What Size Drill Bit for a #16 Screw?

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#16 screws are not very common to use and are fairly large. If you don’t know what size drill bit to use for a #16 screw, take a look below before starting your next woodworking project.

What Size Drill Bit for a #16 Screw?

Depending on whether the targeted wood is softwood or hardwood, a #16 screw requires a specific size drill bit. Select an 11/64-inch drill bit for softwood. When working with hardwood, pick a bit size of 3/16 inches.

Red and black cordless drill on the floor

Don’t confuse this with a tap like the 1/16′ NPT tap. It’s also larger compared to the uncommon #7 screw with a drill bit of 3/32″ for softwood.

Tips for Using Medium Drill Bits

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.

Use a Test Board

When drilling wood or metal, your medium drill bits can create a splintered hole on one side. This is called a blowout which most amateur DIY workers get often. Blowouts can damage your workpiece affecting its quality. 

It can sometimes lead to accidents since the drill bursting through the hole will make you lose control when you’re careless.

Rusty screw standing upright on a table

To stop this from happening, you can use a test or spare board as a cushion to clamp the piece down. The spare board prevents any blowouts since it acts as a cushion when drilling a hole.

Rely on Drill Guides If You Have Low or No Vision

You can buy drill guides built for medium drill bits from hardware stores. It makes drilling with medium drill bits easy as the guide will accurately place the bit into your workpiece.

If you have a drill press, you can make a set of drill guides by drilling holes with medium-sized diameters into small blocks of wood. It’s like a DIY drill guide that you can use to better your drilling accuracy.

If you can’t do either of the two options, you can ask a friend to help you make drill guides using your drill and a built-in level.


Even though this is not a very common screw to use, #16 screws can be used for some heavy duty woodworking projects. Remember to pay attention to the type of wood you are working with so that you select the proper size drill bit.