How to Use Drywall Screws for Pocket Screws

Drywall screws work great as pocket screws.
Drywall screws work great as pocket screws. (Image: screws image by Sergey Minaev from

Pocket screws are used with a boring machine that drills holes slanting horizontally through the face of wood. The "pocket" is the hole where the screw head fits. Normally, pocket screws have a small head to fit down inside the hole, but you can use drywall screws if you take a minute to size the end of the hole with a drill. You can adapt any drywall screw to be used as a pocket screw.

Things You'll Need

  • Pocket boring machine
  • Oak hardwood, 3/4-by-3-by-12 inches
  • Cordless drill
  • Phillips tip

Video of the Day

Drill the hole normally in the wood with a pocket boring drill.

Place a Phillips head tip on a cordless drill.

Insert the Phillips tip into the pocket and turn on the drill. As the drill is spinning turn the handle of the drill in a circular motion, angling the tip inside the pocket as you bore the pocket out bigger.

Pull the drill out. Insert the drywall screw. Screw the drywall screw down as far as it will go into the hole.

Measure the length of the screw sticking out of the pocket. If it it is any less than 1/2 inch, remove the screw and bore out the hole more until you have up to 3/4-inch penetration.

Tips & Warnings

  • Start out with the same length of screw. If your pocket boring machine is set for 1½-inch pocket screws, use a 1½-inch drywall screw.
  • Always wear safety glasses when working with wood.
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