Frearson screws versus Phillips/flathead etc.

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Old 11-03-14, 03:43 PM
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Frearson screws versus Phillips/flathead etc.

I posted to this forum because I've heard boating Frearson screws are commonly used in the marine industry.

Compared to Phillips, Frearson screws are great because you only need one or two sizes for most jobs, and they allow for much better torque. Sadly, Phillips screws were infamously designed to 'cam out' easily to prevent over-tightening in construction of early cars, but the solution causes a greater problem today in that slipping can easily ruin the screw recess, as well as the bit potentially, and causes operator fatigue (pressing into the screw to prevent slipping).

I'd love to hear comments on how Frearson compares to alternatives such as Phillips, Pozidriv, Robertson (square), and Torx (Hexalobular). Does Frearson allow as much torque as those?
 
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Old 11-04-14, 04:31 AM
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I don't know that I would swap thousands of existing Phillips screws for Frearson on a boat, but Frearson seem to be gaining a foothold.

Torx and square can be torqued quite a bit more than either of the others, however it gets to a point where too much is not a good thing. Splitting the wood or driving through the fiberglass is easily done with any of them.
 
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Old 11-04-14, 05:00 AM
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I've heard of Frearson but not necessarily related to marine industries. I worked in a couple of wooden boat shops right out of high school and mostly what we used were Reed and Prince. These also had a more-or-less "universal" driver in that there were, if I remember correctly, only three bit sizes from number 6 to number 16 or so screw size. The bits had a much sharper end than did the Phillips and a straight angle taper unlike the Phillips which had a bulging taper. This straight taper also made it very easy to re-grind a worn R and P driver.
 
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Old 11-04-14, 06:24 AM
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I'm not sure you knew Furd...but Reed and Prince IS Frearson. Couldn't tell from your post...

When a Phillips is not a Phillips! : Reed & Prince or Frearson
 
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Old 11-04-14, 07:28 AM
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Nope, didn't know that. It WAS more than 45 years ago I worked in the boat shop.
 
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Old 11-11-14, 11:52 PM
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Hi Rick,

I would think over-tightening is not so much an issue these days where modern screwdrivers allow you to set the torque.
 
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