I'm about to start using pocket holes to join wood together, but I'm not certain as to what length pocket hole screws are used for general joinery/fabrication. I'm interested in making things like small tables.

What length screws are used for general fabrication? Is there a significant difference in length vs holding power? What length is good for building things like a small table (Around 1m^2 area)

  • 1
    If you intend to use any of the various Kreg Jigs to drill your pocket holes, it may help you to know they come with instructions and guidelines about screw sizes (generally the same as what is in Robert Nubel's answer below). But it is also possible to make your own pocket hole jig. Commented Dec 1, 2017 at 23:06
  • While pocket screws are very useful for certain things be sure to peruse the Q&As here to find out where pocket screws are not suitable, as there are many plans out there where they are used badly (I'm looking at you Ana White).
    – Graphus
    Commented Dec 2, 2017 at 8:15

1 Answer 1


The answer depends on how much wood you need the screw to go through in the stock that you drill the hole in, plus how deep you want it to penetrate into the receiving stock. There's no single answer to give, but here's a big chart from Kreg that breaks down different common scenarios and the suggested screw length:

https://www.kregtool.com/files/newsletters/kregplus/Images/february12/selecting-the-correct-screw.pdf Image credit: Kreg Tool Company

  • 2
    To add to Robert's answer, note that wood screws have a top part of their shaft that don't have threads on them. In these pictures, that part of the screw ends at the piece being fastened, and the threads begin at the piece below it. Like all joinery with wood screws, the goal is to have the threads engage only in the receiving piece. The piece being drilled through should use a clearance hole. This is to avoid a "jacked screw", which happens when threads engage the top piece, and then push away the bottom piece as the threads engage it, leaving a gap that isn't fully closed. Commented Dec 1, 2017 at 23:00
  • 1
    More information on pilot holes vs. clearance holes can be found in this answer. With pocket screws, the principles are the same; the main differences being the addition of the pocket, and the screw being driven at an angle. Commented Dec 1, 2017 at 23:01

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