Guest Post: Know When to Use TigerClaw Butt Seam Clips

By Greg Hartman, National Account Manager, FastenMaster Division

Most deck builders will try to avoid having two boards butt end to end on any deck project. However it isn’t always possible. Decks that are more than 20 feet long, and most decks built with random length lumber will always require boards be joined end to end. Hidden deck fasteners cannot always accommodate these butt seams. In the past, builders would either have to sister a joist below the butt seam, create their own solution or bridge the seam with a single fastener. Attaching a sister joist below every butt seam is time consuming. A homemade solution can be equally time consuming and may be questionable in its integrity. Bridging two board ends with a clip meant as a single board/joist fastener is never going to hold as well as it is meant to.

TigerClaw Sister Joist

Butt Seam with TC-G and Sister Joist (Old Method)

Tiger Claw has developed a solution for the butt seam issue – the TigerClaw Butt Seam Clip. The Butt Seam Clip is a mirror image of the TC-G. Using this clip in conjunction with the TC-G allows a builder to install the two clips side by side on a single “2 by” joist. This TigerClaw Butt Seam Clip is equal to the TC-G in speed, ease of use and strength.
Tiger Claw TC-G is one of the most widely used hidden deck fasteners for all types of grooved deck boards. The speed and ease of installation, the versatility, the strength and hold down power make this a builder’s favorite clip.

The Butt Seam Clip comes in handy for two other applications.

Butt Seam with TC-G and Butt Seam Clip (New Method) – No Need for Sister Joist!

Butt Seam with TC-G and Butt Seam Clip (New Method) – No Need for Sister Joist!

  • When the ends of the deck planks are going to be cut flush to the joists for a flush fascia or trim. Use the TC-G on your right outer joist and the Butt Seam Clip on your left outer joist to keep the fastener well inboard and out of the way of your circular saw.
  • When the builder runs out of TC-G clips and only needs a couple dozen clips to finish the job. Instead of having to buy the 90 clip bag of TC-G he can now buy this less expensive bag of 55 Butt Seam Clips to finish the job.

Every bill of materials for a grooved deck installation should include at least one bag of TigerClaw Butt Seam Clips.

TigerClaw is available now at — or, if you have any questions, call 888-349-4660 or leave us a comment below.

Why You Should Be Using the Tiger Claw TC-G this Upcoming Deck Season

For the last five years, we’ve witnessed the incredible growth of the hidden fastener market. It’s no wonder why. A deck that uses hidden fasteners gives a more polished look—and the fasteners hitting the market are getting easier to use, which is great for DIYers.

Even though there many new fasteners hitting the market, when it comes to grooved boards, we’re still big fans of the Tiger Claw TC-G because of its versatility and ease-of-use.

TigerClaw TC-G

TigerClaw TC-G Hidden Deck Fastener

Who wants to fumble around with multiple different fasteners for different applications when one durable and reliable fastener—the Tiger Claw TC-G—can meet all your needs?

In fact, we 100% guarantee that the Tiger Claw TC-G is a direct replacement for the following fasteners:

  • Fiberon Phantom
  • Ipe Clip Extreme 4
  • Invisi-Fast Hidden Deck Fastening System
  • EB-TY Hidden Deck Fastener
  • Mantis Deck Clips or Crown Clips
  • Deck Clip by Grabber
  • I-CLP System Fasco
  • Truemark Deck Fasteners
  • KleerKlip

The Tiger Claw TC-G will replace the following fasteners, but will leave a different gap:

  • Oasis for Kodiak (leaves 1/8″ gap – TC-G will leave 3/16″ gap)
  • Lumber Loc (leaves 1/4″ gap – TC-G will leave 3/16″ gap)
  • Equator (leaves 1/4″ gap – TC-G will leave 3/16″ gap)

Aside from versatility, the Tiger Claw TC-G gives you automatic 3/16″ deck board spacing, allows for some expansion and contraction, and it’s straightforward to install.

When you’re considering tackling your deck projects this upcoming deck season, we recommend the Tiger Claw TC-G as a drop-in replacement. Streamline your deck installs and build beautiful, fastener-free decks.

