Screwing (Screw Head Types)

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Old 05-21-11, 06:17 AM
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Screwing (Screw Head Types)

I was reading a post in another thread that pointed out the virtues of cetain types of screw heads. Unfortunately, the author of that post chose to deride screw head designs that see much use in the US.

I LIKE slot head screws! I LIKE Phillips head screws. I don't have any problems using them. The problem is that people use them incorrectly. Guys will try to drive a slot headed screw into a piece of hardwood with their 18V, high torque driver and then swear at the screw when the bit skips. The same applies to Phillips head screws.
They work just fine when used in the proper application.
 
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Old 05-21-11, 06:57 AM
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My complaint is not using a clearance hole for the screw in the top piece. The top piece should have a hole just large enough the threads do not catch and try to push the pieces apart. Yes, takes a bit longer but a lot less frustration and the pieces draw up nice and tight.
 
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Old 05-21-11, 07:15 AM
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I'm afraid I have fallen in love with the torque head screws. The only drawback is, few people have the right bit to remove them when/if required. Phillips works great for drywall as they are supposed to back out and slip, at the correct depth. But when it comes to pulling power, the torque hold on like a pit bull.

Bud
 
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Old 05-21-11, 07:39 AM
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Wayne, it was probably me. My dad had boxes and boxes of slot head screws. Whenever I came over to do work, he would drag them out. Politely I told him I had screws (phillips). Jump forward 20 years, and I'm like Bud. Torx is the only way to go. Even over square drive. No slipping (unless you have a helper like mine ). Only person who can override torx heads. Still use phillips for sheetrock.
 
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Old 05-21-11, 07:42 AM
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I have no problems with Phillips screws and I laugh when my BiL uses them because all you hear is "clunk, clunk, clunk.." Don't get me wrong, I also like torx and square drive, but if use them I spend way too much time looking for the correct bit. Also, Phillips heads work very well with an impact driver.
 
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Old 05-21-11, 08:41 AM
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Scott, the impact driver also disguises the skip noise as well. I can tell the difference, but my helpers don't think I can. I just raise up and yell, "straighten out your driver, dipstick!"
 
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Old 05-21-11, 10:21 AM
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I guess pounding the straight-slot screws in most of the way with a hammer and then snugging them with a srewdriver like I did when I was a kid doesn't fit Wayne's idea of correct use.

[I'm a little better with tools and hardware now.....].

I'm kind of partial to square drive, but my go-to is plain phillips. You'd be hard pressed to find a straight slot screw in my cave.
 
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Old 05-21-11, 10:39 AM
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About the only time I use a flat tip screwdriver is when I come to a stripped Phillips or safety head screw and have to slot it with a Dremel tool.
 
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Old 05-21-11, 11:32 AM
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My daddy would often pound slotted screws iin with a hammer. When I asked him why he would say, "The slot's for taking them out."
 
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Old 05-21-11, 02:00 PM
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Ya, I worked with a guy long ago that said his hammer was a screwdriver, the other tool was a screw twister..... but that was long before cordless drills. I don't care much for slot head screws because they don't play well with a screw gun. Phillips, torx, robertson and others are fine with me as long as I have the bit that fits
 
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Old 05-21-11, 10:39 PM
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IN Canada I curse when I need to use a phillips. Robertsons are huge up here. If I need to use a slot, I don't.
 
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Old 05-22-11, 05:29 AM
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I curse my local Lowes store more than any particular type of screw head. They love to switch vendors on a regular basis. So, one time deck screws may have a Philips head. The next time I buy fasteners they may have a torx, then the next time it's a square drive. It's not much of a problem at the time of the project since I'm driving a lot of the same type but years down the road when it comes to repairs I never know what type I'm going to run into. Then over the years everything seems to end up with a mixture of styles so I need to dig out my bit set to work on anything. A dozen Philips... %^&* torx head, change bit.... *&^% square drive, change bit again...
 
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Old 05-22-11, 06:56 AM
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Likewise, my guys start out with a phillips, #2 square (especially in mobile homes) and torx #25 in their pocket. They KNOW they will use them all eventually that day during remodel.
 
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Old 05-22-11, 12:01 PM
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Unfortunately, the author of that post chose to deride screw head designs that see much use in the US.
Wayne Mitchell:

I didn't deride them very much, tho. And besides, I make my own beer and wine, and had already dipped a bit too deeply into my supply. Then, get me talking about Phillips head and slot drive screws, and, well, the rest was predictable.

The only reason Americans use slot and Phillips screw heads is because the great Canadian P. L. Robertson refused to let Henry Ford manufacturer the square head drive under license. Ford wanted to make the screws in his own factories so that he could ensure the supply of the screws for his auto manufacturing, and P. L. Robertson was afraid that Ford would ignore his patent rights and simply start marketing the screws himself.

The bottom line is that Phillips head and slot drive screws work as well in Canada as they do in the USA. That's why whenever we here in Canada buy something that's meant primarily for the US market, we generally chuck the Phillips and slot head screws that come with the product for installation, and use our own Robertson drive screws. We'll start the car on the coldest day of winter to drive into the next town just to get the right size of Robertson screws.

It's said that what impressed Henry the most about the Robertson screw was primarily the fact that the screw could be wedged onto the end of the screw driver, and the screw driver held at any angle without the screw falling off. It's ability to take much more torque without skipping out of the screw head was also a bonus, but it was the ability of the screw driver to hold the screw at any angle that won Henry's heart.

It's too bad the two men couldn't reach an agreement.
 
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Old 05-22-11, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by mjd2k View Post
IN Canada I curse when I need to use a phillips. Robertsons are huge up here. If I need to use a slot, I don't.
.
I hear ya.. 95% of the time #2, then probably phillips in 2nd and the odd #1 Robertson. I have a clip on my screw gun that holds 2 bits...so a #2 and phillips.
Slots generally only on electrical plate covers, aligned vertically of course..!
 
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Old 05-23-11, 11:28 PM
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On any install I need a phillips, a euro, and a robertson (I use the small Boesh 12 v drills with the quick change). But here is the best tool. Thought it was gimmicky but I put in over 100 different screws an install so I don't want to be running back to my bolt box every few seconds. I put my 3 bits on it and then a pile of screws and just keep on trucking. Eveyrone that sees it wants one but hardly anyone will pay $25.00 for them but I have four, just in case I lose one.
ProHold Magnetic Wrist Strap - FastCap - Woodworking Tools

PS: it actually goes on the right wrist and you need to make sure they have a long strap.
 
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Old 05-24-11, 06:02 PM
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/\ Ive seen that @ Lee Valley.. thought about it, but declined.. Dont like all the screws etc hanging on me...But I can appreciate its function..!!
 
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