Star Drive Deckamte Screws Suck

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In theory, you'd think the star drive Deckmate screws would be a good thing.
Unfortunately, the quality of the Home Depot screws negates that theory.
While building my shed over the weekend, I found that many of the screws had 1 of 2 issues:
1 - There was so much gunk on the tip of the screw that it would just spin and not bite into the wood. 2 - There was so much gunk in the star that the bit wouldn't seat properly, in many cases causing the drill to slip out of the hole and slam into the wood.
The gunk in the hole is the worst of the problems. You'd get zipping along, setting a screw, driving it, setting a screw driving it, *think* you're setting a screw and -BAM- the bit slips out, the screw goes flying and the drill slams into the wood, you lose your balance, etc.
It slows down the job because you have to make sure the bit is seated each time.
I hear Lowes still has the Phillips-Square drive combo. I'll have to go see.
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I used the star drive screws (not from HD) on one project and won't use them again. Not the problems you state, but had quite a lot of them to break while driving them in. Also had quite a few to pop heads from swelling wood which made a callback for me.
Red
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wrote:

Red,
Buy some screws from McFeely's and try them. You shouldn't have those issues with them. They're a lot higher quality.
I've literally used thousands of their screws and so far only one has broken. However there were quite a few that had the head on the wrong end :-)
Gordon Shumway
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Gordon.........Those were for use in the ceiling or for the other side of the house. Keep them in case you need them. Warren
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Yea I've had the same thing happen to me with both star and square head stainless steele screws at Homedepot...You get a handfull of bad ones in every box...Thinking I'd be smarter next time I went to Ace and bought a slightly more expensive box and had the same handfull of bad ones...Next time I'll try McFeely's if they aren't alot more and it looks like they are at a quick glance of their website......I'm not gonna spend an extra 10 or more bucks to save a handfull of screws....Common sense and all.....If I used them everyday for work it might be a different story...You can pass on the extra cost or make it up in time saved....Not so for the occasional DIYer...I've gotten pretty good at twisting out broken off screws with my mini-vise grips...LOL...Besides it is usually Saturday afternoon when I need them for a Sunday project which means a quick stop at Homedepot cuz it's the only one open....
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wrote:

I don't know where McFeely's ships from but if I order something on a Monday I usually have it by Wednesday.
Not only that, if you use the Keycode "M9F2112" you can get any order shipped through September 1st for $1.
Gordon Shumway
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All the screws you bought were distributed by the same company. Quality matters. Patented Phillips square drive is available at phillipsfastener.com under brand name Phillips II plus
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wrote:

No, they wer made for the AUSTRALIAN market.
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Gordon Shumway wrote:

I encounter that problem with nearly half the screws I buy. It must be the outsourcing.
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I like stainless steel square drives the best for exterior use. Stainless is softer and gives a little, unlike the hardened screws which pop the heads off more often. They cost more than a coated or anodized screw, but then again they are not depending on a coating at all to not rust. Softer also means that you could potentially round out the hole if the bit is not seated before you pull the trigger, though thats not too often.
Back in the 80's the big box stores all used to sell screws by the pound from big containers, and the overall quality was better than today where they are boxed and overpriced. I have some stainless screws that I bought in the 80's and they are immaculately made, they look like a machinist turned each one on a lathe. Yes there are a lot of crappy screws out there.
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re: "boxed and overpriced"
$8.69 for a lb of Deckmate at HD. Ridiculous!
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DerbyDad03 wrote:

There are a lot of "weekend warrior" types out there to whom "DIY" is a successful marketing strategy. The limited experience and short time they actually work on things leads them towards more confidence when they pay that much for a pound of screws.
To those types, the high price is actually a selling point, and the manufacturers know this.
Jon
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wrote:

I'm not sure I fit your "weekend warrior" description, although my weekday job does involve a desk. <g>
A high price is not a selling point for me, but when all I need is a pound of a specific size screw for a given project, sometimes I'm stuck. I could have paid about $5.60 a pound if I needed a 5 pound box, but I didn't.
Considering that I got the shed for 50% off (open box) and the shingles for $10 a bundle (open packages, regularly $26) paying $8.69 for a lb of screws is proportionally out of whack! Sure, I could have used McFeely's or a local fastener company like I've done in the past, but this was a "got to get it done" project and I needed the screws "right now".
It sucked on top of suck to pay the high price and then end up with crappy material.
My only consolation will be that when the shed's done, I will still have spent less than original $500 price of the shed, which didn't include the roofing materials, the floor deck, the extra studs and a few other extras that I added.
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DerbyDad03 wrote:

Heh, no, you're not the demographic to whom I was referring. Sometimes any of us might get stuck and hafta go get some overpriced and overhyped stuff from the borg to finish in a timely manner.
I did that today, when I overpayed by two bucks for some cheese instead of driving the extra couple of miles to wally mart, but it was hot and I wanted to get home (and not deal with said wally world).
Jon
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On Tue, 18 Aug 2009 09:51:21 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03

Sadly the nails are just as bad.
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snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

---- Snip ----

re: "Sadly the nails are just as bad."
Star drive nails? <g>
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wrote:

When I hit my nail with a hammer, I saw stars.
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wrote:

No, but either frozen butter or hard lead.
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DerbyDad03 wrote:

You might want to investigate if there is a fastener company in your area. We have an evil family owned business here locally that is now second generation. They sell quality stuff and they also sell home depot quality for those folks where price is all that matters. You just need to ask for the better stuff.
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The advantage of the Torx drive is similar to Allen screws, 6 instead of 4 pressure points. Since they are so widely adopted in industry, failures in use are logically due to an off spec product as in this case, or operator error, like not modulating the impact driver for the screw size, or simply choosing the wrong screw for the job. Given a choice, I always use Torx (star) and out of many hundreds set by my Makita impact driver there have been less than a dozen mishaps, mostly my fault. We have used screws up to 4 1/2" with Torx and I don't believe a square drive would live long in those circumstances. FWIW, I found Menards had the best Torx (star) quality. I thought that the few that I bought from Lowes were a bit pricey and the selection of sizes was not that good. No problems either with Torx drives from our local lumber yard.
Joe
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