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Things to Consider When Choosing a Security Fastener + Best Security Fastener Rankings

May 30, 2020

There are many styles of tamperproof screws, bolts, and nuts to choose from, it’s hard to know which is the best for your application. When dealing with an application involving security, it’s important to weigh the “cost of loss” over the price of the tamperproof fastener. If “cost of loss” is first considered, it makes choosing the right security fastener more obvious. The more traditional types, (Torx-Pin™, Hex-Pin, One-Way, Tri-Groove, and Drilled Spanner) are widely available online, in hardware stores, and are inexpensive. The problem with these tamper-resistant fasteners are their matching bit tips are readily available in the same way. If anyone can gain access to the matching bit tips of a tamperproof fastener, there’s a higher risk of loss.   

“Cost of loss” extends beyond just the value of the asset needing security, but also in hidden costs. Hidden costs such as replacement labor, lawsuits, mis-adjustments on products, loss of intellectual property, or the loss of reputation far outweigh the value of the asset. For example, a City dealing with wire theft from multiple streetlights will have to pay more than just replacement wire. Extra labor and a potential lawsuit should an accident occur during the streetlight outage would easily turn into thousands of dollars in hidden costs. These hidden costs are much higher than the price of the wire. While the traditional solution would be to secure the streetlight's junction boxes with a Penta Bolt or Torx®-Pin, it would be better to choose a high-level security fastener with lock features and bits controlled by the City.

On the other hand, “the cost of loss” for a sign to a walking trail located in a State Park may not warrant the highest-level security, but a more “traditional” security fastener might be worth risking. A good rule of thumb when choosing is, if the “cost of loss” will cost you more than a $100.00, then it’s worth the price to invest in high-level security screws with exclusive and controlled security bits.  

Below is a Comprehensive Security Ranking of all Tamperproof Fasteners sold in America

This list will help determine which security fasteners rank the best for higher-level security, offer highest torque, give the best power driving performance, plus which security fasteners can be made into custom sizes, lengths, and diameters. 

First, A Special Note on Tradition

If traditionally a industry uses a certain drive, the cost of changing over the supply chain must be considered. This includes throwing out all the presently stocked screws, re-tooling the bits, and re-training installers. It also includes going through a new specification process. In many cases these costs may overshadow the security value of a better fastener; and may not be worth it. (For example, Torx®-Pin in prisons would require a major change in the industry supply and specifications, which makes it too costly to change.)

3 Main Factors Resulted in How Tamperproof Fasteners are Ranked

  1. Security bits sold retail [everywhere] lowers the security of a tamperproof screw. Here's a picture of a popular security bit set featuring over 100 different sizes, priced at under $15.00. In this kit, it has imported security bits to remove Torx®/Six-Lobe, Hex-Pin, Drilled Spanner, Tri-Wing® + an “Easy Out” tool for screws which can be drilled. Some other retail kits feature Phillips-Pin driver bits.      picture of security bit tip kit
2. How Easily Can the Tamperproof Fastener be Defeated?  
picture of high-level security fastener not defeated by common tools

Common hardware tools were unable to defeat this high-level security screw shown above in the picture. Instead, the high-level security screw ironically broke-off the tips on some of the tools.

Common hardware tools include Vice-Grips, Chisels, Drills, “Easy Outs”, Files, Dremel’s (Angle Grinders), and other hardened tools. If a tamperproof fastener can be compromised by any of these tools, their security ranking is lowered. For example, a Break-Off Screw or Break-a-Way Nut has no bit to take it out. Yet, they are made from soft metal (aluminum, zinc, mild steel) to facilitate the break. Soft metal makes them easy prey to hardened tools (“Easy Outs”) and this lowers their security ranking.

Best High-Level Security Screws Based on Bit Tip Control and Resistance to Common Tools/Bits

