If you’ve ever done a major construction project, you’re probably familiar with lag screws. They are the strongest screw you can find, and you can use them to build everything from houses to barns to fences. While you can drill most screws straight into where you want them to go, lag screws are different. Understand why you need pilot holes for lag screws before your next project.

Make Installation Easier

A pilot hole is a preliminary hole that allows you to easily install screws and bolts into a wood post. You must drill pilot holes so that you do not splinter the wood or damage the lag screw. Any screw with a large diameter needs a pilot hole for easier and quicker installation. Drilling a pilot hole ensures that your lag screw won’t break when you install it with a power drill. Torque can snap the head right off.

How To Drill a Pilot Hole

You will want to make the pilot hole for your lag screw slightly smaller than the diameter of the screw. A tight fit will allow the teeth of the screw to dig into the wood to secure its hold. You should use a spade bit or large twist bit to create your pilot holes.

Pro Tip: Clear sawdust from the flute of the drill bit after each time you insert it into the pilot hole to prevent heat from getting trapped inside.

Use the Right Lag Screw for Your Project

Major construction projects require heavy-duty tools and equipment, but you can use ceramic-coated lag screws for smaller projects too. You can buy a tub of construction lag screws with your next order of Cat’s Claw Fasteners to keep your toolbox stocked with the necessities.

Once you understand the tools of the trade, such as why you need pilot holes for lag screws, you’ll be a regular handyman. Neighbors from far and wide will marvel at your professional construction skills when you follow these best practices.

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