The TigerClaw TC-G is available now at — or, if you have any questions about compatible fasteners, call us at 888-349-4660 or leave a comment below.

Cypress Deck Fastener Questions Answered!

Hard or soft, light or dark, oily or dry, the world of wood offers a wonderfully wide array of options for construction. Cypress, native to many areas of the United States and used to by settlers to build shelters in colonial times, is known for its remarkable ability to weather variations in temperature and moisture. The cypress tree produces cypressine which acts as a natural preservative while repelling insects. As a result, cypress is a popular wood in building structures like decks and fences.

Tiger Claw understands the needs of such softer woods and has developed superior products to enable builders to produce a smooth nail free surface to emphasize the beauty of a deck’s wood while respecting the wood’s composition. Because cypress wood may be installed either green or kiln dried, questions about the proper Tiger Claw fastener choice arise.

Advice, direct from Tiger Claw

Tiger Claw TC-1S

Tiger Claw TC-1S, a fastener choice for green cypress wood

Cypress can be used for decking when it is still green and has a high moisture content. In this situation, Tiger Claw recommends their TC-1S or TC-2S hidden fasteners because they allow the boards to be installed tightly together. As the boards dry, they shrink creating a gap between each board. From a design perspective, the TC-1S or TC-2S are identical fasteners. While TC-1S is made from heavy gauge steel with a Magni 599© black sealer topcoat, the TC-2S is made from annealed stainless steel  – guaranteed to never rust – with a black oxide sealer topcoat.

Cypress may also be kiln dried before installation, and in this case, we would recommend the Tiger Claw TC-3S to create a gap between the boards during installation. This is needed because the boards will likely expand as they acclimate to a more humid environment.

If you have any questions about fastener compatibility, the lumber professionals at Tiger Claw are ready to help you identify the best product for your project.

Free Tiger Jaw With ProClip Bucket Purchase

Tiger Jaw and ProClip Promotion

Tiger Jaw Install Tool

Tiger Jaw Installation Tool — FREE with Purchase of ProClip Bucket

For a limited time, we are offering the Tiger Jaw Installation Tool for FREE with every purchase of a 1,400 sq/ft Tiger Claw ProClip Bucket.

The Tiger Jaw allows for faster and easier installation of drive-in fasteners that require at least an 1/8″ gap. It is compatible with the Tiger Claw TC-3, TC-4 and ProClip fasteners. You can learn more about the Tiger Jaw on our website here.

The ProClip and Tiger Jaw promotion is available on our website here

Hurry, this promotion ends March 31st!

Trex Hideaway Steel vs. Plastic – A Comparison

Trex Hideaway Plastic Fastener

Trex Hideaway Plastic Fastener

Trex Hideaway Steel Fastener

Trex Hideaway Steel Fastener

First, a little history…

Last year, Trex introduced the Hideaway hidden deck fastener for Trex pre-grooved decking. Created from stainless steel, the fastener was very popular with deck builders.

This year Trex has introduced another Hideaway fastener for their pre-grooved decking. Created with hardened plastic we expect this fastener to be popular as well.

We’ve received many questions from customers asking about the difference between the two. We’re providing the chart below to help answer some of these questions.

Characteristic Trex Hideaway Steel Fastener Trex Hideaway Plastic Fastener
Manufacturer Tiger Claw Trex
Installation One pass – The fastener is placed into the deck board and secured with a screw using a cordless drill or the Tiger Claw Installation Gun. Two pass – The fastener is inserted into one side of the deck board and partially screwed down. After the deck board is installed on the other side of the fastener, a second pass is made and the the fastener is completely tightened.
Screws Included Yes Yes
Deck Face Screws Required None – teeth on the fastener securely grab the fastener restricting vertical and lateral movement TBD – the fastener is based on a “biscuit” concept that has been around for quite some time. In the past, a criticism of this design has been lateral movement of the deck board due to material shrinkage. The solution to this problem has been to install deck screws at the end of each board to limit the lateral movement. Because this fastener is new, we don’t have any feedback on this issue. We will update this post as we receive feedback.
Compatibility with Installation Tools Yes – compatible with the Tiger Claw pneumatic installation gun – more here about compatibility No
Screw Depth in Joist 1 5/8″ at 45 degrees (35 degrees with installation gun) 1″ at 90 degrees
Technical Support (877) 873-25298 a.m. – 7 p.m., 7 days/week (800) BUY-TREX
Fastener Cost More expensive but has reduced installation (labor) time Less expensive but has additional installation (labor) time
Warranty Commercial – 25 years
Residential – 25 years
Commercial – 10 years
Residential – 25 years

What’s Our Take?

