how to screw into wood without drill
how to screw into wood without drill

This guide is about how to screw into wood without drill. Here we will bolt/nail into stud & hardwood with pilot hole, screwdriver & hammer. Genuinely reading this article will be worthwhile for you.

How to screw into wood without drill if we haven’t power tools at that time. We haven’t always the electric drill and cordless drill then how can we manage this situation. Although power tools have their own importance but as a woodworker and carpenter we have to be prepared for the worst conditions always.

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How to Screw Into Wood without Drill (Just 3 Steps)

When there were no power tools or electronic tools or cordless drills then woodworkers used to screwdriver for drilling into the wood. Moreover before these electric tools, woodworker were used nail instead of using screw. These screws only were used on worthwhile wood projects

The woodworking and carpentry field have also become advanced as the time passed. With the advancement of the field these power tools has come into being. Which have now become the worker first priority. Although these tools are become the woodworkers and carpenter top priority but there are also some condition where we can’t use these advanced tools.

 I will tell you all these aspects here. Let’s come up to the topic How to Screw into Wood without Drill.

How to screw into wood with a screwdriver?

Step 1: Making Pilot Hole

how to make a hole in wood without a drill

Start Each Project with a Pilot Hole

In woodworking, pilot hole is the oldest and typical method to screw into wood without drill. Although it will help in concrete and plastic as well but it give you more benefit if you are working on a hardwood.

Moreover, if you are beginner I would suggest you to also tap the Pilot Hole before screwing. No doubt it will make your screwing more easily but it’s not compulsory. I have used both Pilot Hole with tapping and without tapping also.

How to Make A Pilot Hole Without A Drill

It can be little difficult for you if are mostly lay on the cordless drill or driver. Normally in wood projects if we are working manually need enough grip. This is directly depend to your forearm muscles. The stronger is your forearm muscles the more strongly you can grip. But i will tell you easiest as i can

Your first target is to make a pilot hole on the wood where you want to screw. For this you will need a nail and a hammer.

Pilot Holes Prevents Harm

The major reason of doing this is that it will help screw to keep its position and straight position. So you can easily screw it into the wood. Second top most reason of doing this is that it will keep your wood piece safe and protect them from fracturing. Second top most reason of doing this is that it will keep your wood safe and protect them from fracturing.

Pilot Hole help you also, if you are working with power tools to screw into the wood.


One thing you have to keep in mind is that pilot-hole size is depend on the screw length. While making pilot hole keep the length of screw in mind which you want to screw into the wood. The more screw length mean you have to make more depth pilot hole.

Step 2: Pulling out the nail:

how to drill a hole in wood without a drill

After making pilot hole according to screw size, you have to pull out the nail safely you have to be very cautious while pulling out the nail. Yours little mistake can damage or split your wood completely.

Whether you use plier or hammer claw for that purpose. i personally suggest, to use the plier if nail is not fixed permanently to the pilot hole.

If it is hard enough to remove it with plier then you can use claw of the hammer.


Best practice to pull out the nail from the wood will to pull it in straight out

Step 3: Screwing the screw into the wood

how to drill a screw into wood

Now put the nail into the pilot hole. Take the screwdriver and safely screw it into the wood or stud.

Choose the Right Screwdriver

Choose the Right Screwdriver

Choosing the right Screwdriver has very important impact. Yours tip of the Screwdriver must has equal to the head of the screw. Definitely you can’t screw the screw with wrong screwdriver. There are four type of screwdriver that we normally use.

  • Slot Head,
  • Phillips Head ,
  • Allen Wrench
  • Torx Drive,
  • Robertson

Each of these screwdriver come in different sizes which depend on the diameter of the nail head. Among them slot head screwdriver is most common.

Their size are normally depend on the:

  • Shank length of the nail
  • Width of the head of the nail

You have first select the tip of the screwdriver according to the nail head. Then you have to select the size of the screwdriver according to the head size of the nail. Chose that of size that will cover the head of the nail completely. The more accurate you select the size of the screwdriver the more you will easily can turn the screw.

