There is a wide variety of wood screws offered in the market today. However, this variety can be confusing. Without knowledge on wood screws, you might choose the wrong one which does not fit your intended woodworking needs.

Choosing the wrong one will not only cause an aesthetically unpleasing result, but may also provide you a weak grip and wood splitting. Hence, you need to know the factors you should consider prior to buying one and the best wood screws out there in the market today.

Before we get to know what to look for in a screw to fit your needs, here’s our best wood screws you can buy today.

Table of Contents

Best wood screws for woodworking in the market today

Here are our recommended wood screws. You will definitely not regret buying any of these. Just make sure that your choice fits your intended usage and needs.

1. Kreg SML-C125-500 1-1/4 inch coarse washer head self-tapping screw

The Kreg Zinc Screws is considered the best overall screw because it can perform any of your woodworking tasks, even the indoor ones. It is flexible enough to suit various woods because it comes in two thread types—fine and coarse made from carbon steel and zinc.

The said thread has a dimension of 3×4.9×4.2 inches with a 1 ¼ inch length. Plywood and other softwood won’t split because it can be drilled using the coarse threaded screw.

In terms of the head style, the Kreg screws do not have the typical conical shape, instead they have the flat bottom in the pocket hole. This allows force application in the screw’s tip. Overdriving towards the pocket hole is prevented, thanks to the washer head feature.

Pros

  • Does not rust
  • Impressive holding power
  • Bearing surface at its maximum
  • With self-tapping feature, drills the hole by itself

Cons

  • can split the ends

2. Black Wood Screws RH-5112BO-A Truss

Constructed from wax and oxide, this Black Wood Screw is a reliable one. It has an amazingly sharp product with deep and clean thread and slots. Originating from the US, this screw also has an easy diving, thanks to its waxing feature. This easy driving allows driving into stainless steel items with strong holding power.

Moreover, because of the screw’s smooth and fine finish, it is aesthetically pleasing for the material, making it the ideal screw for furniture repairs such as curtain rods and railings. Packed by 50s, the screw weighs around 2.88 ounces.

Pros

  • Sturdy
  • Does not have bur

Cons

  • Head size needs improvement

3. Rok Hardware 8 x ½ inch wood work

Rok hardware is your best choice for plywood and medium-density fiberboard (MDF) works. For plywood use, Rok Hardware has good gripping. In terms of plastic and particle board composite use, it has an amazing holding power.

Despite its affordable price, you can also trust its reliability for various woodworking uses. The drive and screws are made from Philips and zinc finishes, respectively. With a 4.8-ounce weight and dimension of 4.4 x 4.3 x 0.5 inches, its threads can hold properly.

It can fasten sliders with its completely flat head. The head is a combination of width and shallowness. That is why it is popular for drawer use as this allows smooth closing and opening of drawers without issues of catching.

Pros

  • Good quality, wide enough truss head
  • With washer feature for movement during hole misplacement

Cons

  • Expensive

4. Hard-to-find fastener Philips flat twinfast wood screws

This wood screw has a steel plate construction with a light zinc plating over it. Hence, in terms of rust-resistance, this brand is the winner. The manufacturer of this item is popular for making screws and fasteners for various applications ranging from industrial, farming, business, and residential use.

It has a flat head style with half a length width and a black phosphate finish. It can penetrate even the hardest of woods, and correctly works with a saddle finisher. Moreover, it has a sharp point and can complement woods’ colors.

Pros

  • Sturdy
  • Does not strip
  • Ideal for light projects and DIYs

Cons

  • Somewhat expensive
  • Not ideal for heavy woodworks

5. WoodPro fasteners 2-1/2 inch

WoodPro fastener is the best option if you want the strongest wood screw which can smoothly go through any wood with no need for pre-drilling. Because it is a strong and reliable screw, it can be used for various kinds of applications.

The coating can even be used on treated lumber. Hence, it is an all-purpose high-quality screw, and can be used whether for interior or exterior use. Moreover, it can give you clean finishes because of its nibs under the head.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Self-drilling
  • Impressive holding power
  • Has a Stardrive recess for wood-stripping prevention
  • With Golden Electro-Polyseal coating for various weather conditions

Cons

  • Star heads lack strength

6. GRK CAB8212HP Cabinet HandyPak 8 by 2-1/2 inch

From the name itself, GRK CAB8212HP Cabinet HandyPak wood screws work well for cabinetry application. With its patented coating, with 12.8-ounce weight, it is designed specifically for the said task. It is not ideal for material splitting because of its thin dimension at 8x4x2 inches.

