Full-diameter shanks will require predrilling to the proper pilot-size for the material being treaded into. Use a table or do tests, as this varies for hardwood, softwood, particle board, plastics. It's common practice to use a steel screw of the same size, to cut threads for the brass screw. Not pre-cutting the threads can lead to snapped off brass screws or stripped heads and a LOT of extra work. There's a debate about whether using plain steel screws can lead to future rust staining in a high moisture environment, so you may wish to get a couple of stainless screws for pre-threading. Do NOT use galvanized screws for pre-threading as they are plated AFTER the threads are cut, making them a bit larger than your brass screws. A little thread lube (tallow or wax; not oil) helps too, especially in hardwoods. The screw design is versatile, in that you can bore/countersink and plug, countersink and surface mount, or surface mount with finish washers. Finish washers not only look good, but prevent damage to veneered wood surfaces and "staring" of holes in plastics/laminates. Keep a jar of them handy.