Most drywall applications do not require screws longer than 1.5 inches. But since drywall screws are so versatile, they're available in sizes in excess of 4 inches. These longer versions are often labeled all-purpose screws. Drywall screws have a Phillips bugle head, and are rust resistant and durable.
Drywall screws come in bulk, or in 1 to 5 pound packages. Collated drywall screws are another option but allow for application with a collated drywall screw driver. Useful for tricky framing issues, hanging pictures, securing loose boards, and filling in nicely when the right screw is unavailable, a drywall screw is good to have around.
There are different categories of drywall screw:
- Type W have a coarse thread intended for wood studs.
- Type G have a larger diameter and work well in drywall-to-drywall applications.
- Type S has a fine thread that is effective for steel stud applications.
- A special Type S drywall screw has a self-tapping tip that enters steel more easily that the usually sharp point.
Hunt for the drywall screw source with the lowest pricesNearly any hardware source includes drywall screws in their stock, and there is little differentiation between quality. So, especially if you have a big job, shop around. For small and even large jobs, you may want to pick up your screws for drywall directly from whichever hardware store you know to be cheapest.
Choose your drywall screw driverDrywall screws finish better during the mudding process if you take care during their application. Over-driving with screws for drywall results in frayed surfaces and insecure holds. You also save time if you choose good equipment. The main goal is that each screw does not penetrate through the top surface of the drywall. Instead, the head should dimple the drywall surface.
Save time by getting the minimum required length of drywall screwChoosing drywall screw size is partly a matter of getting a secure hold, but it's also a matter of time. Excess drywall screw length means added driving time. Drywall screw spacing is about 12 inches, or even less for some applications, which means even a fraction of a second per screw can add up to minutes or even hours on a big job. For either type W or S, choose a 1 inch drywall screw for 3/8 inch drywall. For 1/2 inch drywall go up to a 1 and 1/8 inch screw for Type W, and a 1 and 1/4 inch screw for Type S. For 5/8 inch drywall, go up to a 1 1/4 inch screw for Type W and a 1 3/8 inch screw for Type S.
- Using a type S drywall screw on wood means wasting time. The fine threads take longer to drive.
- Use the sharp point of a drywall screw to pilot a hole for a less aggressive screw.