screw heads

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When working with wood projects and the need for a screw fastener comes up, what head is used now a days? I was reading a discussion here about buy this screw, don't trust that screw, but when following the links to the various manufacturers I keep seeing Torx heads come up (it was the "buy screw assortment packs" thread). Are torx head screws replacing phillips as the screw head of choice or are there clear advantages to ANY kind of screw head? This is for wood, I'm not worried about metal, or plastic, or something else. I don't really want to start a flame war either, just curious.
It wouldn't bother me if torx did replace phillips but there has to be some sort of convention forming, there can't be that many reasons to choose slotted over phillips over torx over square.
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As far as I see it, it looks like Square head is the new emerging type for woodworking. Works great for me at least :)
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Dean Bielanowski
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Yeah I guess I'm not a big fan of phillips or slotted, too many strip outs. Of course quality work matters there a lot, but it sure is nice to have a screw head that grips tight and won't slip out. Square head does seem like a champ, have it on all my electrical breakers, but torx is nice too. I'd just hope they don't do that stupid metric/imperial measuring system making me buy twice as many tools.
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I find them handy for times when I'm just using a couple of screws and can drive them without changing whichever bit is in the drill..
mac
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would be with most of the center missing. I have square head drives galore, so its no problem going for the best. Actually some 10 dollar screwdriver set I picked up for work turned out to be the best purchase I've made in a while. It has a full set of square and torx in both long and short bits.
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Doesn't seem to matter much. Most of the torque gets applied at the circumference anyway, and not in the center. I've never noticed any more problems using a Philips driver on the combo screws than on Philips screws.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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slipping/rounding than with a "normal" #2 Phillips screw...
They're just convenient for me and readily available...
mac
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The combo screws have been around for a very long time, IIRC at least 10-12 +years. I have never had a problem with them and since most screws are typically a one use type fastener they are not likely to wear out from use. Given that however the part that usually wears out from slipping on a Philips head screw is the center of the +. This portion is missing on the combo screws so the likely hood of caming out or damaging the combo is less.
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Eigenvector wrote:

Little to choose slotted for anything other than -- well, I can't think of any reason, really... :)
The choice otherwise is really pretty immaterial for the average _rec_ woodworker; the only real place it matters a whole lot is for automated, high volume applications.
For those, square, torx and similar are preferred as they have less slip and lift out force than Phillips or even Robertson (the advantage of it wrt Phillips besides the licensing issues).
That, of course, doesn't address the tampering issue, etc., that is also a major factor for commercial applications in many fields although probably somewhat less so for woodworking than other materials.
Then, you're left w/ appearance. If it is in an area that is visible, nothing is as good looking imo as the Phillips. If it isn't, I'll normally choose square if all else is equal...
Oh, head shape and application is another consideration, of course, although lesser to drive configuration, although some things aren't as readily available in alternate syles (bugle head seem mostly square drive, for example).
One could go on almost indefinitely w/ more and more minutiae! :)
In the end, choose what you like and go...again, unless you're in a production environment it will really make virtually no difference in all likelihood which you choose once you give up the old slotted...
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phillips/slotted is in the way its manufactured. Torx head and Square have to be stamped or cast within reasonable tolerances, whereas slotted and phillips can be quite a bit more sloppy - especially with respect to screwdriver bit size. You aren't going to put a T20 screw in with a T15 bit, but you can usually manage to put in a large phillips head in with a small phillips - the end result being that the smaller screwdriver bit will slip and tear up the screwhead. Again, the quality of the screw makes a big difference, as well as the knowledge of the user. That's one reason why I prefer the square and torx, I have to pay attention to the size or I won't get the job done - the phillips lets me be sloppy and lazy. I honestly don't have any idea what sizes of phillips are available, but there are sizes God knows what though.
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Eigenvector wrote:

What is "that"?

Not really, except for the slotted. Phillips are manufactured to pretty close tolerances, too (discounting really cheap imports).
The thing is they were developed initially for automated drive systems and there is significant literature/engineering on the subject although I don't care to start in on significant research again, I have looked at it some in the past.
...

Well, DOH!!! What's the point? You can hammer a larger flat blade into a smaller straight slot screw head and tear it up, too. I would assume the point in a piece of woodworking is to put the fastener in to hold the piece and have it look presentable, _too_.
If we're hanging drywall, that's something entirely different.
...

0 thru 3 are about all you're going to find at all commonly...
All in all, I don't know your point/beef -- you asked for an opinion, I gave mine and some background as to why/what...
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Brass slotted head with all the slots in the same direction looks very nice on the right application, such as a boat. Even brass hinges with two or three screws loot better with properly oriented slotted heads, IMO. It certainly shows that the builder truly cared about his work.
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

Definitely, but I'd prefer the Phillips over the slotted still in almost all applications I think...
I really like the oval-head w/ the appropriate hardware and right countersink size...
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Are you distinguishing square drive from Robertson? Aren't they the same thing?
- Ken
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Ken McIsaac wrote:

I got them in the wrong sequence I see, yes...
But, not, they're not _quite_ the same. The taper is slightly different...
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Robertson is a patented version from Canada. They wanted lots o' bucks for licensing fees so everybody else just makes perfect squares where true robertson have an angled (or drafted) sides. Everybody else just punches a square hole with straight sides and adds a small amount of draft to the driver. So the Robertsons will grab just a fraction better.
For original poster, just go to McFeely web site and read all you need to know about screws.

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wrote:

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Eigenvector wrote:
> Yeah I've already done that. Already thinking about putting an order in and > ditching those cheapies I picked up at the Borgs.
Smart move.
SFWIW, I standardized on S/S years ago.
Lew
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So how does an operation like McFeely's work? Do they make their own screws or resale them from another vendor? One reason for going to a place like that is to avoid the imports, but I don't want to trade one cheap screw for another?
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Eigenvector wrote:

They're an industrial distributorship that went online primarily for the nonprofessional...
The redistribute the same products mail order and internet sales they sell locally, just typically in smaller quantities...
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