Robertson head screws

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  #1  
Old 05-14-01, 12:19 PM
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Am I just a big crybaby, or do Robertson head screws tick off just about everybody out there? Starting about 10 or so years ago, the electrical industry began standardizing around those stupid combination head screws, you know, the ones that accept either phillips or slotted screwdrivers, and work well with NIETHER!!! Back in the day, everything was slotted, and boy did those screws hang on tight to my 3/16" Craftsman slotted blade. Since the big change, there isn't a screwdriver I own, slotted or phillips, that stays in the newer screw heads.

Initially, I hypothesized that they were made for the weekend handyman who owned basically a hammer and one screwdriver, so either type he had would work. I figured that one mfr. came up with using this type of screw so that the millions of single-screwdriver households out there would buy more of their brand and they could increase market share. Then the next mfr. caught on, and the next...

Then one day somebody told me that contractors could use a drill/driver to install things like receptacles & switches in no time using a phillips bit that would stay centered on the screw. I've tried this, and the phillips head on these screws is too shallow for the bit to stay put.

So I just wondered if anybody knows a GOOD reason the industry has pulled this switcheroo on us?

Juice
 
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  #2  
Old 05-14-01, 01:36 PM
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Interesting, you say you have Robertson screws and then say that you have trouble using Phillips or slotted screwdrivers with them...have you tried a Robertson screwdriver ?! Maybe you are having trouble finding Robertson screwdrivers in your area (the US). I've heard this one before because the Robertson screw suffers from NIH (Not Invented Here) syndrome, it was invented in Montreal Canada. Here in Canada, ALL electrical as well as furniture wood screws have been using the Robertson head for decades, because it is by far the least slip/wear prone way to drive screws. If you could get hold of a #1 and a #2 Robertson screwdrivers, you would really enjoy the ease with which you can install them, plus the screw will hold quite nicely by itself on the end of your driver, perfect for one-hand installation.
 
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Old 05-14-01, 01:59 PM
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What an eye-opener! I feel as if all these years I've been one of those guys who turn a phillips using the corner of a small slotted screwdriver! Now I'm beginning to question my terms, though. Are we both talking about the screws that meant to accept both phillips and slotted, and you're tellin' me that there's a special screwdriver for them?? I recently experienced a combination square-head (I believe that's a "clutch" head) that had slots in case you didn't have a square driver. I bought the square driver and THAT's the most positive drive I've experienced yet. So there's a driver that looks like a combo phillips/slotted specially made for those combo screws?

Juice
 
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Old 05-14-01, 02:25 PM
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Wink Square drive screws

Guys,

Here's a very illustrative website, http://www.mcfeelys.com/

Go ahead and also order their catalog, it's full of facts and usefull data, plus some neat gadgets.

Enjoy,
 
  #5  
Old 05-14-01, 03:53 PM
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Juice,
A "Robertson" is a square drive screw. It is much less likely to slip out, as Guy said, when used with power drive tools. It is not the same as a combination head.
don(resqcapt19)
 
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Old 05-14-01, 03:58 PM
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Ziggy has found just the right site for an explanation. Their FAQ page is right on the money:

http://www.mcfeelys.com/html/faq.html

JuiceHead, a Robertson IS a square drive! So get a hold of some drivers (a #1 usually has a green handle, a #2 is red). Being a tool nut, I have all five sizes (00,0,1,2,3) but 98% of the screws you will come across (and 99.99% of electrical equipment screws you will come across) are #1 and #2.

enjoy!

Guy
 
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Old 05-15-01, 09:22 AM
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OK I goofed. I was reviewing a shop drawing of wiring devices by Hubbel/Bryant, and I saw the Robertson screws specified for a receptacle and jumped to the conclusion that thowe were the annoying combo slotted/phillips. When Guy replied that those things had superior gripping properties I began to get suspicious of my terminology, because those combo screws bite! Hence my doubting reply.

So, does anybody agree with me on the actual combo slotted/phillips screws that are so prevelant on receptacles & switches, and/or what was on the industry's mind when they took away those nice slotted screws we used to get?

Thanks for the replies so far.

Juice
 
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Old 05-15-01, 10:10 AM
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Thumbs down

Oh yes, I'm a die-hard old-school flat head user when it comes to terminals... Keep a new, sharp, properly sized Klein flat head on me for terminals.

Can't seem to get the torque with phillips heads, strips too easy.

The industries were either on the Screwgun bandwagon, or the newbies who don't know how to hold a screwdriver straight. That's my theories...

I'm totally with you Juice... bring back my traditional screwheads!
 
  #9  
Old 05-15-01, 10:21 AM
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Thank you. Sparky. I'll sleep better knowing it's not just me being a big crybaby! I hate having junk forced on me!

Juice
 
  #10  
Old 08-10-07, 12:04 PM
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sizes

Hi,
which size of robertson screwdriver head has 3mm per side? or even better anzone knows where to buz these in the uk?

thanks11
 
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Old 08-10-07, 12:35 PM
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3mm per side sounds like it might be red or #2.
And yes the colors are a standard
Yellow, green, red, and black for 0,1 2 and #3. Red is the standard for normal screws. Green is the screws on the sides of receptacles and the mounting screws for devices. Oddly slot is still the standard for cover plate screws.
 
  #12  
Old 08-17-07, 09:03 AM
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Must be the slot head looks prettier :-)

Generally you will find that the Robertson driver will give you superior performance, however I have found the occasional combination head where the square recess was incorrectly sized for the robertson driver. In these cases, it is hit-and-miss. Sometimes a phillips driver works, sometimes the slot driver. If I have time, I'll take the device back to the store and get another.

Long live the Robertson - death to cheap quality! (A biased Canadian)
 
  #13  
Old 08-17-07, 10:50 AM
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I'll take the Robertson's anytime. If you're going to screw, that's the screw to screw with so you dont get screwed...LOL.
Ive seen the Robertson/Phillips combo screw heads as well, sometimes for decking or basic wood screws.
The slotted cover plate screws do make a prettier finish to the eye, so long as all the slots are in the same direction..ie Vertically.
I dont care for the lazy installers who stop when the screw is tight..or too tight and leave the screws on all the cover plates at different angles. Just doesnt look good, imho.
 
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Old 08-17-07, 08:16 PM
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amen to verticle...anything else makes me think DIY or handyman Hack
 
  #15  
Old 08-18-07, 02:02 PM
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I buy Robertsons whenever I can get them. Can't be beat.

Slotted are better for backwire terminals - it is hard to torque using the combos, unless you've got a Robertson.

Slotted also look better on the cover plates and it's easier to clean out the grease and dirt.

Regarding device mounting screws, I deal with mostly metal boxes, so when I see these guys with their screw guns, I know there will be a certain percentage of stripped screws and holes. But they are much faster.
 
  #16  
Old 08-18-07, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by ;165930
Am I just a big crybaby?



Yes.






..........
 
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