Cabinet Screws Vs Wood Screws – Which One to Use?

Cabinet Screws Vs Wood Screws

Screws are one of the most vital components in woodworking. Using the right screw in the right place can provide more durability and an overall better finish to your projects. But using the wrong screw might ruin the aesthetics and fall short in terms of holding power.

Cabinet screws and wood screws are pretty common among woodworkers and they get mixed up a lot. You need to know their distinctive differences. Let’s compare cabinet screws vs wood screws below to help you choose the best one for your upcoming projects.

Why Use Screws?

Have you ever wondered if you can do all your woodwork with just glue or nails? And what’s the point of using screws anyway?

Well, relying on glue is not the best idea in most cases. Despite being super easy to use, they are terrible when it comes to longevity. And also, they don’t have the best weight capacity, which is a huge issue.

Nails are a different beast in the game. They are great for holding weight and providing longevity. But the issue with them is that they are permanent, and you can’t fix any mistakes easily.

Screws are the perfect solution for both problems. They provide the best longevity in the game. Also, if you use anchors to install the screws, you’ll be able to unscrew them at will, giving you more freedom. Overall, it’s just a more versatile option, and anyone who’s into woodworking should use screws.

Cabinet Screws Vs Wood Screws – What’s The Difference?

Before jumping into a conclusive comparison, it’s best to address each aspect individually of both cabinet screws and wood screws. That way, you’ll be able to tell the difference between these two and use the information to your advantage in your workflow. Let’s check out the core differences that the screws have and how it impacts everything.


The first thing that comes to mind when you talk about different types of screws is the surface that they are suitable for. In that case, the matter is pretty self-explanatory with the names.

Cabinet screws are perfect for mounting cabinets, and wood screws are suitable for attaching wooden stuff to wooden surfaces. However, that’s not the end of the story.

You can use other types of screws to achieve the same results as well. But as these are specifically designed to do the job, they will perform their best in their field.

For example, a cabinet screw is designed to put on the weight of the cabinet and provide longevity. The wood screws are very sharp, making it easy to pierce through the surface without making any holes beforehand.

You can probably see how choosing the right screw will help achieve better results with your projects. So, don’t just pick any random screw and start working with that if you have the option to choose.


The shape of cabinet screws and the wood screws are significantly different. The rest of the body can be most similar to each other, but the top of the head differentiates them primarily.

Wood screws generally come with flat heads, and there’s nothing fancy about it. However, cabinet screws come with a washer-like head, giving them a distinct look. That washer head does have its benefits, and we’ll discuss it in detail in the upcoming segments.

Also, wood screws always come with an unthreaded shank near the head part. Cabinet screws also contain that part, but that’s not for all the cabinet screws.

But the shape of cabinet screws and wood screws are noticeably different, and you can tell which one is which by looking at the head.


Holding power is one of the most important things you need to consider before buying screws for woodworking. Thankfully, both cabinet screw and wood screw do a fantastic job here, and you won’t have to worry about anything.

Wood screws typically come with deeper thread. That makes the hold super strong. Not to mention, the unthreaded shank on the head part gives a smooth and tight lock to the wooden parts that you attach.

On the other hand, the washer-like head on top of the cabinet screws provides more holding power and safety. It also provides a more finished look to your projects, which is always something to appreciate.

Ease of use

Both screws are great in their field in terms of ease of use. Wood screws are typically a little harder to place as they’ve got deeper threading than the cabinet screws. But it’s not that big a deal as it’s worth it for the enhanced holding power.

Cabinet screws are way easier to use, thanks to the design. Some of the cabinet screws you find on the market come with a self-drilling tip. That allows you to skip the pre-drilling pilot hole part, which can take a massive load off of your head.

But at the end of the day, you should not focus on the ease of use as one is not significantly harder than the other, and focus on the output instead.


Wood screws are undoubtedly more common than cabinet screws. However, you should be able to find it without any issue.

Both screws are available in almost every local hardware store or online.  Also, they are fairly cheap as well.

They are available in a few sizes, and you need to make sure that you get the right size. Pay attention to the heads of the nails and see what tools you’ll need to screw them into place. In the US, you’ll find most screws with Phillips heads, and star or squire driver heads are not that common.

Which Screw is the Right One for You?

Now that you’ve gone through the differences, it’ll be much easier for you to draw a conclusion and choose the right screws for your work. However, let’s dive deeper and go over it in more detail below.

As you saw, it totally depends on what type of woodwork you do, and there is no best option that you can use in every scenario.

However, if you’re working with something that has a wooden surface on both sides, then it’s best to use wood screws. The shank and unthreaded top really help to attach the wooden parts together tightly. That’ll give you a much better result than anything else.

And, of course, cabinet screws are designed in a way that makes installing cabinets easier. So, that’s your other option if you’re not attaching it to a wooden surface.

Hopefully, you get the picture, and you can now pick the right type of screw according to your projects.

Final Thoughts

Using the right screw for your projects is one of the most critical things you need to master. Hopefully, our in-depth comparison of cabinet screws vs wood screws will give you some insights that you can use in your upcoming projects.

Remember, using the right tool in the right place can make your work so much easier. Also, the result will be much more polished and durable. So, take your time to learn about the differences, and it will help you a ton in your woodworking.

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