Can I Drill into Metal Studs Without Weakening Them?

in Drywall

Metal studs are commonly used in residential homes as well as in commercial construction. Metal studs are less expensive and lighter than wood, and they are consistently and reliably straight. Most nails and screws never penetrate through metal studs. Drilling a hole is needed.

If you are mounting anything heavy on the wall you will probably need to mount it to the wall studs. You need to drill pilot holes first before fixing in any screws. We recommend that you drill pilot holes first before you drive any screws. 

Why you need to drill

Screws or nails are unlikely to penetrate metal studs unless you drill pilot holes first. If you want to hang anything heavy on the wall, then you will have to anchor it using the metal studs. Drilling a hole on the wall will make your work easier for hanging a mirror, a picture, or a television, for example.

Locate the stud

You should locate metal studs with a metal-stud finder, and then identify the centre of the stud. The stud finder gives you an exact position. When you drill a hole near the edge you can compromise both the stud and the load bearing capacity of the screw or nail.

Look for the edge and then the centre

We recommend you to use a small drill bit to drill holes in the wall on each side of the stud. This will help you to identify the edges.

You absolutely can drill into metal studs without weakening them, and in many cases drilling into metal studs will be required. However, it’s important to drill pilot holes first, and be sure to anchor anything to the center of the stud if you are using the stud to bear weight.

Turner Bros Contractors Ltd. has been providing steel-stud framing, drywall, and acoustic ceiling services for residential and commercial applications in the Vancouver area since 1932. The company is family-run with four generations of the family represented in the business.

If you have any questions about this article or would like to talk to us about your residential or commercial project, please call us at (604) 532-1991 or email us at

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