Drywall Screw Tips


Drywall screws come in a variety of lengths, thread pitch, point and head type. Searching for the right type at your local home center can be time consuming, frustrating and just annoying. In general, most drywall screws will work for any application. However, if you choose a drywall screw specifically designed for your application, there is a good chance you will finish your project faster and with better quality. This article will discuss tips for choosing drywall screws.


  • The length of screw depends on the thickness of materials used. For hanging 3/8- to 5/8-inch-thick drywall on wood studs, 1 1/4-inch-long drywall screws will be sufficient.

    If the same thickness of drywall is being installed on metal studs, only 1-inch long drywall screws are sufficient.

    It is a good rule of thumb to always have a minimum of 5/8 inch of the drywall screw going into something secure like a wood stud, metal stud or furring strip. If you are screwing through multiple layers of material, measure the thickness of the layers, add 5/8 inch and the sum will identify the minimum size screw to use.

Thread Pitch

  • Drywall screws can be bought in coarse thread or fine thread. Typically coarse-thread screws are used in residential settings and fine thread screws are used in metal stud framing. In general, it is up to the drywall installer's preference.

    Coarse-thread drywall screws have slightly greater pull-out strength than fine thread screws. Due to the fewer threads, they will install faster.

    Fine-thread drywall screws have a sharper point which requires less force when starting the screw. Due to having more threads, they will install slower.

Head Type

  • The most common drywall screw head type is the Phillips head. It is estimated that 90 percent of all screws used are Phillips head.

    Other common drywall screw head types include LOX Drive, square drive and Torx Drive.

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