Tamper Proof Fasteners

Last Updated on April 29, 2022 by Marsh Fasteners

Tamper proof fasteners, a.k.a. security fasteners or tamper resistant fasteners can be recognized by their unconventional drive style. Say what!?

As the term indicates, the drive of a screw is how it is propelled into the substrate. The shaped hollows and bumps on the screw head are paired with a specific tool for maximum torque. Examples range from a regular slotted drive, a Philips (or star), a combination of the two, to less common clutch and Robertson (or square).

Apartment Therapy

Image: Apartment Therapy

What makes a stainless steel fastener tamper proof is when the drive is unconventional enough that it is problematic or impossible to be removed without the appropriate security tool.

What are the Advantages of Tamper Proof Screws?

Before exploring the advantages of tamper proof screws, here is a tale about their disadvantages:

Once upon a time, a newly married couple moved into an old house that they planned to make their forever home. Little did they know when they bought the place that the previous owners had bought a truckload of security screws and used them everywhere. The outdated curtain tracks were secured with non removable screws. The light switch plates were not going anywhere either! Even the hinges of every old-fashioned door were affixed by… tamper resistant screws. Preparing for any exciting upgrade involved using a heavy-duty power drill to remove the old fasteners first. The joy of owning their own home quickly dissipated. The end.

Because these fasteners are tamper resistant or tamper proof, their greatest advantages are:

  • Security in places where you don’t want fixtures to be removed.
  • Inaccessibility for items that should not be opened by non-professionals.
  • Integrity in applications where access is restricted.

What are Tamper Proof Screws Used for?

Considering that the number one intention of tamper proof screws is to prevent someone from removing them, any instance where security is important calls for these fasteners. Learning from our earlier tale, be sure to choose the right type of fastener for the job at hand:

FastenerWhat they are used for
Button socket pin-in security screwsRequiring a corresponding security screw bits for installation and removal, these fasteners are engineered for a high level of tamper-resistance. Used in applications where vandalism may occur, e.g., public spaces, food preparation and processing areas, bathroom stalls, gutters, grills in jails.
Torx ® and hex screwsEach has a different head and drive, but they both work on the same principle and are used in similar applications as above.
Snake eye security screwsSometimes referred to as “pig nose screws” because of their twin hole drive! Despite that moniker, they are more aesthetically pleasing than many security fasteners, making them a favorite spec of architects and designers.

Because a specialized tool is required to unfasten them, snake eye fasteners are used in public places where tampering must be deterred, e.g., signage, restroom partitions, schools, vehicles and boats, license plate brackets, elevators, lighting fixtures.

One-way screwsAs the name implies, the drive of these screws is designed to only be turned in one direction. Two quadrants of the screw head are raised so installation is possible with a regular screwdriver. However, the driver bit will slip when turning security screws left. (Please admit that you also whisper. “Lefty loosey, righty tighty” to yourself!)
Tri-Groove security nutsAside from screws, certain nuts are designed with a tapered diameter so as not to be removed. Installed using a special Tri-Groove socket, these nuts can only be removed with the aid of a grinder.

Other fascinating applications for tamper proof fasteners include:

Protecting a manufacturer’s warranty and/or secrecy by only allowing access to those with the appropriate tool. Common in items such as electronics.

The Stainless Steel Fastener Specialists

For over 20 years Marsh Fasteners has been a leading source for stainless steel and marine grade fasteners and hardware. Standard and specialty items are in stock for immediate shipping. All our safety fasteners are made from 18-8 stainless steel for superior corrosion resistance. For excellent service and competitive pricing on tamper proof fasteners and so much more, get in touch with our sales department today!

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