Ledger locks and lag bolts are the most common items for woodwork. As both are screws and pretty much identical, it’s hard to know the differences.
So, which one should be your pick if we go ledger locks vs. lag bolts? Well, that depends on your requirements.
Ledger locks or ledger fastening screws are mostly carbon steel and used to secure joins without a washer and drilling. In contrast, Lag bolts are screws mostly made of stainless steel and capable of holding up leam beams.
They have many more differences. Know the benefits and drawbacks to pick the best one for you.
Table of Contents
- Key Comparison Table between Ledger Locks and Lag Bolts
Key Comparison Table between Ledger Locks and Lag Bolts
If you are in a hurry, check the difference between ledger locks and lag bolts at a glance. This table will let you the basic and premise information about them.
|Features||Ledger Locks||Lag bolts|
|Material||Mostly carbon steel||Mostly stainless steel|
|Head style||Hex, Multi-lobe, Flat, etc.||Hex|
|Drive system||External hex, Torx, one way, etc.||External Hex|
|Required force||Doesn’t need much force||Needs additional force|
|Availability||Not as much as lag bolts||Higher availability|
|Washer||The washer is built-in||Need washer to set up securely|
|Ease of use||Quick and easier to set up||Time-consuming and hard to install|
|Upfront price||Requires at least $0.7/count or more||Can be as low as 0.11/count|
|Setup expenses||Isn’t much||Comparatively more|
|Suitable project||Suitable for projects that requires quick and affordable solution||Suitable for heavy-duty application for prolong the project lifespan|
|Size||1 specific size||5 different sizes|
Overview Of Ledger Locks?
The ledger locks come to save money and labor cost with its free 5/16″ driver bit. You can use these locks for joining two ledger boards without drilling and requiring any washer.
On top-notch, it gets Alkaline Copper Quaternary (ACQ) approval as a woodworking material free from arsenic and chromium. So it is environmentally friendly and suitable for long-lasting decks and safe outdoor projects. However, though they are not as tough as lag bolts, they are easy and quick alternatives.
What You Get In The Box
- 12 pieces of 5 inches locks
- It doesn’t require pre-drilling and separate washers
- Excellent work, even for heavy stuff
- Easier to install and a tremendous time saver
- It doesn’t hold as much weight as lag bolts
Whom Are These Locks For?
It’s best for projects where the joints won’t need to hold much weight, so the locks are ideal for light woodwork. Though it can be used more in numbers to hold more weight, that isn’t recommended. Since adding too many screws may damage the board itself.
Overview Of Lag Bolt?
Lag bolts, also known as lag screws, are one of the toughest fastener types that help to secure two heavy materials or hold up heavyweight after fastening the materials. For each lag bolt, it requires two drilled holes.
They are mainly used for heavy-duty applications, which won’t require pre-drilling. The drilled hole needs to be precise for optimal performance of the bolts. Even after pre-drilling, you need to put extra force into setting them up because of their structure.
They come at a comparatively affordable price. It costs less if you buy them in boxes, especially the longer bolts.
What You Get In The Box
- 6 pieces ¼x3 inches bolts
- 8 pieces ¼×2½ inches bolts
- 10 pieces ¼×2 inches bolts
- 15 pieces ¼×1½ inches bolts
- 15 pieces ¼×1 inches bolts
- 54 pieces ¼ inches flat washers
- Perfect for all woodworks that require strength
- Corrosion resistance ensures the durability of your projects
- Various sizes meet multiple purposes
- Some users complained about their rougher thread edges
Whom Are These Bolts For?
The Lag Bolts are usually used in home projects like lam beams, roofing, building decks, securing house joints, fixing stairs, etc. So if you are a professional woodworker or a home improvement contractor, you must need these bolts to uplift your project’s joining quality.
Ledger Locks vs. Lag bolts Detail Comparison
Learning the critical difference may not be enough to clearly understand which one to choose. Knowing the details and understanding them will be a lot more beneficial. So here’s the in-depth analysis
Ledger locks are constructed with carbon steel, which makes them durable enough to offer your long-lasting joint with no risk of corrosion.
As you can see in the comparison table, lag bolts are usually made of stainless steel. That keeps them safe from corrosion, making them durable. Apart from this, some other materials are used for lag bolts, like alloy steel or steel.
Winner: Lag bolts
Ledger locks usually have a plain and galvanizing finish to make the project look as lucrative as possible.
The most common external finish for lag bolts is stainless steel, galvanization, or oxide finish. The finishing altogether with the material helps increase the durability of these screws.
Winner: Lag bolts
- Washer Requirements
In comparison, ledger locks have built-in washers that help save both your time and money.
Setting up lag bolts with washers is good to place them more securely. They often come with the lag bolt box, or you may need to buy them separately.
Winner: Ledger locks
- Weight holding Capacity
Ledger locks are better for lightweight holding than heavier projects. So these are still strong enough to be holding up joints securely.
Lag bolts are suitable to hold an intense load, as the washers and double holes help securely hold the weight.
Winner: Lag bolts
- Availability and price
Ledger locks are comparatively expensive and not much available. These locks cost more than $.7/ count, so they are unsuitable for big projects.
Lag bolts are comparatively more available, and the price difference depends on the size, type, brand, finishing, and washer. You can get them at $0.11/ count, to the very least. You will see the prices under $1/count on average. But lag bolts come at about $5/ count or more.
Winner: Lag bolts
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Which one is more affordable between Ledger locks vs. lag bolts?
If you go by upfront price, lag bolts are the affordable ones. But as they require washers and drilling, ultimately, they need a bigger budget. In that context, ledger locks are more affordable to set up.
Which material is better between Ledger locks vs. lag bolts?
Here, it is essential to know that stainless steel is better than carbon steel in terms of strength and corrosive protection. As a result, lag bolts made of stainless steel are a better choice than carbon steel’s ledger locks for durability.
Do lag bolts weaken studs?
Yes, if you use traditional lag bolts, they can weaken studs by quickly stripping and losing traction.
When would you use a lag bolt?
Tag bolts are ideal for projects with heavy weight, like a heavy limber.
Which One Is Better? Ledger Locks vs. Lag bolts
This answer depends on the project requirements. Both of them have their own benefits and disadvantages. You can’t choose one for all purposes. Knowing the differences would have already let you determine that.
Ledge locks are more for fastening boards, framing, changes in the interior or exterior of the home, etc.
As for lag bolts, they are more suitable for projects like household renovation, repairing, and adding extra decks for family gatherings.
Summing It Up
It may seem like what effects can a screw possibly have on the project? Is it necessary to give this much attention?
Honestly, it is essential. Every small thing of the project matters and is capable of changing the performance. It is better to pay attention to every single thing from the very first.
So, what is your next project? And what’s your pick regarding ledge locks vs. lag bolts for that project? Let us know in the comment section.