How to Check a Screw Gauge

Written by cleveland van cecil
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How to Check a Screw Gauge
Knowing a screw's gauge helps you to match other screws to the project. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

When doing general maintenance around the home, it is not uncommon to find that you have screws missing from a wall, a door or a piece of furniture. Replacing the screws requires that you know the screws' gauges. The gauge of a screw is the size in diameter of the threaded screw body. Trying to put a screw with a diameter wider than the hole can damage the wood or metal it's being driven into. Luckily, a simple tool is available to find a screw's gauge.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Screwdriver
  • Gauge check tool

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  1. 1

    Remove a screw from the item with the missing screw.

  2. 2

    Place the screw over the missing screw's hole to make sure it is the right diameter for the hole. Measuring the wrong screw is just as bad as not knowing the screw's gauge.

  3. 3

    Slide the screw through the gauge-finding tool. A gauge-finding tool is available at most hardware stores. The tool is a plastic card with a series of holes in it. Next to the holes are marks indicating the gauge size for the hole. Place the screw in different holes along the card until you find the correct gauge size.

Tips and warnings

  • If you can't find a gauge-finding tool, most hardware stores have one hanging up by the loose screw section so you can check the gauge of the screw you require.

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