As any tradesperson knows, using the right screw size is crucial for a job’s success. The wrong diameter can weaken materials, split wood or even affect the structural soundness of a structure. To avoid these consequences, it’s important to know how screw sizes are measured. There are three main measurements that determine a screw’s size: gauge, length and threads per inch (TPI).
Gauge (also known as major diameter) is the number that represents the outside diameter of the screw. Anything below a quarter of an inch is labeled with a number from #0 to #12, while those above a quarter inch are numbered from #2 to #4. To find a screw’s gauge number, you can use a screw gauge guide or simply measure the diameter from one end of the screw to the other.
Screws can be marked with different types of heads and drive systems, such as Phillips, square and quadrex. Each type has its own benefits and advantages. Choosing the correct head for your application is also important, as it can make working with the screw easier and more efficient.
Finally, screw length is also important to consider. For example, a screw that is too short will not fully embed into the material. In contrast, a screw that is too long can cause the material to fail in a way that could be dangerous. Screws are available in a wide variety of lengths, so it’s crucial to choose the correct one for your specific project. 5/16 lag bolt pilot hole