What is a pilot hole

A Pilot hole is a small hole that is drilled into wood, before driving a screw, a larger drill bit or a nail. Following are the common reasons why a pilot hole is required:

  • It is not possible to generate enough power using ones hands to drive a screw directly into wood, unless a power screw driver is used. Pilot holes make it easier to drive screws using a hand screw driver

  • When a screw / nail is driven directly into wood, it might possibly split the wood. The chances are very high if the screw / nail is used along the corners / edges of the wood. Pilot holes help prevent tension on the wood making it easier for screws to be sunk without causing any damage

  • When using a larger drill bit, it is possible for the drill to slip while it is being driven. The pilot hole increases accuracy by acting as the guiding fissure into which a larger screw / drill bit can be easily and precisely driven
What is a pilot hole?
Pilot hole for driving a screw in wood
Pilot holes have to be lesser in diameter and depth than the screw that is being driven into it. Larger holes will not create enough grip around them for the screw to tightly hold on to the wooden surface.

Pilot holes are commonly used within the house for installing a bathroom hanger, key holders, hanger rods for the wardrobe etc… while they are also extensively used in furniture making, cabinetry, and other woodworking needs where screws and nails are predominantly used.

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  1. This post came at the perfect time! I'm getting ready to put shelves in my craft room. Now I won't have to worry about messing them all up! Thanks!

  2. thz z a gr8 idea...thx 4r sharing

  3. Hi Andi, glad it came at the right time... Installing shelves is so much fun to do, and hope you have a great time having them installed... Do share your efforts through your blog... Would sure love to see the outcome.

    Hi Nisha, thanks and glad that you find it useful

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