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The Difference between Traditional and Modern Wood Screws

Wood screws have changed over the years. There is a difference in the design of traditional wood screws and modern wood screws.

parts of a wood screw

Figure 1 - Parts of a wood screw

All wood screws are made up of three parts, as shown in Figure 1.

The difference between a traditional wood screw and a modern wood screw is the relationship of the outside diameter of the shank to the outside diameter of the threads.

With a traditional wood screw the outside dimension of the shank is the same as the outside dimension of the threads, as shown in Figure 2.

In a modern wood screw the outside dimension of the shank is the same as the inside dimension of the threads, as shown in Figure 2.

traditional versus modern screw diameters

Figure 2 - traditional versus modern screw diameters

Why is the difference in shank diameter relative to the thread diameter important?

There are two reasons:

  1. When drilling a pilot hole for a traditional wood screw, you should drill a different size hole for the area that will be threaded than for the area that will contain the shank portion of the screw.
  2. Additional information on pilot hole sizes for traditional wood screws.

  3. 2 There is less binding between the wood and the shank with modern wood screws than with traditional wood screws.
  4. Additional information on pilot hole sizes for modern wood screws.

Pilot Holes For Lag Bolts