What Size Drill Bit for a #10 Screw? A Comprehensive Guide

Embarking on a DIY project or construction task often begs the question: what size drill bit do I need for a #10 screw? Among the myriad of tools available, selecting the correct drill bit for a specific screw can be a daunting challenge. But fear not! We’re here to make that task effortless for you.

The Basics: Understanding Drill Bits and Screws

Before diving into the specifics, it’s essential to grasp the foundational concepts of drill bits and screws, especially when working with a fastener like a #10 screw. Here, we take you through a detailed exploration.

Table: Guide to Screw Sizes and Drill Bit Sizes

Screw SizeDrill Hole Size for SoftwoodDrill Hole Size for Hardwood

Note: The sizes mentioned are standard and the most recommended for woodworking and construction projects. Ensure to stick to these measurements to avoid any inconveniences during your drilling process.

Choosing the Ideal Drill Bit Size for a #10 Screw

For a project involving a #10 screw, which features a diameter of 0.19 inches and a coarse thread suitable for fastening softer materials, finding the right drill bit is crucial. It ensures a snug fit and a professional finish to your work.

Step-by-Step Guide to Selecting and Using the Right Drill Bit

Step 1: Choosing the Right Drill Bit

Your first step involves selecting the most suitable drill bit. You can eyeball it by holding the screw and the drill bit side by side and selecting a bit that matches the screw’s threaded shaft but not wider than its body.

For a more precise approach, you can refer to the table we provided above. Sticking to the recommended sizes, which are 7/64″ for softwood and 1/8″ for hardwood when dealing with a #10 screw, can save you from making errors.

Step 2: Installing the Drill Bit onto Your Drill

Next, you’ll need to properly install the chosen drill bit onto your drill. Here’s how you do it:

  • Loosen the jaws of the drill bit slot.
  • Center the shank of the drill bit within the jaws to ensure it aligns perfectly with all the tips for perfect centering.
  • Slowly turn the chuck clockwise to secure the bit while ensuring it remains centered.

Step 3: Setting up Your Drill

Before you start drilling, ensure your drill is set up correctly. Refer to your manual to understand the functions of different buttons. Usually, for drilling holes, you would need a high-speed and low-torque setting. Always ensure the drill rotation is set properly to facilitate smooth drilling.

Step 4: Preparing the Surface or Material

Before you start drilling, prepare the surface diligently:

  • Clean the surface and mark the specific spots for drilling.
  • Secure the workpiece using clamps or a vice to prevent any movement during the drilling process.
  • If drilling through the material, place a surplus piece of wood underneath to prevent splintering on the exit side.

Step 5: Drilling the Hole

Finally, you’re ready to start drilling. Here’s how to go about it:

  • Practice on a surplus piece of wood to get the ‘feel’ of the drilling process.
  • Align the drill bit properly on the marked spot without pressing the trigger.
  • Start drilling slowly, increasing the speed gradually, ensuring to make necessary adjustments as you proceed.
  • Once the hole is drilled, reverse the spin direction to pull the bit out, clear the hole of any sawdust, and you’re done!


1. What should be the size of the pilot hole?

The pilot hole size should correspond with the drill bit size to match the #10 screw specifications, which are 7/64″ for softwood and 1/8″ for hardwood.

2. Can the drill bit be tinier than the screw?

The drill bit should not be tinier than the #10 screw. It should be almost the same size as the screw’s body without the threads to ensure a snug fit.


Understanding what size drill bit to use for a #10 screw is vital in ensuring the success of your DIY or construction project. While it might seem daunting initially, with the right knowledge and practice, it becomes a walk in the park.

Armed with the information on the specific drill bit size needed for a #10 screw, you are well on your way to mastering your drilling tasks. We trust this guide has been beneficial, setting you up for a smooth drilling experience.

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