How to tighten a screw without a screwdriver

Self-tapping tools

Fasteners can have caps of different sizes and recesses in them of various shapes and sizes. Therefore, before screwing in the self-tapping screw, make sure that you have a screwdriver or screwdriver with a suitable attachment in your arsenal. In general, it is better to have nozzles for the corresponding tools, as they say, to the maximum. Plus, they should be replaced regularly, since the wear of the devices during operation cannot be avoided..

Note! The best bits are those made of tool steel with hardening additives. Do not stop your choice on the first set that comes across, otherwise after a couple of days of intensive work you will have to go for a new one..

If you plan to screw one or two self-tapping screws into an unstable surface, then you can work with a screwdriver. If it is more, you cannot do without a screwdriver. Tightening fasteners with a screwdriver is not as easy as it might seem at first glance, and requires some skill. A screwdriver will do everything quickly and efficiently.

tighten, screw, screwdriver

General screwing technology for self-tapping screws

Use an awl to make a small indentation in the place reserved for the self-tapping screw. Install the product “on position”. Use careful but firm movements to rotate the part until it deeply deepens and locks in the material. Then the force can be increased. Towards the end of the “process”, the speed must be reduced again – so as not to damage the screw.

How to screw screws into different materials?

Many men, not knowing how to screw a self-tapping screw into concrete, spoil a sufficient number of purchased parts. In fact, everything is quite simple: self-tapping screws are “integrated” into concrete with the help of dowels – strong plastic “tubes”. First, a hole is made in the material, a dowel is installed there, which “receives” the fastener.

Worth knowing! Craftsmen advise to grease the dowels with glue before installing. This, in their opinion, strengthens the connections..

Drilling holes in concrete should be done exclusively with a hammer drill – even a hammer drill may not withstand, let alone a conventional one. Self-tapping screws are suitable for both wood and universal.

Brick, ceramic tile, screed

Self-tapping screws are screwed into these environments in the same way as into concrete. The only thing is, for working with tiles, it is better to take an ordinary drill, since it can crack from the excessive power of the hammer drill..

Copper, bronze, aluminum

Measure the shank diameter of the fastener excluding threads. This manipulation must be performed with a caliper. Install pointed jaws perpendicular to the self-tapping screw and clamp the product so that they completely penetrate into the thread groove; determine the diameter. With a drill with a diameter of one and a half millimeters smaller than the obtained value, make a hole in the material. Screw the self-tapping screw into the hole – and the job is done. Use parts with a universal thread..

Note! Before “piercing” the main structure, it is recommended to check the drill on a small unnecessary piece of similar material. Drill a hole and try to screw the product there. The drill is considered correctly selected if the self-tapping screw goes into the hole tight enough, but does not jam. In the event that the screw fails to “break through”, you should work with a thicker drill. Too light twisting of the part symbolizes that you need to take a thinner drill – otherwise the self-tapping screw may pop out at any time.

The hole in the material must be equal to or slightly larger than the unthreaded bar diameter. Self-tapping screws will not be able to cope with a number of hard metals – in particular, it is almost impossible to screw these fasteners into cast iron.

Not every plastic is ready to accept a self-tapping screw, so it will not be superfluous to make sure before starting work that the material exactly fits. The technology for screwing a self-tapping screw into plastic is the same as for soft metals – copper, aluminum, bronze. Featured Products – Wood Carved.

Wood, fiberboard and chipboard

Don’t know how to screw a self-tapping screw into the board? Believe me, nothing is easier. The basic rule is to use only wood screws. For hard types of wood, thin boards, chipboard, fiberboard, preliminary drilling of a hole for the product is mandatory, since there is a risk of splitting the material with a self-tapping screw. For thick softwood boards, this manipulation can be dispensed with..

If you are working:

  • with hard wood. choose a drill with a diameter equal to the diameter of the self-tapping rod (naturally, no thread);
  • with fiberboard – 1 millimeter less;
  • with chipboard or softwood – 2-3 millimeters less.

Mark points on the sheet with a pencil. The optimal pitch between the screws is up to 70 centimeters, depending on the expected loads on the structure. If you are using a screwdriver, you can start screwing the product at maximum speed. After the self-tapping screw enters the surface by ½ it is recommended to gradually reduce the speed to the minimum. When tightening with an ordinary screwdriver, all movements should be smooth. It is very important to tighten the self-tapping screw correctly – ideally, it should be 1 millimeter below the level of the cardboard, not gypsum! This will ensure the maximum strength of the future structure. If you suddenly did not follow the technology and broke through the cardboard, the “ill-fated” place needs to be putty, and a new fastener should be placed at a distance of 5-9 centimeters from it.

