You finally have the time to install new kitchen cabinets and are on the lookout for the best screws for cabinets. Is there a specific set of screws that can hold a cabinet?

How about screws for assembling the cabinet (i.e. getting the cabinet door attached to the body)? There is indeed a cabinet screw.  It’s made for the purpose of securing kitchen cabinets.

It has a big head so it can secure the cabinet on the hanging rail. Selecting screws will depend on the cabinet’s size, the type of wood and where you’ll use it.

Our Top Picks

Best Screws for Cabinets

  1. Jake Sales Head ScrewBest Overall
  2. Fastcap Torx Powerhead ScrewBest for Heavy Loads
  3. GRK Cabinet Bulk 8 by 2-12 inch (GRKCAB8212B)Best Non-splitting
  4. GRK Trim Handy 8 X 2½” Head ScrewBest for Cabinet Face Frames
  5. Kreg SML-C250-2000 2½ Pocket ScrewsBest for Cabinet Restoration
  6. WoodPro Fasteners CB8X234Best Fast-driving
  7. H.C Pull Machine ScrewsBest for Size Options

Need for Special Screws

Besides these factors, you have to consider the types of wood used in making the cabinet. Thus, there’s not one type of screw or specialty screws that will suit all cabinets, nor one that will serve your purpose.

There was a time when drywall screws were the foremost choice. But now there’s a screw designed for every purpose — one to hold hanging cabinets, one that will attach the cabinet doors to the body.

Still, there are those designed for wood-to-wood fastening and those that can hold drinking glasses and plates.

Types of Cabinet Screws

 1. Cabinet to Wall Screws (Hanging Cabinets)

 This is the toughest of the bunch as it can hold hanging cabinets and their contents. Here’s what to look for in the hardware store so you’ll get the right cabinet-to-wall screw:

  • Big, flat head that has shear strength and stronger hold.
  • Aggressive thread that can properly penetrate and stay in the lumber.
  • Self-tapping design that ensures smooth penetration and not cause splitting.
  • Long enough to cover the cabinet’s thickness and go through the wall.

Pro tips: When installing kitchen cabinets, the upper cabinet from the leftmost side should be the first cabinet to be installed. This way, you’ll be free to move while working on the remaining cabinets.

Moreover, after marking your wall with a chalk line, best to drill a pilot hole into the wall and cabinet, for fast, easy installation.

In putting up the first cabinet, use a ledger board as a guide and to make sure this and a neighboring cabinet are aligned. The bottom edge of the upper cabinets should be 16 to 17 inches from the base cabinets.

Even if your measurements go awry, you can always use a filler strip. Filler strips come in handy especially for L-shaped cabinets.

2. Cabinet-to-cabinet screws (Frameless or face-splitting frame)

This type of cabinet screw can have the sides closely attached so there’s no gap between them nor the face frames.

For this purpose, use a screw that has a washer head, case steel and a recessed star drive. That’s why washer head screws are great for making furniture, including cabinets.

3. Cabinet-to-cabinet screws (Face frame)

Trim head screws make sure the frames of a face frame cabinet are aligned and attached together. These screws have small heads that can hide at the edge of the face frame. With this, the cabinet can hold contents.

4. Cabinet-to-cabinet post screws (Frameless)

Frameless cabinets have become popular recently because these make contents more accessible, and give more storage space. But these need a cabinet screw to be installed tightly.

For this, you have a male and female side that you can join together from either side of the two cabinets. This is usually used at the top and bottom shelf pin holes.

Pro tip: We suggest that you use Loctite to make it tighter.

5. Trim head screws

You can easily tell trim head screws from flat head screws by the size of the screw head. Trim head or finish head screw that has a small head that can be easily hidden.

For cabinets, are placed in the face frame so that you can control the grip of the frame. These are used to assemble cabinets and for decorative molding and trim. These are usually available at a big box store.

6. Machine screws (for drawers)

Machine screws are used to affix knobs and handles on cabinets. For this, stack up screws in different sizes. Note that most custom cabinet fronts are 3/4″,  and drawer sides 3/4.″

To put knobs, you’ll need about 1/4″  of screw length. A 1-5/8″ machine screw can make the installation smoother. The problem is, more hardware manufacturers don’t make this type of screw.

