
Similarly, furniture manufacturers may wish to prevent furniture from being taken apart once it has been manufactured and is in the customer’s home. It may be intricate to put back together once removed and require a professional, or it may even compromise the safety of the furniture. Simply replacing standard fixings with security fixings will prevent the amateur user from tampering with it.
It may also be useful to employ tamper proof screws in products where you would like to be the only option for maintenance and repair. This would mean that users would not be able to attempt to fix their product, hence preventing them damaging the product further through attempting to fix internal mechanisms should things go wrong.
Premium security screws
For high security applications then a premium security fastener is the best option. These have a more complex drive design and are installed and removed using a specialist, traceable tool.
One such fixing is the Tricone® Security Bolt which is unique to Fastenright and has a patented drive design, is very difficult for unauthorised users to remove and look really good too!
How to choose a tamper proof screw
When selecting a tamper proof screw there are several factors to consider such as:
- The level of security required
- Does the screw need to be removed at any time?
- Is a high torque fixing required – e.g. Pin Hex may be more suitable than say a 2-Hole
- Is the aesthetic appearance important?
There is a wide range of tamperproof screws available as machine screws (for pre threaded holes) and self tapping screws which create their own hole. They can also be available in round head, countersunk or button head configurations depending on the screw type.
With so much choice, if you don’t know exactly what type of fixing you need, talk to the experts at Fastenright and we will be happy to give any help or advice you may need.