I am thinking of how to connect two beams over three posts to each other and to the posts.
In this country (NZ) I found two T straps for this:

Simpson APT4 enter image description here

MiTek Bowmac B38 enter image description here

The thing is, that I can bend the Simpson one with my hands and cannot bend the MiTek one.

My 1st question is - is this Simpson strap meant for what I think it is meant for? Connecting a beam to a post or two ends of beams to a post and each other.

2nd question is - if I can bend it with hands, is it strong enough to hold the beam which will hold the roof? Or maybe I need two of these on each side of the post or it is decorative only and needs additional fasteners.

  • The simpson one is listed as ornamental. So I wouldn't not use for anything structural at all.
    – Phaelax z
    Jun 10, 2020 at 13:19
  • @Phaelaxz It does say "ornamental", but the Simpson site gives all the specs for it. I'm confident "ornamental" refers to the nice black coating on the surface instead of the standard silver/grey galvanized-steel look.
    – FreeMan
    Jun 10, 2020 at 13:25
  • The simple metal straps when properly attached on both sides are quite strong. I had this conversation with my dad as a kid. He had me nail 2 4x4 scraps together with 4 straight flat pieces of strapping tape (thinner than a strong tie) I did not think it would hold much but I could stand on it and even jumped a few times being close to 200 lbs back then I was supper impressed that it held and the ties are much thicker wider and have more nail or screw holes.
    – Ed Beal
    Jun 10, 2020 at 15:27

1 Answer 1


TL;DR - they're both designed for construction purposes and meet standards*

(*in the US, at least)

Generally, Simpson StrongTies are used for all sorts of construction purposes. Read through their documentation to ensure this will meet your needs. Since you don't indicate what you're building, it's really hard for us to say for sure.

The ATP4 is for 4-by material (~100mm) while the ATP6 is for 6-by material (~150mm), so make sure you're getting the correct sizes for your project. Also, be sure to use the proper screws (they specify that it has to be their structural screws and washers, but I'm sure any similarly spec'd structural screw & washer will do the trick - their's will be powder coated to match, which is an advantage) and to fill all the mounting holes in the bracket.

Personally, I'd be a bit concerned by the fact that the ATP4 has only one hole for each piece of wood. In my mind, this makes the cut of each joint extremely important. You'll need to leave some room for expansion (no more than 1/8" ~3mm gap), but too much leaves you with a pivot point on that single screw. I doubt that this would fail any certification process they put them through, but it would make me a bit nervous because I know my ability to get consistent quality joints.

The MiTek is also used for many construction projects. Personally, I'd feel a bit better about this particular strap as it's got 4 nails going into each piece of wood that it's attaching to, so there won't be any pivot issues.

Of course, the MiTek is "ugly" looking galvanized steel while the Simpson is "pretty" looking powder coated (not sure if it's also galvanized - I didn't look for that, but I'd be surprised if it wasn't) steel. On that end you're comparing aesthetics vs price and that's a decision only you can make.

I've used both Simpson & MiTek on projects at my house (a garage, deck and storage shed), but I've never used the decorative ones, as mine have all been buried and not for show. I've been happy with both and my choice was made mainly on what was available on the day I purchased.

  • I'm putting a roof over the deck.The building code requirement is 5.9 kN, I checked documentation, Simpson is rated 5.9 and MiTek is 30.3kN. I think at this point I'm comparing numbers with my paranoia.
    – anm767
    Jun 10, 2020 at 21:02
  • @AndreiMihailevski It looks to me like the Simpsons will meet your local code. It appears that the MiTek will far exceed code. It's up to you to feed your paranoia (it never hurts to exceed code standards) or to improve the Wife-Acceptance-Factor by going with the satisfactory, but prettier. Bear in mind, I'm not a structural engineer, I know nothing about the requirements of your locale, nor what family/household members you may or may not have to satisfy in this project. All opinions are mine and mine alone. signed "random guy on the internet". ;)
    – FreeMan
    Jun 11, 2020 at 14:02

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