Top 9 Best Decking Tools You Need in Your Toolbox
Photo 1 – Simbithi-06 Leveco Architects Resort
Every homeowner has to deal with some home renovations at a certain point. So, to be prepared for any kind of construction or maintenance project, pay attention to these amazing decking tools that can’t be missing from your toolbox.
As specialists in tropical hardwood, the Brazilian Lumber team has the knowledge and experience necessary to advise you on what tools and materials to use for deck building. Here are a few tips we would like to share with you.
Please keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list or an installation guide, but it is a good starting point for selecting the hardware you might need if you are planning to install a deck or for maintenance of your existing one.
So, check out these 9 tools we recommend you have:
- Hidden fasteners
- Stainless Steel Screws
- Hardwood plugs
- Waterproofing Tape
- Deck Board Straightening Tool
- Deck Spacers
- Biscuit Jointer
- Orbital sander
1. Decking Tools: Hidden Fasteners
The purpose of hidden deck fasteners is to give the deck a seamless, uniform appearance. Unlike face screws, hidden fasteners are installed from the sides of the boards, making them less visible.
Another advantage of using the hidden fastener is that they are less exposed to water and therefore last longer. Luckily, we have a wide variety of hidden deck fasteners from different brands such as DeckWise® and CAMO. Check our website to see them.
They are available in three basic colors to camouflage them: brown, gray, or black, which can be combined with any type of material.
2. Decking Tools: Stainless Steel Screws
Stainless steel screws are some of the most used tools in construction. Using stainless steel screws is especially important for exterior construction, such as deck building, given the exposure to the elements.
The ones we carry from DeckWise® come in 305 grade stainless steel and 316 grade stainless steel. The 316 grade stainless steel screws are recommended if the installation is done near seawater.
Screws are important tools for attaching a deck to the substructure. The installation process is relatively simple and straightforward for wood and composite decking.
The screws also provide a strong and secure connection for fastening the wooden boards. It is important to note that with hardwood, pre-drilling is a must!
We have plenty of options that will certainly meet your needs. Take a look at them:
- The DeckWise Bugle-Head Deck Screws: Available in 305 Grade stainless steel for decking use. They guarantee an excellent performance with hardwoods, thermally modified softwoods, PT softwoods, and composite decking materials.
- The DeckWise Self-Tapping Metal Joist Deck Screw is designed explicitly for metal joist applications. They can be used to attach most types of decking materials such as hardwoods, heat-treated lumber, softwoods, composite, and PVC.
Screw lengths range from 1″ to 3 1/8″ and screw heads come in six different colors (black, wood brown, stainless steel, cedar, rose brown, or gray). So you can mix and match them to your deck.
Whether you choose stainless steel screws or coated steel screws, don’t forget to pre-drill holes for them when installing high quality hardwood products such as: Ipe, Cumaru, Tigerwood, Jatoba, and others.
3. Decking Tools: Hardwood Plugs
A hardwood plug goes into the small hole left by the screw drilled into the deck board. We have hardwood plugs in all types of exotic hardwood – for example, Ipe, and Cumaru. Want to know how it works?
After the screw is drilled into the board, a small amount of glue is placed in the hole, and then the hole is sealed with the hardwood plug. The plugs look like mini wine bottle corks. Then the plug is ground down to deck level using a sanding machine, leaving the entry point practically invisible.
Hidden deck fasteners such as the Ipe Clip and Deck Clip are also popular because you can build your deck without visible screws on the top of the boards. If you use hidden deck fasters you won’t need deck plugs and vice versa. Here is more information.
- DeckWise Hidden Siding Fasteners create a sleek, high-quality appearance. The entire system is designed to significantly reduce cupping, warping, and mold growth due to water penetration.
- The Ipe clip is a polyethylene with stainless steel coated plastic clip that slides into the grooves on the sides of deck boards. Stainless steel coated plastic provides an ideal material for the Ipe clip hidden deck fasteners.
They can be used for kiln-dried hardwood, composite, or PVC decking. A great feature of the ipe clips is that this system automatically spaces deck boards at 1/4″ (6,4mm).
To use them, each wooden board is fixed to a clip, achieving a faster, easier, flexible method of assembly.
4. Decking Tools: Waterproofing Tape
Water is always the enemy in outdoor construction. That is why it is essential to use a waterproof barrier when building outside. We have the perfect accessory for this: a tape that is placed over any wood flashing to create that kind of protection.
Our JoistTape from DeckWise is made of polyethylene and uses a rubberized asphalt mastic adhesive. It is very thin (37 mm), which means it will not affect the deck measurements.
This additional protective layer helps to secure the cover frame and prevents rotting from trapped water. Each roll is 3 inches wide by 75 feet long.
For wooden posts that go directly into the ground, we have other options made of the same flexible polyethylene material. They have a self-adhesive that can be easily wrapped, creating a barrier against moisture and fungi.
5. Decking Tools: Deck Board Straightening Tool
The hardwood wrench we carry made by DeckWise is designed to bend any warped hardwood board, providing an essential aesthetic that makes boards straight and spaced.
It has eight times the bending power of other tools, with a pushing force of about 1100 lbs. Wondering how it works? The straightening tool attaches to the joist, and then it has a handle that is rotated to straighten the deck board.
6. Decking Tools: Deck Spacers
These deck spacers are a great addition to any deck building toolbox. Their versatile design allows builders to use these deck spacers in any position between boards.
This tool eliminates the need to guess the correct size of the gaps between decking boards whenever it comes to water drainage and drying. So, the days of worrying about it are over.
Their versatile structure allows contractors and Do-it-yourself homeowners to utilize these board spacers in any location between boards.
Keep in mind that depending on the span of the deck boards, you may need to place two or more spacers every 24 inches between boards.
7. Decking Tools: Biscuit Joiner
The Biscuit Joiner is a tool that provides a strong, reliable grip, and prevents any lateral movement of your workpiece. One of the most common uses of this tool is on large panels to reinforce a connection over a larger area.
Its main function is to cut notches in the two pieces of wood to be joined, which will be worked on with a biscuit. The advantage of its use is to keep the sides of the element being worked on aligned when the clamps are closed.
It is a great option if you do not want to send your boards to be milled.
8. Decking Tools: Orbital Sander
An orbital sander is ideal for fast sanding needs. You can use it to smooth surfaces such as metal, wood, or raw plastic. It can also be used to remove paint or rust.
There are not many tools like this that have multiple purposes. The orbital sander is also used for a variety of applications, from paint jobs to restoring headlight transparency.
9. Decking Tools: Drill
Last but not least, a drill is an indispensable tool when working on the hardwood. Basically, it is used to drill or enlarge circular holes in solid material.
Typically, a drill press rotates the drill bits and inserts them into the stationary workpiece. Other types of machines allow a stationary bit to be inserted into the rotating workpiece, or the bit and the workpiece can rotate in opposite directions.
Of course, we have it as part of our tools: The DeckWise® Drill & Drive™ is ruggedly built, plus is resistant and of good quality. However, there are times when these bits need to be replaced just like any other tool on the market.
In summary, as a homeowner, you should include these 9 essential tools when building a deck or making any kind of repair. So, familiarize yourself with the tools, follow our tips and give it a try on the fixes and constructions you want to do on your home.