What Is the Difference Between Drywall Screws and Construction Screws?

Construction screws (A.K.A. Wood screws, are known to be durable and reliable. However, this doesn’t mean you should use them on your Drywall project. There are significant differences between these two types of screws; knowing them will help you make a better decision and save your money in the long run. 

What Are Drywall Screws?

Drywall screws are made particularly to be used for securing drywall to its wooden or metal frames. For the screws to stay in place and securely hold the drywall to the frame, they are typically light and have deep threads. How much a drywall screw can hold is also important. Check out this article to know more.

Drywall screws come in various variations, including those with coarse thread, collated, fine thread, phosphate, uncollated, zinc, wafer head, or bugle. Your application, the kind of drywall, the frame you’re using, and the length of the screws you utilize will influence your choice. Although not as durable as construction screws, drywall screws are still fairly durable.

What Are Construction Screws?

Construction screws, also known as wood screws or structural screws, are specifically designed to join two planks of wood together. They can be used to attach hardware to wood pieces such as cabinet doors, door frames, etc. To insert these, you must first drill a pilot hole so the unthreaded part of the screws fits in, then insert the rest of the screw. 

These screws can bend but not break easily, which is beneficial as wood contracts and expands as weather conditions change. These are generally used to install locks, hinges, and other hardware. They are easier to install and are one of the most versatile screws. Construction screws are also stronger than drywall screws.

Drywall Screws Vs Construction Screws:

Before getting into the differences between construction screws and drywall screws, check out the following comparison table that will help you quickly understand the key variations between the two kinds of screws.

Screw TypeThreadCostDurabilityMaterialHeadsInstallation
Drywall ScrewFully ThreadedLess ExpensiveGood for anchoring into the materialBrittle and Hardened SteelBugle HeadSelf-drilling, easy to install
Construction ScrewsPartially ThreadedExpensiveGood to resist weight, wind, and heavy trafficAvailable in steel, bronze, copper, brass, and nickelFlat, Slotted, Philips HeadEasy to install, but you have to drill a pilot hole first.

Key Differences between Deck Screws and Drywall Screws:

Here are a few of the main distinctions between drywall screws and construction screws:

  • Thread: When it comes to drywall, the thread of your selected screws is a crucial part. This is because it determines whether the drywall will remain fixed to its frame or the screws will come free, allowing the panels to tumble and separate from their studs.

    Both thin and coarse threaded drywall screws are available with metal and wooden frames. Construction screws, on the other hand, have sharp threading that does not taper and is appropriate for materials like wood, plastic, and others.
  • Cost: Cost is a key consideration when determining what kind of screws to use. When comparing drywall screws to construction screws, drywall screws are less costly. Depending on their length, diameter, brand, and quality, drywall screws typically range in price from 2 to 8 cents per screw. Construction screws, on the other hand, range in price from 8 to 18 cents per screw, depending on their length and material.
  • Durability: When strong traffic, wind, and weight are the key elements, construction screws offer outstanding durability. Alternatively, drywall screws are undoubtedly a better pick for indoor activities and drywall installation. While drywall screws hold the loose gypsum of drywall more firmly than construction screws, the latter is more durable when anchoring in solid wood.
  • Material: Most screws are constructed using steel, although steel is unsuitable for extreme weather conditions and corrosion prevention. To mainly prevent corrosion, construction screws can also be made of bronze, copper, or nickel in addition to the typical steel. Whereas the steel used to make drywall screws is brittle and hardened.
  • Heads: Drywall screws have bugle heads. Once the drywall is attached to the stud, the bugle head is placed beneath the drywall surface and filled with drywall mud. Construction screws can be slotted, flat-headed, or Philips, although the latter is preferred since it countersinks into the wood.
  • Installation: If you use an automated screwdriver, installing both screws is simple. But if you’re using a construction screw, you must first drill a pilot hole so the unthreaded part of the screws fits in, then insert the rest of the screw in. Construction screws require this little drilling step to sustain their partially plain shank since they are only partly threaded.

When to Use Drywall Screw & When to Avoid?

In areas where you need to repair the nail pops, drywall screws work best. Sometimes, nails are used to hold ceilings in place. Over time, these nails become loose, pop out of the stud, and produce cracks or split in the drywall. Using drywall screws in their place helps with this problem. 

They work great for drywall attachment to wooden or metal frames. The drywall screws, however, are only suitable for indoor uses. They won’t be able to handle the change in weather if used outside, making them prone to rust, scratches, and failures. Therefore, it is best to avoid them when working on projects like wood decking, etc.

When to Use Construction Screw & When to Avoid?

These screws are best when utilized as mechanical woodworking fasteners. They easily hide deep in the wood surface and can also clamp two wood pieces together. The construction screws produce a really strong joint and are sometimes used in place of deck screws for decking purposes. These screws can be attached to wooden, plastic, and other surfaces. They are great if you want to install hinges, locks, and other materials. 

That being said, construction screws are unsuitable for applications involving top plates, joists, or beams. If you attach drywall using the construction screws, the loose gypsum will not hold for longer, and the screws will come loose from their studs, making the drywall detached from its frame. These are also not suitable to be drilled in the metal frames as metal frames do not hold coarser screws well.


Will Construction Screws Work for Drywall?

You, but it’s not recommended! The threads of a construction screw will not hold your drywall for a long time, and they might even split or crack your gypsum boards. Moreover, they are not designed to fit in steel frames, so if you have one, your drywall won’t stay hanging.

How Long Should Drywall Screws Be for 1/2 Inch Drywall?

If you have a 1/2 inch thick drywall, you should use either 1-1/4 inch or 1-5/8 inch length of a drywall screw. Anything smaller than this will not hold your drywall to the studs.

Should I Use #6 or #8 Drywall Screws?

It depends on how much you want your screw to be visible. Remember, when the gauge number increases, the screw also becomes larger in diameter. So, if you do not want your screw heads to be visible, then you should use the #6 drywall screw.

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