Kreg's New Universal Head Screws.

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What do you guys think of the new Kreg pocket hole screws with the universal head? I ordered 1,000 of them a month or so ago and when I opened the box two things struck me:
- They were silver (I had heard that was coming). - My first thought was they had Phillips heads - Oh Oh!
Then I took a close look, saw the square drive was incorporated into the Phillips cross. I Googled a bit and saw that was the new design and decided it would be fine.
Now I am back to my first though - Oh Oh. I have probably driven more than 1,800 Kreg screws in the last 4-5 years and have never stripped a head or snapped a screw. In the past couple of weeks I have stripped the heads on three of the new screws and snapped the first one ever. With some of these screws the square screwdriver head just doesn't seem to seat into the head well.
Am I having bad luck or are you guys having problems too?
RonB
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On 2/6/2013 1:29 PM, RonB wrote:

head? I ordered 1,000 of them a month or so ago and when I opened the box two things struck me:

Phillips cross. I Googled a bit and saw that was the new design and decided it would be fine.

1,800 Kreg screws in the last 4-5 years and have never stripped a head or snapped a screw. In the past couple of weeks I have stripped the heads on three of the new screws and snapped the first one ever. With some of these screws the square screwdriver head just doesn't seem to seat into the head well.

I would call KREG on the phone...they are pretty easy to deal with and would want to know about that problem.
Their screws are normally quite good in quality.
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Had a similar experience. My square drive bits don't seem to seat as well in the new screws. Actually, I like McFeeley's a lot better. As long as we're talking pocket holes, why is coarse thread recommended for softwood and fine thread for hardwood?
Larry
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wrote:

Try running a fine thread sheet rock screw into soft pine. Many times on shorter screws you can put enough torque behind it to have the threads pull out the pathway (the wood the threads are biting into) of the screw hole, like tiny teeth. The large threads are more aggressive in their grip and grab more material making it harder for it to strip out the screw.
In some cases hardwood can split and crack easier and the finer threads give you more control over your drive. You don't have to worry about the grip of the screws as the hard wood will accommodate the fine screw threads just fine without much chance of tearing out the hole.
Like all of us, I have used coarse threads in softwood with no ill effects and vice versa. But similarly, I have used the wrong screw for the hardwood/softwood material with <<completely>> unsatisfactory results. There are two different styles of screws for a reason.
Robert
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On Thursday, February 7, 2013 12:57:08 AM UTC-6, Gramp's shop wrote:

When I first started using the pocket screws I tried testing with coarse threads in Oak. I thought maybe the more aggressive thread pattern might be stronger. I probably split at least 1/2 of the test pieces. On the other hand the more aggressive thread probably holds well in softer material like pine. I have never had a problem there.
RonB
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I have been using the screws for a couple of years now. Not impressed with the silver look, I don't want to draw attention to the screw. I have not noticed a quality problem or a bit fit problem. The silver color is a plating that will interfere with proper bit fit it the plating is too thick. I would prefer Kreg go back to the old color.
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On Thursday, February 7, 2013 7:32:52 AM UTC-6, Leon wrote:

That is what I am thinking too. Actually, I use the Kreg screws for a lot of applications other than pocket joints. The old dark screws worked well and were very unobtrusive. Don't know why the changed unless they are cheaper.
RonB
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On 2/7/2013 8:21 AM, RonB wrote:

applications other than pocket joints. The old dark screws worked well and were very unobtrusive. Don't know why the changed unless they are cheaper.

