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Maker extraordinaire Craig Smith shared another quick work tip with us:

Sometimes I grab the cordless drill/driver, some screws, and perhaps a small pilot drill bit on a quick construction/repair project. The screws would be better if they were 100% flush and I didn’t grab a countersink bit, or perhaps I’m at a location without a countersink bit available. If I have a regular 3/8″ drill bit I can slightly (and carefully) drill a countersink divot. But often I just use the spinning Phillips head driver bit and swing the drill in a circular motion around the hole at an angle a few times to create a countersink area before I zip the screw in. A recommended countersink method… no. In a pinch where it needs to be done… yes.

See all of Craig Smith’s tips and projects.

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor for Boing Boing and WINK Books. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.


  • http://gravatar.com/dmtroyer dmtroyer

    In wood that soft you should be able to get the screw to seat flush without ruining your driver.

  • Keith

    This is handy and it helps keep the wood from splitting. Another trick is take a large drill bit (diameter of screw head) and run it in reverse so it doesn’t dig in.

  • Christian

    Don’t want to do advertising, but a good way to get this problem solved is to leave the cheap screws in the store and buy ones with milling heads, like Spax, Rapid, Assy or Fischer. They make life much easier.

  • http://gravatar.com/cancerouspete pete

    if you don’t have a pilot drill around either, you can start with the above counter sink, but only drive the screw a couple turns, then with your power drill run the screw backwards fast; you can drill straight through for for joining and pulling to parts together, or only drill in a short bit, for softer woods where the screw alone will split an end or edge

  • Threebean

    Good tool that does both drill and countersink:
    http://www.amazon.com/DEWALT-DW2567-Countersink-64-Inch-Drill/dp/B0000225OV

    Notice the tapered bit. I love these things! Various other companies make them too.

  • http://www.props.eric-hart.com Eric Hart

    I’ve done this before.