What Drill Bit Size Do You Need to Pilot a Hole for No.8 Screw

It can be quite a difficult task for anyone to find the right drill bit to pre-drill a pilot hole for a screw. Why would you even pilot a hole for a screw in the first place? In this article, we will cover what drill bit size do you need to pilot a hole for a #8 screw and why you need to do it.


What do You Mean by Pilot a Hole?

If you have ever driven a screw into wood, you would know it’s hard. Moreover, there’s also a chance for the screw to crack, specifically when you are drilling at the edges.

Now it is always better to use an impact driver to drive screws into wood. But even with an impact driver, a not so thick piece of wood might crack when you drive a screw into the corners. It specifically cracks towards the end where you drove the screw in.

To avoid that, just drill a hole right where you have to drive the screw in. This allows for the wood to be prepped for it and it does not crack even at the end.

However, the problem arises, which drill bit should you use to pilot a hole into the wood?


Easy Way to Measure Which Drill Bit to Use to Pilot a Hole for the Screw

First Step

First, take the screw that you have to insert into the piece of wood. Make sure you are using the exact same screw you are going to drive into the timber.

Second Step

Hold the screw in your hands, place the drill bit above the drill in a position where it is directly ahead of the screw in your vision.

Third Step

Check if the drill bit is big enough to cover the shaft. Make sure the bit only covers the screw’s shaft and nothing else. The threads should not be covered.

Fourth Step

If the threads are covered by the drill bit, find one that only covers the shaft and keeps the threads exposed. Just to double-check, place the screw in front of the drill bit. If the screw shaft is covering the drill bit completely, then that is the right bit for the job.


What Drill bit Size Do You Need for A #8 Screw?

The drill bit size you will require for a number 8 screw depends on the type of wood you are going to use. Some wood when drilled creates a bigger hole than normal. Some wood requires a bigger drill bit to pilot a hole for the screw.

When it comes to a number 8 screw, if you want to drive it into hardwood, you would need a 1/8″ drill bit. But that is not the case when you are going to pilot a hole into softwood. For that, you need a totally different drill bit.

For softwood, you will need a 3/32″ bit to pre-drill a hole for the screw. This allows you to easily drive in a number 8 screw inside softwood.


A Few Extra Tips and Tricks

How to attach two Pieces of Wood Tightly with a Screw

If you are planning on joining two pieces of wood together using a screw, there is a trick to tightly seal them together. Find a drill bit just as big as the screw. By that, we mean that the bit has to cover the whole screw, including the threads.

Use that drill bit to drill into the piece of wood where you will drive the screw through. Do not drill all the way through the second piece of wood though. Then use the drill again but this time with a bit that only covers the shaft of the screw. Drill through to the second piece of wood using that bit of the drill.

Now when you drive the screw into the pieces of wood through the first into the second, it will be held much more tightly. This holds both the pieces of wood quite firm and tight.

Always Drill through the Piece of Wood you want to drive the Screw into

Well the heading itself is apparent, but always drill through the entire piece of the wood you want to drive the screw into. This makes sure that there is no internal cracking in the wood. You would not want internal cracks in the wood as it would weaken its integrity.

Usually, people do not worry about that as the cracks are not usually visible. But it will cause the wood to weaken on the inside.

Right Size of Screw for the Right Size of Wood

Also, there is a general rule that the piece of wood you are screwing into should be three times the size of the screw’s diameter. This is just a general rule amongst the carpenters to avoid any cracking in the piece of timber.

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