Tips for driving Tapcons?

I am having a terrible time trying to drive 1/4" x 4" hex-head Tapcon screws into our basement walls (approx. 2" of drywall + insulation, then the concrete): I have used a 3/16" drill (not a genuine Tapcon bit, because the store did not have any long enough), but any wrench I have tried (ring or socket) starts slipping and chewing up the head before the screw is deep enough.
I know the blue coating is supposed to have lubricating properties, but am I supposed to use any additional lubricant? Or is there something special about a genuine Tapcon bit that would have made life easier?
MB
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the bit a few times, then blow it out somehow. I've also used slightly oversized bits and filled the hole with softer materials like a few toothpicks or steel wool. Tom Someday, it'll all be over....
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Are you sure your using the right bit? Ifound a brand that you can only use their drill bits, a 1/4 inch bit was about 1/32 of an inch smaller. Really messed me up until a I figured it out.

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Kevin's right, too. Tom >Kevin wrote:

Someday, it'll all be over....
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First, it seems like you're running about 2" of that tapcon into the concrete. I think this is more than what is intended and it will be hard to drive it in that far. Usually, about an inch of penetration is all you need.
Next, make sure your hole is equal to the depth the screw is going plus another 1/4". Then, make sure the hole isn't filled with dust or chips.
-- Mark Kent, WA
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I use magnetic nut driver bits for the cordless drill. Holds the Tapcon while getting it in place.

When you buy a box of Tapcons, they come with a drill bit in the box. It is the same bit, no matter which length you purchase. And it is just a carbide tipped bit, nothing really fancy.
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No, not all packs of Tapcon screws come with a bit: none of the 25-packs of 1/4" x 4" screws at Menards included bits, although some of the shorter ones did; Lowes did not have 4" screws, but 75-packs of some lengths included bits whereas 25-packs of the same length did not.
I have now bought a genuine Tapcon bit the right length, plus the spacial Tapcon installation tool, so we'll see how that goes.
MB
On 01/27/04 09:09 am John Hines put fingers to keyboard and launched the following message into cyberspace:

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I get boxes of 100 from Ace Hardware. These are what stock the pick a piece bins. With even a cheap hammer drill, they go in very quickly.
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On Mon, 26 Jan 2004 20:04:20 -0500, Minnie Bannister

Get some lead anchors. Those tapcons are the most useless concrete fastener on the market.
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Lead anchors are not on the market now, probably because of the lead, they all seem to be made of a much harder alloy and don't grip the concrete as well as lead. I have found Tapcons work well if the right drill and length are used, as long as they are driven into solid concrete or brick. They don't seem to be able to grip mortar as it is too soft.
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I was having the same problem, so I bought the phillips head tapcons and it works much better. I can get a lot more driving force with it without slipping off. Plus, the phillips head doesnt stick up above the wood, so it dont get in the way if a stud has to be placed there.
Jason
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Huh? I just bought a box of lead anchors about a week ago from the local home depot... I've seen them at Wal-Mart, too...
Eric Tonks wrote:

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IF a tapcon wouldn't drill, would that be a tap or a tip? Would you like a tip with your tap?
A screw to hook to a wall But surely you do not know all. It's easier by far To drive a gock or a car But not to drive a tapcon.
So slick it is blue for the hole a rhyme you will sing as you know We drill with a bit, You know quite a bit And then curse your broken off tapcon
A masonry bit Surely will fit Power drill a hole Just the right size hole The advice you got is righton.
So go rent a hammer drill A tapcon the hole it will fill Blow out the dust Surely leave no old rust And crank that tapcon right in
(with apologies to Dr. Seuss.)
--

Christopher A. Young
Jesus: The Reason for the Season
  Click to see the full signature.
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Tapcons need the drive bit in a hammer type drill. They are not made to be done by hand. Furthermore they make excellant anchors in concrete.
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On 30 Jan 2004 00:27:28 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Randd01) wrote:

Hammer-drill helps drill the hole-- but I wouldn't want to use it to drive the screws. I've followed the Company directions and haven't had any trouble sinking various size tapcons in block, mortar, cement or limestone. I do use the hex heads and a driver in my 1/2" variable speed drill-- not the hammer drill.
From http://confast.com/products/tap_con.asp#tapcon -quote- TapCon Concrete Screw -Installation: (1) Drill hole into base material using the drill bit provided with the screws. The depth of the hole must be at least 1/4" deeper than the TapCon embedment. (2) Place object to be fastened over hole. (3) Insert point of Tapcon into hole and drive screw in using a nut drive or #3 bit tip. Do not over torque the screw. -end quote-
There is also a table on that page which tells how deep you need to put them to hold securely. Remember these aren't going into pine where a couple inches is needed-- For concrete block & a 3/16 Tapcon, the pull out value at 1" is 229 pounds-- the shear value at 1 3/8" [why didn't they give the 1" data?] in that hollow block is 690 pounds.
I wonder how many of us, more used to working with wood than masonry, try to overdo the penetration? [I just put up a shelf on a limestone wall & bought 1/4x2" tapcons - 3 per bracket, a bracket every 2 feet. Can any engineers tell me how much weight I should be able to put on that shelf?]
Jim
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