Figure 8 Fasteners Vs. Z Clips: In-depth Differences And Features

Figure 8 fasteners rotate as the wood moves, But Z clip fasteners cannot turn or move. At the same time, you will find figure 8 fasteners are less conspicuous than Z clips.

There are other differences between these two tabletop fasteners and you will know about them all from my comparison between the Figure 8 fasteners and Z clips.  This article will depict all the different features and benefits of these two popular tabletop fasteners.

So, let’s get started with it.

A Quick Comparison Table

Here we’ll see a quick comparison table between Figure 8 fasteners and Z clips tabletop fastener:

AspectsFigure 8 FastenerZ Clips
Fastener Type8 Shaped Desktop FastenerZ Shaped Fastener
MaterialsDie Casting SteelExtra Heavy-Duty Metal
Special FeatureAllow Seasonal Wood MovementStronger Fastening
BenefitsOffers Many BenefitsOffers Many Benefits
UsagesSmaller TabletopsAny Tabletops
Size½-9/16 Inches Hole1.1” Long & 0.6” Wide

In-Depth Comparisons Between Figure 8 fasteners And Z clips Tabletop Fastener

Now that you’ve gathered some basic ideas about these fasteners, we will go into more detail about these products. So, let’s begin:

  • Fastener Type
Figure 8 Fastener
Figure 8 Fastener

Figure 8 fastener is also known as desktop fasteners. It is used to attach an apron to your tabletop.

It moves with wood and pivots slightly.

They work better work with smaller tables.

You should not use them for tables that are wider than 18 inches.

On the contrary, Z clip fasteners are strong and are a good choice for all sizes of tables. One side of the screw is attached to the tabletop, and the other one remains freely in the cut slot into the apron.

But they do not allow a lot of wood movement. Also, the Z clip is not as attractive as the figure 8 fasteners.  

  • Materials

Both fasteners are made from high-quality and strong metals. Figure 8 fasteners are made of strong and superior die casting steel.

Besides, they have zinc coating for rusting and corrosion resistance. The back screws are made of Nickel and coated for longer-lasting.

Similarly, Z clips are extra heavy-duty metal and have a zinc coating. Their high-quality back screws are sturdy and will last longer while fasting firmly. But they do not come coated with anything.

  • Key Features

Figure 8 fasteners are flat, shaped like eight, and made of high-quality materials. You can securely fasten your wooden tabletop and apron using this convenient fastener.

Being made of high-quality materials, they will last longer than other fasteners. Besides, they are straightforward to install, and because of their shape, they allow seasonal wood movement.

On the other hand, Z clip fasteners are stronger and high-quality materials. With easy installation, you can use z clips for multipurpose.

But it allows tiny seasonal wood movement. On top of that, you can use it on various table sizes.

  • Benefits
Z Clips
Z Clips

You will get many benefits from both fasteners.

You can use it for vertical and horizontal applications.

Interestingly, one washer can hold a horizontal piece while the other can hold a vertical piece simultaneously.

As both the fasteners and their back screws are coated with superior coatings, they will last long while doing their job.

In contrast, Z clips offer more robust fastening than figure 8 fasteners. They are durable, long-lasting, and sturdy. You can expect a bit of seasonal change due to season temperature and humidity.

Besides, these clips are very easy to install. These fasteners are well known for their sturdiness and value for money.

  • Usages

The primary purpose of both fasteners is the same. That is fastening a wooden tabletop with an apron. But you must know where they work better.

You can use figure 8 fasteners conveniently with any small table. The good thing about these fasteners is that they can screw horizontal and vertical pieces.

On the contrary, use Z clips for all types of tabletops. You can easily use it for desktops, end tables, shelves, and other wooden pieces.

  • Adjustability

One area where Z clips have a definite advantage is adjustability:

Figure 8 Fasteners

  • Pre-bent wire limits adjustability
  • Cannot be bent or shaped during or after installation
  • Spacing of “8” loops is fixed based on manufacturer design

Z Clips:

  • Flat design allows for bending and shaping as needed
  • Fully adjustable spacing between bottom and side grips
  • Can be re-shaped after installation if necessary

So if your project requires making precise adjustments to fit varying material thicknesses or spacing, the adjustability of Z clips makes them the better choice. Figure 8s are a “one size fits all” fastener.

