Ask the Experts: Can Drywall and Cabinet Screws Be Used Interchangeably?

With spring almost upon us, we are getting more and more questions about drywall screws, their applications and what the best way is to use them.

That might sounds like a pretty obvious question to most but the fact remains that drywall screws are often used incorrectly. And, like any fastener, when used incorrectly it can cause a whole boat load of problems!

One of our customers recently had a question about whether drywall screws and cabinet screws could be used interchangeably:

Q: I have been having a discussion with one of my contractors about whether wood screws, cabinet screws and drywall screws can be used interchangeably. My contractor wants to use a cabinet screw in place of a drywall screw but I am telling him that this would be a weaker product. I see this problem a lot and it seems like drywall screws are often misused. Can you guys set me straight?

A: Being in the fastener industry as a buyer for most of my life, I can tell you that drywall screws are not inherently weaker than a cabinet screw or any other wood screw. Unless the company selling them is buying extremely low quality product to begin with, which is always a possibility, the wire rod used and case hardening process is the same for drywall, wood and cabinet screws.

So it is true that drywall screws often misused? Like many fasteners, the answer is a resounding yes!

A drywall screw is designed for a very specific purpose: tapping into and holding onto a metal stud. Hence the specific threading pattern. A woodscrew, on the other hand, is meant for wood. A deep-thread wood screw (or particle board screw) is for pressboard, and so on.

A cabinet screw is typically a screw that comes with a modified truss head that has a larger bearing surface and in particular, no countersunk head.

The bottom line is that you are always better off using the right fastener for the job, but when it comes to cabinets and woodworking, the ability to interchange fasteners is pretty broad so I would not sweat this too much.

For more information about drywall screws go to

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