Bob Vila Radio: Types of Screws

There are many different types of screws, and each kind has its own job to do. Before you make the first turn of the screw, figure out the right one for your job.

Types of Screws



Listen to BOB VILA ON TYPES OF SCREWS or read the text below:

A wood screw is designed to join two pieces of wood together, or for fastening something to a piece of wood. A drywall screw is meant for installing wallboard, with a flat head that’s designed to sink flush into the drywall. Machine screws and sheetmetal screws are for joining metal pieces.

Screws come in sizes that refer to the thickness of the screw and the size of the head. A chunky number 10 screw is fatter than a number 4 and has a larger head. All sizes come in a variety of lengths, so after you choose the size you need, you then have to choose how long you want it .

You can get screws made for either slot or philips head screwdrivers, and with flat or rounded heads. Choose a flat head if you want the screw to sit flush with or sink into the wood surface. A rounded head can add a nice decorative finish to the job. For exterior jobs, be sure to choose a screw that will hold up to the elements, like rust-resistant galvanized screws.

Bob Vila Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 75 stations around the country (and growing). You can get your daily dose here, by listening to—or reading—Bob’s 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day.

For more on tools, consider:

How To: Choose the Right Screw for the Job
Everything You Need to Know about Bolts and Screws
Bit of Knowledge: Choosing the Right Drill Bit for the Job