Looking to start a DIY project or fix something around the house? Being familiar with the different types of screws out there is essential for any project. Luckily, we have compiled a list of the different types of screws and screw heads as well as their uses.
Not everyone is familiar with the intricacies of screws and their uses, so hopefully, this guide will help you make informed decisions for your next big project. Screws are used as fasteners to join two objects together and keep them in place. While the concept is simple, depending on what you need to fasten, what you need is different. Whether you’re using wood, metal, or drywall, how you fasten it will depend on the type of screw you use. DIY projects are pretty common these days and if you’re looking to pick up a new hobby or create a gift, knowing what screws to use is imperative to your success.
Countersunk and Non-Countersunk
The first distinction we need to make is that of countersunk and non-countersunk heads. Countersunk and non-countersunk refer to the top of the screw, and the shape they have. Countersunk screws are less common and have flat or oval heads. Countersunk screws will rarely show their heads as they can be driven deeper into the material and will be flat. Non-countersunk is the opposite, and the screws will typically be visible once you have driven them in. The most popular screws are non-countersunk, so we will begin with this type.
Wood screws are, as the name implies, typically used on wood-based projects. There are flat and round-headed wood screws, so choose wisely when determining your project. Flathead wood screws are great for attaching securing hinges, and this particular type of screw is pretty durable. Wood screws are a good choice if you’re doing a simple project involving wood.
Drywall screws are another type of non-countersunk screw. Drywall screws are used for securing drywall. Coarse and fine drywall screws exist. Coarse is better for working with wood and fine is better for securing to metal. Drywall screws are not screws you would be using for a simple project and are more common in total renovations.
Carriage bolts are countersunk screws. Carriage bolt screws are typically made with stainless steel and are used to secure wood to metal. Using a carriage bolt is a bit more difficult, as you should have a pre-drilled hole. Once you insert the screw, you then have to hammer it in.
Oval Head Screws
Like carriage bolts, oval head screws are another type of countersunk screw. Oval head screws are known to be both durable and visually pleasing. Like carriage bolts, you must fit them into a hole first. Typically, they are used to cover switches.
Screw Head Styles
In addition to countersunk and non-countersunk styles, there are different styles of screw heads. What type of head you choose is typically dependent on whatever tool you are using to drive in the screw. The type of head is not particularly important and can be both functional and visual.
Button screw heads are a type of non-countersunk screw. Button types are, as the name implies, round like a button. Domed screw heads have a flat inside and are generally used for being visually pleasing. They are also non-countersunk and more common. Flat screw heads consist of a flat top that can very easily be covered. This screw type sits evenly on top of the surface it is fastened to, making it completely flat. Oval screw heads are a type of countersunk screw. They are liked for being aesthetically pleasing. For both flat screw heads and oval screw heads, you must have a hole drilled prior.
Drive types of screws are important to understand so that you can install and remove them. When envisioning a screw, you think of a Phillips head drive. Phillips types are shaped like a cross or a star. This drive type works well with a Phillips head screwdriver and is generally reliable. As anyone who has worked with screws knows, rounding it out is your worst nightmare. With a Phillips head drive, you won’t have to worry about this factor as much.
Slotted drive types are also popular. Slotted drive type screws have flat lines at the stop. These are also a very popular choice as they are simple. Due to its shape, slotted drive type screws need a little more care and are used with handheld tools.
Types of Screws and Screw Heads: Conclusion
Screw types are pretty complicated. It’s important to know what you are going to use before you start a project. With the wrong type of screw or screw head, it’s easy for your project to fall apart. As always, before you start a project do proper research into what you may need. Screws are holding your entire project together, so be sure not to forget them!
I hope this guide helped your understanding of screws, and that your project goes well!
Written By: Zaria Evans