Screwing Into Wood Professionally

You can’t fasten the screw in the wood by just rotating the screwdriver. Definitely you must have to apply the force on the top head of the screw with screwdriver. You have to apply the force downward with gradually increasing. Before doing this you have to set the screw on the pilot hole exactly as same as the nail. Screw must be perpendicular and straight to the wood surface.

You also have to ensure the alignment of the board and the stud. If you find difficulty in positioning the stud with the board then you can use wood clamp.

While doing this you have to keep yourself in patients. On the other hand yours hustle and anger can damage the wood permanently. Be careful if you are dealing with the hardwood

Additional Tips

When Is the Best Time to Use a Screwdriver to Drill Screws into Wood

What if you have power tools then is there are also any circumstances that you would use screw driver instead of cordless drill? I will say yes. It don’t matter whether you have power tools or not but if you have these following circumstances then you must have to use the screwdriver.

  • Always use the screwdriver if you are working near to or in the moisture area. Do not even think to use the power tools near to water
  • Best practice is to use the screwdriver if there is not safety equipment available for that specific power tool
  • As we know that power tool are designed for standard size screws.  If you are dealing with non-standard sized screws then must use screwdriver instead of power tools
  • Do prefer to screwdriver if exercise with   forearms is needed.
  • Give priority to the screwdriver if working with power tools and electronic tools are difficult
  • Always choose the screwdriver if you find any danger in using the cordless drill, power tools and electronic tools.

Things You Must Beware: Before Using the Screwdriver to Screw into Stud without Drill.

  • It is not the best choice to use the screwdriver to drill the screw into the wood if you have shortage of time. Moreover pilot hole take more time in building
  • Second disadvantage is that it will take more time if you are working on a large scale project. It will be your foolish decision ever to choose the screwdriver against power tools for drilling into the wood.
  • Further it will be more difficult to align the wood in a large scale project, so in this choosing screwdriver for drilling can’t make any sense
  • When there is a need of top most accuracy always use power tools instead of screwdriver. Don’t ever compromise over the precession and the quality of the work
  • Furthermore, if you are working on the costly wood then don’t even think to use screwdriver. Must use power tools on an expensive wood.
  • It is difficult to screw into the thick wood with screwdriver. So the best practice is to use the electric power tools here.
  • Also if your forearm is weak you can’t drill the several screws manually into the wood. I suggest you to use the cordless-drill in that situation also

Some Common Problems That You Can Face

Difficult to Stay Straight

If it is your first time then it will be difficult for you drill all of the screws in straight and level position with screwdriver. Obviously if you do any mistake you will have to remove that screw certainly and again screw it.

Can Cause Wood Harm

More than enough cranking of the screw with the screwdriver can damage your wood. it will turn your pilot hole bigger, so the screw will not be able to remain tight in it. You will have to put wood putty in the hole in order to repair it. On the other hand if it doesn’t work then you have to replace the wood completely or trim it

Screw Heads can become clean out

Another problem that you can face with the screwdriver is the stripping of the screw head. Your wrong size of screwdriver and inappropriate way of screwing can damage the head of the screw completely. After that it will become difficult for you to remove the screw from stud or wood. So be careful when you are using screwdriver.


Although screwing into the wood with screwdriver is not an easy task for weak forearm person. But where it is necessary, you will have to do it. If you don’t want mess with the screwdriver then practice a lot with it in routine. As if you are a woodworker or even a carpenter, you have to learn it.

You can’t delay your task in waiting of the power tools. If you have the screwdriver then you have to complete your task with it instead of waiting. Moreover practicing this will make your forearm stronger.

My advice to all people which is affiliated to woodworking field and carpentry field is that don’t rely completely on the machinery tool. If the work can done manually then always do it with your hands


Now we have learned how to screw into wood without drill. In which we have discussed screwing bolt/nail into stud with pilot hole, screwdriver & hammer. We have also discussed the aspects, where we have to must use the screwdriver instead of power tools.

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