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Can You Screw into Particle Board? (Quick Answers)

Particleboard is a special type of engineered wood that is used in interior decorations and making furniture. It is made using crushed pieces of wood, jute stick, synthetic resin, and different types of elements mixed. 

Can you screw into particle board? 

You can screw into the particleboard. Firstly, you need to drill the board a little bit deeper than the screw length. Then apply some glue inside it as extra protection and grip. When screwing boards together, do it gently, over-tightening or putting pressure might end up weakening the piece. 

Even though particle boards are easy to install and assemble, you should be careful when screwing them together. 

Particleboards are made of various types of elements to make them stronger enough so that they can be used to build furniture, making holes here and there, might damage its texture and weaken the board. 

The thickness of the particle board is usually taken into account when using the pilot hole while drilling the particleboard. 

For example, if your board is 1/8 inch thick, you will need a pilot hole when drilling your board. But if you drill a 1/16-inch board, then you don’t need a pilot hole because it is relatively thin. 

Also, putting pilot holes in a thinner board creates excess pressure in the board that could end up breaking it. Some particle boards are made of crushed wooden chips mixed with glue, such as Ikea, which is one of the cheapest particle boards in the market.

The following is a discussion of whether screws can be fastened to this board: 

Ikea particleboard:

The cheap price, environment-friendly materials used to build the board, and long lifespan makes Ikea the most common furniture material. You can drill in the Ikea particleboard. Just don’t drill any holes at the edge of the board. 

In addition to that, the drilling must be accurate, keeping the hole 1mm or 2mm deeper than the screw length is a safer option to fit the screws properly. Avoid jamming the screws inside the board. It could put pressure and break the board.

Can particle board hold screws? 

Particleboard screws are used to hold different things such as door hinges, hooks, photo frames, and even hardware. You need to choose the right type of screws that can stick to the particleboard

Some guidelines are followed strictly in order to get attached to the board. Firstly, the particleboard screws are almost the same as the wall screws, but they are shorter in length and designed to use in a specific type of wooden board. 

Particleboard screws contain an aggressive thread that helps them to stick to the boards. Besides, when you are going to put a screw in the particleboard, make sure to create a pilot hole and put glue in it to hold the screw tight. 

If screws are being put at the edge, try to drill the screws from at least 2.5 inches far from the end.  

Do I need to pre-drill holes in the particle board for screws? 

Yes, it is better to pre-drill the board for the screws to make spaces for it to fit, if the board is thicker than usual. Make sure you drill slightly deeper than the usual length of the screws. Drilling it short will let the screw come out and fall after a certain period. 

There is one more fact that needs to be taken into consideration and that is, the larger screws need pre-drilling. If you are willing to put a 1/8” screw or larger than that, you’d need to pre-drill the board. 

Larger screws are often found difficult when drilling. While pre-drilling, try to make a hole at least the size of the solid part of the screw. Softer or lighter boards are easy to drill. So, it is needed to make sure if the board is lighter or thicker before pre-drilling.

How to screw into particle board or chipboard? 

Since particleboard is considered softwood, it is easy to assume that care must be taken when inserting screws into it. It is made from a mixture of wood chips, shaved woods from sawmills, and glue obtained along with various resins. 

Putting screws in particleboard or chipboard can be easy if done properly. Some rules are required to follow while putting screws in particleboard. They are discussed below:

Choose the right drill bit:

Before drilling in particleboard, make sure to choose the right diameter of the drill bit. A wider drill bit will cause a bigger hole and cause the screw to fall from the board. 

Also, remember to use a pilot hole when drilling, this will help the board to stick together with another one.  

Drill it properly:

Drilling is the key when putting screws in particleboard. Make sure to drill slightly deeper than the usual length of the screws to fit them properly inside the board. Avoid jamming them, this might make the joints weak. 

When using a thicker board, pre-drilling should be done. That will make the work easy and efficient. The larger the screws, the larger the possibility for pre-drilling.

Set the screws:

Now that you have drilled the holes properly and placed the pilot hole in them, it is time to place the screws inside them. Place the screw over the pilot hole and gently press it. Or you can twist it with your hand to roll it inside the hole if you want. 

How to secure screws in particle board?

When putting screws inside the particleboard, you just cannot drill it inside the board. Instead, you have to take some measures so that the screw remains secure inside the particleboard. 

Since wooden particles are made of recycled wood shavings and various types of resins mixed, after a certain period of time the screw can come out from the particleboard and even loosen. Some commonly used techniques to secure screws are: 

Sawmill shavings and glue:

Sawmill shavings, also known as sawdust can be mixed with glues and made a mixture to seal the screws in order to keep them secure and hidden from the board. 

Sawdust helps harden the consistency of your board in the particular hole and covers it.

Auto body filler:

Auto body filler is a type of transparent glue, which is also called the hardener. You need to mix the auto body filer along with the putty knife. 

Add some sawdust in the mixture as well, then apply it over the screwed part of the particleboard and let sit for a couple of hours. 

Use toothpicks to cover the excess gap:

Even if you have drilled a hole equal to the diameter of the screw, sometimes the diameter of the hole may become larger than before due to different weather conditions and may loosen the screws. 

To avoid this, before inserting the screw, insert a few toothpicks in the hole and place the screw in the middle. This will keep the toothpick’s cap screws tightly fastened

What screws to use for particle board?

Choosing the right screw for the particleboard is important. If you choose shorter ones, they might not be able to join two boards. Again, as a result of using a longer screw, it can come out from one side to the other. 

Sometimes the screws jam the particleboard and weaken its structure. Screws containing wider diameter can create bigger holes where it is needed to use small screws with a smaller diameter. 

Some screws that are used in particle boards are mentioned below:

Bolt dropper wood screw:

These types of screws have a flat head on top of it when you are done putting the entire screw inside the particleboard, it doesn’t have an exposed head on the surface of the wood. 

Besides, it is coated with plastic which prevents its condition from changing weather and reaction from chemicals.

Pocket Screws:

These screws come with a square drive head that can be easily put into particle boards. It is made of highly durable steel material. 

The self-tapping tip helps prevent the drill bit to stay in place and keeps the screw tightly fastened while placing it inside the particleboard.

Hardware Screws:

These screws are specially designed to penetrate easily into wooden boards. The screws are covered by a zinc coating plate that prevents the screws from corrosion and enhances their durability and lifespan.

But the issue with these types of screws is, they are not adjustable with the thicker particle boards as they are shorter in length.

Final Thoughts

It is possible to screw into particle board but also advised to do the job carefully. The particleboard is a composite wood made from compressed wooden pieces and resins so it is not as heavy as woods. This is why, when putting screws inside the particleboard, you should not push it too hard.