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How To Choose Nails & Screws - Part 7

Screw Thickness or Diameter:

Screws are available in a number of different thicknesses which are referred to as the gauge of the screw. The length, and the diameter determine the screw size. As the screw length increases so does the diameter. A screw that is marked as a 2 X 8 means that the screw is 2 inches long and it is a number 8 gauge.

Chart 9 shows the availability (green box) of screws based on their length and gauge.

Note: Screws are available in unusual combinations of length and gauge which do not appear on this chart.

Chart 9 - Screw Length / Diameter Chart
Screw Length In Inches
Gauge / Thickness / Diameter

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

14

16

18

20

24

1/4

                                   

3/8

                                   

1/2

                                   

5/8

                                   

3/4

                                   

7/8

                                   

1

                                   

1 1/4

                                   

1 1/2

                                   

1 3/4

                                   

2

                                   

2 1/4

                                   

2 1/2

                                   

2 3/4

                                   

3

                                   

3 1/2

                                   

4

                                   

4 1/2

                                   

5

                                   

5 1/2

                                   

6

                                   

 

Table 10 provides a listing of the different styles of screw styles that are available along with the features of each.

Table 10 - Screw Styles
Style Usage & Features Appearance

Cabinet

A decorative screw head with a thin shank. Generally used in cabinetry applications.

cabinet screw

Cement Board

Used to screw cement board to wood or steel studs and wood floor joists,

cement board screw

Deck

Composite

Used to fasten outdoor composite decking material to wood joists.

deck screw for composite material

Wood

Used to fasten outdoor wood decking material to wood joists.

wood screw

Dowel

A headless screw with screw threads on both ends. Used in cabinetry applications to attach legs to furniture and pulls to doors and drawers.

dowel screw

Drywall

Used to fasten drywall to wood or steel studs, joists and rafters. The bugle head helps to prevent the surface layer of paper on the drywall sheets from tearing.

drywall screw

General Purpose

For attaching most materials to wood or wood to wood.

general purpose wood screw

Hex Washer

Usually used in metal applications where head exposure is not a problem. The washer beneath the hex head allows for extra material compression.

hex washer screw

Lag

Used in heavy wood to wood applications especially common in decks. Also used in conjunction with anchors to hold wood against masonry and poured concrete.

lag screw / bolt

Metal Stud

Primarily used to attach metal track to metal studs. The pan shaped head does not interfere with the fastening of the drywall to the metal studs.

metal stud screw

Sheet Metal

A general purpose sheet metal screw used to attach sheet metal to sheet mental. Heavy threads go all the way to the base of the head making it an excellent choice for thin material.

sheet metal screw

Masonry Screw

A screw that can be used directly in masonry. A pilot hole is required.

masonry screw

Trim

A trip screw is designed for use with trip and casings. Narrow shank and small head allows for easy countersinking.

trim screw

Truss

With a wide head, the truss screw is an excellent choice for metal brackets with pre-drilled holes.

truss screw

 

 

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