  1. Key-Rex® (patented custom keyways available to the customer)- Bryce Fastener Inc Made in the USA
  2. STYKFIT®7 (patented 7 lobe high torque keyway)- Bryce Fastener Inc Made in the USA
  3. Penta-Plus™ (proprietary 5-sided keyway with pin)- Bryce Fastener Inc Made in the USA
  4. Lock-Out™ (patented egg shape keyway)- Parker Fastener Made in the USA
  5. Break-Off Bolts, Break-a-Way Bolts, Shear Bolts- Available online through many Distributors.
  6. One-WayTamperproof Screw, Security Fastener, Tamper-Pruf Screw Available online through many Distributors.
  7. Opsit® (reverse thread Tri-Wing® screw)- Tamperproof Screw 
  8. Roby-Pin® (Square drive with pin)- Loss Prevention, Canada 
  9. Torx®-Plus 5 lobes- Tamper-Pruf Screw 
  10. Avesafe™ (out of round pan head with no drive)- Loss Prevention, Canada 
  11. TP3® (triangular recess with no center pin)- Tamperproof Screw 
  12. Phillips-Pin (Phillips® with rejection pin)- Tamperproof Screw 
  13. Tampruf™ (three grooves on side of conical head screw)- Allegheny Bolt
  14. Tri-Wing® (Phillips style screw with 3 fins instead of 4)- Tamperproof Screw 
  15. Penta BoltBryce Fastener IncLoss Prevention, CanadaTanner Bolt  Available online through many Distributors.
  16. Hex-PinTamper-Pruf Screw, McMaster-Carr Available online through many Distributors.  
  17. Drilled SpannerTamperproof ScrewTamper-Pruf Screw  Available online through many Distributors. 
  18. Torx®-Pin/Six-Lobe-Pin- Security Fastener CompanyTamper-Pruf Screw  Available online through many Distributors. 

Best High-Level Security Nuts Based on Driver Control and Resistance to Common Tools/Bits

  1. Key-Rex® Nut (customer exclusive key configurations)- Bryce Fastener Inc Made in the USA
  2. Penta-Nut™Bryce Fastener Inc Made in the USA
  3. Break-Away NutAvailable online through many Distributors. 
  4. Ultra-Lok S7® Nut (7-point drive)- Loss Prevention, Canada
  5. Tufnut (tapered square nut)-Tufnut Works 
  6. Slot-Lok® Nut (rotating groove around nut is used to install/remove)- Loss Prevention, Canada 
  7. Spanner Nut (two holes on top of conical nut)- Tamperproof Screw
  8. Tri-Groove Nut (three grooves on side of conical nut) Available online through many Distributors.

 Best Large Diameter Wellhead & Pipeline Security Nuts (2H)

  1. Key-Rex® Wellhead & Pipeline NutBryce Fastener Inc Made in the USA
  2. Flange LockMcGard Made in the USA
  3. Lock-Well™ Wellhead & Flange Security Nut- HOT-HED® International 

Best High Torque Security Screws (best for applications needing strong holding power) 

  1. Raptor™(A Featured Head Style that Can Be Added to any Bryce Fastener Product Line: Key-Rex®, STYKFIT®7, Penta-Plus™ )-Bryce Fastener Inc Made in the USA 
  2. Penta BoltBryce Fastener IncLoss Prevention, CanadaTanner Bolt  Available online through many Distributors.
  3. STYKFIT®7 (patented 7 lobe high torque keyway)- Bryce Fastener Inc Made in the USA
  4. Key-Rex® (patented custom keyways available to the customer)- Bryce Fastener Inc Made in the USA
  5. Penta-Plus™ (proprietary 5-sided keyway with pin)- Bryce Fastener Inc Made in the USA
  6. Torx®-Pin/Six-Lobe-Pin- Security Fastener CompanyTamper-Pruf Screw  Available online through many Distributors. 
  7. Tampruf™ (three grooves on side of conical head screw)- Allegheny Bolt
  8. Torx®-Plus 5 lobes- Tamper-Pruf Screw 
  9. Lock-Out™ (patented egg shape keyway)- Parker Fastener Made in the USA
  10. Tri-Wing® (Phillips style screw with 3 fins instead of 4)- Tamperproof Screw 
  11. Opsit® (reverse thread Tri-Wing® screw)- Tamperproof Screw 
  12. Phillips-Pin (Phillips® with rejection pin)- Tamperproof Screw Available online through many Distributors. 
  13. Hex-PinTamper-Pruf ScrewMcMaster-Carr  Available online through many Distributors.
  14. TP3® (triangular recess with no center pin)- Tamperproof Screw
  15. Avesafe™ (out of round pan head with no drive)- Loss Prevention, Canada 
  16. Slot-LokLoss Prevention, Canada 
  17. One-WayTamperproof ScrewSecurity FastenerTamper-Pruf Screw  Available online through many Distributors. 
  18. Drilled SpannerTamperproof ScrewTamper-Pruf Screw  Available online through many Distributors.

