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Stock up on the screws you use

Sometimes, I  actually pay attention to my junk mail, especially when a mail-order supplier offered nearly free shipping on fasteners. The problem was, I’m never sure which ones to buy in boxes of a 1,000, 100, or a dozen. So one evening I sat down with all the WOOD magazine issues dating back a little more than the past two years and added up the types of fasteners used in our projects. And just so you don’t waste an hour of your own time doing the same thing before stocking up on fasteners, here’s what I found:

We used #8x1¼” and #8x1½” flathead wood screws at least twice as much as any other fastener (20+ projects). Both definitely go on my box-of-1,000 list. For the next size smaller carton (100?), I’m going to pick up #8x¾”, #8×2″ and #8×1″ flathead wood screws. (If you hang a lot of cabinets or other wall-mounted projects, throw in a box of #8×3″ flatheads.) And because I can’t always find good square-drive versions of these at the home center, I’ll add a box of #8x1¼” panhead screws. Feel like covering all your bases? Add boxes of these to your order: #8x2½”, #8x1¾”, #8x1½”, #6x½”, and #6x1¼” flathead wood screws. You won’t need many, but that’ll save you a drive to the hardware store.

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4 Responses to “Stock up on the screws you use”

  1. Thanks Bob. As a new woodworker, I’ve always wondered what type, size and thread count of screws to buy initially. I know some plans specify if screws are used and what type and size, but that doesn’t tell me what to stock up on unless I want to go and purchase just what I need (plus a little extra) every time I want to build something.

    What about those who do pocket hole joinery? I only checked on Kreg’s site and found this chart (see link below). It lists screws from 1″ to 2.5″ in length. For someone just starting, would they buy the same lengths as you’ve listed in your post? I noticed they only offer the screws in course or fine threads for soft and hardwoods.


    As far as “square-drive versions” of screws there’s always Robertson (the original). Just click on the “Products” tab.


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