What Size Drill Bit for a #5 Screw?

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#5 screws aren’t your typical standard-size screw. They are commonly found in Nintendo NES cartridges if you don’t know what size drill bit for a #5 screw, you should know since it’s a widely used screw in various applications.

What Size Drill Bit for a #5 Screw?

A #5 screw needs a size drill bit depending on the pilot hole size on the intended wood and whether it’s hardwood or softwood. For softwood, you would need a size drill bit of 1/16 inches. For hardwood, you would need a size drill bit of 5/64 inches.

Drill, hammer, paint and other woodworking tools placed on the floor

Don’t confuse this with taps like the 5/8-11 tap. This is a unique and uncommon drill bit size, much like the #20 screw.  They are commonly associated with Nintendo NES cartridges.

However, they can also be used in woodworking and other projects where they are named Tek 5 screws. They can be used for various applications involving metal to metal or wood to metal. Examples of these applications are:

  • Electrical industry
  • Roofing
  • Carpentry
  • Machinery

Tips for Using Small Drill Bits

Never Force the Drill Bit

It’s not a good decision to force the drill bit through the material most of the time. The speed of the drill bit won’t change even if you force it through, and it will only do more harm than good.

You also might end up breaking the bit if you’re being forceful. Small drill bits are usually brittle so you need to use them carefully. Forcing it through also blunts the bit’s tip, making it unusable.

In the end, you want to ensure that the drill bit you’re using is compatible with the surface. If it is and still doesn’t drill effectively, other underlying problems might need to be addressed

Use a Drill Press

Drilling with small drill bits requires a lot of accuracy. With a drill press, your accuracy increases significantly and generally produces better results. Most drill presses are built with metalworking features.

Close up of Drillpro 1.0mm micro drill bits

It has features that make drilling with small drill bits easier. For example, it has a handle that results in the bit going down into the workpiece at an accurate angle, creating a precise drilling area.

If you’re going to work on a lot of small drill bits in the future, it’s not bad to invest in a drill press with many features related to drilling with small drill bits.

Clamp the Material

Since small drill bits require a bit of careful handwork, you need your surface to be as stable as possible. Hence, you should definitely clamp it down to keep it from moving. Even with small drill bits will be hard if the surface isn’t steady.

This is especially true in small workpieces. Clamps hold the workpiece or surface in place so you can drill without worrying about it moving.

Think of clamps as an extra pair of hands that holds the piece for you so you can use both your hands to use the drill more accurately. There are many different drilling clamp accessories available in the market.


#5 screws are generally used to hold the NES cartridge together. They are commonly used among Nintendo gamers because of their Famicom-to-NES converter. The other #5 screw, the Tek 5 screw, can be used for various applications.