Screws Alternatives: What You Could Use Instead of Screws

Screws Alternatives: What You Could Use Instead of Screws

Both woodworking enthusiasts and professionals have widely used screws for the effective joining of pieces of wood. You can hardly miss screws in any woodworking workshop due to their essential role in ensuring lumber pieces are tightly attached when making various woodworking products.

Whether you are building cabinets or pieces of furniture, you will require screws for the success of your project as you will need ideal joinery for connecting the pieces of wood. However, there are other types of joineries that you could use instead of screws including, nails, dowels, bolts, and more.

This piece will enlighten you more on some of the joineries that you could use instead of screws.

Pegs and Dowels

If you are working on furniture and do not desire to have exposed fasteners, you should opt to go for dowels. Woodworking dowels are small pieces of wooden pegs that are inserted into flat-bottomed holes of the same size.

The width of the dowels is usually more significant than the holes that they are supposed to be inserted into, thus making it easier to fit on the holes fully. Additionally, you could use wood glue to strengthen the bond and make it stick harder.

Some of the woodworking furniture that could be quickly be joined using dowels include pieces of furniture such as walnut dining tables as they can be soon joined using dowels.

For conventional post and beam creation, round and big wooden pegs are inserted into the mortise and tenon joints. However, if you seek to use long-lasting dowels, you should opt for the ones from oak and maple woods due to their durable features.

If you want to fasten floor planking, you could opt to use pegs to be more efficient and convenient.

Why You Could Use Dowels Instead of Screws

  • The Dowling process takes less time and hassle.
  • Finishes made by Dowling are clean and neat and helps in making outstanding finishes.
  • There is no need for nails, screws, and other types of joineries.
  • Dowel joints are considered one of the sturdiest joinery materials used in woodworking, mainly when you use several rows of dowels.
  • Dowels are ideal joining materials that you could use at home instead of screws as they can be easily accessed.
  • The bond made using dowels is much stronger and can last for a long.
  • It’s much easier to join pieces of wood using dowels.
  • Dowels and pegs are much versatile as they can be used on a wide array of woodworking projects.

Disadvantages of Using Dowels

  • Joints made of tenon and mortise usually takes a more extended amount of time to build
  • To get the alignment, it could be challenging for the starters as it needs dowelling.
  • With time, dowels tend to shear, and thus you will be required to replace them with a new one.


Nails are one of the commonly used types of joinery by almost every carpenter and DIYer. They are popular due to their impressive and robust features. In addition, spiral or ribbed nails have outstanding holding power making them a perfect substitute for woodworking screws.

Even when toughly attached to pieces of wood, nails can be quickly and swiftly removed through the use of a hammer, unlike screws which are tricky to remove and often requires the help of a screwdriver.

In addition, nails are ideal as they can ideally join pieces of wood and other surfaces, and the bond can last for a very long.

Additionally, nails are easily accessible and at a budget-friendly price; thus, they are perfect for big and tricky woodworking projects. You can buy a significant amount of nails for a small amount of money and use them for big projects.

They are also much ease to use as they only require the help of a hammer for effective and efficient joining of woods.


  • It can be used to join various types of woods.
  • Budget-friendly and easily accessible
  • Easy to use
  • They can be easily removed during renovation or repair.
  • They are available in a wide array of sizes and thicknesses.
  • They are much versatile as they can be used for various woodworking tasks.


  • They tend to bend when hit with much pressure.
  • It May was not ideal for joining vast pieces of wood.
  • Requires some level of skills and prowess for perfect joining
  • May cause damage to the workpiece as they entail making of big holes

Rivets and Bolts

Rivets and bolts are other alternatives that can be used instead of screws in woodworking tasks. Although bolts are popularly used for the fastening of metallic materials, they can also be used to join pieces of wood.

Using the nuts and the washers, you can use to attach pieces of wood. They are commonly used to make beds, decks, and barns as they make them strong and durable.

Just like screws, bolts can be removed and reused in the future. They are preferably used in immense woodworking projects, including building wooden bridges where firm and tight joining of woods is required.

For joining small and thin pieces of wood, rivets can be an ideal choice. They are commonly used in the making of boats and canoes.


  • The simple design thus easy to use
  • Practical for making solid and durable joints
  • They are easily accessible and budget-friendly
  • They produce minimal noise during tightening
  • Minimal level of skills and expertise required to use them
  • Less hassle required
  • Ideal for making non-permanent joints
  • Easy to replace them with other joineries


Bottom Line

If you are wondering about some of the joineries that you could use instead of woodworking screws, the above tips and ideas will help. You could opt to use nails, pegs, dowels or bolts, and rivets ineffective and firm joining of pieces of wood. Your woodworking project shouldn’t have to stop just because you can’t access screws, use other alternatives.


Type of joinery that you could use instead of screws

Alternatives to woodworking screws

Ideal options to screws.

Sokna Chan

Welcome to Carpentry is my passion. I understand that it can be challenging for those seeking to venture into this industry, especially if you are a novice. I hope you enjoy and get a lot of ideas from my website. Thank you so much for your time.

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