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Screw Comparison Guide - Screw Threads

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.

Screw Threads

The thread pattern is an important consideration when selecting screws.

From left to right: rolled (deep), cut (tapered wood), wood screw, double lead, and tapping thread.

The rolled-thread screw and cut-thread pattern are two dominant fastener designs used by woodworkers.  

Deep-Thread Pattern:
(Also called Rolled thread). This style is manufactured by slimming the screw’s shank (in comparison to the cut-thread patter wood screw). Excellent all-purpose design for solid wood, plywood, medium-density fiberboard (MDF) and other manufactured panels.

Wood-Screw Thread:
The thread design is similar to the deep-thread pattern but formed on a thicker shank. This design is often used on relatively soft materials such as brass or silicon bronze screws. Use this pattern instead of the deep thread when your project requires brass or bronze screws.

This pattern uses two threads around the shank for increased driving speed, is commonly used on drywall screws, and sometimes has a high/low design. Pullout resistance is not as good as the deep-thread design, but you’ll gain faster assembly times, especially when you’re using long screws.


Cut Thread:
(Also called tapered wood thread). This is the traditional wood-screw pattern, which mimics the old-fashioned process of cutting the threads into a metal rod. The unthreaded portion of the shank is the same diameter as the major diameter of the threaded portion, and the root diameter tapers to the tip. The thread depth is consistent along the length of the screw, even in the tapered portion, accentuating the pointed appearance. Good holding power in solid wood.

Tapping Thread:
Although this is some-times called a "wood-tapping" screw, it is basically a sheet-metal design. Typically the threads extend from tip to head. Sheet-metal screws are generally manufactured to a higher standard than ordinary wood screws. Be sure to drill an adequate body hole in the first board to prevent a jaced joint.

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

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