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View richgreer's profile

How do you feel about screw head options?

by richgreer
posted 887 days ago


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120 replies

120 replies so far

View cabmaker's profile

cabmaker

1305 posts in 1433 days


#1 posted 887 days ago

Finish work ? robertsons all the way

View CalgaryGeoff's profile

CalgaryGeoff

937 posts in 1106 days


#2 posted 887 days ago

Robertson screw only. Not even sure why slot head screws are even made at all.

-- If you believe you can or can not do a thing, you are correct.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9760 posts in 1243 days


#3 posted 887 days ago

Slotted screws on furniture for me.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View smokey1945's profile

smokey1945

75 posts in 2007 days


#4 posted 887 days ago

+1 for square

-- TheShadeTreeWW If God wanted me to touch my toes, he'd have put them on my knees

View Bill1225's profile

Bill1225

125 posts in 1024 days


#5 posted 887 days ago

torx t-20 and t 25 all the way

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

2478 posts in 976 days


#6 posted 887 days ago

Square drive is my favorite. Although I love dry wall screws so I wind up using a lot of Philips.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Kickback's profile

Kickback

127 posts in 1260 days


#7 posted 887 days ago

Square drives that I have used from the BORG are stainless steel and they strip out if I look at them funny. Have tried different bits and they still strip out. The Torx screws almost never strip out. I use what i have and can get at the lowest price but still retain quality.

-- "I work so I can fish"!

View northeaster's profile

northeaster

52 posts in 1117 days


#8 posted 887 days ago

Once having tried square drive, I can’t go back.

A piece of history (right or wrong, I would certainly take the blame if wrong) from my now deceased mechanical engineer father: Torx was apparently devised for and became popular over square drive in industrial assembly line work by reducing cam-out, making initial automated engagement more error free, and reducing tool wear (increased contact surface compared to square drive).

View jmos's profile

jmos

681 posts in 994 days


#9 posted 887 days ago

I’m reaching here also, but weren’t Torx originally proprietary, and the drivers only available to manufacturers, making them very difficult for consumers to mess with.

I like square drive myself, although I do use a lot of dry wall screws on jigs and such.

-- John

View thebigvise's profile

thebigvise

190 posts in 1525 days


#10 posted 887 days ago

I prefer square drives too. Spax offers the option of using a phillips or square drive in their Combo recess design. Of course, for my finer work, I try to avoid mechanical fasteners of any type.

-- Paul, Clinton, NC

View northeaster's profile

northeaster

52 posts in 1117 days


#11 posted 887 days ago

John, you make a good point. Since Torx is a fairly recent invention (late ‘60’s), you’d have to think that the reasons people adopted it are a composite of both technical and ever more important marketing angles.

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2382 posts in 2062 days


#12 posted 887 days ago

My favorite is torx GRK screws. They NEVER slip in the head. Sometimes the bit get locked into the head I have to wiggle it loose.

A recent forum topic on them

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

4821 posts in 1201 days


#13 posted 887 days ago

+1 torx with GRK’s

totally worth it.

View Woodwrecker's profile

Woodwrecker

3581 posts in 2200 days


#14 posted 887 days ago

I’ve used Phillips for years, but the more I try square drive, the more I like them.
And, like John, I use drywall screws for jigs, or throw away items made from soft wood.
Good topic Rich.

-- Having fun...Eric

View Manitario's profile

Manitario

2298 posts in 1508 days


#15 posted 887 days ago

Square drive. Partly out of patriotism that it was invented by a Canadian (Robertson).

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View Martyroc's profile

Martyroc

2708 posts in 930 days


#16 posted 887 days ago

Like square, prefer torx, don’t know why slotted screws are even made anymore, they are an old original design that needs to go away. in my opinion anyway.

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View canadianchips's profile

canadianchips

1831 posts in 1622 days


#17 posted 887 days ago

I’m with Manitario
Nothing better than the “Red Robbie”.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View devann's profile

devann

1735 posts in 1317 days


#18 posted 887 days ago

Anything but slotted. Depends on the situation

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

View oxyoke's profile

oxyoke

57 posts in 978 days


#19 posted 887 days ago

torx

-- Bill Byron Center MI

View Ryan Haasen's profile

Ryan Haasen

362 posts in 1026 days


#20 posted 887 days ago

Robertson.

