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Kreg Jig Screw Chart + Guide

Kreg Jig Screw Chart + Guide

Many woodworkers and DIYers like to use pocket hole joints when they want to build something without seeing screws all over it.

And what else can help us with this mission other than the trusted Kreg pocket hole jig?

While Kreg jigs make it easier on us, choosing the right Kreg pocket hole screw length and type can be frustrating.

However, it doesn’t have to be like this.

Using a Kreg jig screw chart can help you a lot with choosing the right pocket hole screw length and type, along with choosing the right Kreg jig settings.

So, we created the ultimate Kreg screw guide to help you choose. Also, we included a Kreg jig screw chart that contains all the info you need in one place.

Let’s begin!

The Ultimate Kreg Screw Guide

If you really think about it, pocket hole joints are mostly about using the right pocket hole screw.


When you use a pocket hole screw that is too long, it gets too close to the outside face of the wood board. In this case, the screw might poke through or cause splitting.

On the other hand, using a screw that is too short will likely prevent you from connecting the boards together.

To further understand this, check out this video:

Just as with any screw sizing, you’ll want to make sure you use the right screw length for the job as well as choose the right type of screw.

We’ll show you first how to choose the right pocket hole screw length. Then, we’ll get to the screw type.

Choosing the Right Pocket Hole Screw Length

When it comes to choosing the right pocket hole screw length, you need to determine the thickness of the boards you need to connect.

After determining your board’s thickness, only then can you use our Kreg screw chart to see what pocket hole screw length works best.

Determine Your Material Thickness

The first thing you need to know when it comes to determining the thickness of your material is to use the actual dimensions, not the nominal dimensions.

This sounds new to you?

Nominal dimensions are the dimensions usually provided for wood boards and blocks when bought at home centers. These are the standardized or dimensional sizes.

They represent the dimensions of the board before it had been dried or smoothed.

So, they’re not the actual dimensions of the final size of the board but larger.

It’s best to refer back to the supplier and ask for the actual measurements.

A variety of board thicknesses used for cabinets and drawers

The second thing you need to know when it comes to determining the thickness of your board is to check the height of the board.

The length and width aren’t relevant in this case, but the height is what we need.

How high your board means its thickness.

You’ll find the measurements written in this way 2×4, which means your board is 2 inches high and 4 inches wide.

So, the thickness of your board is 2 inches. Another example is if you have a board of the dimensions 2×10, the thickness of this board equals 2.

This means that a board with 2×4 dimensions needs the same screw length as a board with 2×10 measurements.

But what to do if you’re connecting two boards of different thicknesses? In this case, choose your screw’s length according to the thinner board.

For example, if you’re connecting a 2×4 board with a 1×6 board, choose your screw length based on the 1×6 one.

Use Our Pocket Hole Size Chart

Now that you know the actual thickness of your material, you can refer to our Kreg screw length chart to see what screw length you need to use.

Let’s say that you have two boards of 2×4 measurements; what pocket hole screw length do you need?

The nominal thickness of the boards is 2″, while the actual thickness is 1½”. We look for the corresponding screw length that best suits a 1½” board.

So, we need to use a screw of 2½” length.

Choosing the Right Kreg Screw Type

We’ve got our board’s thickness, and we’ve figured out the right screw length to use.

Now, what type of Kreg pocket hole screw do we need to use?

Choosing the right pocket hole screw for your project depends on the following questions:

  • What type of wood are you using?
  • Is your project indoors or outdoors?
  • Do you need a Maxi-Loc or Pan-Head pocket-hole screw?

What Type of Wood Are You Using?

The type of wood boards will determine whether you’re going to use coarse-thread screws or fine-thread screws.

wood type

For softwoods, such as pine and spruce, it’s best to use coarse-thread screws. The coarse thread is aggressive enough to dive deep and bite into the softwood fibers.

The same thing goes for plywood and MDF.

On the other hand, if you’re using hardwood, such as oak, cherry, and maple, coarse-thread screws will tear the wood fibers, causing splits.

So, it’s best to use fine-thread screws. They’re less aggressive, so they won’t tear into the dense hardwood fibers.

Is Your Project Indoors or Outdoors?

Next, you need to figure out whether you’re going to use Zinc-Coated, Blue-Kote™, or Stainless Steel Kreg pocket hole screws. Your decision is based on whether your project is indoors or outdoors.

Indoor projects aren’t susceptible to a lot of moisture. So, Zinc-Coated Kreg pocket-hole screws will be perfect in this case.

They can handle enough moisture to be used in kitchens and bathrooms.

blue kote steel pocket hole screw

Example of corrosion resistant Kreg screw from The Home Depot.

Meanwhile, outdoor projects are more susceptible to moisture. In this case, Blue-Kote™ Kreg pocket-hole screws are your best option.

Meanwhile, Stainless Steel Kreg pocket-hole screws are the best choice for outdoor projects that involve extreme moisture conditions and corrosion elements.

Do You Need a Maxi-Loc or Pan-Head Pocket Hole Screw?

