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Screw Comparison Guide
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Use this Screw Comparison Chart to help choose the right screw that best fits your application. Compare Screw Heads, Screw Threads and size for either Interior or Exterior applications.

Lube Finished Screws

Application: Great for most standard interior applications. Choose from either Square Drive or Square-X Screws. Lube finish reduces friction for easier installation.
Head: Flat Head
Thread: Deep Thread
Size: #6, #8, #10

Trim Head Square Drive

Application: Trim Molding. Finish nail look with the power of a screw.

Head: Small 3/16" Trim Head
Thread: Deep Thread
Size: #6

Slide Mounting Screws

Application: Ball bearing slides and catches, drawer slides, shelf supports. Low profile head won't interfere with guide operation. Strong holding power.
Head: Truss Head
Thread: Deep Thread
Size: #6

Truss Head Break Away

Application: Knobs and Pulls. Breaks away in 1/4'. Great where length of screw is not pre-determined.
Head: Truss Head
Thread: Machine Thread
Size: #8

Drawer Pull Screws

Application: Used for drawer knobs and pulls. Holds knobs and pulls secure.

Head: Truss Head
Thread: Machine Thread
Size: #8

Kreg Washer Head Face Frame Screws - Coarse

Application: Pocket screw joints & general purpose. Self-drilling feature. Large bearing surface helps prevent overdriving.

Head: Washer Head
Thread: Coarse (for softwoods)
Size: #8

Kreg Washer Head Face Frame Screws - Fine

Application: Pocket screw joints & general purpose. Self-drilling auger tip feature. Large bearing surface helps prevent overdriving.

Head: Washer Head
Thread: Fine (for hardwoods)
Size: #7

Large Round Washer Head Screws

Application: Drawer fronts. Washer head covers oversized hole in drawer box, allowing for drawer front adjustment.

Head: Large Washer Head
Thread: Deep Thread
Size: #8

Painted Head Screws

Application: Hanging Cabinets. Helps screw heads "blend in" when hanging white melamine, painted plywood or natural wood cabinets.

Head: Truss Head
Thread: Deep Thread
Size: #10

Solid Brass Screws

Application: Decorative complement to solid brass hardware. Polished and lacquered to prevent tarnish. Decorative.

Head: Flat Head
Thread: Wood Screw Thread
Size: #2, #3, #4, #5, #6

Confirmat Screws

Application: Particle board. Large bore and extra-coarse threads offer superior hold in particle board.

Head: Pan Head or Flat Head
Thread: Deep Thread
Size: 7mm x 2" or 7mm x 2-3/4"

Sure Drive Composite Deck Screws Kreg Blue-Kote Weather Resistant Screws

Application: Exterior pocket hole joinery, furniture and construction. Three anti-corrosion layers produce exceptional weather resistance. Auger tip.

Head: Washer Head
Thread: Coarse Thread
Size: #8

Kreg Stainless Steel Pan Head Screws

Application: Exterior pocket hole joinery, furniture and construction. Recommended for cedar and treated lumber. Auger point for extra fast start.

Head: Pan Head
Thread: Coarse thread
Size: #8

Trim Head Stainless Steel Square Drive Screws

Application: Exterior trim - recommended for cedar and treated lumber. Small heads are perfect for low profile. Corrosion resistant.

Head: Trim Head
Thread: Coarse Thread
Size: #7

Screw Heads

Here are top and side views of many of the screw-head styles you'll encounter. Top row, left to right: flat head, flat head with a separate finishing washer, washer head, and truss head. Bottom row, left to right: round head, oval head, pan head, fillister, and trim head.

You can buy screws with a variety of head styles to meet specific project needs and can often select the fastener with your favorite drive system. Here's a quick rundown on the uses for the most popular types.

Flat-Head Screws:

Probably the most common style and are used in a wide variety of applications, from general construction to fastening tiny hinges. The head is typically flat with the surface of the wood, or it can be driven into the bottom of a counterbore and concealed with a plug. It's also the right choice to use with finishing washers.

Trim-Head Screws:

Look like finishing nails and can be used wherever you need the holding power of a screw but also require an unobtrusive look.

Round-Head Screw:

Gives you the broadened holding strength of a washer under a screw head but without the inconvenience of purchasing and handling a separate piece of hardware. By spreading the pressure, the washer-head screw avoids concentrated stresses that could crack plastics or damage thin wood products.

Oval-Head Screws:

Mount with their smooth top just above the wood's surface. This gives a decorative look and also prevents the snags produced by flat-head screws that aren't fully countersunk. The oval head finds extensive use holding trim to boats.

Pan-Head Screws:

Have a flat surface under the head that improves holding power when you mount hardware such as drawer slides. Using a screw diameter smaller than the mounting hole in the hardware gives you some adjustability.

Truss-head screws:

Feature an even larger washer surface for improved holding power. Truss heads are excellent for attaching false drawer fronts - large head hides an oversized hole that permits adjustment. Truss heads also provide excellent holding power when driven through the thin plywood backs of wall-mounted cabinets.

Power Drive Bits

Phillips Power Bits
Phillips Power Bits

Slotted Screw Power Bits

Hex Head Power Bits
Square Driver Power Bits

Our quality Power Bits and Screws Team Up for Better Results!

A truly non-slip system is only possible with a driver and screw designed to be used together. That's why we offer hardened-tip drivers with quality screws!

Excerpted from Taunton's Complete Illustrated Guide to Hardware Copyright 2003

The rolled-thread screw and cut-thread pattern are two dominant fastener designs used by woodworkers.

Deep-Thread Pattern: (Also called Rolled thread). This style is manufactured by slimming the screw's shank (in comparison to the cut-thread patter wood screw). Excellent all-purpose design for solid wood, plywood, medium-density fiberboard (MDF) and other manufactured panels.

Wood-Screw Thread: The thread design is similar to the deep-thread pattern but formed on a thicker shank. This design is often used on relatively soft materials such as brass or silicon bronze screws. Use this pattern instead of the deep thread when your project requires brass or bronze screws.

Double-Lead: This pattern uses two threads around the shank for increased driving speed, is commonly used on drywall screws, and sometimes has a high/low design. Pullout resistance is not as good as the deep-thread design, but you'll gain faster assembly times, especially when you're using long screws.

Cut Thread: (Also called tapered wood thread). This is the traditional wood-screw pattern, which mimics the old-fashioned process of cutting the threads into a metal rod. The unthreaded portion of the shank is the same diameter as the major diameter of the threaded portion, and the root diameter tapers to the tip. The thread depth is consistent along the length of the screw, even in the tapered portion, accentuating the pointed appearance. Good holding power in solid wood.

Tapping Thread: Although this is some-times called a "wood-tapping" screw, it is basically a sheet-metal design. Typically the threads extend from tip to head. Sheet-metal screws are generally manufactured to a higher standard than ordinary wood screws. Be sure to drill an adequate body hole in the first board to prevent a jaced joint.

Excerpted from Taunton's Complete Illustrated Guide to Hardware Copyright 2003

posted on August 15, 2013 by Rockler
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4 thoughts on “Screw Comparison Guide”

  • Dave Turnes

    This was great information- always had question about screws for the restoration my projects

  • Ruthie Samaha

    I am looking for a 1/4" brass flat head wood screw to replace
    2 that are lost on an antique sailboat. They hold the rig to the boat. The ones I have are phillips head but a flat head will work if the size is right. Please advise. Many thanks!

  • Gerry Gunraj

    Looking for caps or plugs,white , to finish number 6counter sink screw holes, preferably plastic high gloss

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