Screws can be driven either in a drilled pilot hole or no drilled pilot hole, depending on the screw type and the project handled. If you decide to drill a pilot hole for every screw, there is no cause for alarm.
I don’t attach importance to drilling of pilot holes for a large construction and shop project, because in this case, it’s easy, fast, and efficient to drive the screws into the wood using self-tapping screws for better results.
If you’re making a rough construction, drilling a pilot hole is not necessary as you can easily drive screws into its place. But when working on finer woodworking projects, ensure that you drill a hole first, if not, you may split the wood, especially if you’re driving the screw close to the edge of the board.
Drilling a hole before driving the screw causes the screw thread to cut through the walls of the pilot hole easily instead of tearing the fibers apart.
The drilled pilot hole helps create a strong connection between the screw and the board, and to help the screw drive in easily. Drilling a hole can be done with a drill bit of the same diameter as the screw or a drill bit with a diameter less than the screw shank.
To do this, drill a hole in the wood with the same length as the screw. Guard the drill bit from wandering by pressing the side with your finger. Squeezing the trigger slowly will put it in motion. Constant application of too much weight on the drill is not necessary, to avoid blasting through the reverse side of the wood. Allow the drill bit to continue spinning to do its job.
How to Choose the Correct Size of Bit
You may choose a flathead screw with a flat top, if you want the screw head to level up with the top of the wood.
A countersink bit may be used to create a depression on the wood surface so that the screw head fits into it perfectly, to give a professional look to your project. In other words, this bit is used to create a seat for the screw head.
Screws can be driven with an impact driver, drill, or the regular screwdriver, which is preferred by people who enjoy using hands to twist stuffs.
To get started, insert the tip of the screw in the hole, and make it perpendicular to the work piece, twist it in by pulling the trigger. A needle nose plier could be used to hold and maintain the position of the screw.
Ensure that the driver is aligned with the screw, to avoid slipping out of the screw head. When the screw head is fully seated on the surface, you can then stop twisting the screw.