Do you need a Drill to Screw into Wood? Answer Will SHOCK You!

If you are like me who loves to do home improvements and repair on your own then you also must have wondered if it is necessary to use a hand drill for screwing into wood. Screwing into wood using a drill takes much more efforts and time than simply using a screwdriver. I am very lazy and I wondered is it really necessary to use a hand drill to screw into wood?

Can you screw in a screw without a drill? Yes, you can screw in a screw without using a hand drill. Most of the tasks can be completed only using a screwdriver and you don’t necessarily need a hand drill. But, I would suggest using a drill when you want to screw several screws into the wood as this power tool can not only save time but also give better precision. 

Drilling holes into the wood is not that tricky as some people think. Screwing wood is very simple even if you have never done it before. However, you can do several mistakes while using a handheld screwdriver. Precise work is required and you can easily crack the wood, tear the hole or you may screw at the wrong location.


Factors to consider before screwing into wood

The decision of using a power tool or a handheld screwdriver can vary from one situation to another. Several factors should be considered before choosing between the two.

Speed and Accuracy

If you are working on a big project which requires you to screw a lot of screws then using a hand drill is a good choice. Manually screwing a lot of screws into wood using a handheld screwdriver may be tiring and inconvenient. But, when you have to screw 3-4 screws it is not worth the effort of finding your hand drill then connecting to the power supply and then again removing it. However, if you are working on a large project hand drill will save a lot of time and efforts.

Screw heads can be stripped

Another major problem that you may face is stripped screw heads. If you strip the screw’s head it becomes tough to remove and replace the screw in the future. Also, you will have a hard time completing your current project if you strip the screw’s head. It becomes very tough to remove and put a screw if you can’t grip it properly. You are more likely to strip the screw’s head using a handheld screwdriver rather than a power tool.

Can you screw in a screw without a drill?

Tough to screw straight

It is quite difficult to screw straight into the wood using a handheld screwdriver. While screwing most of the times the screw tends to tilt one side. When this happens you need to remove the screw and again screw it properly. But, using a power drill can make your work easy and less complicated.

You can crack or split the wood

If you are inexperienced then there are a lot of chances that you may split or crack the wood while manually screwing the screw using a screwdriver. In fact, you may double your work by increasing the size of the hole. Now, you firstly need to fill the extra hole with wood putty then screw in the wood again.

How to Screw into Wood?

You may think drilling a hole into the wood is not very complicated but even a little tilt of screw may result in screwing the screw in an undesired place. However, you don’t need to worry as you can simply overcome this problem using a pilot hole. Using a scrap piece of wood is the most optimal way to consistently drill straight holes into wood.

Screwing into the wood can be sometimes very challenging and experienced workers suggest using pilot holes. Just by using a hammer and nail, you can create a tiny hole before actually drilling into the very beneficial wood.

Pilot holes are holes which a little smaller than the final size. These pilot holes are very beneficial to prevent cracking as well as splitting of wood. Pilot holes also come in handy while drilling in crooked and hardwoods. Pilot holes act as a guide and they help you to drill correctly. Most of the common drilling mistakes can be avoided using pilot holes.

Importance of Pilot Holes

If you try to screw the wood directly without using pilot holes then you make space for the screw by removing wood. If you try to screw directly you will create pressure on the wood around the screw and also displace wood cuttings. Doing this can make the wood weaker and ultimately lead to splits as well as cracks.

Different types of wood have different structure and some wood like oak have complicated structure and if you screw directly without pilot holes there are higher chances of wood splitting or cracking. However, if you directly screw in simple wood like pine, you can get away without cracking or splitting the wood.

Pinewood is very simple in structure and it can adjust the external pressure and expand to a certain limit. Pilot holes make screwing manually in the wood using a handheld screwdriver easier. Screwing into the wood manually without a pilot hole will require a lot of pressure and force.

There are chances of damaging and breaking the screw if you don’t use pilot holes as you need to apply greater pressure. If in case you are using lower quality screws you must use pilot holes or else you will surely break or bend the screw. Also, there are high chances that you strip the screw’s head as you apply more pressure if you don’t use pilot holes. Hence, pilot holes are necessary before screwing into the wood.

When to Use a Screwdriver

There are several big advantages of using power tools for carpentry purposes but still, you need a screwdriver for some special cases. Instances when you mostly use screwdrivers.

  • If there is no power supply or your power tool runs out of battery.
  • Small screws that don’t fit in standard drill bits.
  • Whenever you don’t have proper safety gear for using the power tool.
  • While working outdoors where you can’t connect drill to the power supply.
  • When you just want to fix 1 or 2 screws.

Can you screw in a screw without a drill?

It is absolutely not worth the effort to remove your power tool to replace one screw from your wall. Also, if you want to be perfect at basic carpentry using a screwdriver is a must.

When to Use a Power Tool

Power tools have a lot of advantages over screwdrivers. Enough though there are some instances where you need to use screwdrivers, for most of the work you need a power tool.

  • Inserting screws in crooked or hardwoods.
  • Screwing long screws.
  • While working on a big project that requires numerous screws.
  • Instances where you need precise accuracy.
  • Working on delicate woods such as antiques and small toys.

Summing It Up

Majorly power tools like hand drills are used in today’s carpentry work but still, you can’t deny the significance of screwdriver. The screwdriver is still used but in limited cases only. Drilling makes our work much faster and efficient when compared to manually screwing each screw.

In large projects using a screwdriver is impractical and tiring work. Hence, the usage of the drill is increasing day by day and power tools have become very popular in carpentry.


I spend each darn end of the week taking a shot at home tasks and trimming down the “nectar do” list. This is where I share the majority of the undertakings I’ve done and things I’m learning.

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