7. Confirmat screw 

Confirmat screws are designed for putting furniture together. What makes them stand out is a very coarse, sharp-angled thread.

These can cut into MDF & chipboard materials. Confirmat screws are particularly effective for right-angle butt joints. 

Best Screws for Cabinets Reviews

 It’s a little daunting to choose the correct screw for kitchen cabinets, given the diverse needs and purposes, parts of the cabinet and its make.

This list of the best cabinet screws is a product of research and numerous testing. Either for hanging or base cabinets, here are best screws for your cabinet:

1. Best Overall – Jake Sales Head Screw

#10 x 3" Round Washer (Modified Truss) Head Screw Torx/Star Drive Head Wood Screw (5 lbs) Multipurpose Wood Screws for Construction, Cabinets, Furniture & Many Other Wood Screw Applications
  • Screw Dimensions: shaft diameter .19" - height and width .5" - head diameter 0.145" - Use T-25 Torx
  • These screws have a triple layer ACQ compatible bronze coating for exterior or interior use
  • Screws have been through 1,200 Hours of salt spray testing without coating or screw failure
  • Modified truss washer head wood screws with have great compression strength
  • Heat-treated hardened steel for high tensile and high shear strength

Jake Sales Head Screw tops durability, strength and make. Its modified truss washers gives it additional compression strength.

Plus, its triple-layer bronze coating gives it toughness. At its core is heat-treated steel for shear strength. With these, the screw goes through lumber easily.

These attributes have been praised by professionals. The screw impressed that some say this is their go-to screw when something in their home needs to be fixed.

Granted, it’s a bit pricey but gives value, as some users said none broke while being screwed on. In addition, some reported that the bronze coating doesn’t last as expected. Plus, this Jake Sales offers limited length options.

What We Liked Most

  • Truss washers give high compression strength.
  • Triple-layer bronze coating makes it tough.
  • Heat-treated steel adds shear strength.

What Could Be Improved

  • A bit pricey
  • Bronze coating doesn’t last as expected
  • Limited length options



2. Best for heavy loads – Fastcap Torx Powerhead Screw

Fastcap Torx Powerhead screw ticks every box, making it among the best cabinet screws. It’s long enough to get through wall cabinets and still has extra length to be firmly wedged into the wall.

It stands out with its square-shaped drive system, and zinc exterior finish. These give it increased durability, which you’ll need especially for upper cabinets. Moreover, this can go through lumber easily, with its thread type and point style.

Its flat head ensures that it is embedded tightly on the wall. Being one of the torx screws, you can be sure that there will be reduced cam out. With its design, it can blend into the wall after installation.

The screw design also enables the screw to blend into the wall after installation. Plus, Fastcap made sure you can finish the job, no matter how many screws are needed.

One pack contains 150 screws. The drawback is that it can be too long for thin wall cabinets. Thus, make sure it will suit your project before purchasing.

What We Liked Most

  • Can carry heavy loads, good for upper cabinets
  • Penetrates lumber easily
  • Flat head secures cabinet in place
  • Great value
  • Durable
  • Hides well after cabinet installation

What Could Be Improved

  • Can be too long for thin cabinets
  • Leaves noticeable small holes



3. Best non-splitting – GRK Cabinet Bulk 8 by 2-12 inch (GRKCAB8212B)

GRK CAB8212B Cabinet Bulk 8 by 2-1/2-Inch Screws, 1500 Screws per Box
  • Use GRK Bit T-15
  • Self-Tapping W-cut thread design
  • Zip-Tip
  • Patented Climatek coating
  • Ideal for Cabinets

Thin and strong. These are the best attributes of GRK Cabinet Bulk 8. It’s thin design is perfect for penetrating lumber without causing any splitting.

And after it goes through, you can screw it in place easily because of its washer design. It works as advertised and the drawbacks in using it are more like nitpicks.

Although it’s priced higher, it will be worth it, considering only a few will break, if at all. Size may be an issue, as some find it a bit small.

Other users, meanwhile, say the screw is not compatible to some power drivers and when it is not, has the tendency to pop out.

