The Types of Heads on Wood Screws


Wood screws come in many different types, intended for many different uses. Among the parts of a wood screw that can vary is the head, or top part, of the screw, which is where the screwdriver connects to the screw in order to drive it into the wood. The heads of a screw can be shaped differently and can also be designed to receive different types of screwdrivers. Before beginning a woodworking project in which you plan to use screws, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the different types of wood screw heads.

Flathead Screws

  • The most common type of screw head is the flathead, also called the countersunk head. Flathead screws are designed to be countersunk so that they are flush with the surface of the wood. This means that a small hole must be drilled into the wood with a drill bit that will create a hole into which screw will fit perfectly. Flathead screws are also frequently used to attach hinges to wood as well.

Roundhead Screws

  • Roundhead screws have dome-shaped heads. These screws are designed to rest right above the surface of the wood. Because they will be visible, these types of screws will usually have a pleasing finish, either blue or polished. A variation of the roundhead screw is the round washer head screw, which has a washer-like lip built into the head of the screw.

Panhead Screws

  • Panhead screws, also called raised head screws, are very similar to roundhead screws except they have a more flattened top as well as completely vertical sides. They also have a flat bearing surface beneath the head, so they are useful for attaching hardware such as drawer slides and hinges.

Oval-head Screws

  • Oval-head screws are basically a hybrid between roundhead and flathead screws, with a smaller dome than roundhead screws and a flathead-style countersunk design. They are also frequently used to attach hinges and other finish hardware.

Bugle-Head Screws

  • Bugle-head screws are a more modern version of the flathead screw. While flathead screws must have a countersink hole drilled before they are driven in, bugle-head screws are designed to pull down flush in softer types of wood without the use of a countersunk hole.

Truss Head Screws

  • Truss head screws have wider heads, with a rounded top.

Drive Types

  • Several major types of screwdrives are available. Standard screw heads have a single slot. Phillips head screws have two scross-hatched slots. Pozidrive heads resemble Phillips heads except they have four small extra teeth for a better grip. Socket drives are hexagonal.

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