Best High Torque Security Nuts (best for applications needing strong holding power)

  1. Key-Rex® Nut (customer exclusive key configurations)- Bryce Fastener Inc Made in the USA
  2. Penta-Nut™Bryce Fastener Inc Made in the USA
  3. Tri-Groove Nut (three grooves on side of conical nut) Available online through many Distributors.
  4. Tufnut (tapered square nut)-Tufnut Works 
  5. Break-Away NutAvailable online through many Distributors. 
  6. Ultra-Lok S7® Nut  (7-point drive)- Loss Prevention, Canada
  7. Slot-Lok® Nut (rotating groove around nut is used to install/remove)- Loss Prevention, Canada 
  8. Spanner Nut (two holes on top of conical nut)- Tamperproof Screw

Best Power Driving Sheet Metal Security Fasteners

  1. STYKFIT®7 (patented 7 lobe high torque keyway)- Bryce Fastener Inc Made in the USA
  2. Tampruf™ (three grooves on side of conical head screw)- Allegheny Bolt
  3. Penta-Plus™ (proprietary 5-sided keyway with pin)- Bryce Fastener Inc Made in the USA
  4. Key-Rex® (patented custom keyways available to the customer)- Bryce Fastener Inc Made in the USA
  5. Torx®-Pin/Six-Lobe-Pin- Security Fastener CompanyTamper-Pruf Screw  Available online through many Distributors. 
  6. Torx®-Plus 5 lobes- Tamper-Pruf Screw 
  7. Roby-Pin® (Square drive with pin)- Loss Prevention, Canada 
  8. Tri-Wing® (Phillips style screw with 3 fins instead of 4)- Tamperproof Screw 
  9. Hex-PinTamper-Pruf ScrewMcMaster-Carr Available online through many Distributors.  
  10. Phillips-Pin (Phillips® with rejection pin)- Tamperproof Screw Available online through many Distributors. 

Best Self-Drilling (TEK) Security Screws

  1. STYKFIT®7 (patented 7 lobe high torque keyway)- Bryce Fastener Inc Made in the USA
  2. Torx®-Pin/Six-Lobe-Pin- Security Fastener CompanyTamper-Pruf ScrewBryce Fastener Inc, Tanner Bolt (Large Stock)

Best Security Fastener Manufacturers Who Make Custom or Special-Order Diameters, Lengths, and Head Styles

  1. Penta-Plus™ (most miniature and mega sizes in stock)- Bryce Fastener Inc Made in the USA
  2. Key-Rex® (most types and sizes manufactured except the smallest miniatures)- Bryce Fastener Inc Made in the USA
  3. STYKFIT®7 (most types and sizes manufactured except the smallest miniatures)- Bryce Fastener Inc Made in the USA
  4. Lock-Out™ (mostly larger sizes)- Parker Fastener Made in the USA
  5. *Torx®-Pin/Six-Lobe-Pin- USA Manufacturers: Bryce Fastener IncSecurity Fastener CompanyTamper-Pruf ScrewParker FastenerMar-Bro
  6. *Hex-Pin- USA Manufacturers: Bryce Fastener IncSecurity Fastener CompanyTamper-Pruf ScrewParker Fastener, Mar-Bro

* Manufacturers listed above are located on the West Coast, check with your local Fastener Manufacturer for specialty orders, sizes, lengths and diameteres.

Best Miniature Size Security Screw

  1. Penta-Plus™ (sizes: 0-80, M1.6)- Bryce Fastener Inc Made in the USA

Best Security Fastener for Applications Worth less than $100

  1. Torx®-Pin/Six-Lobe-Pin- Security Fastener CompanyTamper-Pruf Screw  Available online through many Distributors. 
  2. Hex-PinTamper-Pruf ScrewMcMaster-Carr Available online through many Distributors.  
  3. Drilled SpannerTamperproof ScrewTamper-Pruf Screw  Available online through many Distributors. 
  4. One-WayTamperproof ScrewSecurity FastenerTamper-Pruf Screw Available online through many Distributors.
  5. Phillips-Pin (Phillips® with rejection pin)- Tamperproof Screw Available online through many Distributors. 
  6. Tri-Wing® (Phillips style screw with 3 fins instead of 4)- Tamperproof Screw 
  7. Opsit® (reverse thread Tri-Wing® screw)- Tamperproof Screw

Best Security Fasteners Made in USA with Patent Protection

  1. Key-Rex® (millions of different patented custom keyways available)- Bryce Fastener Inc
  2. STYKFIT®7 (patented 7 lobe high torque keyway good until 2038)- Bryce Fastener Inc 
  3. Lock-Out™ (patented egg shape keyway)- Parker Fastener 
  4. Penta-Nut™ (patented)- Bryce Fastener Inc 
  5. Ultra-Lok S7® Nut (7-point drive)- Loss Prevention, Canada 

 

 

 

 

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1230 N. Mondel Dr. Gilbert, Arizona 85233 Tel: 480-503-3801 Fax: 480-503-3834 Email: info@brycefastener.com Facebook

Bryce Fastener is the world leader in high security locking bolts and fasteners, security screws, tamper proof and tamper-resistant screws.

KEY-REX™, Keyed-Lok®, Penta-Plus™, Hex-Pin™, and Tam-6lobe™ are registered trademarks of Bryce Fastener Mfg.
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