I went to the local Ace store today and bought a box of wood screws,
size 10, Hillman brand. When I brought them home I decided to check the
shank size, and was surprised when they came in a little small, about
0.150", instead of the 0.190 that I was expecting.
Thinking I might be losing my mind, I measured an old wood screw that I
had laying around, which my mind told me was a #10, and it measured
0.190". I even called the local fastener store, and they confirmed that
0.190" (or 3/16 as they put it) is the proper shank size for a #10 wood
So what's the deal now, did I end up with a mislabeled box of wood
screws, or did someone change the specs on these things while I wasn't
Jon <-- puzzled
One of the kings of yore decided they should collect all gold coins
in circulation and they did so over time. But later people discovered
that the coins had had some gold shaved off of them at the king's
request. it didn't go over well and was considered bad policy
now they just print more $$ when needed plus pay no interest to us
and charge us interest to borrow
They are cheap, low quality screws. Home Depot quality. That's
all that can be said for them.
On a standard wood screw, the shank should be the same diameter
as the major diameter of the threads. On your screws, it's the
same as the minor diameter of the threads. That's normal for
deck screws and drywall screws, but not for standard wood screws.
Home Depot screws are worse; the heads aren't even round.
I think you're on to something there; the threads are indeed bigger than
the shank, coming in at 0.180", still smaller than the shanks are
supposed to be.
The minor diameter is correct, coming in at 0.130, so at least they got
I can't be the first guy who has noticed this, but I'm guessing most
people just maybe don't care. Still, why don't they just sell the
proper size screws and raise the price fifty cents or whatever it would
have to be. Bastards.
I guess I don't understand what all the hubbub is about.
Perhaps the metal is stronger, thus the smaller diameter.
I don't remember the last time I bought off-the-shelf Hillman type
fasteners. Technology has left them in the dust.
Specialty screws like Spax, GRK, HighPoint, Kreg, FastenMaster and
others have made standard zinc screws the floppy disks of fasteners.
The last package of cabinet screws I bought from GRK were about half the
thickness of a zinc screw of the same strength.
I used structural fasteners for my post/beam outbuilding this summer.
They were almost half the thickness of equivalent lag bolts or
galvanized bolts, but rated much higher in both sheer and tensile
For standard wood screws, I either buy from McFeely's website, my local
woodcraft, or the specialty shelves at Lowes or Home Depot.
Run-of-the-mill zinc screws are my absolute last choice and I always
feel like I'm being paid back for poor decisions in life whenever I'm
forced to use them. :-)
"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
If there's sideways loading on the screw, you want the shank
to bear against the sides of the hole. You don't want all
the load to be carried by the screwhead bearing on the
If the screw is purely in tension, then it doesn't make any
difference (as long as the strength of the shank is still
Granted, for most any application where you did have a
sideways load you wouldn't use a Home Depot grade screw
anyway (and it would likely be stainless or silicon bronze,
not a common galvanized screw).
For good holding power where appearance is not important I've sometimes
used the Tex lath screws. The washer head is that much more resistance
to twisting, they're cheaper than Kreg screws, and the washer is larger.
On Wednesday, January 28, 2015 at 6:27:39 PM UTC-8, -MIKE- wrote:
It's about the failure of the wood, not the metal. A smaller diameter
than the clearance hole means the shank of the screw
takes sideways loads on a small part of its area (and lbs/sq. in. stress is
higher). That will crush the adjacent wood fiber and prevent the item from
becoming a treasured, intact, antique... rather, it's another old creaky
Inexpensive (sheetrock-style) screws work OK for holding a glued joint
shut, and the glue prevents shifting, but that IS NOT always what the
Going off on a bit of a tangent, but while this is generally
true for cabinetry, where loads are small, it's not the
case for things like boatbuilding, where large forces at
strange angles are common.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.