How to Drill a Screw

Have you ever wanted to learn how to drill a screw into softer materials like wood or plastic, but don’t know where to start? Drilling is an essential skill in many home improvement projects and DIY renovations.

How to Drill a Screw

But knowing exactly what tools you need and the proper steps to take can often seem overwhelming if it’s something that you haven’t done before. Luckily, drilling screws don’t have to be such a daunting task.

In this blog post, we’ll cover everything that you need to know in order to safely and effectively drive a screw into place. From what kind of drill bit should be used for each material type, the best methods for ensuring consistent depth control, and some helpful tips from experienced DIYers along the way – by the time you finish reading this article, your next quick drilling project will feel like a breeze!

Tools and Materials You Will Need to Drill a Screw

  • Drill and drill bit(s)
  • Screws
  • Hammer
  • Tape measure or ruler
  • Pencil
  • Safety glasses
  • Work gloves

Step by Step Guidelines on How to Drill a Screw

Step 1: Measure and Mark the Spot Where You Want to Drill

Before you start drilling, it’s important to measure and mark the spot where you want to drive your screw. This will ensure that the drill bit is in the correct spot when it begins its work. Use a tape measure or ruler to determine exactly where you need to drill, and then mark the spot with a pencil.

Step 2: Select the Appropriate Drill Bit

Now that you know where you want to drill, it’s time to select an appropriate drill bit for your material type. For softer materials like wood or plastic, use a standard twist drill bit. If you’re drilling into harder materials like metal or concrete, you’ll need to use a masonry drill bit. Selecting the appropriate drill bit will help to ensure that your screw is securely in place.

Step 3: Position the Drill Bit and Begin Drilling

Position the drill bit at the marked spot on your material and then begin drilling. Make sure that you are drilling perpendicular to the surface of your material – this will ensure maximum effectiveness when driving in your screw. As you start to drill, make sure to go slowly and keep an eye on the depth of your drill bit. This will help you to stay in control as you work your way into the material.

Step 4: Hammer in Your Screw

Drilled a Hole That is 
Appropriate for Screw Size

Once you have drilled a hole that is appropriate for your screw size, switch out your drill bit for a hammer and place your screw into the hole. The hammer will allow you to drive the screw in until it is fully inserted into your material. Make sure to press firmly and evenly as you go – this helps to ensure that the screw is securely in place.

Step 5: Put on Safety Gear

Before you begin any drilling or hammering project, it’s important to put on safety gear such as safety glasses and gloves. This will help to protect your eyes from any debris that may be generated during the process, and also guard your hands against potential injuries.

Congratulations – you have just successfully drilled a screw! With this new skill in hand, you can now confidently complete a wide range of DIY projects around the house. So don’t let drilling intimidate you – it’s a simple task that can really come in handy when you’re trying to tackle any home improvement project. Happy drilling!

Additional Tips and Tricks to Drill a Screw

1. Mark the location where you want to drill the screw hole before drilling. This allows you to ensure that your drill bit is in the right position as you start drilling.

2. Choose an appropriate drill bit for the size and type of screw that you are using—using a larger than necessary bit or one with too fine a tip can make it difficult to drive the screw in.

3. If your screw is too long for the material you’re drilling into, consider using a countersink bit first to create an angled hole that allows more of the screw to fit in securely.

4. Make sure that the drill speed is correct—too slow and there will be inadequate torque for driving the screw; too fast can lead to the screw breaking.

Make Sure That the 
Drill Speed is Correct

5. Consider using a lubricant on the screw such as WD-40 or graphite spray so that it does not bind in the hole.

6. Choose a drill bit with an appropriate shank length, so it won’t get stuck in the material when you start drilling.

7. When using a power drill, ensure that the speed setting is correct and that there is enough torque to drill a screw, particularly for larger screws.

8. Use a cordless screwdriver if you need extra control or precision drilling—this can be especially helpful in tight spots where an electric drill may not fit.

9. Wear safety glasses when drilling to protect your eyes from flying debris and dust particles created by the drill.

10. Keep your hands away from the bit while drilling to avoid serious injury.

Following these tips and tricks will help ensure that your screw holes are drilled accurately and securely, making for a better overall project outcome. With the right safety precautions and tools, drilling screws can be a hassle-free process.

