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Knowing how to identify different screw sizes is important for ensuring you choose the right ones for any project. There are two systems for measuring threads, the imperial system that still remains popular in the US and the metric system that is rapidly becoming more popular. In the imperial system, screw diameters and lengths are listed as one or two digit numbers with a fraction, while in the metric system they are measured by a major diameter and the number of threads per inch on the screw shaft.

The first number on a screw size chart indicates the thread’s diameter, while the second number indicates the thread’s pitch, which is the distance from one full turn of the screw’s head to the next. The third number indicates the screw’s length, which is usually described in millimeters. The hyphen in the third number refers to whether the thread is coarse or fine, and is also often described in the second number.

Screws are available in a variety of materials, with each type designed to work best with specific types of material. The type of screw you choose will depend on the job and what materials you’re working with, as well as factors like how much weight or force the screw needs to hold.

Choosing the correct screws is key to making sure your DIY projects are successful. To help you out, we’ve put together this handy guide on 13 different screw types, their intended use, and tips for determining the best screw for your projects. 3/8 lag bolt pilot hole

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