In terms of strength, it has enough strength and can produce secure construction with the W-cut and self-tapping tread design. The washer head makes a flush in opposition to the material’s surface. You’ll also get an elegant look because of the dark brass finish.

Pros

  • Zip tip is sharp
  • Bit T-15 included
  • Can be used both for interior and exterior application
  • With climate coating for various weather condition and rust-resistance

Cons

  • Not ideal for heavy works

7. FastenMaster FMGD003-75 GuardDog- 3-inch exterior wood screw

Its name, FastenMaster is justified by its ease-of-use which can swiftly perform wood decking tasks. Its sharp bottom point aids this easy and quick installation. Aside from this advantage, it is also a multi-purpose screw which has been proven to work well in redwood, cedar, or pressure-treated ACQ.

Manufactured in China, this 1.1-pound, 4.5x3x2 screw has robust gripping power since it is fully-threaded. The head style allows for versatility. In terms of quality, this 3-inch screw that comes in gold color does not disappoint with its reliability and durability.

Pros

  • No pre-drilling required
  • Great results on softwoods
  • Anti-rusting and anti-corrosion
  • Package includes a PoziSquare drive
  • With coating for stripping prevention

Cons

  • Easily bends

8. Bolt dropper 6 x ¾ xylan coated stainless flat head Phillips’s wood screw

The Bolt Dropper is one of the trusted products in terms of durability. It is durable and provides quality and longevity, thanks to its flat head and stainless-steel construction.  Aside from its 18-8 stainless steel construction, it also has Xylan coating.

With this, the brand claims a 100% quality with secure gripping ability and has great ratings for both interior and exterior woodworking projects. The screw works best on particle boards and MDFs with a full threaded system.

Pros

  • Comes in various sizes
  • Ideal even for saltwater areas
  • Fit for composite or wood materials
  • Less to no-stripping with the Philips drive
  • Corrosion-free, convenient for various weather conditions

Cons

  • Not affordable
  • Requires pre-drilling for tighter grips

9. WoodPro fasteners 1-1/2 inch wood screws

With a weight of 1 pound, this model from WoodPro is also a great quality product, and is best for self-tapping. The brand is known for manufacturing fasteners in the US as early as 1995. It comes in 210 pieces with a T-20 Star bit of 25 mm included in the package.

The screws work perfectly on various types of wood materials. It is very durable and remains intact because it is coated by Golden Electro Polyseal from PPG Industries. It glides in the woods with no slippage issues.

Pros

  • Self-tapping
  • Ideal for thin materials
  • No pre-drilling needed, screw’s sharpness at type 17
  • Salty environment prevention for at least 1000 hours
  • Even and clean self-countersinking on various material types

Cons

  • Screw head inferior to other products

10. Lightning stainless 8” deck screws

Since this screw is rust-free because of its 18-8 stainless steel construction, it is best for outdoor use. It has dimensions of 3 x 1 x 6 inches with a 0.340” diameter and 6.4 ounces weight. The screw’s drive has a squared socket called Robertson/Square/Scrulox drive.

This helps in slippage prevention. Even in rough environments, the screws work best because of their slim planks. It consists of a shank and has various driver shapes allowing them to have different widths and lengths. The square-shaped heads can tightly hold materials and prevent stripping.

Deck screws are also known for easy wood diving because of their lubricant treatment. Hence using deck screws are effective for outdoor works without damage in the application.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Not expensive
  • Easily countersinks
  • Self-laying and self-drilling
  • Has a non-corrosive coating
  • With narrow and sharp points, not needing pilot hole drills

Cons

  • Not strong holding power
Wood deck screws on a treated wood board

Why should you use screws and not nails?

Screws and nails each have their own pros and cons and specific uses. In terms of efficiency, nails are more efficient compared to screws because you can use a nail gun with the former. Meanwhile, in terms of structural strength, screws have an advantage.

For instance, a drywall screw with a carbon steel construction is tougher and has higher resistance compared to nails. That is why nails are just used for decorative purposes while screws are used for cabinets and workbenches. It is because screws make it easy and quick to assemble stuff.

The difference between metal screws and wood screws

Although they have the same use and function, metal screws and wood screws have various properties.

