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
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.
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.
The "combo" head seems popular now, fits both square and phillips...
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..
Please remove splinters before emailing
I took a look at those and wondered just how strong the phillips portion
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.
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.
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
I've been buying them for 2 or 3 years and don't seem to have any more
slipping/rounding than with a "normal" #2 Phillips screw...
They're just convenient for me and readily available...
Please remove splinters before emailing
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.
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...
I don't really believe that. The nominal advantage of torx or square over
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.
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...
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.
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
For original poster, just go to McFeely web site and read all you need
to know about screws.
> Yeah I've already done that. Already thinking about putting an
order in and
> ditching those cheapies I picked up at the Borgs.
SFWIW, I standardized on S/S years ago.
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
They're an industrial distributorship that went online primarily for the
The redistribute the same products mail order and internet sales they
sell locally, just typically in smaller quantities...
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