My wife wanted to have these DIY shelves hung.

In our haste to match everything, we purchased these screws to secure them to the wall, along with the requisite toggle bolts.

enter image description here

I went to install them and discovered our selected hanging location has studs along the right side of the shelves.

Can I use the machine screws in the wood stud? Would drilling pilot holes sufficient to start them into the stud?

1 Answer 1


No. Wood needs wood screws.

wood screw

These have a sharp point for piercing wood and a deeper thread than machine screws (often called bolts). The shallower thread on bolts is fine for metal, but not for wood.

For ease in setting a deep screw, you should also pre-drill the holes with a bit slightly thinner than the shaft of the screw. And for shelf brackets, I would use long screws, at least 2+ inches beyond the bracket and the drywall.

Take comfort in the fact that screws in studs are much stronger than bolts and toggles in drywall.

(All of the above assumes that there are not contrary instructions that came with the shelf mounting brackets.)

 Images and links are illustrative only, not an endorsement of goods or sources.
  • That image looks like a drywall screw rather than a wood screw. However, drywall screws also make excellent, and cheap, wood screws for projects such as this. Aug 26, 2015 at 12:35
  • 2
    @WayfaringStranger It's actually an exterior grade coated construction screw. I'm not a big fan of drywall screws for construction except for the lightest of loads, and surely not shelf brackets.
    – bib
    Aug 26, 2015 at 12:47

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.