Metal screws

Metal screws are designed to fasten hard plastics and metal-based materials. These are self-tapping and can be used for attaching sheet metal to plastic, wood, metal, fiberglass, etc.  It can also be used to attach brackets, hasps, and hinges.

It is best to use metal screws for metal materials as these are seldom pre-drilled with holes. With the self-tapping capability of metal screws, it can easily pierce thin metals, as well as withstand stress of holding it and providing a firm grip for a long period of time. It is fully threaded to optimize grip and security.

Wood screws

Wood screws are designed to fasten various kinds of wood such as plywood and lumber. It can attach softer materials as well as hardware to wood. For the latter, a pilot hole must be drilled to accommodate the screw’s unthreaded portion. 

Wood screws are flexible enough to be used in various applications. Because of its sharp point, it can dig into wood. Wood screws are also usually partially threaded allowing for attaching two pieces without causing damage.

Types of woodworking screws

Each type of wood screw serves a different purpose. It is important to know the types first before purchasing one.

Wood screw

  • Affordable
  • Tapered head for a smooth finish
  • May have a smooth or threaded shank
  • Comes in various head shapes and diameters
  • Most commonly found screws in hardware shops

Drywall screw

  • Affordable
  • Delicate, has a thin shank
  • Best used for shop or jigs project
  • Available in almost all hardware stops
  • Snaps easily if used on hardwood, not ideal for heavy projects
  • With a bulged head shape, and threaded and fully-wrapped shank

Production screws

  • A multi-purpose screw
  • Does not slip nor split the wood
  • May have square or star drive types
  • Durable, constructed from hard steel
  • Comes with a driver that fits its head
  • Considered as one of the most expensive types
  • No need for pilot holes; has self-drilling tips

Deck screws

  • Provides a strong hold
  • With sharp screw point or tip
  • With corrosion-prevention properties
  • Best for outdoor works like woodwork
  • Can survive varying weather temperature
  • May be constructed from hard steel or copper
  • With deep threading wrapped around the shanks
  • May be used for both hardwood and softwood fastening

Stainless steel screw

  • Better than deck screws in terms of corrosion resistance
  • Can withstand harsh weather conditions such as in marine areas

Sheet metal screw

  • Tiny size
  • Thread wraps the screw’s shank
  • A good alternative to wood screw
  • Pointed and sharp tip which can easily be installed in a sheet metal
  • The same features with wood screw, with the difference of having a pan head type

Pocket screw

  • Remains firmly attached
  • Has self-drilling capability
  • A square-type driver included
  • Wide head attached to its even shoulder
  • Can work firmly, even with woods with pocket holes

Machine screws

  • Does not have points
  • Has a thread-per-inch marking
  • Not commonly used in woodworking projects
  • Commonly used for holding already-tapered boards

Points to consider when choosing a wood screw

Here are some factors and points you should consider to choose the wood screw appropriate for your project needs.

Material construction

Prior to choosing the material of the screw, consider first where you are going to use it. Screws for indoor usage are less expensive than the ones made for outdoor use. Hence, those constructed from zinc which are fit for indoor use are generally more affordable than bronze with stainless steel and silicon coating which are fit for outdoors.

Length

The screw’s size is its length annotation. Choosing the appropriate screw size is essential. As a guide, the screw’s length should be half of the surface material’s bottom. Moreover, do not forget to consider the screw’s gauge or diameter.

Head

This is considered as the screw’s essential part. When choosing the head, consider its drive type and head shape. The latter impacts the screw’s output.

Drive type

The most common types of drive include flathead, Phillips, square, and trox.

Flathead screw

The flathead screw is also known as a slotted screw because of the slot on the top of its head. A flathead screwdriver or a power tool can be used in this. The latter is used when a screwdriver poses difficulties.

Phillips screws

It is easy to drive and the head stays in place. This type of screw has been in the market since the start of the 20th century. However, it is not durable and may ruin the driver. Make sure that the driver used is the same size as that of the screw head to avoid ruining it.

Square drive

Also known as the Robertson screw, this is an upgraded version from the flathead and the Phillips screw. It has a square size top shape and produces driver slippage and no cam-out. You can more easily find it in Canada than in the US.

Start drive screw

Also known as Trox Drive, it has become more popular because of its star shape at the top. The said shape prevents slippage and no cam-out. It can sustain great torque, is of premium quality and does not easily break even if thoroughly tightened.

