We use cookies on this site to enhance your user experience. By clicking "I AGREE" below, you are giving your consent for us to set cookies. Privacy Policy

The Strong-Drive® SDPW DEFLECTOR Screw: A Complete Solution for Non-Load-Bearing Wall Fastening

Introducing the Strong-Drive SDPW Deflector Screw from Simpson Strong-Tie — a premium structural fastening solution for connecting non-load-bearing walls to trusses and joists. With tested lateral-load ratings that meet building code requirements, the SDPW screw is value engineered for strength, installation speed and safety. Offset Driver Bits and a driver extension maximize installation speed and safety while minimizing installed cost. The SDPW’s polymer sleeve allows for sliding during deflection, preventing squeaks. The SDPW is designed for superior performance, and it’s backed by the best service and product support in the industry.

SDPW Deflector Solution: US Patent 8,458,972


SawTooth point US features Image
Available in 3 1/2", 5" and 6" lengths (6" with SawTooth™ point US Patent 9,523,383 shown)
3 1/2 length
3 1/2" length
5 length
5" length
>3/8 x 5 Drill Bit for predrilling
3/8" x 5" Drill Bit for predrilling
Bit Extension for overhead installations Image
18" Bit Extension for overhead installations — no ladder needed

Easy to Install

Installation Step 1

Step 1

Attach extension with drill bit to drill/driver motor.

Installation Step 2

Step 2

Predrill into top plate only.

Installation Step 3

Step 3

Replace drill bit with offset bit.

Installation Step 4

Step 4

Drive SDPW Deflector Screw through predrilled top plate and into the truss or ceiling joist.

Customer Testimonial

“The new SDPW Deflector screw that Simpson Strong-Tie has designed is a game changer. Not only does it cut the labor time in about half, but this deflector screw promotes safety because there is no longer a need for a ladder.”Scott Steinhilber
C&CS Framing, LLC

Why Use the SDPW Deflector Screw?

The Problem

Non-load-bearing, full height partition walls are installed with a gap between the top plate of the wall and the supporting member, which is commonly a ceiling joist, truss chord, bridging, or the floor diaphragm framing of the floor above in multistory structures. The gap is critical to permit differential movements associated with building settlement, load-bearing wall shortening, floor loading changes (above and below) and seasonal arching of joists and truss chords. Non-load-bearing, full height, partition walls are fastened to the floor at the bottom of the wall. At the top of the wall, non-load-bearing partition walls should be fastened to the supporting member with a connection that permits differential movement (M) to prevent visible partition separation (see Note) that usually occurs at the top of the wall and to prevent imposing gravity loads on a wall that is not designed for gravity loading. The installation of non-load-bearing, full height partition walls for residential structures also must provide resistance to horizontal forces (F2 direction). Both the IRC and IBC require that in the absence of other lateral design loads, full-height partition walls must resist a horizontal pressure of 5 psf.

F<sub>1</sub>, F<sub>2</sub> — Lateral Forces; M — Vertical Deflections
F1, F2 — Lateral Forces; M — Vertical Deflections

The SDPW Deflector Screw Solution

The SDPW Deflector Screw makes a connection that slips on demand with vertical displacements of the floor or the supporting ceiling joist or truss chord while providing resistance to horizontal forces in the F2 direction.

When installed, the SDPW Deflector Screw connects the non-load-bearing partition wall with a gap between the top plate of the wall and the supporting joist or truss. The SDPW Deflector Screw installation also includes a head offset from the bottom of the top plate. The gap between the top plate of the wall and supporting joist or truss is intended to prevent the wall for taking gravity load from the supporting joist or truss. The SDPW Deflector Screw installed with the gap and head offset accommodates the upward and downward differential movements of the supporting joist or truss with seasonal moisture fluctuations and loading changes, as well as movements due to floor load changes, exterior wall shortening and building settlement.

Note: Preventing damage to gypsum board due to building movements requires appropriate detailing of gypsum board installation.

SDPW Deflector Screw solution with Vertical Movement and Direction of Deflection
SDPW Deflector Screw solution with Vertical Movement and Direction of Deflection

SDPW Deflector Screw Solution Advantages


Installation of the SDPW Deflector Screw solution involves driving a single screw per connection point up through the partition wall top plate and into the supporting member. The single SDPW Deflector Screw provides equivalent load capacity as alternative methods using metal clips installed with several fasteners per connection point.


Non-load-bearing, full-height partition walls require being secured to resist lateral forces, while providing the ability to allow for vertical deflection as a result of vertical forces. There are existing hardware connector and fastener solutions, but the Strong-Drive SDPW Deflector Screw single-fastener-per-joist solution provides a comprehensive, more efficient solution.


Many alternative deflection solutions are limited as to which partition-wall connection they can be applied. A single length deflection screw solution is often applicable to a specific connection configuration. The SDPW Deflector Screw is available in three sizes providing solutions for various top-of-wall configurations:

5 Strong-Drive SDPW Deflector Screw installed through built-up top plate.
5" Strong-Drive SDPW Deflector Screw installed through built-up top plate.
3 1/2 Image

3 1/2"

3 1/2" length for single 2x plate connections, provide up to a 3/4" gap (between top plate and truss/joist)

5 Image


5" length for built-up top plate (single 2x plus 3/4" member, to be connected per code), providing a 0" to 1 1/2" gap

6 Image


6" length for (2) 2x top plate connections, providing a 0" to 1 1/2" gap

SDPW Deflector Screws installed with the Offset Driver Bit are set with the head 0.75" offset from the underside of the top plate to allow for vertical movements up and down.

Note: Float the ceiling drywall end as per standard industry practice.

Reduce Callbacks

Helps prevent costly callbacks. Studies have shown that improperly connected partition walls can lead to cracks in attached drywall when loading or environmental forces are applied. A partition wall fastened with SDPW Deflector Screws and with drywall correctly detailed will facilitate differential movements without damage to the drywall. Deflection solutions involving metal-on-metal fastening are prone to squeaking when movement occurs. SDPW Deflector Screw Solution’s polymer sleeve acts as a friction barrier between the fastener and top plate, thus preventing squeaks.

5 Strong-Drive SDPW Deflector Screw installed through built-up top plate.
Prevents movement-related squeaks.