Can You Use Sheet Metal Screws in Plywood

Published on: June 12, 2022
Written by Eric Devin / Fact-checked by David Rowan

“Can you use sheet metal screws in plywood?” It is a common question among woodworkers as well as DIY enthusiasts. Since you have to work with different types of wooden materials, you already know that you can not put all types of screws with plywood.

Moreover, sheet metal screws come in various sizes and shapes. Therefore, not every size will be fit for the plywood you are using. They are manufactured differently to be used for different kinds of material. For a specific project with wood, you should choose a particular screw that is made for it. But if there is no wood fastener available, you should first consider how you can use a sheet metal screw instead.

can you use sheet metal screws in plywood

Here, we are about to discuss the differences between the metal screw and wood screws and if you can use a metal screw to secure two blocks of wood with it.

How Can You Use Sheet Metal Screws in Plywood?

Sheet metal screws come in different shapes and sizes. Self-tapping screws are eligible for woodworking projects involving thin metal sheets. This will help you to attach the metal to the wood firmly. If you use the self-tapping metal screw to attach a two-wood piece, the tapped opening will get larger and not make the connection solid and secure enough.

If you are using a self-tapping screw in a block of wood that already has a pilot hole, then you have to use a larger screw than the hole to secure and make a firm grip.

What Are the Differences Between Sheet Metal and Wood Screws?

The sheet metal and wood screws look almost the same at first glance. To use a metal fastener instead of a wood one, you must know their difference. 

Sheet metal screws are specially made for using on the metal plates as it is named. But it is also possible to use a sheet metal screw to attach metals. As they are designed for metal, you do not have to work hard to drive in the metal. It will connect two metals firmly and give the joint strength. You can also use metal fasteners for plastic, fiberglass, wood, or other materials. 

On the other hand, the wood screws are designed for wood materials. You can use them on every type of wood material like plywood, lumber, and other wood types. 

A visual difference between them is their threads. The metal screws have sharp lines all over its body. The lines have more pitches, and they are tighter and deeper. These types of lines on the pin make the screw have a good grip in joining. 

Furthermore, wood screws typically have shorter threading than metal screws. Like a metal fastener, some wood screws have threaded through the entire body, and they are much wider than the metal screw. Some wood screws do not have threads through the whole body. It has a threadless shank on the upper side. At the same time, the lines on the body of the wood metal screw are tighter, medium-depth. 

A partially threaded body allows connecting two pieces of wood more securely without causing damage to the wood and saving it from cracking. These are also used to attach the rugged metal hardware with the wood piece. 

Metal screws are ideal for self-tapping that can attach metal but other materials like plastic fiberglass wood firmly. But wooden screws are not self-tapping, so they can’t be used instead of the metal screw.

Will a Sheet Metal Screw Hold in Wood?

It is impossible if you want to use the metal screw in the wood material and the wood screw in the metal. The two types of screws are not interchangeable. You can use a sheet metal screw instead of a wood metal screw, but the opposite can’t be done. 

With a wood screw making a solid bond in metal or glass and plastic is not possible as they have wider threads, and some have a threadless shank on the upper body and are not self-tapping. 

But the metal sheet fastener has self-tapping properties. It needs no pilot hole before they are designed to drill their pilot hole. So they can easily use wood, glass, and metal to make a strong bonding among the two different materials made.

What Screws to Use on Plywood?

Plywood is the most commonly used to build wooden products like furniture, house construction, fixing stores, etc. You may need to attach another plywood or other material to attach during these. The screw is the best option for that. But there is a huge variety in screws too.

It is best to choose the wood metal screw for woodwork, as we said before. You should also go for the one designed for wood for a plywood project. If you do not have a wood metal screw, you can also use sheet metal screw-on plywood. They will also work on plywood goods.

How to Use Sheet Metal Screws for Wood Project?

Rather than a metal material, you are also able to use sheet metal screws in wood. These are specially made for use on more rigid materials like metal, fiberglass, and wood. If you intend to apply a metal screw on the wood, you must be careful whether it is damaged or cracked. 

Tools You Will Need

First, prepare all the necessary tools and equipment you will need for the project. You will need-

Process of How You Can Use a Sheet Metal Screw in Wood

The method of using a self-tapping sheet metal fastener in a wood piece or plywood are described step by step below

Step 1: Safety First

For safety, it is essential to put on safety glasses and gloves before you start work. They will protect your eyes from the grain-produced drilling holes in the wood and the hands.

Step 2: Choose a Leveled & Steady Working Area

Place the wood on sawhorses or a sturdy table. If you do not have them, look for a labeled place on the floor around your working area. And then place the wood piece there to keep it steady on the surface.

Step 3: Measure and Mark

Start from the one end of the piece. Measure six inches from the top and the side and make an X mark with a marker. Here in the marked area, you have to apply the screw.

Step 4: Make the Hole

Take a drill bit and drill in the marked spot. The hole should be smaller in diameter than the screws you have to choose for your project. Slowly make holes in the wood. Do not make a hurry when drilling, or you will end up splitting and damaging the wood. Make enough holes on the entire surface as you need.

Step 5: Insert the Screw in the Hole

Take a head drill bit and hold the screw on the tip of the hole you have made earlier. Set the drill at a slow speed. Start tapping the screw in the spot slowly. Drill the fastener in the hole until it gets even with the wood surface.

Step 6: Sand the Ends

Finally, take sandpaper and sand around the screw to make even the sharp ends of the fastener.


1. What Screws Can You Use on Plywood?

To use on plywoods, the steel screws are the best. Additionally, it will prevent the plywood from cracking. When you are using the screws on the outdoors, make sure to use the coated ones. It will prevent rusting. Also, these screws are durable and won’t move around.

2. Can You Use Self-tapping Sheet Metal Screws in Wood?

Though it is more suitable for hard surfaces like-brick, stone, and sheet metal, you can use it for plywoods. The only problem is, the wood may not hold the plywood very well due to its sharp edges. Self-tapping screws can dig their hole as necessary. You do not need to pre-hole when using one of them.

3. Do You Need to Pre Drill Sheet Metal Screws?

It depends on the type of sheet metal screw you are using. There are both self-tapping and standard versions available on the market. With the self-tapping version, you do not need to pre drill. But the standard version needs pre-drilling.


Can you use a sheet metal screw in plywood? If you have read this article thoroughly, you have got your answer. Sheet metal screws are self-tapping and specially designed for hard materials. When these fasteners are applied to any soft materials like wood can cause damage. To avoid cracks on the wood, you have to be a little tricky.

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About This Writer

author eric devin

Hi, I am Eric Devin and I am a professional interior architect. Since childhood, I've always enjoyed DIY projects! And, I have loved to solve simple household problems using essential tools and equipment. I have also acquired a lot of information about basic household tools settings by working with contractors.

Hi, I am Eric Devin and I am a professional interior architect. Since childhood, I've always enjoyed DIY projects! And, I have loved to solve simple household problems using essential tools and equipment. I have also acquired a lot of information about basic household tools settings by working with contractors.

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