How to Screw into Wood – A Handy Tutorial!

How to Screw into Wood – A Handy Tutorial

There could be a hundred of reasons why you would want to screw into a wooden tool or surface. Maybe to hang a simple shelf. Or probably you want to mount something heavy into the wall.

No matter what the reason is, screwing into woods is actually simple but yet again, needs to be done a bit carefully.

Doing it wrong might be a small mistake but the outcome can affect your whole project. So, if you don’t have any idea about how to screw into wood, keep on reading.

How to Screw into Wood with a Screwdriver: Step-by-Step Guide

The most obvious type of furniture that uses wooden screws is Ikea ones. They have such tiny holes which basically holds the screw. They are not only meant for reference. These are known as pilot holes. Thanks to these holes, woods stay away from cracking and splitting.

Your screwing should not damage the surface and still manage to get this task done. So, here’s what you need to do.

Using Right Drill Bit, Screws & Screwdriver

If you are going for smaller holes with medium diameter than twist drill bit is the ideal choice. For holes that are deep from 8 to more mm needs auger bit. Finally, for shallow holes with up to 30 mm diameter, you should use a Forstner drill bit. If you are dealing with the last one, use a quality hole saw as well.

For a wooden surface, you should always use the right type of wood screws. The best wood screws should come with high inclined threads. They also have a pronounced tip design. These are also common to have conical or cylindrical shank.

To get the flawless output with wood screws, one should use cordless screwdrivers. You can also try the cordless drill or drivers instead of that. For occasional drilling needs, a right powered drill is a perfect choice.

While picking the bit for your tool, make sure it matches well with screws. Otherwise, get ready to witness sudden slipping out of bits from screws. Especially if you are going to use a screwdriver.

If you want to enjoy maximum grip, go for Torx screws. Also, you can use cross head ones. These are better at general usage than slotted screws.

1. Set Right Speed for Drilling

While drilling, make sure to move along with the wood grain. This will help you to achieve the finest result.

Setting the speed in right position is also very important. With less than moderate speed, you’ll face untidy and bumpy screws.

While if you go for too much speed, then the workpiece might fall into risk of overheating. As a result, burn marks are going to show up soon.

You should always place the drill bit evenly against working wood piece.

2. Use Clamp to Avoid Slips

While you work on the wood piece, it can start to move from place. This will surely ruin your hole making process. So, make sure to use clamps.

You’ll need to fix the wood piece using clamps so that it won’t slip when you drill.

Get a scrap panel as well. Simply place it beneath the workpiece. This will help you to prevent any mistakes. You won’t be damaging your worktop.

Also, a scarp panel can be helpful for preventing fibers from tearing up.

3. Proper Thread Gripping

There might be an occasion when you need to join two wooden pieces using screws. In that case, try pre-holing.

You should pre-hole using a measurement rule. Add around half to one mm to the diameter of your screw. This is how deep you should pre-hole into a workpiece where screws are going to insert first.

Now for the other workpiece where you are screwing into, simply pre-hole around one mm smaller than actual screw size.

Using this pre-holing method, you’ll ensure a proper thread grip.

4. Make the Screw Head Disappear

For cases where you are using a flat-headed screw, simply work to make the head completely disappear into workpiece.

You need to countersink deeply the hole that is drilled to make that happen.

Bonus Tips

  • Make sure to put on proper gloves before screwing or drilling wood.
  • You need a good pair of safety glasses for drilling as well.
  • Make sure the bits are matching screws. It should not be slipping apart while screwing into wood.
  • Don’t apply to much force on screws. This may cause slipping and dropping issues. Sometimes this also leads to damaging the wood surface.
  • Use a pencil or marker to define the exact place of screwing for better results and accuracy.


Never use a screwdriver bit that is already damaged or halfway there. It will surely disturb the screw head. Also, these tools need to completely stay out of reach from pets and children.

One Important Consideration!

Someone who occasionally has to deal with wood screwing will never have to bother about this. But the case is completely different for folks who are regularly into it. I’m talking about using power tools, whether you should consider them or not.

If you are someone who needs to screw often, apparently quite a lot, then probably the fastest process would seem better. Hand drills can possibly make it a simple game of grabbing screws and finishing in minutes. That’s not the same with a manual screwdriver, for sure.

However, you can absolutely manage without a drill or power tool. In fact, there are lots of chores that are easy to get done with a handheld screwdriver.

But I can never deny the fact that an electric tool will definitely give you better results along with saving a lot of time. Sometimes it’s one of the foremost tools for screwing multiple screws into tough wood.

You should definitely think about buying an electric screwing tool if:

  • You have to work with hardwood species.
  • The project demands using really long screws.
  • There are more screws available to install in less time.
  • You are working with very delicate woodworking projects.
  • There’s a need for dealing with multiple sized screws.
  • You want to get precise screwing results.

These are the scenarios when you must think about an electric power tool for screwing. However, if you believe, the manual process is just enough for your needs, then surely go with it. The more you get expert with screwing; your speed will keep on improving.

You may also read: Best Soft Close Drawer Slides Reviews


Screwing is super simple, no doubt. Attaching a piece of wood to wallboard or stud seems absolutely easy and straightforward. The same goes for attaching two wooden pieces.

However, even with this apparently straightforward chore, mistakes are bound to happen. Especially when you are not conscious enough.

So, make sure the simple process is not suddenly a problem due to silly mistakes. You can always learn a better method and try finding little ways to improve. That was my intention for today’s writing.

Hopefully, the techniques I mentioned will come in use. And camming out slots in screws will never be your case. Good Luck with Those Screws!

About Sam Maxi

Hi, this is Sam Maxi. I love talking about woodwork tools and my reviews are mostly based on the experience I have from my work. Apart from reviewing, I am a huge fan of surfing. Also, I love watching horror genre movies.

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