The type of self-tapping screws for drywall must be selected depending on the material used in the construction of the sheathing. For the metal frame, universal or metal self-tapping screws are required, for wooden lathing – wood products.

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Table of contents

  • Types of self-tapping screws
  • Self-tapping tools
  • General screw-in technology
  • How to screw screws into different materials?
  • How to properly tighten the unscrewed self-tapping screw?


The thing is that home craftsmen often do not know how to screw in a self-tapping screw correctly and how to choose it correctly in general..

Types of self-tapping screws

There are two main types of self-tapping screws used for self-repair – for wood and universal. Their main difference is in the thread pitch – “screws” for wood are characterized by a large pitch (less frequent threading).

There is a misconception that universal parts are just as good for wood, plywood and chipboard as specialized ones. No, of course, it will not be difficult to screw them into these materials, but how well they will stick there is a big question. The fact is that the “raw material” into which the self-tapping screw is “immersed” must reliably lie in the grooves of the thread, and the structure of the wood will not allow it to fit qualitatively in the narrow “grooves” of the universal self-tapping screw.

How to properly tighten the unscrewed self-tapping screw?

The unscrewed part must be re-tightened exactly as it stood before. It is very important that the screw goes into the same groove, at the same angle. If the product “draws” a “new path” for itself, the reliability of the fastening will be significantly reduced. How to get into an existing cut? Just insert the part into the hole and turn it by hand without pressure. As soon as everything falls into place, you will feel it – the process will go like clockwork. You do not need to press on a tight self-tapping screw, you just need to remove it and try again. A little effort is required only at the very end of screwing.

Now you know how to screw a self-tapping screw into drywall, concrete, brick, wood and metals correctly and what to do in case of “work hitches”.

How to tighten a self-tapping screw without a screwdriver and without a screwdriver.

This method of screwing the screws is, of course, an exception to the rule, but in some cases when it is very necessary and only a drill and screws are at hand, there is nothing else to do but to clamp the screw head directly into the cartridge and slowly tighten it. To prevent the screw from scrolling in the chuck, you can hit the edge of the screw head several times with a hammer so that it becomes not round but slightly deformed.

How to screw a self-tapping screw into a tree with a screwdriver.

In most cases, you have to twist self-tapping screws into the wood with two types of slot, flat and cruciform. For tightening such self-tapping screws, appropriate screwdrivers with a flat (marking SL) or cross-shaped (marking PH) tip are selected. Also on sale you can find cross-shaped bits with the PZ marking. PZ bits have additional edges and are used for self-tapping screws with a recessed slot. Sometimes flat-tipped screwdrivers are called minus, and Phillips are called plus or curly. In addition to the letter index, their markings also contain digital indexing, which indicates the width of the flat tip or the group to which the cruciform tip belongs. When making furniture with your own hands, most often you have to tighten self-tapping screws with a screwdriver, the diameter of which is from 2.2 to 4.2 millimeters. Therefore, for screwing self-tapping screws with a flat slot into a tree, the designation of a screwdriver must be SL from 4 to 8, and for screwing self-tapping screws with a Phillips slot into a tree, the designation of a screwdriver must be PH or PZ 1 or 2.

How to screw a self-tapping screw into a tree.

You can screw a self-tapping screw into a tree in three ways, with a screwdriver, screwdriver or drill. The easiest and practically cost-free way to tighten the self-tapping screw with a screwdriver. Wood material is soft and pliable, which allows you to screw a sufficient number of self-tapping screws into it with a screwdriver without much fatigue. In order to tighten a large number of self-tapping screws, you will have to resort to the help of a screwdriver, he will do all the power part of the work for you. It will also not be difficult to screw the self-tapping screw into the wood with a drill, but for this the drill must have a function of smooth adjustment of the rotational speed.

How to screw a self-tapping screw into a tree with a screwdriver.

Even a person far from this business can handle screwing a self-tapping screw into a tree with a screwdriver, since the screwdriver will do all the work for you, you just need to choose the right attachment for the screwdriver (bit). The rules that must be followed when choosing bits for screwing self-tapping screws into a tree are the same as when choosing a screwdriver.

How to screw a self-tapping screw into a tree with a drill.

To screw the screws into a tree, the drill must have an electronic speed control function. In other words, the rotational speed of the drill chuck should gradually increase as the button is pressed. It is also worth remembering that most drills do not have the function of adjusting the maximum force like a screwdriver, and therefore you need to independently control the depth of screwing of the screw and remove your finger from the button in time. An ordinary drill has enough strength to screw the self-tapping screw deep into the tree or even tear off the head of the self-tapping screw..

