Understanding Long Wood Screws: Uses and Lengths

When it comes to wood­work­ing and con­struc­tion, select­ing the right screws is cru­cial for both the integri­ty and longevi­ty of your project. Among the many options avail­able, long wood screws stand out for their strength and ver­sa­til­i­ty. In this arti­cle, we’ll dive into the world of long wood screws by high­light­ing their advan­tages and detail­ing spe­cif­ic prod­ucts from FastenMaster.

Understanding Wood Screw Sizes

Wood screw sizes are usu­al­ly spec­i­fied by two pri­ma­ry mea­sure­ments: diam­e­ter and length:


The diam­e­ter, often referred to as the gauge”, deter­mines the width of the screw. The small­er the gauge num­ber, the larg­er the screw diam­e­ter. For exam­ple, a 6‑gauge screw has a larg­er diam­e­ter than a 4‑gauge screw.


The length of the screw is mea­sured from the sur­face of the mate­r­i­al to the point of the screw. For flat­head screws, the length includes the head, where­as, for round or oval head screws, the length is mea­sured from direct­ly under the head to the point.

Differences Between Screw Lengths and Gauges

The length and gauge of a screw are two dis­tinct char­ac­ter­is­tics. The gauge, often rep­re­sent­ed as a num­ber from #0 to #20, rep­re­sents the diam­e­ter or thick­ness of the screw’s shank. A #0 gauge is the small­est, suit­able for del­i­cate work, while a #20 gauge is larg­er and bet­ter suit­ed for heavy-duty tasks.

It is impor­tant to con­sid­er both of these fac­tors when choos­ing extra-long screws for wood; a screw that is both long and has a high gauge num­ber will pro­vide a stronger hold, but may require a larg­er hole and more force to dri­ve into the material.

Determining the Ideal Screw Length in Woodworking

Choos­ing the ide­al length for your long screws for wood can be influ­enced by sev­er­al factors.

For most wood­work­ing projects, the rule of thumb is that your screw should be at least twice the thick­ness of the thinnest piece being joined. For exam­ple, if you’re fas­ten­ing a 1/​2‑inch thick board, you would ide­al­ly use a 1‑inch long screw. This ensures that the screw has enough depth to hold the pieces togeth­er securely.

How­ev­er, if you’re work­ing with par­tic­u­lar­ly thick mate­ri­als or need added strength for your project, extra long screws for wood might be necessary.

Always be sure to con­sid­er the spe­cif­ic require­ments of your project when decid­ing on screw length.

Advantages of Using Long Wood Screws

Enhanced Strength

Their length allows for a deep­er reach into the wood to pro­vide a stronger hold.


Long wood screws are suit­able for var­i­ous appli­ca­tions, from fram­ing to decking.

No Pre-Drilling Required

Many long wood screws are designed to be used with­out pre-drilling in order to save time and effort.

FastenMaster Product Overview


Ledger LOK

Ledger­LOKs are the first wood screws designed to secure a deck ledger board to a house­’s rim joist. It is a reli­able choice when seek­ing long screws for wood. Its flat head, sharp point, and cut­ting threads allow it to pen­e­trate the wood with­out pre-drilling, which makes instal­la­tion faster and more effi­cient. Fur­ther­more, its hefty length ensures a secure grip, so it is ide­al for heavy-duty appli­ca­tions. Avail­able in 3 58″ and 5″.

LedgerLOK Flathead

Ledger LOK Flat Head Family Simulated

The Ledger­LOK Flat­head is anoth­er excep­tion­al prod­uct from Fas­ten­Mas­ter that has been specif­i­cal­ly designed for flat sur­face appli­ca­tions when attach­ing ledger boards to the rim joist. It fea­tures a built-in wash­er head, which elim­i­nates the need for an addi­tion­al wash­er and pro­vides the ulti­mate strength and sta­bil­i­ty. The flat head design also ensures a clean and smooth fin­ish to add a pro­fes­sion­al touch to your wood­work­ing projects. Avail­able in 3−5÷8″ and 5″.


HeadLOK® structural deck screws

Head­LOK is a heavy-duty wood screw that offers robust and reli­able fas­ten­ing solu­tions. It’s ver­sa­tile, as it elim­i­nates the need for predrilling and can be used in a vari­ety of appli­ca­tions includ­ing deck­ing, dry­wall, and more. Its spi­der dri­ve sys­tem and sharp gim­let point ensure smooth instal­la­tion and a firm hold. Avail­able in 2−7÷8″ to 14″.


Tim­ber­LOK structural deck screws

Tim­ber­LOK is a pow­er­ful­ly designed long wood screw that excels in a vari­ety of wood appli­ca­tions, includ­ing land­scape tim­bers, fences, decks, head­ers, stair stringers, and more. It elim­i­nates the need for pre-drilling and boasts a sharp point for easy instal­la­tion. Avail­able in lengths from 2−1÷2″ to 10″, it helps to ensure a secure hold for your heavy-duty projects.


