Back when I was introduced to my first drywall project, I wondered if wood screws and drywall screws had any differences or if they were basically the same thing. Besides using them firsthand, I also did some reading on my own to answer that question.
Are wood screws and drywall screws the same? Wood screws and drywall screws are not the same when it comes to durability. In general, wood screws are stronger than drywall screws. Each type of screw should be used for a separate purpose, wood or drywall, as indicated in the name.
While wood screws and drywall screws share a common name and similar function, they are not the same object. In fact, they have a variety of differences that make each of them ideal for separate purposes. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about comparing wood screws and drywall screws.
Are Wood Screws And Drywall Screws The Same?
Even though wood screws and drywall screws sound almost the same, they are actually far from it. If you are curious about the differences between these two screw types, then the lists and the paragraphs that follow down below will give you all of the necessary information.
- Thick screws
- Made of soft metal
- Resistant to fractures
- Made of steel
- Material is hard and brittle
- Little resistance to fractures
Wood screws, first of all, are very thick in general. In comparison to other types of screws, they are increasingly durable and strong due to the amount of material they are constructed with.
As a result, they are very resistant to breaking, bending, and fracturing. Made of a soft metal material, wood screws are not likely to suffer damages in almost any situation you might need to use them in.
Drywall screws, on the other hand, are constructed of a steel material. This steel, however, is very hard and brittle. In other words, it has been hardened so much that it has actually become very fragile.
These types of screws have very little resistance to fractures, when they are not used for their intended purpose. However, they are able to hold up very well when used as instructed.
As you can see, wood and drywall screws are anything but the same. With different levels of strength and durability, they could not be used interchangeably for the same purposes, which will be highlighted in the next section.
When Should Wood Screws and Drywall Screws be Used?
Now that we’ve established that wood screws and drywall screws are very fundamentally different, you might be wondering when and where each of these screws should be used throughout your home improvement projects.
The lists below will tell you what these screws should be used for, as well as what type of projects in particular will best suit each one.
- Used for wood
- Connecting two wood surfaces together
- Attaching non-wooden objects to wood
Projects with Wood Screws:
- Building a wooden deck
- Installing hinges into a door
- Attaching hardware to kitchen cabinets
- Installing locks onto a door
Wood screws are used for almost exactly what they sound like, which includes connecting two wood surfaces together. They can also be used to attach non-wooden objects to wood surfaces as well, however.
Some of the projects you might expect to use wood screws for include building a wooden deck, which would probably require you to connect several wooden beams together to create the structure.
Additionally, you can use wood screws to install hinges onto a door, which would classify as connecting non-metal objects to a wood surface.
Similarly, if you need to attach metal hardware to your kitchen cabinets or install a lock onto a door, these tasks will most likely require the use of a wood screw.
- Used for drywall
- Attaching drywall to metal studs in the wall
- Securing wood trim to gypsum boards
Projects with Wood Screws:
- Remodeling a house
- Building a house and installing drywall
- Installing carpet onto the floor
Drywall screws, on the other hand, are used for almost exactly what their name implies as well. Ideal for anything that has to do with drywall; these more fragile screws are made for attaching drywall to the metal studs in the wall.
Additionally, drywall screws can be used to secure wood trim to gypsum boards in some circumstances.
Some of the most common projects that you can expect to call your drywall screws into will usually require some kind of remodeling.
Whether you are making some improvements to your existing house or building a completely new one from scratch, you will most likely use a drywall screw at some point during the process.
Similarly, if you are installing carpet into the floor, drywall screws can be used in order to secure it into place. Since drywall screws are typically smaller and more thin than other types of screws, they can reside under the carpet while being basically undetectable.
Overall, wood screws are generally used for projects and tasks that require more pressure and force, as these types of screws are increasingly strong and durable.
They can handle being wedged into hard surfaces, usually wood, and work well with connecting two separate wooden surfaces to each other.
Drywall screws are smaller, more fragile, and much less strong than the average wooden screw, and will usually only come out to play when a major home improvement project is in the works.
Are Wood Screws Or Drywall Screws Better?
While it is true that wood screws and drywall screws each serve different purposes, and will be more convenient when used in nearly opposite circumstances, which one is better to use in general?
One of the main factors to consider when trying to decide which of these items is better will be the durability and versatility. In order for one of these screws to be considered better than the other, it would have to be ideal for almost any situation.
- Indoor and outdoor projects
- When force is required
- More expensive
- Indoor projects
- When force is not required
- Most cost-effective option
Wood screws are able to be used for both indoor and outdoor projects, due to the face that they are very strong and durable. In other words, wood screws can be used for almost anything you need them for in any location.
Additionally, they can bring a lot of force along with their durability, which makes them ideal for projects that involve heavyweight materials and surfaces.
However, the excessive force that can come with a wood screw is not always ideal for every single project. The drywall screw is ideal for gently securing drywall to wooden beams on the interior of a house, which is a task that does not require much force.
The downside to the drywall screw is that it can only be used for indoor projects, because of its exterior properties. When left outside for extended periods of time, drywall screws are more inclined to start rusting on the outsides.
Aside from the overall functions that each of these screws are able to perform in spite of the other, wood screws are generally more expensive than drywall screws.
So, if you are in need of multiple wood screws for a certain project, you might end up spending a lot more than you had hoped for, whereas the same amount of drywall screws might cost you a fraction of the price.
The question of whether wood or drywall screws are better to use is a very broad topic, judging by the fact that they each work better depending on the circumstance. With that being said, there really is no direct answer for the question of which one is better.
Instead, both wood and drywall screws are ideal for the projects they are intended to be used for. Although wood screws seem to be more desirable than drywall screws due to their versatility and strength, there are certain places where they just couldn’t fill in for the drywall screw.
In conclusion, no matter what kind of projects you are planning in the future, it might be a good idea to have both wood and drywall screws on hand. With such different yet similar properties, you never know what you might each one of them for!
What happens to a wood screw when it takes on more force than it can handle?
Contrary to the more fragile drywall screw, wood screws are made of a thick and soft metal material that prevents them from cracking or becoming fractured. However, if a wood screw experiences high levels of pressure then you will most likely see it bend before it actually breaks into multiple pieces.
Do wood screws hold up well in outdoor environments?
Generally, wood screws are able to be placed outside for long periods of time. To be extra careful, you can purchase a deck screw, which is able to keep up with the seasonal changes in the wood it is drilled into.