Screw Performance Comparison Test

testing screw holding powerWe all know there are special screws made for all kinds of applications – deck screws, wood screws, drywall screws, etc.

But who says you have to use a specific screw for the intended purpose?

Screwing with the “rules”

I’m a big fan of using whatever I have in stock that will do the job that I need it to do. One of my favourite screws for utility use is drywall screws – especially for quick and dirty jobs that don’t need to be pretty – like jigs, temporary structures, mounting cleats, etc. They’re easy to drive without pilot holes, they’re less likely to split the wood and they’re cheaper.

Apparently I’m not alone on this. Engineer-Woodworker, Matthias Wandel over at uses drywall screws for other purposes as well.

It seems some of his readers have been giving him grief about that so Matthias put the “screws” to four common types of 2 1/2” wood screws – testing them to see how they compared for holding force, and how far they bend before they break.

four types of screws tested The four types he compared

  • #7 Drywall Screw (Black)
  • #8 Wood Screw (Silver
  • #8 Deck Screw (Tan)
  • #8 Self-Countersinking Deck Screw (Green)


In the holding force category here’s the averages he achieved (in lbs)

  • #7 Drywall Screw – 82
  • #8 Wood Screw – 74
  • #8 Deck Screw – 76
  • #8 Self-Countersinking Deck Screw – 69

And course, being an engineer, he did multiple tests and documented his methods on video.

Watch the video:


I recommend you check out to get a unique view of woodworking as seen through the mind of an engineer.


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