Things You Should Consider to Drill a Screw

1. Choose the Right Drill Bit: 

Choosing the Correct Type and Size of a Drill Bit

Choosing the correct type and size of a drill bit is very important for successful drilling and screw installation. The most common types are twist drills, spade bits, brad-point bits, Forstner bits, and hole saws. This is where the size of your screw comes into play. Make sure to use a bit that is slightly smaller than the diameter of your screws for better results.

2. Use Clamps: 

Using clamps or a drill press will help keep the material secure and provide a firm platform for drilling. It also prevents slipping which can lead to an inaccurate drilling job. This is especially important if you are drilling into hard materials. This helps to ensure that you get a precise and accurate hole.

3. Mark the Spot: 

Before drilling, use a marker or other tool to mark exactly where you want your hole to be. This will ensure that you make the hole precisely where it needs to be and avoid any mistakes in placement. While marking, make sure that the drill bit won’t hit any other surrounding material.

4. Start Drilling: 

Once you have your spot marked, it is time to start drilling. Make sure to keep a steady pressure as you move the drill in and out of the material. Don’t apply too much pressure or rush the process as this can cause damage to the material or drill bit.

5. Insert the Screw: 

Once you have your hole drilled, it is time to insert the screw. Make sure that the head of the screw is aligned with the surface and place it into the hole created by drilling. Use a hand tool or a power tool to tighten until secure. While inserting the screw, make sure to keep a steady hand and not apply too much pressure as this can cause the material to crack or break.

Head of the Screw is 
Aligned With the Surface

By following these considerations when drilling a screw, you can make sure that the operation is done safely and effectively. The right equipment, technique, and safety measures must be taken to ensure the best outcome.

Precautions Need to Follow for Drilling a Screw

1. Safety is the key factor when drilling a screw, so it is important to wear protective gear such as safety glasses and gloves.

2. Make sure that the drill bit you are using is of the right size for the screw you are trying to insert. Using an incorrect-size drill bit can damage both your tool and the material being drilled into.

3. Use low speed to start drilling, and increase the speed gradually as you progress. High speed can cause the drill bit to get stuck in the material or produce heat that could damage the surface of what you are drilling into.

High Speed Can Cause the Drill Bit to Get Stuck

4. When starting a hole for a screw, make sure that it is deep enough to accommodate the entire screw shaft length.

5. Secure the material that you are drilling into, as it can shift when being drilled, resulting in misalignment or an uneven surface.

6. When you have finished drilling, be sure to remove any debris from the hole with a brush or vacuum cleaner before inserting the screw. This will ensure that the screw is properly seated and secured in place.

7. Finally, it is important to use the right screwdriver when actually inserting the screw into the hole. The wrong size or type of screwdriver can strip or damage the threads of the screw, making them ineffective for securing your material in place.

Following these precautions will help you drill screws safely and effectively, ensuring that they are properly secured in place. Happy drilling!

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Know What Size Drill Bit to Use?

The best way to determine the size of the drill bit you need is to measure the diameter of the screw you will be drilling. Once you have determined the screw’s diameter, select a drill bit that is slightly larger than the measurement. This will ensure that your hole is wide enough for the screw to fit securely.

What Are the Different Types of Drill Bits?

There are several types of drill bits available, including twist drills, brad-point drills, spade bits, hole saws, and Auger Bits. Each type of bit is designed for a specific application and it’s important to select the correct one for the job to ensure optimal results.

What Types of Materials Can I Drill Into?

Most drill bits are designed for use on wood, metal, and plastic materials. However, there are also specialized bits available for drilling into masonry, tile, and concrete surfaces. It’s important to select the correct bit based on the material you will be working with.

Most Drill Bits Are Designed for Use on Wood

Can I Use a Hammer Drill on Wood?

It’s not recommended to use a hammer drill on wood, as the hammering action of the drill can cause damage to the wood surface. Regular drills are best suited for drilling into wooden materials, while hammer drills are designed for masonry and concrete surfaces.


All in all, knowing how to drill a screw is a simple but important skill. While it’s important to select the correct type of drill bit for the material you are working with, it’s also essential to use the right size bit for your screw. With proper knowledge and preparation, you can ensure that your project turns out just as intended. Good luck!

Photo of author

Enrique Howard

Hi, I am Enrique. I started my professional life as a handyman and did a lot of external and internal repair of home and office with a little bit of electric and plumbing support. I have extensive experience in tools testing such as drilling, turning, milling, and non-conventional machining like EDM. So let me help you on your journey towards becoming an enlightened DIYer with amazing tools that you can use on your project.

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