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Screw Comparison Guide - Screw Heads.

Use this Screw Comparison Chart to help choose the right screw that best fits your application. Compare Screw Heads, Screw Threads and size for either Interior or Exterior applications.

Here are top and side views of many of the screw-head styles you’ll encounter. Top row, left to right: flat head, flat head with a separate finishing washer, washer head, and truss head. Bottom row, left to right: round head, oval head, pan head, fillister, and trim head.

You can buy screws with a variety of head styles to meet specific project needs and can often select the fastener with your favorite drive system. Here’s a quick rundown on the uses for the most popular types.

Flat-Head Screws:
Probably the most common style and are used in a wide variety of applications, from general construction to fastening tiny hinges. The head is typically flat with the surface of the wood, or it can be driven into the bottom of a counterbore and concealed with a plug. It’s also the right choice to use with finishing washers.

Trim-Head Screws:
Look like finishing nails and can be used wherever you need the holding power of a screw but also require an unobtrusive look.

Round-Head Screw:
Gives you the broadened holding strength of a washer under a screw head but without the inconvenience of purchasing and handling a separate piece of hardware. By spreading the pressure, the washer-head screw avoids concentrated stresses that could crack plastics or damage thin wood products.


Oval-Head Screws:
Mount with their smooth top just above the wood’s surface. This gives a decorative look and also prevents the snags produced by flat-head screws that aren’t fully countersunk. The oval head finds extensive use holding trim to boats.

Pan-Head Screws:
Have a flat surface under the head that improves holding power when you mount hardware such as drawer slides. Using a screw diameter smaller than the mounting hole in the hardware gives you some adjustability.

Truss-head screws:
Feature an even larger washer surface for improved holding power. Truss heads are excellent for attaching false drawer fronts – large head hides an oversized hole that permits adjustment. Truss heads also provide excellent holding power when driven through the thin plywood backs of wall-mounted cabinets.

Excerpted from Taunton's Complete Illustrated Guide to Hardware Copyright @2003

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