12

I removed lots of them because it was easier to remove the drywall that way. Some of these screws were also used for carpentry work by the contractor who built the bathroom.

The only problem I am seeing is that some of them have drywall dust in the threads so my first impulse is to say no.

2
  • some of them have drywall dust in the threads - what do you think new screws have in the threads after you've screwed them through drywall?
    – Caius Jard
    Aug 26 at 16:16
  • 2
    If you have concerns over their re-use, make sure to put them in the appropriate recycling bin. Aug 26 at 17:22
19

If you are going to reuse them for drywall there is no issue, unless the heads are starting to strip. You have to think about the amount of screws you put in a sheet... old screws are not a problem.

For anything else, I would just say no because they suck at handling shear forces and if you have reused and reused drywall screws before you know that they break/snap.

0
10

Reuse them for hanging drywall? So long as they're not rusted and the heads aren't stripped, sure, why the heck not?

Reuse them for general construction work? Eh, no, not so much. They're really not designed for high shear loads in construction, so they're not recommended for that. However, I screwed together a storage rack many years ago using (new) drywall screws. It's held multiple 4x8 sheets of drywall, OSB, dimensional lumber and the other accumulated cruft of life for more than 2 decades with no signs of failure imminent.

1

Could you imagine if your reclaimed screws failed in the near future after you've finished your project? You will forever curse your own name.

Get a box of new screws; they cost like $.02/screw if you get a 5 pound box or $.008/screw in a 25 pound bucket.

This way if there is a failure then at least you won't blame yourself.


In all honesty you're probably fine to re-use them for drywall since it's unlikely that every single screw would fail over time; it's a numbers game.

Just don't use rusty ones because you never know how deeply the rust has compromised the integrity of the metal.

4
  • 14
    I've reused drywall screws many times for repairs. Considering the price of everything these days (and its impact on our planet), reuse is the way to go. Retracting downvote because you sort of redeem yourself at the end. :)
    – isherwood
    Aug 25 at 21:17
  • 1
    @isherwood Yes, practically speaking they're re-usable. If they don't snap upon screwing them in then they're probably as strong as new. Given OP's assessment that drywall dust makes them not re-usable I felt compelled to provide an answer that would just let them sleep at night.
    – MonkeyZeus
    Aug 26 at 12:51
  • 7
    Get a box of new screws - and people wonder why the environment is shot to shit. Hello, throwaway society..
    – Caius Jard
    Aug 26 at 16:15
  • 1
    @CaiusJard I wonder how a construction PM would act if they saw their workers spend time saving screws.
    – MonkeyZeus
    Aug 26 at 16:31
-2

I say no to reuse. I've found they when they've been overtightened they are much closer to their "snapping" point so that on subsequent re-tightenings, they are more like to break off. One never knows if they've been over-tightnened so why take the chance.

For repair jobs where looks and rework don't matter, then reuse makes more sense.

6
  • 9
    If a drywall screw doesn't snap on installation, it ain't going to snap (at least 99.99%) of the time. Considering the cost of a box and its impact on the planet, I'd reuse any day.
    – isherwood
    Aug 25 at 21:18
  • I agree that if they are going to fail, the failure will likely occur right when reinstalling them (not later, like a popped nail head). A failure at installation probably means getting out the vice grips to back out the above the surface shank and perhaps a little extra mud. For two cents per? I don't think it's worth it.
    – coderjohn
    Aug 26 at 1:13
  • 7
    You could bury a drywall screw to the stud and there is no way that soft, crumbly gypsum and paper is going to put enough force on the screw to fatigue or stretch it. If the screw was even remotely properly installed in the first place it's completely fine to be reused.
    – J...
    Aug 26 at 11:54
  • 1
    Agreed. But it's not the drywall that's creating the resistance, it's the stud, which has variable resistance/hardness depending on location on the board or age (for example, knots, or, old wood vs. new).
    – coderjohn
    Aug 26 at 14:22
  • 90% of the time a screw will snap well below the surface of the sheet. You put another next to it and move on. What's 10% of 2%? About the same as you'd get with new screws, and in those cases a whack with a hammer is the fix. :)
    – isherwood
    Aug 26 at 15:30
-5

My finial argument for not reusing them: the thread is filled up with old cemented drywall dust. If I reuse them I would either have to remove that dust or take the risk to have the screw entering the drywall sheet with the first half of the thread clean an then next one comes after and it levels the thread created by the first half (from practical and empirical observation the dust sticks mostly on the second half) So I say no unless you have time to put them in water and hopefully the dust will be softened and it will come off by itself. All this for 13CAD ? (300-400 screws coarse thread)? No way I am going to wait and waste that much time. Maybe I will reuse them in other type of projects but not with this one

1
  • 3
    No you don't. That's all nonsense. :) Millions of cases of empirical evidence prove otherwise. Dust in the threads is not an issue.
    – isherwood
    Aug 26 at 15:25

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