What Size Drill Bit for a #12 Screw?

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#12 screws are a normal sized screw, so it’s not uncommon to have them in your toolkit. Curious about the best drill bit size to use on a #12 screw? Read on to find out, along with tips for using this sized drill bit.

What Size Drill Bit for a #12 Screw?

A #12 screw, if you are working with softwood, you need a size drill bit of 9/64 inches. If you are using hardwood with #12 screws, you need a drill bit size that is 5/32 inches.

Various sized rusty drill bits stored upright

Don’t confuse this with taps like the 12-24 tap. This is also part of the common standard screw sizes much like the #10 screw.

There are also other types of #12 screws that may have different drill bit sizes. These include:

  • AB self-tapping screws
  • Type B self-tapping screws
  • Type 25 thread-cutting screws

Tips for Using Medium Drill Bits

Consider Using Stud Finder

A stud finder ensures you are not drilling into a water pipe or electric cables. Drilling through electric cables can create a huge accident, like electrocuting yourself. So, it’s best to use a stud finder as a safety precaution.

It’s also useful to avoid hitting water pipes which can cause leakage and flooding in your home. You should use a stud finder when drilling with hazardous materials near the drilling spot.

If you’re drilling into an unfamiliar surface, it’s best to use a stud finder to ensure you are drilling precisely and accurately. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Know Your Drill Speed

For medium drill bits, it’s important to know the speed of the drill. Drill bits get hotter the faster it spins. When drilling metal or bricks, most people would set their drills to low speed and pressure. This is to avoid overheating and damage to the drill.

Drill bits covered in saw dust and stored on its container

The drill’s speed should be adequate for the size of the drill bits, which is medium. The bigger your drill bits are, the slower the speed should be. For medium drill bits, moderate speed is generally what you want. It helps you drill through metal and bricks faster and with better precision.

Maintaining the right speed helps prevent the drill from overheating. If you see smoke coming from your drill, it’s a sign that you should stop what you’re doing and let your drill cool down.

Maintain Your Drill Bits and Drill Tools

Your drill bits have a lifespan, and the less you take care of them, the less you will be able to use them. That’s why it’s important to do regular maintenance to check on their condition.

The quality of your work usually determines your tool’s quality. Quality workpieces can only be produced when your tools are in good condition. It’s also essential to do regular maintenance if you want to avoid mistakes and accidents when drilling.

Maintaining your drill bits extend their lifespan so you can use them longer, saving you from unwarranted replacements. You can do maintenance before and after use if you want to be meticulous.


#12 screws are generally used for heavy-duty stuff like structural framing. In terms of length, they can range from ¾ inch to around 6 inches in length. Make sure you use the right drill bit size when working on your project.