What We Liked Most

  • Thin and strong
  • Penetrates lumber without splitting
  • Can be easily screwed in place
  • Looks great

What Could Be Improved

  • The sizes might be a bit small
  • Not compatible with some power drivers



4. Best for cabinet face frames – GRK Trim Handy 8 X 2½” Head Screw

Sale
GRK 772691177308 FTHS8212HP Trim Handy FIN 8 by 2-1/2-Inch Head, 100 Screws per Package
  • Use GRK Bit T-10
  • Self-Tapping W-cut thread design
  • Zip-Tip
  • Patented Climatek coating
  • Finish Trim Head Screw

Small enough not to cause splitting, but well-designed to easily go through lumber, these make Trim Handy among the best cabinet screws.

It has a self-tapping thread design and a small head for no-sweat installation. But it’s still best to pre-drill holes before placing the screws in.

A few seconds to drill is worth it, just to ensure that the lumber would not split. A plus is that the screws are packaged with drill heads that fit the screw.

And once they’re in, you’re sure that they’re securely in place. Although it’s not made of stainless steel, it has waterproof coating. Plus, some users find the screw set a bit pricey.

Pro tip: Having a pocket hole joinery makes the screw more secured and requires less holes and screws in assembling a cabinet face frame. For this, it’s best to use square drive screws.

What We Liked Most

  • Great design and quality
  • Excellent in securing face frames
  • Dependable holding power
  • Easy to use
  • Has waterproof coating
  • Comes with drill heads

What Could Be Improved

  • Needs pre-drilling on hardwoods
  • Not made of stainless steel
  • A tad pricey



5. Best for cabinet restoration – Kreg SML-C250-2000 2½ Pocket Screws

Kreg SML-C250-2000 Zinc Pocket Screws, 2-1/2 Inch #8 Coarse Thread, Maxi-Loc Head (2000 Count)
  • Square-drive head and self-tapping tip for easy driving without bit slipping, wood splitting
  • Flat-bottom head and smooth shank draw the pocket-hole joint together tightly
  • Case-hardened steel won’t bend, snap, or break

Kreg SML-C250-2000 2½ pocket screws stand out because of their anti-rust capability. Thus, these are useful when replacing doors and cabinet frames that were damaged by moist or submerged in water.

Or alternatively, use these pocket screws for projects that will be constantly exposed to moist and water. These Kreg pocket screws have square drive heads that ensure cabinet joints are securely fastened.

In addition, the square drive head are resistant to cam outs and let carpenters turn the screw with one hand. Plus, the screw is surrounded by a hard steel case. With this, it can withstand going through thick cabinets.

Moreover, you can depend on its 17-inch auger, a self-tapping edge that can easily penetrate the lumber and not cause splitting. All of the said features offer good value.

In addition, some users comment that the packaged screws are so reliable that only 1 of 1,000 broke before getting into the lumber. So, best to buy these in bulk.

On the downside, these are not suitable for wood-to-wall installation and we suggest to drill holes into the cabinet before inserting the screw.

What We Liked Most

  • Anti-rust capability
  • Great design
  • Value for money, especially when bought in bulk;
  • Easy to use
  • Strong holding power

What Could Be Improved

  • Not suitable for wood-to-wall installation
  • Needs pre-drilling



6. Best fast-driving – WoodPro Fasteners CB8X234

WoodPro Fasteners CB8X234-1 Number-8 by 2-3/4-Inch Cabinet Construction Screws, T20, 1-Pound Net Weight, 97-Piece , Gold
57 Reviews
WoodPro Fasteners CB8X234-1 Number-8 by 2-3/4-Inch Cabinet Construction Screws, T20, 1-Pound Net Weight, 97-Piece , Gold
  • #8 x 2-3/4", Includes One 25mm T-20 Star Bit
  • T-20 Star Drive, Torx(tm) Compatible
  • Sharp Type-17 Point
  • PPG Industries 1,000 Hour E-Coat
  • 1LB NET WT., Approx. 97 Pieces

WoodPro Fasteners CB8X234 give the ultimate convenience as it slides quickly and efficiently into the lumber. The secret is in its 17 point tip, which gets inside the lumber very quickly.

This will also let you punch through the lumber, without the need to drill a hole. Users praise these Fasteners for its strength and for getting into the wood smoothly.

A drawback is that this comes in one size, so you have limited applications.