Head shape

Round head and flat head are the most common screw head shapes you can find.

Flathead screws

Also known as slotted screws, these have flat heads and can take all drives with a diagonal head. This type has no splitting issues.

Roundhead screws

Roundhead screws are also known as Panhead, and are constructed for shallow domes.

Thread

Thread count

Also called pitch, this is another factor worthy of consideration. It is measured in thread per inch (TPI), wherein a higher count means better threads. A lower count or means thinner metric screws. The TPI measurement is commonly used in the USA. 

Aside from this, dual, serrated and twin thread are other terminologies you might encounter and this aids in splitting lessening. Moreover, these provided quicker, better fastening, and easy driving. You can choose between coarse and fine threaded screws, and it is an important consideration

Coarse threaded screw

These have more gaps in between the threads and are more suited for plywood and dry-wall. In terms of fitting and removing, this is generally less time-consuming.

Fine threaded screws

These have smaller space along each thread, giving you a tighter hole. With this, it is best used for hardwood, and can be used with nuts and pre-tapped holes as well. In terms of fitting and removing, this is more time-consuming.

Shank number

The shank refers to the part where the threads are wrapped around. A higher number indicates a thick shank diameter. 6, 8, and 10 are the most common shank sizes, the number you should buy depends on the size you need.

Screw point

Pointed tip screws

Normally used for woodworking jobs, because of its accurate drilling capability.

Split point screw

Also known as a self-drilling screw and is used for wood cutting like a drill bit, and it can easily be used with power tools.

Type-17 Auger point

Because its point is as sharp as a needle, it provides an amazing performance and is usually seen in modern use.

Coatings and platings

There are several reasons why you should take into consideration the screw’s coatings and plating. First, it enhances the appearance, and second, it lessens friction and corrosion. 

Without coating, once exposed to moisture, the material becomes rusty.

The plating is for a bare metal screw, while coating is applicable for bare and plated metal. Bright zinc is used for plating in wood steel screws because of its corrosion resistance property. Another option for corrosion resistance is the golden yellow zinc. Black oxide plating can also be added for rust stain prevention, but it is not effective for material corrosion-resistance.

If you are going to use the screw outdoors, go with manufacturers that use high-tech coatings such as Blue-kote, Epoxy coat, HCR and weather Maxx.

Corrosion-resistance properties

To know if the product is corrosion resistant, better ask the seller. You can also ask for screw and fastener recommendations for a given wood.

Need and usage

Screws and fasteners have different uses and functions. Hence, it is important to consider what or where you are going to use the screws. Whether it is for outdoor or indoor use, or if it is for a hard, medium, thin, or thick board.

Also bear in mind what part of the deck you are going to use it for—whether it is for the blocking, framing, etc. Refer to the types of screws above to see which best suits your needs.

Frequently asked questions

Can I use fine thread drywall screws for wood?

It is okay to use it when you are driving drywall into the wood stud. However, you should not use a coarse thread drywall with a steel stud.

Which is stronger, a fine or coarse thread?

A fine thread has a smaller incline and off torque, and is not prone to be loose. Hence, it is stronger than a coarse thread.

What do you mean by pilot hole?

Commonly used terminology in working with softwood, a pilot hole is a kind of hole that is tinier than the thread’s diameter.

Is it a must to drill a hole prior to installing the screw?

Some screws come with a self-drilling capability, hence, you do not always need to drill a hole prior to installing the screw.

Which screw should I use for plywood or softwood?

Choose a self-tapping screw for plywood or softwood.

Why are wood screws best for woodworking application?

Wood screws can dig into wood because of their sharp point. This is the reason why these are best for woodworking use. Moreover, some of these are partially threaded, meaning, you can attach two wood pieces without having damage to the attached wood.

Where should I apply the clearance hole?

The clearance hole should not be applied at the bottom, like a pilot hole. Instead, it should be applied at the top workpiece and should have a slightly bigger diameter than the screw thread you will drill.

Are special screws required for pressure-treated wood?

For pressure-treated lumber, it is ideal to use stainless steel and hot-dip galvanized fasteners. To know which type of screw you should use for the material, better ask about the chemical composition used in the lumber treatment.

Bottomline

Choosing the best wood screw for your woodwork does not only provide a more aesthetic output but it also gives you good results. With the right screw type for the task, you get the best grip with minimal to now wood splitting.

Last update on 2022-06-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API