How to Drive Screws in Wood Without Splitting

Cordless drills are great for driving screws; but they are so powerful, they can split the board if you’re not careful.

To prevent this from happening, drill a pilot hole in the wood and countersink the screw head before driving the screw.

A reversible drill driver bit, which has a drill bit and countersink on one end and a screwdriver bit on the other, is a great way to speed up the process.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information

Joe Truini: A cordless drill provides a great way for anyone to drive screws with power and accuracy. The problem is today’s drills have so much power, you can easily split the wood. Let me show you how.

This is particularly a problem when you’re driving a screw near the very end or edge of the board. Once the head tightens up, you can see what happens, it splits the wood.

Now, to prevent that what you can do is drill a pilot hole or a screw-shank clearance hole with a drill bit, then come back with a screwdriver bit to drive the screw. But that means you have to keep switching back and forth.

So to prevent that, get yourself a drill-driver bit. This is the best accessory for any cordless drill. It’s basically just a screw-driving tip on one end, but if you unlock the collar and flip it around, you see you have a pilot bit and a counter bore and a counter sink all in one.

So what you do first is before you drive the screw—drill the hole. Then drill down a little bit for the counter bore, or the counter sink, for the screw head. Then simply flip it around, drive in the screw, and don’t worry about splitting the board.


  1. Thank you. Have you guys thought about writing a book about these great show tips. I use most that are featured. I also find the new product segment most helpful. I bought the ladder and am ordering the Husky saw horse that was featured. Would you guys do a segment about how to fix a leaky outdoor water faucet, the safe way.

  2. How do I know what diameter a pilot hole to drill when putting screws in a floor that squeaks. The screws I am using are 10g x 50mm and the pilot drill is 4.0mm, is this correct?


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