What We Liked Most

  • Easily penetrates wood
  • 17 point tip means no need for pre-drilling
  • Head stays firmly in place

What Could Be Improved

  • Does not have a proper coating
  • Only available in one size



7. Best for size options – H.C Pull Machine Screws

Knob/Pull Machine Screws 8/32 Thread (25 per Pack) Cabinet Door and Drawer Screws (Choose Your Size) by E.H.C (8-32 x 1')
685 Reviews
Knob/Pull Machine Screws 8/32 Thread (25 per Pack) Cabinet Door and Drawer Screws (Choose Your Size) by E.H.C (8-32 x 1")
  • QUALITY: Knob and Pull Screws are zinc-plated steel construction. Zinc-Plated Truss Head Combo Drive Cabinet and Knob Screws will provide durability and corrosion resistance. Attach knobs or pulls to cabinet doors or drawer faces
  • VALUE: No need to run to local Hardware or Big Box Store to look for someone to help you. 25 screws per order.
  • USES: Common project applications: remodeling, fencing, storage, cabinets, framing and DYI projects.
  • How many: 1 pack of 25 Truss head combination Phillips #8-32 x 1 in.

If you’re not sure on which size you’ll need when assembling your cabinet, best to purchase H.C. Pull Machine Screws. You get to choose from 11 different screw sizes, so chances are, you’ll find the right screw for one and even for the adjacent cabinet.

Every screw is made of zinc-plated steel that ensures reliability. This also gives ample protection against rust and corrosion.

Users praise the high quality, and have attested that the screws do their job in putting the pieces together. It also offers great value, as you’ll have 25 screws per pack.

Some users feel the heads should be bigger, and noticed that it’s highly possible that the screw gets stripped.

What We Liked Most

  • Comes in 11 different sizes
  • Made up of quality steel
  • Has zinc-coating, protected against rust and corrosion
  • Great value, has 25 screws per pack 

What Could Be Improved

  • Small heads, may not suit all applications
  • Possible for coating to get stripped



Best Screws for Cabinets Comparison Table

Three Cabinet Screws to Avoid

As earlier mentioned, not all screws can be used to secure wall cabinets. For this, we have to consider the holding power and how the head will not let the whole cabinet slipped off.

In the same manner, not all screws are suitable for the cabinet’s joints and in installing drawers and doors. There are, however, three screws that you must not use in installing cabinets:

Drywall screws

There are a couple of reasons drywall screws are not suitable for installing wall cabinets. First is its bugle head. With this head type, drywall screws tend to get buried into the lumber, instead of sticking out of the lumber and holding the cabinet in place.

Moreover, drywall screws have a Phillips head. With this, you need to press down the screw while turning it, in order to avoid cam-out. This, while you’re holding the wall cabinet on the other hand. Further, these type of screws are a little brittle.

Hence, it’s risky to put the weight of the cabinet on it. Note that cabinet screws are also thicker than dry wall screws and have sharper tips which make them better for installing cabinets.

Bottomline is drywall screw is designed to hold onto a metal stud. Keep it on your drywall. Best to use a cabinet screw for your cabinet.

Drawer manufacturer screws

Avoid these because they are not dependable for drawer slides. They will not last years, especially if you put a lot of contents and frequently open and close the drawer. A good alternative is a Rok #8 screw.

Deck/outdoor screws

Although it’s possible to use this, it’s not advisable, considering the screw’s length and the weight of the cabinet and its contents.

If you must use deck screws, you can  use  2½-inch deck screws (with washers) through the back of the cabinet, insert to metal studs. To be safe, ascertain stud locations with a stud finder.

This configuration is useful when installing a corner cabinet, as you insert screws into studs to hold it. The trick is to use slip shims or T-bases so that it will be easy to hang your corner cabinet as you drill pilot holes into the cabinet and wall, and place the screws into the studs.

Pilot holes are more than guides. They allow you to put a nail or screw into the cabinet with less force, avoiding splitting and cracking. To be sure, pilot holes should have the same diameter as your screw.

Pro tip: If you’re unsure on the drill bit size you need, check the widths of the bit and screw. If these are similar, the screw will fit the pilot hole.

After cabinets are installed, you can remove any of the visible shims from the cabinet’s edges by using a utility knife.

The Basic Anatomy of a Screw

A screw is composed of five parts: head, drive, shank, thread, and tip.

