Can You Hammer in A Screw Without Drilling | How to Do It?

Need to insert a screw into the wall, but lack a drill? No worries! You can drive a screw into place using just a hammer, even if you’re not a professional mason. However, to accomplish this task successfully, you need to understand the proper technique. In this article, we’ve compiled a method that has proven effective. Read on to learn more!

Is Hammering in a Screw Possible?

Yes, it is indeed possible to use a hammer to drive a screw into various surfaces. The success of this method depends on the type of surface you’re working with, such as gypsum, drywall, or wood. Each surface requires a slightly different approach, and understanding what happens when you hammer a screw is crucial. Let’s delve into the details.

Consequences of Hammering a Screw Without Drilling

It’s important to recognize that you’re dealing with a solid surface when hammering a screw. As you drive the screw into the wall or another hard material, the screw’s tip embeds itself at an angle.

If you employ the wrong technique, such as holding the screw at an angle instead of straight, you’ll likely encounter issues like paint and plaster bulging. In some cases, a chip of plaster may break away from the wall. The incorrect angle may also prevent the screw from threading into the wall material effectively, causing it to lose its grip. In comparison to nails, screws are less prone to breaking when hammered.

See more: How to Adjust a Cordless Drill

Methods for Hammering a Screw into Different Surfaces Without Drilling

The successful completion of this task largely depends on applying the appropriate technique. Most professionals employ specific processes when hammering screws, and we will guide you based on their methods. The difficulty of this task varies depending on the surface.

Tools You’ll Need

To hammer in screws, you’ll require a set of tools that includes:

  • Hammer
  • Screwdriver
  • Wrench
  • Awl
  • Pliers
  • Nails
  • Various screw types

How to Hammer a Screw into Drywall

To hammer screws into drywall, you’ll need some essential tools, including a screwdriver, drywall anchors, screws, and a hammer. Follow these steps:

  1. Identify the ideal location for your screw and locate the studs in the wall by tapping and listening for a solid sound.
  2. Once you’ve identified the stud locations, mark the spot where you intend to drive the screw.
  3. Use a screwdriver that matches the thickness of the anchor to create a hole through the wall. Be cautious while creating this hole to avoid damaging the opposite side.
  4. After creating the hole, insert the anchor into it and drive the screw in. Tighten it until it’s about a quarter-inch away from the wall’s surface, allowing you to hang your item securely.

How to Hammer a Screw into a Brick Wall

Driving a screw into a brick wall is considerably more challenging. If you inadvertently create a hole that’s too large, the screw might pop out when you hammer it in, resulting in wall damage and costly repairs. Here are the steps for hammering a screw into a brick wall:

  1. Position the sharp-threaded end of a nail over your mark and begin hammering until it reaches a depth of about half an inch, which is the size of the hole that professionals typically drill.
  2. Use the curved side of the hammer to back out the nail and remove any material obstructing the anchor’s head from sitting flat against the wall.
  3. Place pliers in the hole you’ve created and hammer until you achieve the desired hole size. Verify the fit of a concrete anchor.
  4. If the anchor doesn’t fit, repeat the process with two small and two large nails, hammering them in and removing them to clear the hole.
  5. Continue hammering with pliers until you achieve the desired hole size, even if it results in some plaster and paint falling off. Apply some filler to repair the damage and let it dry.
  6. Once the filler is fully dry, drive the screw in and tighten it.

Warning: Driving screws into concrete walls can be labor-intensive and may result in chipped paint and plaster. It is advisable to use a drill machine for this task.

See more: Can I Drill Through Cast Iron?

Can You Hammer Screws into Wood?

If you’re working with wood and your drill runs out of power, you may wonder if you can hammer screws into wood. To achieve this, you’ll first need to create a pilot hole in the wood. There are two options for doing this:

  1. With a Bow Drill: Create a wedge and divot in the wood, then use a bow drill to make a pilot hole. This can be a labor-intensive method.
  2. With a Hammer and Nail: Gently tap a nail with a hammer to create the pilot hole.

If you have a self-driven screw, you won’t need to create a pilot hole. Simply place the screw on the marked point and use a handheld screwdriver to drive it into the wood. Alternatively, insert the screwdriver into the pilot hole and turn it clockwise to secure the screw.

In some cases, you may be able to hammer in a stripped screw if the material is brittle enough. Tapping the screw with a hammer can help it gain traction. Placing a rubber band over the screw head can also increase friction, making it easier to screw it in.


In summary, hammering screws into various materials is possible, but it comes with potential challenges and consequences, such as creating large holes or damaging the material. Snapping screws during hammering is also a risk. If a screw has snapped deep into a wall or piece of wood, extracting it can be a time-consuming task, as there’s no head to grasp onto.

Ultimately, it’s essential to evaluate the specific situation and material you’re working with to determine the best approach.

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