Wood screws vs. drywall screws
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Because they're threaded the full length, drywall screws can actually force two pieces of wood apart slightly.
2 of 3
Wood screws have a smooth shank that makes it easier to pull two pieces of wood together.
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Predrill holes for screws with countersink bits to avoid splitting the wood or snapping the screw.
Wood screws are better than drywall
screws for woodworking projects.
Drywall screws are made of hardened,
brittle steel, and the shaft will
often snap during installation, especially
if they're screwed into hardwoods.
That can be a disaster when
you're working with finished material
and you want to remove the screw
to reposition something—it's nearly
impossible to get the broken-off
shank out of the wood without damaging
the surface. Drywall screws are
hardened so that the Phillips slots
won't strip out under the stress from
high-speed screw guns. Wood screws
are thicker and made of softer metal,
making them more snap-resistant.
Different thread patterns
make the screws work slightly
differently too. Wood screws
are smooth rather than
threaded just below the
screwhead. The smooth
section of the shank
slides by the top half
of the wood so the
head of the screw
and the threads can
more or less clamp both pieces of wood together.
Drywall screws are threaded
nearly all the way to the head. When
you use a drywall screw to fasten two
boards, the top threads will anchor in
the top board and sometimes actually
keep the two boards apart unless
the two pieces are tightly clamped to
The bad news is that using wood
screws requires a little more prep
work. You not only need to drill a
pilot hole for the threads but
also a wider counterbore
hole the length of the
and then a countersink
hole for setting
the head. Sound
like a lot of work? Just
buy a set of three countersinking
and they'll handle all three drilling
chores at once for most common
screw sizes. No more excuses for using the wrong screw.