Head

This refers to the top of the screw; the drive is also part of the head. There are two types of screw head styles – countersunk and non-countersunk. Countersunk has an angled shape underneath the head.

This requires countersinking so that the lumber will not split when you use a drill or put pressure. When one penetrates the lumber, the head will sit flush on the surface, with little or no protruding parts.

Thus, these are used in projects where the screw head should be submerged or at the same level of the surface. These are usually used on bridge decks, walkways, and handrails.

 Non-countersunk, on the other hand, is flat under the head and does not need countersinking.

Drive

This is the shape of the mechanism that enable screws to be in place. Types of drive include cross-head, star, square, hex socket, slotted, Philips, Robertson and the torx drive.

Noteworthy is the torx drive which prevents cam out and has a drive system that has the screw tight and more secure in the wood.

Shank

This refers to the long and narrow body connecting the head to the tip. Most screws have a fully threaded shank that’s defined by helical ridges.

Thread

This is the ridge wrapped around a cylinder or cone in the form of a helix, with the former being called a straight thread and the latter called a tapered thread.

Tip

This refers to the pointed end of a screw. The tip is crucial for the screw to penetrate wood.

Cabinet Installation Screws Buyer’s Guide

Size

One consideration in choosing screw size is the make-up of the wall the cabinet is going to be hanged. Screw sizes may vary from 2-1/2″ up to 3-1/2″), the ideal screw to attach cabinets to a wall would be No.8 or No. 10 screws. These are around 3½ inches long.

For cabinet knobs, you’ll usually see a standard #8-32 threading. It’s also better if the screw has a Truss head design, which has a flatter profile than a regular head screw.

Construction

Regardless of the cabinet make, a screw for wall cabinets should have a large, flat head design. This ensures that they can hold up the cabinet. For cabinet to cabinet construction, you’ll just need regular cabinet screws.

Coating

A good coating is a must, regardless of the material of the cabinet. With this, your screw will be protected against rust and corrosion. There are those coated with zinc, have anti-corrosion layers, and polymers.

Head

Cabinet screws have a star-style head, different from the flat head the regular screws. This is good as this prevents stripping. The design also protects against tampering and ensures the screw is tightly in place.

Quantity

Be ready with at least 10 screws. The number will increase depending on the model. Best to buy in bulk, rather than be back in the store or order again. Plus, in most cases, those with numerous also have a kit of fasteners, giving you great value.

Torque & Speed

What’s important is the speed a screw goes through materials. So choose screws that will drive quickly and effortlessly.

FAQs

What size screws to attach cabinets to wall?

Attach cabinets to the wall using No. 8 or No. 10 screws, approximately 3½ inches long. 10”X 3” screws are ideal for securing cabinets if there are studs on the other side, and for concrete walls.

Are cabinet screws the same as wood screws?

No, cabinet screws are not the same as wood screws. The difference is noticeable on their built and appearance. Their shapes are different, most especially on the head.  Wood screws usually has flat heads., Cabinet screws, on the other hand, usually have washer-like heads.

How long should cabinet screws be?

Screw length depends on the make of the wall. Most screws range from 2-1/2″ up to 3-1/2.″

Conclusion

The best screws for cabinets are the ones that have strong holding power, and aggressive thread that can easily penetrate and stay in place. Besides this strength, they should be able to penetrate wood quickly and without splitting.

It also should have a coating that protects against rust and corrosion. Price is a factor, but consider the number of screws in a pack.

Buying one pack with more screws will give you more value, as you have to think of the number of screws that would cam-out or not be usable and needs to be replaced.

Plus, learn the tricks of putting screws and installing cabinets so you can accomplish the job quickly. For instance, drilling a pilot hole will lessen the risk of splitting the wood.

The time you spend to drill is the little inconvenience that can prolong the cabinet’s usage. And in case there’s a gap between the cabinet and wall, a filler strip is the remedy.

Moreover, make sure that the screws you purchase are made specifically for cabinets and stay away from drywall screws, and deck/outdoor screws.

Also it’s better to purchase third-party screws for drawers, not rely on those pre-packaged by the manufacturer. Ultimately, your choice will depend on the cabinet make, age and the thickness of the wall to which you’ll attach the cabinet.

Here is a guide on how to screw into wood without drilling in 3 easy ways.

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