The head type of your screw is also important. You need to figure out whether you need a Maxi-Loc or Pan-Head Kreg screw for your project.

Maxi-Loc screws are versatile and perfect for several types of projects. Their large heads provide a maximum bearing surface that allows the screw to pull tight in the pocket hole.

Meanwhile, Pan-Head Kreg screws work best for dense hardwoods. Their small heads are perfect if you’re working with small pocket holes.

They also feature a small shank that allows them to glide through the hardwood fibers without causing splitting.

screw hole

How to Use Our Kreg Screw Size Chart?

Although you understand now how to choose the perfect Kreg jig pocket hole screw, it can be a little confusing to take all of these decisions at once.

It’s a lot easier to use our Kreg screw size chart. Don’t worry; we’ll guide you through the steps of using it.

Let’s use an example to understand the process better!

You want to drill pocket holes to connect two boards—one with 1×6 dimensions and the other with 2×4 dimensions.

Let’s say you’re using oak wood boards, and this project is an indoor one.

How are you going to use our chart to figure the right Kreg screw length and type for your project?

Just like with wood dowel size chart reading, we first need to figure out the actual thickness of the boards.

The actual thickness of the first one is ¾”, and the actual thickness of the second board is 1½”.

Since the two boards are of different thicknesses, we choose the length of our screw based on the thinnest board, which is ¾”.

Looking at our Kreg screw length chart, you’ll find that a ¾” thickness needs a 1¼” screw length.

You’ll also find that on a board of ¾” thickness, it’s best to use a Maxi-Loc Kreg screw.

Based on the fact that the project is indoors, we’re going to use Zinc-Coated Kreg pocket-hole screws.

Now, we’ve got the right size and type of Kreg jig pocket hole screws for our project.

Kreg Screw Chart

We gathered all the information you need in one chart.

You’ll find:

  • Actual thickness in imperial and metric
  • Kreg screw length in imperial and metric
  • Kreg jig setting
  • Kreg screw head type
Material Thickness (Actual Measurements) Kreg Screw Length Kreg Jig Setting Head

½” (12mm)

¾” (19mm) or 1″(25mm)

½” Mark


?” (16mm)


?” Mark


¾” (19mm)

1¼” (32mm)

¾” Mark


?” (22mm)

1½” (38mm)

?” Mark


1″ (25mm)

1½” (38mm)

1″ Mark


1?” (29mm)

1½” (38mm)

1?” Mark


1¼” (32mm)

2″ (51mm)

1¼” Mark


1?” (35mm)

2″ (51mm)

1?” Mark


1½” (38mm)

2½” (64mm)

1½” Mark



We also included a chart for nominal and actual sizes for both softwood and hardwood:

Softwood Dimensions Hardwood Dimensions
Nominal Size Actual Size Nominal Thickness Actual Size (S1S) Actual Size (S2S)

1 x 2

3/4 x 1 1/2″




1 x 3

3/4 x 2 1/2




1 x 4

3/4 x 3 1/2




1 x 5

3/4 x 4 1/2




1 x 6

3/4 x 5 1/2

1 1/4″

1 1/8

1 1/6

1 x 8

3/4 x 7 1/4

1 3/8

1 5/16

1 x 10

3/4 x 9 1/4


1 13/16

1 3/4

1 x 12

3/4 x 11 1/4


2 13/16

2 3/4

2 x 2

1 1/2 x 1 1/2


3 13/16

3 3/4

2 x 3

1 1/2 x 2 1/2


2 x 4

1 1/2 x 3 1/2


2 x 6

1 1/2 x 5 1/2


2 x 8

1 1/2 x 7 1/4


2 x 10

1 1/2 x 9 1/4″


2 x 12

1 1/2 x 11 1/4″


4 x 4

3 1/2 x 3 1/2″


4 x 6

3 1/2 x 5 1/2″


6 x 6

5 1/2 x 5 12″


8 x 8

7 1/4 x 7 1/4″




Here are some frequently asked questions regarding our topic:

What Other Items Do I Need Besides a Kreg Jig to Drill Pocket Holes?

You need to buy Kreg pocket hole clamps along with suitable Kreg pocket hole screws.

Kreg jigs come with a special pocket hole drill bit, so you don’t have to buy a separate drill bit.

Kreg pocket hole clamps

Do I Need to Use Kreg Screws With Kreg Pocket Hoel Jigs?

You don’t have to use Kreg screws with Kreg pocket hole jigs.

However, Kreg manufactures one of the best pocket hole screws in the market at reasonable prices.

Also, the pocket hole screws are manufactured specifically to work best with Kreg jigs.

If you want to use other screw brands, make sure you’re buying reputable pocket hole screws.

To Sum Up

There are several things you need to consider when choosing the right Kreg jig pocket hole screw for your project.

To make it easier on you, it’s best to use our Kreg jig screw chart to figure out the suitable Kreg jig pocket hole screw quickly.

Don’t forget to make sure that you’re using the actual thickness, not the nominal one.

If you don’t know the actual thickness of your wood board, use the nominal and actual size chart that we provide in this article.

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