-- Ryan

View Greg..the Cajun  Box Sculptor's profile

Greg..the Cajun Box Sculptor

4980 posts in 1933 days


#21 posted 887 days ago

I prefer the square drive and buy the harnened steel screws at McFeelys. The hardened steel screws hefty and are less likely to break or strip out. I have used stainless for exterior applications but the stainless is much softer.

-- If retiring is having the time to be able to do what you enjoy then I have always been retired.

View derosa's profile

derosa

1533 posts in 1460 days


#22 posted 887 days ago

For visible screws on a finished piece I prefer slotted all the way, just looks cleaner and more traditional. Never used square drive, absolutely hate torx; working on bicycles it seems like every yahoo out there with a torx driver of some sort has to over tighten the bolts. And I know they are supposed to have better strength but when over tightened they strip out really easy. Overall I’ll go with hex on anything mechanical or not seen on a finished project. I find the wrench engages positively enough for me, they can handle the necessary torque and if one does strip out you can always hammer in the similar sized torx wrench for that half size bigger; the opposite of a hex hammered into a torx doesn’t work.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

#23 posted 886 days ago

In the beginning I used drywall screws. Cheap and plentiful.
Then I discovered how brittle they are and poorly made, at least the cheapest ones.
When I discovered square drive screws I was appropriately impressed with their qualities.
When making jigs and fixtures I always use them and when I’m done with them I can draw the screws out and put them back in the bin.
For dry fitups they permit easy disassembly for adjustments.
I use Kreg tools for pocket screw joints and square drive screws are the only reasonable choice in my view.
Frankly, I prefer the look of them to slotted screws.

So, let’s see – – – – I guess that would be my vote for slotted screws.

One exception, for MFD and similar materials I use confirmat screws. Special bits, yes and not cheap, but they work.

Best regards,
Don

-- Will trade wife's yarn for tools.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

1712 posts in 1118 days


#24 posted 886 days ago

In the US, there it should be federal law that all screws come with square drive ONLY. Maybe there should be an exception for drywall screws to be phillips since they need the cam-out for the power drivers…..but otherwise it’s square drive or nothing. Of course, this is only my opinion, and I’d bet there would be a huge amount of folks who don’t agree; maybe the same ones who don’t want the metric system.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, we sent 'em to Washington.

View mtenterprises's profile

mtenterprises

817 posts in 1318 days


#25 posted 886 days ago

In the US, there it should be federal law Just what we need another LAW for us to give up our rights to. That is giving up your right of choice. and the right for manufactures to sell their VARIOUS products.

As for my choice I use what is in stock in my jars first then go buy what ever is appropreate.

Everyone seems in a big hurry today to drive them screws fast with their electric driver.
Sounds like I’m a bit irritated I better shut up.
MIKE

-- See pictures on Flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/44216106@N07/ And visit my Facebook page - facebook.com/MTEnterprises

View 1yeldud1's profile

1yeldud1

289 posts in 1667 days


#26 posted 886 days ago

I used phillips head drywall screws for years to build decks and projects – then I had an owner of a lumberyard introduce me to trox deck screws – these are wonderful coated screws just not a lot of selection below 2 inches in length – I believe you could take a 4 inch torx deck screw and drive it all the way thru a 4 by 4 and not strip it out !! But i must also say that my experience with square drive screws has been very limited and I had a poor experience with the brand that I tried (purchased square drive to use as replacement screws for a house hold basement door hinges – didn’t work too good in that application – stripped out several)

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4522 posts in 1699 days


#27 posted 886 days ago

It’s been interesting to read people’s comments on this subject. Thanks to all for your input.

My original post documents my preference for square drives. I need to add that I have very limited experience with torx head designs and I make like them just as much (maybe more) with more experience. I have lots of experience with slots and phillips and I know that, in general, I don’t like them.