We think both fasteners will prove to be an excellent option.  The plastic fastener will make sense for the homeowner installing their own deck who is on a tighter budget and where labor time is not a consideration.

The steel fastener will continue to be popular with contractors because of the labor savings, longer commercial warranty and it’s compatibility with the pneumatic installation gun.

You can buy both Trex fasteners on our website here.

To learn more about selecting the right hidden fasteners for your specific needs, call us toll-free at 888-349-4660 or send an e-mail to As always, feel free to leave your comments below.

Updated Tiger Claw Compatibility List

Just a quick note that we have updated our compatibility list for the Tiger Claw TC-2, TC-3, and TC-4S.  We are expecting to have the lists for the TC-G and TC-120 done in the next couple of days.  See the links below for more information.

As always, feel free to call us toll free at 888-349-4660 for more information.

Tiger Jaw – Stock Status


UPDATE – 7/15/10: Great news! Tiger Jaws are back in stock and ready to ship.

UPDATE – 7/12/10: Boo! Hiss! Tiger Jaws are out of stock again. We are expecting Jaws to ship on July 26th. We apologize for the inconvenience.

UPDATE – 5/17/10:Hooray!! Tiger Jaws are back in stock. We have 45+ in stock as of today. Thank you for your patience!

UPDATE – 5/10/10: Unfortunately, Tiger Jaws still remain on Backorder. Our expected receipt and shipment date is now May 14th. We do apologize to our customers for this delay. This is a very popular product and has been extremely difficult to stock. Please know we are doing everything possible to get stock. Because of the demand, we have updated our current order to 50 Tiger Jaws. Once we receive our order we should be set for a while. Thank you for you understanding.

UPDATE – 5/2/10: We received word this morning that the Jaw ship date has moved to May 7th.

UPDATE – 4/26/10:You know what they say about the best laid plans…sigh….  Unfortunately, we are out of stock on Tiger Jaws again.  “The Jaw” has proven to be an immensely popular tool.  We have 25 Jaws on order and are awaiting delivery (they are currently back-ordered).   We are expecting to be able to ship Jaws again on May 5th.

UPDATE – 4/5/10:We now have 14 Tiger Jaws in stock. We do not expect (hopefully) any further stock issues with Tiger Jaws for the remainder of the season. If you have an existing order in place, your order will ship today. Please accept our apology for the delay. New orders, as always with all Tiger Claw products, will ship same or next business day.

UPDATE – 4/5/10: We are currently out of stock on Tiger Jaws.  However, we expect to have 15 more mid-week (April 7th or 8th).  Once these 15 are gone, we are not expecting more stock until early May.

If you placed your order on the 2nd, 3rd or 4th of April, we have already reserved a Jaw for you and will be shipping it on the 7th or 8th.

For future orders, if you place your order online, we will hold a Jaw for you and ship it when they arrive this week.

When we run out of the 15 Jaws that we are expecting, we will update this post again.

UPDATE – 3/9/10: We have a full stock of Tiger Jaws available.

UPDATE – 12/23/09: We now have a limited number of Tiger Jaws available and expect more in early January. If you would like to confirm availability, please give us a call at (888) 349-4660 (8 – 5 CST, M-F).

We’ve received word that the Tiger Jaw is out of stock until 12/22/09. Of course you can still order and we will ship out the Jaw just as soon as it is back in stock. There is a possibility that it will be in stock sooner. As the stock status changes, we will update this post.

For more information about the Tiger Jaw, see our previous post