  • Corrosion Resistance

Outdoor construction materials are exposed to weather and moisture, so corrosion resistance is always an important consideration.

Figure 8 Fasteners:

  • Typically made from G90 galvanized steel
  • Good corrosion resistance and suitable for many outdoor applications
  • Galvanized coating provides some protection

Z Clips:

  • Constructed from G185 galvanized steel
  • Excellent corrosion resistance
  • Heavier galvanized coating gives enhanced protection over Figure 8s

If your project is fully protected from the elements, either fastener should hold up well. But for decking and fencing exposed directly to weather, Z clips have an advantage with their robust galvanized coating.

  • Size

You will find figure 8 fasteners in many sizes, but most carry the same size on both sides. The figure 8 fasteners are made to fit a ½ inch or 9/16 inches hole.

Conversely, Z clip fasteners are 1.1 inches long and 0.6 inches wide. Their back screws are 0.55 inches long.

  • Cost

When looking at price and value, the comparison is:

Figure 8 Fasteners:

  • Very affordable option
  • Low cost per fastener makes them budget friendly
  • Good value that provides ample strength at a low price

Z Clips:

  • More expensive than Figure 8s
  • Extra cost comes from adjustable design and thicker galvanizing
  • Still reasonably priced for the strength and corrosion resistance provided

Figure 8s are the clear budget choice, providing lots of strength and reliability at an economical price point. Z clips come at a moderate premium cost, but with added benefits like adjustability and enhanced weather protection.

When To Choose Figure 8 Fasteners?

Figure 8s are ideal when:

Figure 8 Fastener
  • A very strong, permanent connection is needed
  • Quick and easy installation is desired
  • Project is fully protected from weather and corrosion
  • Budget is a primary concern

They provide lots of grip strength at a wallet-friendly price, though lack adjustability.

When To Choose Z Clips?

Z clips are the better choice when:

  • Ability to adjust and fine-tune the fastener is required
  • Enhanced corrosion resistance is needed for outdoor projects
  • A strong but reversible connection may be required
  • Budget is not the primary deciding factor

Their adjustability, corrosion protection, and ability to be removed and re-shaped gives Z clips added versatility.

Which Fastener Is Better For You?

Figure 8 Fasteners

My above discussion shows that figure 8 fasteners are good-looking but offer a less strong bond between your tabletop and apron.

On the other hand, Z clips are not so g-looking, but they provide the strongest fastening.

Besides, you can use Z clip fasteners with all types and sizes of tabletops, whereas figure 8 fasteners are only suitable for small tables. But their screws are coated for durability, and they allow more seasonal movement than Z clips.

Considering all facts, I suggest you purchase Z clip fasteners for a stronger and more durable fastening with multipurpose usability.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)

What is a figure 8 fastener?

Figure 8 fastener is a fast and reliable way to fasten wooden tabletop and aprons. The unique thing about this fastener is that it allows seasonal wood movements.

What are Figure 8 fasteners used for?

Figure 8 fastener is used for screwing wooden tabletops and aprons. You can use it for fastening small tabletops.

How far apart should Z clips be?

Z clips are well-known for their strong fastening capability. 8 inches to 10 inches spacing between two clips is enough.

How do you attach a table top to base Z clips?

Attaching the Z clip on a tabletop to the base is comparatively easy. It will perfectly fit in a continuous groove inside your tabletop to the base with a pan head screw.

How strong are Z clips?

When properly installed, Z clips provide very strong resistance to withdrawal and lateral movement. The two-sided grip digs into materials from both directions, creating a secure connection.
While not quite as strong as pre-bent Figure 8 fasteners, Z clips provide ample strength for most decking, fencing, and construction connections. Their strength comes from the angled bottom and side pieces being compressed tightly into the materials being fastened.
Actual strength and gripping power will depend on the type/thickness of materials being fastened, and proper installation is key. But for the majority of applications, Z clips offer robust strength you can rely on.


The right fastening tool will keep your tabletop and apron attached for longer. But if you fail to do it perfectly, you know loosening is only a matter of time. That’s why it’s essential to choose the right fastening screw.

With my Figure 8 fasteners and Z clips review, now you know which the best choice is. So, do not worry about any of it.

Ralph Wade

Hey...Ralph is here! So, did you find this article useful? If so, please leave a comment and let me know. If not, please tell me how I can improve this article. Your feedback is always appreciated. Take love :)

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