I wood if I could.
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Lakeland, Florida
I just built a work bench using pocketed screws (I actually used exterior grade deck screws as opposed to actual "pocket screws"). The bench turned out very solid, though I did have plenty of bracing to ensure sturdiness. I think pocket screws can create a rather sturdy joint. Glue is definitely recommended for reinforcement in most cases and the screws act as good clamping action to allow the glue to do its thing.
In the case of the bench I just mentioned, I opted not to glue. But this is only because of the fact that the bench is rigidly mounted to the wall along the rear. So I am not concerned with the kind of flexing and abuse that may occur from leaning on it or falling against a corner of it or what not. If it was to be a free standing unit I would have glued the pocketed joints as well. On its own, without a plenty of bracing (or at least glue), pocket screwing probably isn't the most durable joint, as it is somewhat easy to break out the wood if flexed much. Think of it as toe-nailing with extra 'grab'.
I am fairly new to using pocketed screws so my opinion may not be as credible as the others. But, from an analytical standpoint, I think I'm somewhat on track in my logic.