The right screw (head)

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Forum topic by Craftsman on the lake posted 02-19-2012 05:23 AM 3299 views 0 times favorited 28 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Craftsman on the lake

2832 posts in 3638 days

02-19-2012 05:23 AM

Topic tags/keywords: tip drill-driver grk grk screws

Last year I got myself my first really nice drill/driver combo. A lithium Bosch kit. I have an 18V drill and 18volt impact driver. That’s what I call it anyway because it sort of hammers as it drives screws. They go in pretty nicely that way.

I have a ton of various phillips head screws. Some standard steel screws and many deck/sheetrock screws which come in fairly handy. A lot of underlying carcass stuff I use my nail gun with glue but I do like the ease and control as well as strength that screws afford. I have screws up to 3” that I use but mostly 1 5/8 to 2 1/2” ones.

One thing I am getting sick of though is phillips head screws. I’m almost as sick of them as I used to be of spade head screws which I find almost useless in their aggravation potential. My driver also has the ability to hammer a phillips bit and screw head to pieces before a long screw is inserted, particularly if it doesn’t have a good predrilled hole for it.

Recently I have discovered GRK screws.

I find them at Home Depot.They have a multi-edged star tip that grips so well it sometimes gets stuck in the screw head. these screws are also self drilling and the self drilling part really works. Not only will the screw go in easier with this slotted tip but I have yet to have wood split as if it wasn’t pre drilled.

The screws aren’t cheap but the frustration effect of the others makes them the splurge I pay for. Each box usually comes with a star driver tip in the box.

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

28 replies so far

View Dusty56's profile


11822 posts in 3889 days

#1 posted 02-19-2012 05:29 AM

Nothing better than a good screw !
I’ve used these myself , and they are great : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Tyrone D's profile

Tyrone D

314 posts in 2534 days

#2 posted 02-19-2012 07:07 AM

To fix the problem of the Philips design being flawed: Robertson. I have never stripped a Robertson but I have stripped many Philips before.

Aren’t these just Torx with some improvements?

I’ll have to try out these screws sometime. The promotional video is very convincing on their improvements.

-- --Tyrone - BC, Canada "Nothing is ever perfect, we just run out of time."

View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 3303 days

#3 posted 02-19-2012 07:28 AM

Some how I got on the catalog mailing list for McFeely’s. If you haven’t heard of this company, you might want to check them out. They will give you an easy to understand education on “screws” on the first few pages of thier catalog. Everything you ever wanted to know about the right screw for the job. If you check out thier web site, go to “Product tips and info” on the top tool bar then “screw and fastener center” on the left side of page. Then select “Guide to Woodworking screws.” They also sell a lot of other woodworking this and that including power tools.

Using the wrong screws can be frustrating and a waste of money. McFeelys may help someone keep from stumbling along like I was. Good luck….................

-- mike...............

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2832 posts in 3638 days

#4 posted 02-19-2012 11:29 AM

I’ve had the ones with the square driver head and they’re a vast improvement over phillips but these hold the bit even better.

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

View DIYaholic's profile


19708 posts in 2876 days

#5 posted 02-19-2012 01:43 PM

What? Ya’ll have a screw loose!!! I like a good STRIP SHOW, but not from my fastener. PNUEMATICS; That’s where it at!!! Lol. JK

Craftsman on the lake,
Great information. I too suffer from the scurge of philips head gougingitus! I will have to give these screws a try.

Thanks for the link, I like to educate myself with info like that.

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View CharlieM1958's profile


16281 posts in 4419 days

#6 posted 02-19-2012 02:45 PM

I’ll admit these are a big improvement over phillips head screws. Still, I have to say that I rarely strip a non-brass phillips head screw as long as I take care of two prerequisites: a proper pilot hole, and the correct clutch setting on my drill.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3504 days

#7 posted 02-19-2012 02:58 PM

i had not seen those screws dan, they look as though they would drive so nice, and if i were to vote as far as a re design for the bulk of screws that come out, i would say it can be done better and start making them like that…i know and agree with charlie , but over all i think they could be more like what you have shown here…im all for improving ….grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View mtenterprises's profile


933 posts in 2894 days

#8 posted 02-19-2012 03:18 PM

We are all guilty of just trying to shoot the screws into the wood without the proper pilot holes. We are in too much of a hurry, we want things instantly so we cut corners. Think about this, did the craftsman of old try running in slotted screws without a pilot hole? Think about the evolution of the screw and screwdriver and how it has caused us to want to work faster cutting corners.

