Wood Screws vs Chipboard Screws: What’s the Difference?

Wood Screws vs Chipboard Screws: What’s the Difference?

25 Jun, 2024

No, it’s not a million dollar question, but it still is an important one, especially if you are just getting started on your fascinating woodworking journey. Wood screw vs chipboard screw—which one should you use? This question often comes up, especially among DIY enthusiasts and professionals like you. Knowing the differences between these screws can help you improve the form and function while maintaining the expected aesthetics in your woodworking projects. Thus, while starting a woodworking project, choosing the right type of screw is essential and in this blog we are going to learn more about the key differences in these screws, their wide range of applications and a lot more. So let’s get started!

Understanding Wood Screws

A wood screw is designed specifically for joining pieces of wood. It has a tapered body with sharp, coarse threads that cut into the wood without causing it to split. These wood screws feature a partially unthreaded shank that allows the screw to pull two pieces of wood tightly together. This leads to creating very strong joints.


  • Durability: Wood screws are tempered to bend slightly without breaking. This accommodates the natural expansion and contraction of wood. This kind of flexibility is essential for maintaining the strength of wooden structures over time.
  • Versatility: These screws are suitable for various types of wood, including hardwood, softwood and plywood. Whether you’re working on a rustic oak table or a simple pine bookshelf, wood screws are up to the task.
  • Ease of Use: The partially unthreaded shank in these screws allows for easier alignment and tighter joints making them easy to use for you.

Common Uses:

  • Furniture Making: Wooden screws are ideal for constructing furniture like chairs, tables and cabinets. These screws provide the necessary strength and flexibility.
  • Wooden Frames: These are also perfect for assembling wooden doors, window frames, and picture frames. The screws ensure a secure fit.
  • Hardware Attachment: To attach and fix metal hardware, wooden screws are a great choice to tighten the hinges, brackets and locks on the wooden surfaces.

Understanding Chipboard Screws

A chipboard screw is designed to fasten composite materials like chipboard, MDF and various kinds of wood. These screws usually have a full thread from the tip to the head. This ensures a strong hold on softer materials. The threads are sharp and deep which allows these screws to tap their own hole in the material.


  • Strong Hold: The fully threaded shank provides excellent grip in composite materials, preventing the pieces from loosening over time. This is particularly important for maintaining the placement and binding of furniture and other items made from engineered wood.
  • Sharp Threads: The sharp, deep threads cut into the material easily. It also reduces the risk of splitting. This feature ensures a secure fit and minimises damage to the material.
  • Cost-Effective: These are more affordable than wood screws. This makes them popular for large-scale projects. Their cost-effectiveness does not compromise on functionality. This is why these screws are a practical choice for many applications.

Common Uses:

  • Flat-Pack Furniture Assembly: These screws are frequently used in ready-to-assemble furniture kits made from MDF or particleboard. It provides a sturdy assembly that can withstand daily use.
  • Cabinet Installation: These are perfect for securing kitchen cabinets and shelves. The screws provide a strong hold in composite materials, ensuring the cabinets remain firmly in place.
  • Decking Projects: Wood screws are ideal for fastening composite decking boards. Its design helps in preventing the boards from loosening or shifting over time.

Wood screw vs chipboard screw: Key Differences

1. Thread Design: 

  • Wood screws typically have a partially threaded shank, with a smooth upper part that helps pull two wooden pieces together. The coarse threads prevent splitting while ensuring a firm and solid hold.
  • Chipboard Screws generally feature a fully threaded shank, providing a strong grip in softer materials. The threads are often deeper and sharper, allowing the screw to cut through the material efficiently.

2. Material and Coating:

  • Wood Screws are often made from steel, brass, or stainless steel, and may have coatings such as zinc to prevent corrosion.
  • Chipboard Screws are commonly made from carbon steel and may be galvanised with yellow or white zinc for additional rust resistance. The coating helps protect the screws from moisture and other environmental factors that could cause rust.

3. Applications:

  • Wood Screws are ideal for joining wooden components, attaching hardware like hinges and locks, and other general woodworking tasks. They are designed to provide flexibility and accommodate the natural movement of wood due to changes in temperature and humidity.
  • Chipboard Screws are best suited for assembling furniture, cabinets, and other items made from composite materials. They are also commonly used in situations where a stronger hold is needed in softer woods or engineered wood products.

Wood screw vs chipboard screw:Practical Applications

Wood Screws:

  • If you are working on projects such as a chair, table or cabinet, you can go ahead with wood screws as they provide the necessary strength and flexibility. They allow easy adjustments and fixes.
  • These screws are also useful especially when you are installing wooden doors and frames. The wooden doors and frames need superior hold for which wood screws are a perfect choice.
  • While you are installing hinges or brackets, wood screws serve as ideal fasteners and effectively attach hardware to wood. Their design ensures a strong hold without causing damage to the wood.
  • Wood screws are a go-to choice for various carpentry projects, providing reliable performance and ease of use. Their versatility makes them suitable for a wide range of woodworking tasks.

Chipboard Screws:

  • Chipboard screws are commonly used in ready-to-assemble furniture. They provide a strong and reliable hold in composite materials as their fully threaded design ensures a tight fit, even in less dense materials.
  • Chipboard screws are perfect for securing cabinets and shelves made from engineered wood. This prevents the structure from loosening over time.
  • For projects such as outdoor decking, chipboard screws offer the strength and durability needed to withstand various weather conditions.
  • From building storage units to crafting custom furniture, chipboard screws are ideal for any project that involves composite materials. Their sharp threads ensure a secure fit, even in softer woods.

In the debate of wood screw vs chipboard screw, the best choice depends on your specific project requirements. Wood screws offer flexibility and are ideal for natural wood applications, while chipboard screws provide a strong hold in composite materials and are cost-effective for large-scale projects. Understanding the differences and advantages of each type can help you select the right screw for your needs, ensuring a successful and durable outcome for your woodworking projects.

We at LP Screw are the leading SS screw manufacturer based out of India. Our screws are best known for their on point performance, reliable application and superior hold. We keep bringing such insightful articles through our blog section. If you have found this blog useful, feel free to follow us on our social media handles so that you never miss an update. We will be back with yet another interesting topic in our next blog.