Terms of the Trade: Torx Screws

six pointed star shaped screw in an electronic device

Torx screws have six pointed star shapes in their heads instead of simple crosses or straight lines. They're popular in electronics, automotive structures, and increasingly construction. Officially known as hexalobular screws, they are commonly referred to as star screws, and sometimes called 6lobe screws for short.

Torx screws were initially used to improve tamper-resistance, but they also offer better grip for a screwdriver or drill, reducing the incidence of cam-out (screw drivers popping out of the head when too much force is applied). This is how the six pointed heads come by their name—they allow more torque to be applied to a smaller surface than traditional fasteners.

Some torx screw variants are still used in tamper-resistant systems, others are popular for heavy duty engineering.

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