-- See pictures on Flickr - And visit my Facebook page -

View DIYaholic's profile


19708 posts in 2876 days

#9 posted 02-19-2012 03:45 PM

I don’t have time to THINK about such things…...I’m way to preoccupied with gettin’ this damn screw in!!! Lol.

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3509 days

#10 posted 02-19-2012 04:04 PM

These screws seem like they are just the thing for someone building decks or construction work in thick woods. About the only screws I use are for pocket hole joinery or installing hinges… and in my case I always take the time to drill correct pilot holes. I am never in too much of a hurry that I would cut corners.

View Bluepine38's profile


3379 posts in 3286 days

#11 posted 02-19-2012 04:11 PM

GRK makes a good screw, they are called a torx drive and take the regular torx bits. I have replaced almost
all my screws with the torx type. When I put my front deck in I used the special coated torx screws for the
pressure treated frame work, and the only reason I used two bits for 1/4 keg of screws was because I
dropped and lost the first bit. The bigger torx screws, up to 7” & longer, might require an impact driver,
but most drive easily with my cordless Milwaukee 1/2” drill. I used the stainless torx screws made for Trek
decking, but I did have to drill a small pilot hole to get them started, my hands had a tough time holding
them steady enough to get them to start themselves in the Trek deck. So far I have not found a good
source for torx bronze screws, so I use the square drive bronze on my lathe face plates. While the GRKs
are expensive, they are available at Ace Hardware also, there are a few companies following their lead and
the price may drop somewhat.

-- As ever, Gus-the 79 yr young apprentice carpenter

View poopiekat's profile


4386 posts in 3935 days

#12 posted 02-19-2012 04:14 PM

It’ll be a long time before these old eyes can accept a Torx, or even a Robertson square-drive screw on a piece of fine, heritage-level furniture. For knocking out a new kitchen, well, okay, use the screws with a more positive drive. Personally, I love seeing the fussiness on a piano hinge or cabinet latch. My junior-high Practical Arts instructor gushed over how at the Rolls-Royce factory, workers had to align every visible Phillips head screw to an ‘X’ when installing walnut or rosewood trim in the interiors. Should we shortchange our own fine furniture with a feature that shows we took an easy way out? Good point, however, COTL!

-- 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 Bill White's profile

Bill White

5124 posts in 4161 days

#13 posted 02-19-2012 04:46 PM

ECD there Poopie? (Chuckle….)
I try to use the screw that fits the period style of the piece I’m workin’ on, but the Robertsons and Torx jobbies have spoiled me.


View waho6o9's profile


8519 posts in 2778 days

#14 posted 02-19-2012 05:03 PM Nancy sells the GRKs and they are great people to do business with.
GRKs save time and are a pleasure to use. There are many different types and styles of GRKs and the new ones go into concrete.
I haven’t used the concrete ones yet, but I can’t imagine them being junk.

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2832 posts in 3638 days

#15 posted 02-19-2012 08:33 PM

Actually except for framing and hinges, I drill, countersink, and make plugs for all my screws in woodwork. So, I use these the same as regular screws. For framing/carcass work in soft wood though it’s nice that they self drill. It saves a lot of work. For those who say we need to take the time like the old timers used to, well maybe we need to go back to square tempered nails or wooden screw pegs??? And what you using a battery driver for? You should be using a hand driver.

It’s like the guy who took a handful of pills every day and had a pacemaker who said, “If things were like the olden days we’d all be a lot better off.”... Ya, he’d be dead!

Progress people, progress.

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

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