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Product Reviews – Structural Connectors


There seems to be two major companies making various structural connectors, such as deck ties, hurricane straps, etc.

Simpson Strong Tie Connectors


Simpson Strong Ties products are universally available at both Home Depot, Lowes, Sears, and other big box home improvement  stores as well as online stores.

For more than 50 years, Simpson Strong-Tie has focused on creating structural products that help people build safer and stronger homes and buildings. Considered a leader in structural systems research, testing and innovation, Simpson Strong-Tie is one of the largest suppliers of structural building products in the world.

Connectors add greater strength and safety to your project, require fewer nails for installation, and often eliminate the need for toenailing or more complicated traditional construction methods.

If you’ve never used connectors before, you may be surprised by our many products that make wood frame construction easier for both the weekend carpenter and the professional builder. Read more about connectors basics.

Even if you’ve used joist hangers, angles, or strap ties before, you may not know about all the other connectors we make for specific applications like post bases and caps, seismic and hurricane anchors, framing anchors and shelf or fence brackets. Fill all nail holes with specified fasteners before loading.

The only downside to Simpson Strong Ties is that I do not for certain where they are manufactured.

USSP / Mitek Structural Connectors


USP Structural Connectors, A MiTek company, has almost as diverse as products as Simpson Strong Ties, but is available at select locations (i.e. Lowes and smaller hardware stores and online stores).

United Steel Products Company is a metal fabricating manufacturer serving the residential and commercial building industries throughout the United States. USP’s product line encompasses over 4,000 finished part numbers: standard construction hardware for the light construction and retail/do-it-yourselfer markets, as well as a complete line of connectors for the Engineered Lumber and Plated Truss industries. This full-range product line is backed up by an in-house engineering staff, technical assistance team and Customer Service.

USP products are manufactured in three locations across the United States: Livermore, California; Montgomery, Minnesota; and Largo, Florida; and one Canadian location in Thornhill, Ontario.

Product Guideline / Brochures

Simpson Strong Ties provides extensive online product information by accessing here

The latest product performance guide between USP (now part of Mitek Structural Connectors) and Simpson products can be found at USP’s website here.

Here is my list of items that I usually have around in my shed at all times:




TIP: Some of these parts may not be available when I need them.

Rather than wasting time, hunting down parts at the last minute, I usually buy a few whenever I get a chance to have them on hand as they are inexpensive. 

If you are about to order some items from Amazon, make sure to pick up some connectors to get free shipping.

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Reference Links


Thursday 29th of May 2014

Simpson is superior to USP, in my experience. Simpson has better design, fewer defects and stronger metal


Thursday 29th of May 2014


Thanks for the comment. Do you by chance have any metallurgical data to compare USP vs Simpson brackets?

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Friday 17th of February 2012

[...] Various Structural ties / connectors [...]