What kind of drill to drill under a self-tapping screw into a tree.

It is not necessary to pre-drill a hole, since a self-tapping screw is nothing more than a self-tapping screw, and according to the manufacturer’s specification, it is screwed into wood and plastic without drilling. In confirmation of this, you can think about what a drill should be for drilling under a self-tapping screw under a 4.8100 wood, and if you think logically, the diameter of the drill should be about 3 mm. and the length is not less than 130 mm. (Drill 100 and clamp 30 in the drill chuck). It is unlikely that such a drill can be found on sale..

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And finally – remember that a poorly nailed self-tapping screw holds much better than a well-rolled nail..


Self-tapping tools

Depending on the cap, you will need a screw-in tool. Usually this is a screwdriver with various attachments or a screwdriver.
A screwdriver will work if you need to screw a pair of self-tapping screws into a soft material. But working with a screwdriver requires a certain skill..
But if you need to screw a lot of self-tapping screws and / or the material into which you will screw them hard, then working with a screwdriver will take a lot of energy and leave mazol on your hands, even if you work with gloves. In this case, I recommend using a screwdriver.
If you do not have a screwdriver, it can be easily replaced by a drill with the ability to adjust the speed and reverse.

Often screwdrivers contain many bits, which, by the way, can be used for both a screwdriver and a drill. It is better to choose nozzles containing hardening additives. These attachments will last longer..
Depending on the intensity of use, the attachments deform and become difficult to use. They begin to chew on the caps of the screws. Such attachments must be replaced..

How to screw a self-tapping screw into drywall

When screwing screws into drywall, we usually pursue two goals.

  • Installation of gypsum plasterboards on the wall
  • Screwing objects to the finished wall

In the first case, we choose a self-tapping screw depending on the material of the lathing. Usually one of two types of lathing is used: metal and wood. To install the gypsum plasterboard, you need to start screwing in the self-tapping screw at high speeds. After you have screwed in the self-tapping screw by about half the speed, you need to reduce it. And at the end, slowly tighten until the cap enters the cardboard by about 1 mm. Not more. If the hat broke through the cardboard and entered the plaster, then the resulting hole must be covered with plaster or plaster and next (after 5-6 cm) tighten another self-tapping screw.
The optimal pitch between self-tapping screws when installing gypsum plasterboards is considered to be a step of up to 70 cm.

If you screw objects to a plasterboard wall, then it will be optimal to pass it through and screw the self-tapping screw into the crate according to the same rules. Except for the deepening of the self-tapping head. Drywall itself is not a sufficiently durable material. Therefore, it is not advisable to hang heavy structures (shelves, TVs, etc.) on it. But pictures, light mirrors, some decorations can be hung on self-tapping screws directly twisted into drywall. You can also drive a nail into drywall..

How to screw a self-tapping screw into wood, chipboard, fiberboard

The easiest way is to screw a self-tapping screw into a tree. For soft wood, it is enough to use the general technology of screwing self-tapping screws without pre-drilling holes. To screw a self-tapping screw into hard wood, fiberboard or chipboard, you need to drill a hole to reduce the risk of splitting the workpiece. Moreover, for hard wood, the diameter of the hole you drill should be equal to the diameter of the self-tapping screw rod without thread. For fiberboard or chipboard, the diameter should be slightly smaller. By about 0.5-2mm, depending on the diameter of the self-tapping screw.

How to tighten a self-tapping screw

To move on to the question of how to tighten a self-tapping screw, it is important from the beginning to decide how to choose a self-tapping screw. If the self-tapping screw has already been chosen by you, then you can skip the first point.

The choice of screws

The most important characteristic of a self-tapping screw is the thread pitch. It is he who determines the material into which it is optimally screwed.
It is enough to distinguish 3 main types of thread steps of self-tapping screws: frequent, rare and medium.

There are also self-tapping screws with a herringbone profile. They are designed for driving into plastic dowels when attaching skirting boards.

How to remove stripped screws – 7 different ways

Photo of self-tapping screws with signatures

Self-tapping screws with a frequent thread pitch (usually 2 spirals similar to a rare pitch, offset from each other by 180 degrees) are used for screwing into metal.
Self-tapping screws are screwed into the wood with a rare pitch. Do not confuse chipboard and plywood with wood.
When tightening the self-tapping screw, it is important that the material is securely located in the thread grooves, and the material itself does not crack during this.

Self-tapping screws can have different types of hats, both in size and shape..

Photo of hats with captions

Friday 4 April 2014.

Mechanical knife

Photo of the instrument


Self-tapping screws are not suitable for all types of plastics; some of its varieties can simply collapse when screwed in. If you are completely sure that your plastic product is not one of them, then the technology described above for soft metals should be applied in this case, using self-tapping screws for wood.


