How to use screws on chipboard

Written by cindy paterson
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How to use screws on chipboard
Chipboard isn't as strong as solid wood so chipboard screws use very coarse threads to securely grip the material. (screws and heart shaped screws image by timur1970 from

Chipboard or particleboard is a composite hard material glued together and treated under enormous pressure to make it sturdy and durable. It is often used to make the insides or skeletons of cabinets and other furniture, the bottom layer of counter tops, and inner layer of doors. In these applications it is usually covered with another durable material, such as veneer or laminate, to improve appearance. Although chipboard is made from wood by-products it isn't solid wood, so driving screws into it can be a little difficult.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Chipboard screws
  • Screwdriver

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  1. 1

    Measure the thickness of your chipboard with a measuring tape and add 2 cm (3/4 inch) to it to find the minimum length of screw that you need. For example, if you have 3.8 cm (1 1/2 inch) thick chipboard, you will need at least 5.6 cm (2 1/4 inch) screws.

  2. 2

    Mark the spot on the chipboard where you want to insert the screw and hold the chipboard against the surface to which it will be attached.

  3. 3

    Hold the chipboard screw against the marked spot on the chipboard and push it into the wood with the tip of the screwdriver. Chipboard screws have a coarse thread that can sink into softwood and particleboard.

  4. 4

    Turn the screwdriver slowly to drive the screw into the chipboard and keep turning until the head is flat against the chipboard.

Tips and warnings

  • You can use a power screwdriver to drive the screws in even easier.
  • Drilling pilot holes into the chipboard will also make driving screws easier, especially in very thick stock.
  • Do not insert screws at sharp angles or make jagged turns of the screwdriver or you could damage and shatter the wood fibres that make up the chipboard.

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