Wood Screw vs Deck Screw – What’s Best For Your Needs?


The most common options you will come across are wood screw vs deck screw. Both types have their place in woodworking and construction. This article outlines the differences between these two types of screws and how they should use.

Wood Screw vs Deck Screw: Definition

A wood screw is a fastener used to join wood materials. It usually has a broad head and sharp tip. 

Wood screws are typically steel, but other materials include brass, copper, or plastic. This choice of materials gives them different properties, such as corrosion resistance and strength.

Image of wood screws drilled into a piece of wood.

Image of wood screws drilled into a piece of wood.

A deck screw is a wood screw specifically designed for outdoor applications like decks and fences. Typically, deck screws are longer than wood screws with an extra pointy tip to match their purpose. 

Manufacturers also often coat them with zinc to prevent rusting and provide extra protection against corrosion.

Close-up image of deck screws

Close-up image of deck screws

Difference Between Wood Screw vs Deck Screw

Screw Heads

The main difference is that wood screws have a flat head, while deck screws have a square head.


Wood screws have sharp points and narrow shanks, while deck screws have blunter points and thick heads.

Construction Material

This coating prevents the screws from rusting on the deck surface in wet weather. 

Wood screws will also have some form of coating applied for increased resistance to harsh weather conditions, but it’s not very common.


A deck screw is similar to a wood screw in many ways but is designed specifically for attaching deck boards. On the other hand, wood screws exclusively work with wood materials and carpentry.


Wood screws are typically larger than deck screws, with a coarse thread pattern that allows for a faster-screwing action.

Deck screws have a smooth thread pattern, which means they don’t cut their threads as they go into the wood.

Which Type of Screw Should You Use?

Illustration of different types of screws

So, which type of screw is best for your needs? 

Deck screws are an excellent choice if you’re working on an outdoor project that will expose you to harsh elements. The tough coating on deck screws makes them suitable for applications where wood screws could corrode quickly. 

For light-duty indoor projects and woodworking, wood screws are ideal. Wood screws also come in outdoor-rated varieties, although they don’t offer the same level of weather resistance as deck screws.


So now you know the difference between wood screws and deck screws and what goes into choosing the correct screw for each job. 

If you have any questions about wood screws or deck screws, feel free to contact us or leave a comment below.

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