How to Screw Into Wood Perfectly – You Should Consider 5 Factors

Published on: March 6, 2022
Written by Eric Devin / Fact-checked by David Rowan

Screwing into wood is as basic of a task as it could be in woodworking. But even this basic and simple task can create e mess if not done correctly. One might end up with broken screws or damaged screw heads, or even split wood planks.

But following a few simple techniques can save you from these. We would be discussing five factors to consider to screw into wood perfectly. All of these are primary factors and tool suggestion which will direct you into the right path.

how to screw into wood perfectly – you should consider 5 factors

Get the Basics Right

Ok, let’s start with the basics. You need to get two things right, the alignment of the screw and the right amount of pressure. Make sure the screw shank and the driver bit is correctly aligned. Check that the bit isn’t worn out and is firmly seated on the screw.

After that, start drilling slowly but firmly. Put an ample amount of pressure while doing so. If required, use your other hand to put extra pressure. Finding the right balance might be a bit tricky to master for a novice. But a little bit of experimenting and a little practice will eventually get you to the point. You will find that screwing into the wood has become a kind of second nature.

Learning these basics might sound like a straightforward thing to learn. But trust me, most beginners fall short in getting them right. If you get these two things correctly, all other ones will come naturally to you.

Use a Cordless Impact Driver

Using the right tool for the right job will make it as smooth of an experience as it can get. And for screwing, Impact drivers are the right tool.

A cordless impact driver is unbeaten when it comes to flexibility and ease of use at screwing a plank. It doesn’t only provide rotation but also hammers action. It will periodically provide hammer-like plunges, which help in working with hardwood. You won’t even need to use your second hand to put on extra pressure.

There are a lot of brands selling cordless impact drivers in the market in various price ranges. Get one as soon as you can. I promise you will not regret this purchase decision.

Use the Right Kind of Screws

There are an endless number of categories for screws in the market. And most of them have particular use cases. Same stands for our case. The best screws for woodworking are the star drives or square screws. They are the best because the bits sit firmly on them and are easier to handle while screwing.

The excellent contact between them and the bits ensures that you won’t slip while driving it into the board. Try to buy premium quality screws as the lower-end ones tend to get damaged very quickly. Read more: Nail Pullers: Top 10 Reviews

For countersinking, get the flat-headed screws with a tapered head. It will stay flush with the board and look more professional. Using the right kind of screw will result in a more comfortable and smooth experience.

Get a Magnetic Bit-Tip Holder

Magnetic bit holders are a handy extension to your drill machine. It is a bit holder that is magnetic. So changing the bit while using it is very simple and fast. But what it also does is, magnetizes the bit too. So the screw keeps attached to this magnetized bit and doesn’t move while positioning it.

Again, some of these bit holders come with extendable sleeves. These sleeves will cover the screw partially. Thus it will make sure the screws do not move much or fall off, making it perfect for drilling into woods. It will make aligning and positioning the crew at the right place a breeze.

Use Pilot Holes

Using pilot holes might sound like an advanced technique. But it is not. What happens is, while screwing into a board, the screw will tear through the wood fibers. It creates a lot of pressure on the threads and might result in a split wood or plank. A way to avoid that is to drill a hole into the wood first.

And then, screwing through that hole. These holes are called pilot holes. So, pilot holes help the screw to go through without tearing the threads. Just make sure that the width of the bit used to drill the gap is not larger than the shank of the screw.

This method might sound like a lot of work, but believe me, it works like a charm every time. Especially for beginners. Eventually, you will learn which woods won’t require pilot holes. But till then, it is your best bet. Read more: Impact Drivers for Automotive Use

Best Tips for Screwing Into Wood Perfectly

  1. Use the correct size and type of screw for the job.
  2. Pre-drill a pilot hole to prevent the wood from splitting.
  3. Use a screwdriver or power drill with a screwdriver bit to ensure proper torque is applied.
  4. Make sure the screw head is flush with or slightly below the surface of the wood.
  5. Use wood glue or wood filler to fill any gaps or imperfections after screwing.
  6. To avoid rusting use galvanized or stainless steel screws for outdoor projects.
  7. Finally, for a more professional look, try counter-sinking screws and covering them with wood putty or plugs.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Screw Into Wood Perfectly?

To screw into wood perfectly, you should first drill a pilot hole. The pilot hole should be slightly smaller in diameter than the screw you will be using. This will make it easier to insert the screw and will also help to prevent the wood from splitting. Once the pilot hole is drilled, you can then insert the screw and use a drill or screwdriver to drive it in. Make sure to keep the screw at a 90-degree angle to the wood while you are screwing it in, to ensure that it goes in straight.

What Factors Should I Consider When Filling Holes in Wood?

When filling small wood holes, consider the type of wood and the size of the hole. Use wood filler that matches the color of the wood for a seamless finish. Sand the area smooth and apply a protective finish to blend the repair with the surrounding wood.

What Is the Right Length of the Screw for Woodworking?

Well, that depends on the depth of the woods/planks you are using. The general rule of thumb is that the screw should enter at least half of the bottom material’s width. So if you are screwing together a couple of one-inch thick boards, then the screw should be at least one and a half inches long.

Is Drilling a Pilot Hole Mandatory?

While it is not an essential part of this process, it sure helps a lot. Also, depending on the thickness and the quality of the wood, it might become necessary to pre-drill holes before screwing. It guides the screw and makes sure the screw is sitting there tight without destroying the fibers.

Should I Be Careful About the Drill?

Just make sure the drill bit is not worn out, and it fits perfectly on the Drill. Also, make sure it has set tightly and is well coupled with the screw. This will ensure a good drilling experience.


For a basic task, screwing into wood might turn into a nightmare if not done correctly. You will lose time, waste wood and screws, and might even injure yourself in the process. But it is not that hard to learn the correct way. A bit of practice and some right tools will make one pro in no time.

Hopefully, the points I discussed today will create an excellent base for the more advanced forms of screwing into words correctly.

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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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