What Drill Bit To Use For Screw Size?

While drilling, if you are not picking up the right bit size for your screw sizes, it can hamper or completely ruin your work. People often get confused between the drill bits to match the screw sizes unless they are a professional driller.

However, knowing what drill bit to use for screw size, you can quickly achieve the perfect result. And it would be much more time and money saver for you than hiring an expert for the task.

Therefore, today’s article aims to inform you of everything you need to know for determining the correct drill bit size to use for the correct screw size.

Purpose Of Drill Bits

Before we move on to the brief discussion, let’s take a glance at how a drill bit serves us or how it works.

A drill bit is a removable tool or part that mainly install in the front of the drilling machine for drilling holes in any materials. That means the capping off the drill string is the drill bit, encompassing the drilling process is drilling fluid, which provides buoyancy to the drill string.

Types Of Drill Bits

There are different types of drill bits to serve different needs, and each bit is for specific types of tasks. Drill bits have been differently designed based on the medium and the material they will use. So let’s learn which bit type is for which specific type of work.

Wood Drill Bits

These bits are the most versatile and commonly used and have a small, pointed tip at the very end. High-speed steel wood bits are mainly significant for softwood materials, and also can be used for light metals, fiberglass, or PVC material drilling.

Masonry Drill Bits

This type has a gently sloping tip. Sometimes, and the tip of masonry bits is coated with carbide. Masonry bits are highly durable and work best for stone and cinder blocks. These bits are perfect for hanging photos on the concrete surfaces.

Metal Drill Bits

Metal bits have a wide-angled point at the end and are highly versatile, perfect for soft aluminum or other metal materials. But if you consider purchasing this type of bit, then remember to pick the high-speed steel labeled one(HSS). Those bits are also available with titanium or cobalt coating.

How To Select the Right Drill Bit Size For  Screw Size?

Finding the right drill bit size to use for a specific screw size may not be a massive deal for professional or pro users, but general and beginners mostly struggle. But fortunately, there are three easy to go methods to choose the right size of drill bit for a particular screw size-

First Method

First, pick the screw you will use, and the next task is to pick a drill bit similar in size or the closest size. To determine the size measurement of a drill bit for screws, just line them end to end and check whether the bit has the same width as one of the screws, excluding its threads. Now, if the sizes are similar or closest, you are ready to do the drilling. Remember to calculate the bit size without the threads, or else your hole size will be too big for your screws to fit in.

Second Method

Another easy way to find out the bit size or screw size is by checking the labels on your purchased bits and screws packages because mostly drill bits dimensions are labeled on. For screw size, just check on the contained packaging or boxes as it is supposed to mention there. For example, if you have the size #2 screw, use a bit size of 1/16 or the #9 screw size, use a 9/64 sized bit.

Third Method

In case you use washers or other materials for loose screws, you need to do the opposite of the first method.  While you are lining up the bit and screw to measure the sizes, include bt’s threads as its width size, including the bit’s threads, that will ensure the hole size broader than the screw size to fit it with the washer.

What Drill Bit To Use For Screw Size Metric?

Metric drill bit sizes define the diameter of the bit in terms of standard metric lengths. Metric drill bits are measured by following the metric system, which is the significant and fundamental difference between any imperial drill bits and matric drill bits.

But almost any drill that uses imperial measured bits can also fit with the bits measured in the metric system. It means that instead of inch measurement, we need to focus on millimeters in the metric measuring system for screw and bit sizes.

Though both types of measured bits are available in similar styling and materials, metric drill bits are recommended as more precise in sizing the holes because centimeters are divided smaller than inches that is why currently drill bits that are measured by following imperial system also have the metric measurement specified and mentioned in their box or packaging.

How Do I Know What Size My Drill Bit Is?

Generally, most drill bits are provided with a drill size chart or marking somewhere on the shaft or the main box. You can find the diameter stamped into the metal if you see carefully, which may look as it is written in fractional numbers like 1/4 inch, 3/6 inch, or 25/32 inch.

But besides the size details provided with the drill bit packaging, if you are drilling any wood material, remember not to pick a bit precisely the same size as your hole will be and use a 1/64 inch smaller one. For other materials, go with the exact measured size, but if you get confused, just follow the 1/64 inch method I mentioned earlier.

In case you are still not clear about the drill bit size you may need for a particular screw size, just follow below-attached chart, which mentions the screw sizes and drilling holes to clear screws.


The Screw Size The Hole Size To Clear
#1 5/64
#2 3/32
#3 7/64
#4 1/8
#5 1/8
#6 9/64
#7 5/32
#8 11/64
#9 11/64
#10 3/16
#11 3/16
#12 7/32


Should A Drill Bit Be The Same Size As A Screw?

Yes, you should use the same size one unless you will use any washer.

Because the standard measurement process suggests, The drill bit should be the same size as the shaft of the screw without including its threads. For measuring the size, line up the screw side by side with the drill bit, and if the size is the same, you are ready to go with that bit.

However, if you use a washer or some similar material, then the bit size can be slightly bigger than the actual screw size.


The drilling task can become much easier when you know what drill bit to use for screw size. I hope that you have got a brief idea of how to choose the right one by now.

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