Ron, cheaper has to be the answer, I don't know of anyone that objected to the old screw. I probably use pocket hole screws for other uses 4 to 1 to actual pocket holes. I prefer the washer head to the flat head and the washer heads obliviously fit inside a 3/8" pilot hole. They can be easily plugged in regular applications if the screw needs to be hidden.
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On 2/7/13 8:53 AM, Leon wrote:

Same here, I use them for everything because of that fat head. As for the new plating... I can think of two reasons... 1. the old ones may have been rusting on the ship from China. 2. Don't discount simple marketing. Kreg went from selling only to specialty woodworking shops whose customers know and care mostly about quality and performance, to selling in BigBox stores where packaging and shelf placement do more for sales than anything else. Who knows, maybe they did a marketing test in which people chose the new screws because they were shinier. Wouldn't surprise me a bit.
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Were the old ones cheap crap Chinese metallurgy?
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On Thursday, February 7, 2013 12:37:14 PM UTC-6, Father Haskell wrote:

I don't know about origin but, as I said, I never snapped one until they "improved" them.
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I don't know how removing material from the screw head can be considered an improvement. I want as much meat there as I can get. I don't want a "universal head" or some kind of marketer's dream.
I couldn't find my normal screws to hang cabinets about a month ago, and I called up Karl to see what he and his guys were using. One thing in the table was Spax. I didn't know they sold them at HD, but they do have limited sizes. I hang cabinets with 3 1/2" screws and 2 1/2" screws.
I studied the screws. The had the universal drive head that was Phillips or square. They had self drilling tips, which would be good for soft woods, dangerously stupid for hard woods as they say they need no pilot hole. I am sure they work well or Karl would not have mentioned them, and equally sure they have their place.
But I passed, and found my screws at Fastenal. They aren't anything special, but I have been using them for years and they come with their own drive bit. They don't strip, the proprietary bit fits the head of the screw perfectly.
Just as important to me, they don't grip so hard I can't get them out. The Spax screws are made for a one time install with no further movement. About a month after I do an cab install, I go back to the client's house to adjust doors and cabinets for the last time and to give them a handful of cards. If there has been some warpage or movement, I need a screw with a strong head I can back out of its countersunk hole a turn or so and then adjust the cabinet, then run the screw back up.
The heads on the Spax didn't look that substantial, and the aggressive threading made me think they might not come back out. The multihead made me think that even more. I have paid the price for snapping off heads to many times to take a chance.

Robert
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On 2/7/13 4:57 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

FWIW, I use plenty of Spax screws and they have held up great. I love the "aggressive" threads on them and I think that's what makes them perform so well.
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SPAX makes a superior Lag Screw. AND pricey..
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On 2/7/2013 4:57 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

For what I use them for, and as we discussed, Spax's BIG plus is _shear strength_, which is ideal for hanging cabinets.
I've not had single snapped head since I started using them a few years back. We do back a few out to when shimming during installation, to level and true a run, and have had no problems with that either.
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I didn't have any problem with the price. I went down to HD at Karl's suggestions and who knew... they had them on the rack. They were something like 75 cents more a pound than my favorites.

I put up my cabinets with #10 X 3 or 3 1/2 screws and cannot imagine driving a screw that big without a pilot hole. My drill would do it, but I also use the same size when screwing the stiles together after placement. I would think it the self drill threads would clog and you would wind up with a split stile if you didn't drill first.
Are you using the same screws for the stiles, too? Do you pre-drill any of the holes when using Spax on cabinets?
Inquiring minds....
Robert
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I put up my cabinets with #10 X 3 or 3 1/2 screws and cannot imagine driving a screw that big without a pilot hole. ---------------------------------------------- That makes two of us.
Built a set of stair steps to get into the boat using #10 x 3-1/2" coarse thread screws to tie the treads in place.
It was all Doug Fir.
No way those screws would bottom out without pilot holes.
Lew
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I was talking about the SPAX hex head lad screws, IIRC 5/16" x 5". I hung my limber rack with these. Over $1 each. Because I was going through the standard, a 2x4, and sheet rock to reach the stud I did not want to risk twisting twisting the head off.

We per drill the stiles for the face frames, however on the last kitchen job we had Euro style cabinets with no face frames. To fasten the cabinets together we used the FastCap washer head screws. Prior to that we used lag screws and washers to hang the cabinets.

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How did you insert them? Ratchet wrench or impact gun?
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On 2/8/2013 8:18 AM, Dave wrote:

At my old house the lumber rack was in our store room, I used the common no name lag screws and twisted the head off using the impact and before the head was seated. Fortunately there was .75~1" sticking out for the vice grips to grab.
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