Let me also comment that all screws of the same design are not equal. I think Kreg screws are a little better than square drive deck screws (and priced accordingly). In particular, I find I can use a Kreg screw closer to the edge of the wood without it splintering the wood. I also find them less likely to break.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View poopiekat's profile

poopiekat

3584 posts in 2359 days


#28 posted 886 days ago

Nothing uglier than a square-drive screw on an exposed piece of hardware, knob, handle or hinge. It’s a sad day when newer generations see no need for reverence at the sight of a slotted-head brass screw on a latch or escutcheon on heirloom-quality furniture. Making crates, tote boxes or patio decks? Use whatever you want. Use the good stuff on the good stuff. Anyone advocating square drive “all the way” as was said a few times above, probably isn’t making nice handcrafted home furniture, I’d assume.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View Manitario's profile

Manitario

2298 posts in 1508 days


#29 posted 886 days ago

”Let me also comment that all screws of the same design are not equal”

Rich, I agree; I’ve found square drive deck screws from the BORG cam out easily, compared to similar screws from another big box retailer. I read an interesting article in Canadian WW; apparently “true” Robertson square drive bits are trademarked and perform a bit better than the regular square drive bits that are available. I haven’t put this to the test yet…

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View jmos's profile

jmos

681 posts in 994 days


#30 posted 886 days ago

I can only speak for myself Pookiekat, but I was only referring to hidden screws. I would never use anything but a decorative slot head screw for exposed hardware. I don’t think others are advocating using square or Torx on exposed hinges or handles either.

Heck, I even try to get the screw slots all aligned straight up and down.

-- John

View poopiekat's profile

poopiekat

3584 posts in 2359 days


#31 posted 886 days ago

Anyone remember “clutch head” screws? The driver bit was kinda bowtie shaped. The fads seem to come and go. I’ll bet Torx outlives the Robertsons, eventually only to be eclipsed by the next new fad. Hey, maybe somebody will invent a triangular drive? Whatever’s next coming down the pike will be hailed as the new revolutionary industry standard..making all others obsolete…. and so it goes.

I’ll admit, I’m a dinosaur…as a young lad, I watched my father, painstakingly boring holes with his ‘Toastmaster’ drill. He used those stamped steel pilot drills, the exact profile of the slotted flatheads, as he attached the leg brackets for a hand-me-down dining room table, driving those screws in with his favorite wood-handled screwdriver. Pilot profile drills made hand-powered screw-driving an almost effortless process. Those who exclusively have used power drivers all their life cannot be expected to understand what joy there is to be had in traditional screw-driving.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View RussellAP's profile

RussellAP

2944 posts in 911 days


#32 posted 886 days ago

Phillips take too much pressure to screw in, even with pilots sometimes, torx bits round off too easy, square is the way I go even though it’s hard getting the bit out sometimes.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View RussellAP's profile

RussellAP

2944 posts in 911 days


#33 posted 886 days ago

I wish I could find a place that has square head screws in all sizes. The first time I used them was to hang kitchen cabinets. I was amazed at how little pressure I had to use to drive a 3 in screw with my screw gun. It’s still hard finding them in all lengths and I hate to have to change bits in a project.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View Mike's profile

Mike

292 posts in 1312 days


#34 posted 886 days ago

torx or square if I can get them. Great for almost everything.

-- look Ma! I still got all eleven of my fingers! - http://www.termitecrafts.com

View joebloe's profile

joebloe

157 posts in 919 days


#35 posted 886 days ago

Square drive or torx,I’‘ve used both and like both.The torx tends to not strip out as I have seen square drive.but I agree with Manitario ,different brands of screws yeild different results

View canadianchips's profile

canadianchips

1831 posts in 1622 days


#36 posted 886 days ago

Canadian P. L. Robertson invented the Robertson screw and screwdriver in 1908 .
Thinking I will not be here to see the Torx outlive this “Robertson” fad.
When the phone rings and the person on the other end says ”All you need to bring is a screw driver” WHICH ONE …..........!

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14721 posts in 2300 days


#37 posted 886 days ago

jmos, There are a few of us who even line up the slots on switch and receptacle cover plates ;-)

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View moke's profile

moke

475 posts in 1401 days


#38 posted 886 days ago

+1 on square drive—-plentiful, never really had a problem, and cheap

View ArtistryinWood's profile

ArtistryinWood

97 posts in 2312 days


#39 posted 886 days ago

It’s hip to be Square.

