Which ground screw is best?
Often, all it takes to make a good idea great is adding a little twist. Ground stakes have been in use since at least the 4th century BC. But they have their limitations. The updated version is a ground screw. These handy fastening tools can help when camping, putting up holiday decorations, installing sports equipment and more.
The best ground screws are suitable for a range of soil conditions and are easy to install. Orange Screw’s The Ultimate Ground Anchor is a durable, lightweight option that can be used in a wide variety of applications and comes with a lifetime breakage warranty.
What to know before you buy a ground screw
How a ground screw works
A ground screw or ground anchor works similarly to a wood screw. The deep threads cut through the ground when twisted and hold the screw in place, making it resistant to an upward force, so it cannot be easily removed.
Benefits of using a ground screw
A ground screw is a quick, reliable solution that is affordable and easy to install. Many models do not require any tools (other than what comes with the ground screw). They aren’t permanent, which makes them ideal for camping or holiday decorations. Also, ground screws are reusable items. Once you buy a durable set, you should never have to purchase ground screws again. Lastly, if you are using ground screws for a permanent installation, such as would be needed for a mailbox, ground screws are much kinder to the landscape than digging a hole and pouring concrete.
What to look for in a quality ground screw
Ground screws serve different purposes. Models suitable for tents, canopies, inflatables and other tie-down needs will feature a screw eye at the top. Models for decking, mailboxes and fencing will feature a mount that accepts a 4-inch by 4-inch post.
The closer the threads are spaced on a ground screw, the easier it will be to install. On the downside, this will also mean it requires more rotations to screw into the soil.
A longer ground screw will have more holding power. However, it will also be harder to install. If the soil is compact, you may not be able to fully install a longer ground screw without the use of power tools.
After installation, a small portion of the screw will remain above the ground. This can be a tripping hazard. A brightly colored ground screw can help prevent accidents.
Since ground screws are installed in soil, they must be durable and corrosion resistant. The best models will either be made of coated steel, or, in light-duty applications, rugged plastic.
A warranty reveals the manufacturer’s faith in its product. It is not unlikely to find ground screws with lengthy warranties. Some models are even guaranteed for life.
How much you can expect to spend on a ground screw
Ground screws that are suitable for tents, tarps and light-duty applications cost roughly between $25-$35 for a four-pack. If you need to install a mailbox, deck or fencing, those ground screws may cost $30-$40 each.
Ground screw FAQ
What can I secure with ground screws?
A. A ground screw is an incredibly versatile tool. While it is essential to first consult the accompanying literature (or a professional) to see if the model you have is approved for a specific application, ground screws can be used to secure tents, canopies, beach shelters, RV awnings, tarps, inflatable decorations and more. The right ground screw can be used as a tree anchor, a soccer net anchor, a mount for a mailbox, the foundation for a deck, or to secure a trampoline.
What type of soil is best for ground screws?
A. Since a ground screw is held in place by the soil, the type of soil you have is crucial to the success of a ground screw. If it is installed in loose soil, such as sand, the screw may not hold as expected. If you try to install a ground screw in gravel, clay or highly compacted soil, the screw might not be able to penetrate deep enough to create a secure installation. The best soil is in the middle — penetrable, but not too loose, and firm, but not too compact.
What’s the best ground screw to buy?
Top ground screw
What you need to know: This four-pack of cleverly designed ground screws has a case that doubles as a torque handle, making it perfect for people on the go.
What you’ll love: These ground screws are made with 100% recycled materials. They are available in orange or black. They are lightweight, rustproof, designed to work in a variety of soils and come with a lifetime breakage warranty.
What you should consider: These ground anchors can be hard to install in dry or compact soil.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top ground screw for the money
What you need to know: This durable set of steel ground screws is suitable for repeated use.
What you’ll love: These screws can be installed by hand or with a powered drill and an 18-millimeter socket. The aggressive design lets them penetrate even compacted soil.
What you should consider: While these ground screws hold well, the weld at the top is the weak spot. It may break when drilling into compact soil.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: If you would like to install a Mayne mail post, this is the best option available.
What you’ll love: This is a timesaving, no-dig option for people wishing to install a Mayne mail post. It is made of steel with a powder coating and accommodates a 4-inch by 4-inch post. This ground screw is suitable for average soil conditions.
What you should consider: Depending on your soil, this model can require a bit of effort to install.
Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot
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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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