What Size Drill Bit for #10 Screw?

Do you need to drill a hole but don’t know what size bit to use? Below I’ll teach you what size drill bit you need for a #10 screw.

Normally, we drill a pilot hole before screwing in a screw, for which we use a power drill. The drill bits you fit in them come in various types and sizes. Using the correct size will help you complete your project without dealing with the consequences of drilling a hole that is either too narrow or too wide.

Generally, for a #10 screw, you will need a size 3/32” (0.09375”, ~2.38mm, or #42 gauge) drill bit for softwood, or 7/64” (0.109375”, ~2.78mm, or #36 gauge) for hardwood.

I will go into more detail below.

Reference Chart

It can be a predicament knowing which size drill bit to use. Besides the screw size, we also have to consider its type, whether it has a thread design, and the material it will be driven into. Fortunately, our readers can quickly use the reference chart below for the right size.

The drill bit sizes stated here are in fractional inches.

drill bit size chart for different screw sizes

About Drill Bit Sizes

In the fractional-inch system (specified by ANSI/ASME B94.11M-1993 [2]), drill bit sizes are measured as parts of 64, so they are numbered in 64ths. The smallest is 1/64, and the largest is 63/64. Since 64 can be divided by 8 and 32, you will see some sizes simplified to 8ths and 32nds instead.

For example, 6/64 is the same as 3/32. This is the required drill bit size for a #10 screw when drilling into softwood. For hardwood, the required size is 7/64. This fraction does not simplify further so the size will be stated as 7/64.

Steps to Drill a Hole for a #10 Screw

These steps for drilling a hole for a #10 screw can be applied generally, but the sizes indicated are specifically for a #10 screw.

Step 1 – Mark the Location

Mark the location for the screw with a pencil and make a slight dent using a sharp pointed tool, such as a center punch or pen. (1)

Step 2 – Choose the Right Drill Bit Size

Choose a drill bit with a slightly smaller diameter than the screw.

One method is to hold a drill bit next to the screw, and try to match the diameter of the screw’s shaft (ignoring the threading on it). In this case, you need a size 3/32 drill bit if you are going to drill into softwood or 7/64 for a hole in hardwood.

Step 3 – Insert the Drill Bit

Select the size 3/32 (for softwood) or 7/64 (for hardwood) drill bit in the power drill.

Step 4 – Secure the Materials in Place

Apply a secure grip on the wood before you start drilling. (2)

Step 5 – Start Drilling

Hold the power drill straight (perpendicular to the wood). Start drilling slowly and gradually speed up (or maintain the slow speed if you don’t need to drill faster) until the hole has the required depth. When pulling the drill out, do it slowly.

Step 6 – Screw It In

Safely screw in the #10 screw using a suitable screwdriver.

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References
(1) pen – https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/reviews/the-best-pen/
(2) secure grip – https://ehsdailyadvisor.blr.com/2017/03/get-grip-protecting-workers-hands-wrists/

Video Reference

About Sam Orlovsky

b1d87d2ee85af3e51479df87928bdc88?s=90&d=mm&r=gI realized early on carpentry was a huge passion for me and I’ve stayed in the industry for over 20 years now. This gives me a unique ability to really be able to tell you what the best tools and recommendations are. I’m not only a carpenter but I also like machinery and anything to do with electrics. One of my career paths starting off was as an apprentice electrician so I also have a lot of experience with electrical products and anything related.