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How to Use Trim Screws

Doug Berthon

Trim screws have very small heads and are used to attach trim to wood or metal studs. The size of the head is larger than a finish nail, which is why they are used sparingly in residential remodeling. Some walls are built with steel studs without wood backing which makes trim screws necessary. There are also special circumstances that make trim screws beneficial such as pulling a piece of trim tight to a bowed wall or installing trim that must remain removable. Stainless trim screws are also available for exterior applications.

  1. Drill a pilot hole large enough to slip the screw into the hole. Widen the top of the hole by making a rounding action to allow the head of the screw to sit just below the surface. A countersink can be purchased from your local home store which drills the pilot hole and countersinks the head of the screw in one step.

  2. Insert a No. 1 square insert bit into your drill or bit holder.

  3. Drive in the screw at a moderate speed being careful not to set it too deep. When backing out trim screws, if the countersink hole is too smaller than the head of the screw, the wood will splinter. Back out the screw slowly and carve out any wood in the way with a utility knife.