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I'm planning on building a closet organization unit for my kids using particle board.  Will the pocket hole screws hold in particle board?  Should I try MDF?  Maybe I'd get a better hold with MDF. 


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Just my opinion but I don't care for screws in either of those materials. Might work in MDF long enough for glue to set up but in partical board I'm thinking it will just revert to sawdust under any kind of pressure.
My gut feeling and opinion is that screws would hold better in particle board. Again, that's just my unsubstantiated opinion.

Just came across this post, Brian.  Sorry for the late reply. 

I would go with MDF.  I built a desk with MDF and it is as strong as can be.  The Kreg joints are very strong in this material too.  There are several articles in older Workbench magazines for closet organizers made primarily with MDF.  They are faced with poplar and the cores are MDF.  I would shy away from particle board.  Have you ever noticed that those $30 furniture kits from Walmarts and Targets are particle board.  Nice initially, but they just don't last.  Additionally, MDF accepts gel/poly stain and paint with good results.
I would go with the mdf and course screw I would also glue the joints, Mdf is more stable and alot stronger then particle board, Make sure you back your drill out of the jig alot because I had problems with mdf   the jig jamming up. Mdf dosen't eject from the jig like wood does.
I dont know about MDF around kids on top of that so you got about a year or two before it wares out from them and the drowers if they are made from MDF wont be so lucky so I would look in to some ply wood that is sanded on one side the out side of them wont be seen any way.
I like david dean's tip. build it with plywood and it will outlast you. $30 vs $40 a sheet; you decide. Kids also climb on stuff to reach things they can't get to. Do you want to risk an injury here?
After having to redo my under-sink area, I would use neither of these products. Kids will be spilling liquids around your woodwork and it may well not last as long as you would like.
I think you would be so much happier using baltic birch ply as it will remain stable and last a lifetime. If you are absolutely set on the particle board look, then I would go with MDF for sure. use course thread and glue for best results.

Steve Cofield said:
I think you would be so much happier using baltic birch ply as it will remain stable and last a lifetime. If you are absolutely set on the particle board look, then I would go with MDF for sure. use course thread and glue for best results.

I have to agree with steve. a closet system is something that needs strength and be able to last. I would definitely spend the extra 10-20$ a sheet for birch ply and do it right. Gives you more finishing options as well. You don't want an unfinished shelving system in my opinion. Unfinished means dusty in my book. A nice painted or poly finish is nice and smooth and easy to maintain. Particle board under that load will not last and MDF in my opinion is only a little stronger no matter what the DIY shows say!

Good luck!!

Particle board is for lighting the fire, MDF is better but keep it away from water.



Kreg pocket hole screws will hold in both items of material just as effectivley.

The type of material is your choice, and I see from below there have been many many suggestions.

The water issue is a major concern with both products, so keep it in mind mant a kitchen has been ruined by water  and I am at a loss as to why these products are still being used there.

Both products especially MDF produce toxic dust when cut, beware.

Partical board as the name implies contains particles and its not just wood chips, either  tungsten blades are a must here.

both are  a breeze to route/saw  as neither have grain, partical board will require end grain filling or some other finishing.



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