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Wood Screw Vs Metal Screw

Whether you are working full time or a DIY worker who is mostly into completing different projects, screws are a mandatory requirement. Whether woodworking or metalworking, you would always require the correct type of screws that would work for you. While you will find thousands of varieties of screws available in the market, these are mainly categorized into two different types.

One is the wooden screws, and another is the metal screws. Each type of screw has unique properties which become valuable for different situations. Before you start finding the differences between metal and wood screw, it is worth noting that these two types of screws have several commonalities.

Both metal and wood screws are technically the same thing and secure objects with each other. They are available in different lengths, from 0.25 to 3 inches. Similar tools like power tools with round, flat, oval head shapes, can be used for these varieties of screws.

But before you decide on the type of screw, it is imperative to learn the differences between these two types to ensure the successful completion of your job.

Also Check: Best Screw Extractors

What is a Wood Screw?

Wood screws have similar functionalities to metal screws, as mentioned above. But as these are designed with some differences, it helps when you use them properly for exact purposes.

These screws secure wood and materials like wood with plywood, wood with lumbar etc. The unique design of wood screws is helpful when dealing with softer materials.

Generally, wood fasteners have coarse threading, which means few threads every inch. They generally have an inch in length. Apart from these, wood screws have threadless sections or smooth shanks underneath their head, which helps them to get an even better hold. It can also prevent the screw from leaving its place while the thread goes away.

Any screw can result in cracking or splitting wooden materials when used far longer than it is meant to be. Choosing partially threaded shanks can be helpful to ensure material protection while getting a firm hold.

What is a Metal Screw?

Metal screws are another variety of screws that are different from the former type. It has a specific function and a distinct design. It features a range of design elements used explicitly for fastening rigid plastics and metal materials.

Generally, metal screws consist of larger threads compared to wood screws. These are designed in the least 2 inches in length. These have larger threads and higher pitch, so these metal screws can easily cover the body underneath the head.

Metal screws are primarily self-tapping, so you can use them with metal sheets etc. Using self-tapping fasteners made with metal, you can cut thin metals with their threads for a stronger bond.

Differences Between the Wood Screw and Metal Screw

Now that you understand the basics of wood and metal screws, it is time to discover the differences. So let us look at the basic features and how these two are different from each other.

1. Price

The prime difference between a metal and a wood screw is the price. You will most commonly find a metal screw available at a higher price than wood screws. This is what makes metal screws less likely to be used for bigger projects that require a vast number of fasteners.

However, as these metal screws are manufactured with some prominent metals, they are mandatory for specific areas. These are especially useful for places requiring constant strength and no sign of weaknesses.

2. Installation

Installation is another prime attribute everyone considers when deciding on a suitable screw. When comparing metal and wood screws, people mostly look for easy installation. As wood screws are softer materials compared to metal, installing them can be seamless as the screws do not require much torque like metal screws while installing them.

However, as wood screws are not as strong as metal screws, they might not be able to provide the security that one requires. Securing an anchor requires strength which a metal screw can offer. Additionally, installing metal screws is a bit complicated and tougher as the screws are challenging and need more torque. But the extra effort one puts into installing greatly pays off because of the strength and protection they provide over time.

3. Strength

The strength of any material dramatically depends on the raw materials used in manufacturing them. It is the same for screws as well. As wood screws are mainly manufactured with soft metals like aluminum or brass, inevitably, they will not be as strong as metal screws.

Metal screws, on the other hand, are manufactured with hard materials like titanium or stainless steel to get durability and resistance from wear and tear. The differences in strength will significantly affect their usability and price. So a metal screw is only chosen where it requires a stronghold with the anchor, which does not degrade in the future.

4. Uses

Different screws are used for various purposes. Metal screws are vastly different from wood screws in functionality and design. It consists of design elements that can fasten hard plastics and metal-based products. These are typically used for securing metal sheets to fiberglass, plastic, wood, and different other materials. The metal screw is generally fully threaded to get a firm grip and strength to secure two pieces.

Coming to wood screws, these fasteners are used for different purposes. These screws are great for typical fastening materials like lumber, plywood, and other wood varieties. As they are designed to become flexible, they have sharp points to quickly dig into woods without making any cracks in them.

Which is Better to Buy, Wood Screw or Metal Screw?

While deciding which one to buy, you initially need to understand your requirements. As wood screws have short threading, which is to an inch, compared to metal screws which are more than 2 inches, these have different uses. Generally, metal screws are chosen where it requires self-tapping applications. While both screws are helpful for various purposes, they work on adjoining one material to another.

If you are searching for a suitable screw that will help you work with soft wood without cracking them, wood screws are strongly recommended. These are designed with sharp edges to drill the soft wood materials efficiently. However, if you have to work with metal materials, metal screws constantly are strongly suggested. There is no denying that metal screws have more strength than wood screws.


To summarise, you need to understand where to use metal or wood screws based on different factors, like the strength required in a project, the cost involved, the uses, and fast installation. If you need less holding power and have a restricted budget, wood screws will do the job. However, even when metal screws require a huge investment, it offers more durability and holding power. So considering the factors before deciding is always better for a successful project.

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