-- It seem's to me i could live my life, a lot better than i think i am. Andrew, Midland, Ont.

View jmos's profile

jmos

681 posts in 994 days


#40 posted 886 days ago

Topomax, now that’s over the top. And I thought I was anal retentive :-)

-- John

View northeaster's profile

northeaster

52 posts in 1117 days


#41 posted 886 days ago

I have to admit to some fastener fatigue, too.

For example, some modern car companies’ need to use hexagonal, XZN, 5 and 6 point security Torx for different applications in the same auto just drives me crazy, despite the fact that they’re all technically superior to Philips or slotted: the accumulation of different sockets in my tool box became ridiculous some time ago.

By comparison, I think the comparatively low cost, simplicity and longevity of the Robertson design, combined with positive engagement, makes huge sense.

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2709 posts in 1201 days


#42 posted 886 days ago

Square drive from mcfeely’s. Never a need to look elsewhere.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Radu's profile

Radu

299 posts in 1668 days


#43 posted 886 days ago

Robertson for me. I see Lowe’s in my area started to carry them.

View surfin2's profile

surfin2

51278 posts in 1760 days


#44 posted 885 days ago

At the time the slot screw was all we had…

Then Phillips came to the rescue, it was like day & night…

Then we went from screwdriver to power driver…

In my area square first pop’d up in mobile homes…

A few years later the bits appeared then a few square drive screws pop’d up…

Then torx pop’d up in the auto (67)industry…

Torx/Star screws have been around here for about the last 8 year’s in very few varities…

Only since composite decking did they really take off here …

GRK Fasteners came in with a real good variety…

I like square drive but star drive has better (wider then Kreg) heads…

-- Rick

View yank's profile

yank

41 posts in 2757 days


#45 posted 885 days ago

Quote: [I can only speak for myself Pookiekat, but I was only referring to hidden screws. I would never use anything but a decorative slot head screw for exposed hardware. I don’t think others are advocating using square or Torx on exposed hinges or handles either. ]
but for general uses, I have to vote for the SQUARE head.

-- My Father was my mentor for my woodworking hobby and knowledge. Luv ya Dad.

View poopiekat's profile

poopiekat

3584 posts in 2359 days


#46 posted 884 days ago

Yank and jmos: I’m disturbed by the ”square, all the way” comment expressed by a few above. Hence my comment about those who would not make the right choice in favor of expediency.
I want to retch every time I see square-drive screws used to attach shiny brass hardware. Guess ultimately, it is a self-image thing.

p.s. Canadianchips: Thanks for posting the excellent tip reference guide!

p.s. I’m talking about finely crafted, heirloom furniture here. Not the kind of stuff you might see in typical pulp WW magazines you see in the supermarket.

ps How You Make Things defines who you are, like a window to your soul.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View yank's profile

yank

41 posts in 2757 days


#47 posted 884 days ago

Pookiekat; exposed hardware deserves the decorative screws that come with it, I was not advocating using square drive for that purpose.

-- My Father was my mentor for my woodworking hobby and knowledge. Luv ya Dad.

View Jeff in Huntersville's profile

Jeff in Huntersville

398 posts in 1819 days


#48 posted 884 days ago

Robertson’s for me. I’ll even replace other screws with Robertson’s if I get something with them in it.

View racerglen's profile

racerglen

2293 posts in 1405 days


#49 posted 884 days ago

P.S.
For those, like m’self, who use drywall screws for lots of things..You can get them with a Robertson head.
(and my votes for square drive )

-- Glen, Vernon B.C. Canada

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

3306 posts in 1819 days


#50 posted 884 days ago

I’m with Poopiecat on the “fine screws for fine furniture” theory….I’ll use the square drive screws (my favorites, anyway) on things like shop furniture, jigs, fixtures, etc….But for furniture I build for customers, etc., I try to use the old addage that “form follows function”, and a lot of times, I’ll use matching wood plugs (or a different wood to add “flare and accents)...that looks nice, too…..never used any Robetson screws….How are they better than the square drive?

-- " I started with nothing, and I've still got most of it left".......

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