How to Use Drill Screws


Drill screws come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are used for multiple applications. As the popularity of the cordless drill began to catch on with woodworkers and do-it-yourself types, the drill screw craze was right on its heels. Drill screws are fasteners used in the construction and assembly of wood, metal, plastic, and just about any other material used in construction projects. For most applications, a pilot hole is drilled into the material with a drill screw to prevent splitting.

Things You'll Need

  • Drill screwdriver
  • Phillips head drill screw adapter
  • Flat head drill screw adapter
  • Select the proper type of screws to be used for the specific type of material and application. The material a drill screw is designed to be used with is indicated on the box or packaging of the screws. Some drill screws are suitable for multiple materials, which will also be indicated on the packaging label.

  • Select the proper size drill screw for the application to be used. If hanging heavy material, estimate the total weight the screw will be holding, and determine the proper size drill screw to be used by referring to the drill screw packaging label.

  • With the drill bit size indicated on the drill screw package, drill a small pilot hole into the material to be fastened. The pilot hole will allow the drill screw a hole to start into, and prevent the material from spilling or breaking as the drill screw is installed.

  • Start the drill screw using an electric or cordless drill driver with the appropriate drill screw adapter installed. If the drill screw is a Phillips head screw, use the Phillips head drill screw adapter. If the drill screw is a regular flat head screw, use the flat head drill screw adapter.

  • Drill the screw until the head is flush with the material being fastened. If using the screw as a hanger for some other object, leave enough of the drill screw head exposed to hang the item.

  • Continue installing drill screws into the material until the project is completed.

Tips & Warnings

  • If available, a Phillips head drill screw will allow more torque to be applied for installation and removal than a regular flat head drill screw.
  • To prevent inadvertent operation causing hand injury, disconnect the power or remove the battery from an electric or cordless drill while changing the bit or chuck.

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  • Photo Credit Electric drill with a drill on a white background image by terex from screws image by Eldin Muratovic from screws image by Tomasz Plawski from drill bit on black marble image by phizics from man drilling image by palms from cordless screwdriver image by robert mobley from wood screw image by AGphotographer from
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