FlatLOK® Screws for Multiply LVL & Lumber Beams, Girder Trusses

Flat­LOK screws are designed for mul­ti-ply dimen­sion­al and engi­neered wood con­nec­tions. They are per­fect for appli­ca­tions where a flush fin­ish is essen­tial, and they can be installed from one side only, which makes them ide­al for ele­vat­ed or hard-to-reach areas​. Avail­able in 2−7÷8″ to 6−3÷4″.


Versa LOK usage

Ver­sa­LOK is a ver­sa­tile and robust wood screw option from Fas­ten­Mas­ter that is well suit­ed for a vari­ety of con­struc­tion and wood­work­ing appli­ca­tions. Its unique design elim­i­nates pre-drilling and pro­motes easy instal­la­tion, which makes it a go-to choice for pro­fes­sion­als and DIY enthu­si­asts alike. The Ver­sa­LOK range is avail­able in lengths from 6″ to 10″, to ensure a secure hold for all your project needs.


ThruLOK® Structural deck screws connecting multiple wood supports

Thru­LOK is a rev­o­lu­tion­ary prod­uct from Fas­ten­Mas­ter that serves as a speedy, reli­able alter­na­tive to tra­di­tion­al car­riage or through bolts. It requires no pre-drilling or wrench­ing for faster, has­sle-free instal­la­tions. Avail­able in lengths from 6−1÷4″ to 9−1÷2″, Thru­LOK pro­vides the strength and sta­bil­i­ty need­ed for major struc­tur­al applications.

Tips for Working with Long Wood Screws

Work­ing with long wood screws requires cer­tain strate­gies to ensure secure and effi­cient instal­la­tions. Here are some tips to guide you:

  • Pre-Drill If Nec­es­sary: While many long screws are designed to pen­e­trate wood with­out pre-drilling, for par­tic­u­lar­ly hard woods or when using very large screws, you may still want to pre-drill to pre­vent split­ting the wood.

  • Choose the Cor­rect Dri­ver Bit: Ensure the dri­ver bit match­es the screw head to pre­vent strip­ping or dam­ag­ing the screw. A stripped screw can be chal­leng­ing to remove.

  • Use a Screw Guide: For pre­cise place­ment and to pre­vent the screw from wob­bling dur­ing instal­la­tion, con­sid­er using a screw guide.

  • Ensure Prop­er Align­ment: When join­ing two pieces of wood, always check for prop­er align­ment before dri­ving the screw.

  • Don’t Over-Tight­en: Over-tight­en­ing can strip the screw hole or split the wood. Stop tight­en­ing as soon as the head is flush with the surface.

  • Safe­ty First: Always wear the appro­pri­ate safe­ty gear — like safe­ty glass­es — to pro­tect your­self from poten­tial fly­ing debris.

Comparing Long Wood Screws with Other Fasteners

When it comes to fas­ten­ing wood, sev­er­al options exist aside from long wood screws. Each has its advan­tages and dis­ad­van­tages, and the choice often depends on the spe­cif­ic require­ments of your project.


Nails are a com­mon choice for wood fas­ten­ing due to their sim­plic­i­ty and low cost. They are quick and easy to install, and require only a ham­mer. How­ev­er, they lack the hold­ing pow­er of screws and they are not suit­able for heavy-duty appli­ca­tions or mate­ri­als under sig­nif­i­cant stress.


Bolts pro­vide high strength and are used for heavy-duty appli­ca­tions where strong joints are required, such as in fur­ni­ture and struc­tur­al appli­ca­tions. How­ev­er, instal­la­tion is more com­plex, and often requires pre-drilled holes and the use of a wrench.

In com­par­i­son, long screws for wood offer a bal­ance of strength, ver­sa­til­i­ty, and ease of instal­la­tion. Their deep pen­e­tra­tion and thread design pro­vide supe­ri­or hold­ing power. 

They can be used in a wide range of appli­ca­tions and mate­ri­als, and designs such as those from Fas­ten­Mas­ter do not require pre-drilling. As such, long wood screws often pro­vide an opti­mal solu­tion for wood­work­ing projects.

Choose FastenMaster for All Your Long Screw Needs

When it comes to sourc­ing long screws for wood, Fas­ten­Mas­ter stands out as a leader in the indus­try. With a vast array of prod­ucts designed to meet the diverse needs of wood­work­ers, con­trac­tors, and DIY enthu­si­asts alike, our com­mit­ment to qual­i­ty and inno­va­tion is evi­dent in every fas­ten­er we sell. 

Con­tact us today for more infor­ma­tion on our com­plete line of fas­ten­ing solutions!