If you need to screw a self-tapping screw into a wooden surface, then there is a little less work to be done than in previous cases. This is due to the properties of the material. However, in general, the stages of work are the same as in the case of, for example, metal.

  • First, a preliminary hole is drilled with a slightly smaller diameter than the self-tapping screw.
  • A self-tapping screw is screwed into this hole at medium speed of the tool.
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In principle, there is nothing complicated, since it is much easier to screw a self-tapping screw into a tree than, for example, into metal.


Sharpening on a stone or rough block continues until a strip of metal appears on the knife edge along the entire cutting edge. After that, you need to use a bar with a finer grain..
When the knife moves along the bar, the angle must be kept the same between the knife and the bar. Bringing the knife to the end of the bar at the same time, it must be moved from the handle to the edge. Thereby sharpening the whole knife.


When you need to screw the self-tapping screw into the metal, then you need to carry out a number of preparatory measures.

  • First you need to measure the diameter of the screw’s axis. For these purposes, you must use a vernier caliper. It is important to remember that you need to measure the diameter without taking into account the height of the thread..
  • After that, you need to use a drill, 1–1.5 mm less than the diameter of the self-tapping screw, drill a hole in the material. For best results, you can practice with similar materials. Ideally, the self-tapping screw should screw in tightly, but not wedge in the hole..
  • Screwing in should be done at medium speed of the tool, evenly and with slight pressure on the self-tapping screw.

If the self-tapping screw is twisted into thick metal, then the hole is made slightly smaller than the outer diameter of the self-tapping screw..


As for how to screw a self-tapping screw into concrete, then for these purposes there are self-tapping screws for concrete. If you drill a hole under them with a drill, with a diameter of 6.5 mm, then they are screwed in and perfectly hold everything that they have fixed.

An ordinary self-tapping screw for wood or metal simply will not hold there by itself, not to mention the fact that it is simply impossible to screw it in..

Also, fastening to concrete is possible with the help of additional fasteners – dowels.

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  • First, a hole for the dowel is drilled.
  • A dowel is driven into the hole.
  • A self-tapping screw is screwed into the dowel.

The procedure is quite simple, but it requires some skill and experience. Self-tapping screws and dowels should be selected in close relationship with each other.

Anchors are used to obtain a more durable fastening..

As for the general rules on how to screw in the self-tapping screw correctly, regardless of the material, it should be said that, first of all, you need to ensure that the fasteners are screwed in at an angle of 90 degrees. We must not allow distortions. This will cause both additional difficulties in twisting and less firm hold in the surface. And in the case of metal, and completely lead to breakage of the self-tapping screw, which in turn will cause the entire fastening to be unusable. The rotational speed of the drill or screwdriver should also be controlled..

However, knowing and observing the above rules for carrying out work and some technological aspects of their implementation, you can avoid most of the probable problems and carry out all the work yourself, quickly and efficiently, as befits a real master..

Drywall: pay special attention!

Drywall is a material, screwing screws into which is associated with the greatest number of different nuances. The main ones include:

  • the optimal screwing step for this fastener is considered to be a distance of about 70 cm;
  • using a screwdriver when working, you should start immediately at the maximum speed, gradually decreasing it as the self-tapping screw deepens;
  • working with a regular screwdriver, you need to monitor the smoothness and restraint of movements;
  • the head of the twisted self-tapping screw should press the cardboard surface of the sheet without breaking it. This condition is the key to the maximum strength of the future structure;
  • if the surface of the sheet turns out to be torn, the self-tapping screw should be removed, the hole should be putty and a new place should be found for installing the fasteners at a distance of about 5-9 cm.

When working with drywall, the type of self-tapping screw is selected based on the material of the supporting sheathing. If it is wooden, then self-tapping screws for wood are used, if metal, then universal.

So, we introduced you to the basic rules that allow you to screw a self-tapping screw into any metal so that the maximum reliability of the structures you create is ensured. We hope that our recommendations will allow you to eliminate any defects and make any repairs the way you originally intended..

A self-tapping screw is a type of fasteners, the main feature of which is the ability to be wrapped in material without preliminary drilling. Despite the general simplicity and ingenuity of the design, there are many important subtleties that should be considered when handling them. We will analyze the most important and most frequently practiced.

Self-tapping tools

Often screwdrivers contain many bits, which, by the way, can be used for both a screwdriver and a drill. It is better to choose nozzles containing hardening additives. These attachments will last longer..
Depending on the intensity of use, the attachments deform and become difficult to use. They begin to chew on the caps of the screws. Such attachments must be replaced..