While finishing the assembly of a basketball hoop from a kit, I ran into a case where the provided screws are too large in diameter to fit into the mating holes, let alone screw in all the way.

I then decided to look through the huge fasteners aisle at the local home improvement superstore to try to find a similar screw in a smaller diameter. I was unsuccessful, and couldn’t even locate anything that had a similar threading pattern.

They look like this:

enter image description here

The head is a slotted hex shape, approximately #12, and the screw is 1.25 inches in length, but I’m not sure what “type” of screw I should be looking for as a replacement. Can anyone identify it from its appearance?

  • 1
    FWIW if these screws are too large for their holes, it indicates that you have mismatched some screws to their holes elsewhere in the kit. IOW somewhere else in the assembly you have used screws that are too small, in the holes where these screws should go. May 18, 2019 at 20:36
  • Yes, I’ve considered that as a possibility, but I don’t see where that would have been. The hardware was well-labeled and everything else was a good fit from what I could tell.
    – Jason R
    May 18, 2019 at 20:40
  • Where do the instructions say these screws go? What kind of material are they screwing into? May 18, 2019 at 20:58
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    Lag screw or lag bolt, as for "what it's called." Designed to screw into wood, not metal. You'll appreciate using the hex and a wrench the first time as it cuts its threads into the wood.
    – Ecnerwal
    May 18, 2019 at 22:18

2 Answers 2


That screw you show is designed to cut its own thread as it enters the hole - the tip has the thread cut almost to the end of the tip to start the cutting process.

As long as the root diameter is fractionally smaller than the hole it is going into then it should be fine - as long as it is perpendicular to the hole it will go in fine, if it goes in at an angle then it will "block" or lock-up before it get fully home.

The ones I have used are definitely designed to be used in metal and the tip is hardened for that purpose.


. #12 x 1-1/4" Self Tapping, Sheet Metal Screws, Hex Head (slotted)

enter image description here


They are not drill point or zip-in. They're self tapping. That means in anything but sheet metal, you need to drill a pilot hole.

  • The Op does mention "mating holes"...
    – Solar Mike
    May 19, 2019 at 15:33

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