Phillips Head Screws Forever!!

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Forum topic by poopiekat posted 04-24-2012 12:09 AM 2100 views 0 times favorited 26 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4354 posts in 3729 days

04-24-2012 12:09 AM

Topic tags/keywords: tip

One thing needs to be said here: I am totally disappointed in small square-drive screws. I had to fix an outdoor crate for a neighbor, which had one piano hinge on the lid. The original screws were all corroded, so I went to replace them with some square-drive screws that I bought in the close-out bin at Sears. They were #4 X 5/8”s. Hey, the #1 size square driver did not fit! The smallest one I have is too big. So I went to three different freakin’ places, looking for a multi-pack of #0 drivers…no such luck! Finally, at Princess Auto, I found one that was in a huge assortment. No way was I going to buy two dozen other size drivers to get the one I wanted….for $17 yet! Finally, one lumberyard had a conventional screwdriver with a square-drive #0 tip. $3 to buy, which more than exceeds the markdown of the box of screws I bought. This is Canada, supposedly the forefront of square-drive/ Robertson usage. I don’t get it. Phillips for me, flat slotted screws for high-end projects. I’ll never mix head styles on one project, and since #0 does not work for me…gotta be Phillips.

-- 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!!

26 replies so far

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10094 posts in 4047 days

#1 posted 04-24-2012 12:35 AM


The ONLY square drive stuff I have ever used is the Kreg pocket screws and stuff you can get from McFeely’s…

McFeely’s is GREAT for that stuff… I get their drivers there too (sometimes, they’re included)...

I also like the Combo heads that can be Phillips or Square drive… very nice.

The stuff you got, being sold-out, was for a probable reason… and you discovered it!

Sorry for your bad experience.

Have a good day!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View Lissajous's profile


13 posts in 2498 days

#2 posted 04-24-2012 01:01 AM

I’d much rather have a torx screw and driver than either a square or phillips. Neither is as well engineered.

View RussellAP's profile


3104 posts in 2281 days

#3 posted 04-24-2012 01:56 AM

#1 should have worked, you must have a box of special order or special purpose screws.

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

View klassenl's profile


185 posts in 2654 days

#4 posted 04-24-2012 02:47 AM

I think your problem started at “the close-out bin at Sears”

-- When questioned about using glue on a garbage bin I responded, "Wood working is about good technique and lots of glue........I have the glue part down."

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18267 posts in 3670 days

#5 posted 04-24-2012 03:10 AM

Look at an electric supply or go to Electricians use square drive all the time in 3 sizes, but most #1.

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

View NiteWalker's profile


2737 posts in 2571 days

#6 posted 04-24-2012 06:22 AM

#4 screws use a #0 square drive bit. Mcfeely’s has them for under $1.

Your frustrations are echoed here, but with phillips screws instead.
I love my square drives.

To each his own, whichever works best.

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

View rockindavan's profile


299 posts in 2631 days

#7 posted 04-24-2012 07:00 AM

I second the torx head screws. I have used over 20 5 lb boxes of torx screws and have never had, not one strip out, and most of screws have been reused 3-4 times.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4981 posts in 2488 days

#8 posted 04-24-2012 11:19 AM

With square drive, 4 driver sizes fit ~99% of the screws, much better than the 2 dozen other sizes (slotted and phillips) I have that still doesn’t fit 99% of the friggin’ screws I run into.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Brandon's profile


4152 posts in 2946 days

#9 posted 04-24-2012 12:33 PM

Sounds like your complaint is against the bargain bin screws. I love square recess screws—they don’t strip out nearly as easily as Phillips do.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View racerglen's profile


3112 posts in 2775 days

#10 posted 04-24-2012 12:55 PM

Canadian Tire has the zero size drivers.

They aren’t common in use, but when you gota git ‘er dun….

(now if I could figure out which of four boys and/or wife ran of with my #0 stubby….:-{

-- Glen, B.C. Canada

View MrRon's profile


4764 posts in 3238 days

#11 posted 04-24-2012 08:59 PM

Robertson and square drive screws are slightly different. One, (I think the Robertson) has a slight taper, so they are not interchangable. Phillips drive and cross-recessed screws are different also. I have no problem driving screws. it’s just a matter of having the correct bit for that particular screw. It’s sometimes difficult to identify one from another. Best to buy them in bulk from a place like McFeely’s. I get mine from McMaster-Carr or Fastenall, but I also use more machine screws than wood screws.

View poopiekat's profile


4354 posts in 3729 days

#12 posted 04-24-2012 10:54 PM

Thanks for all the supportive comments!
Yep, Glen, at the second Canadian Tire store I visited this week, they had two 1 1/2” long #0 drivers for screw guns, hidden behind the #1 drivers on the same peg. The first one I visited did not even have a peg hook for #0 bits! Yet they sold #0 screws. That said, they are generally not available unless you buy those giant assortments of various drivers. I’m not paying $39 plus taxes to buy more of the zillions I own of other screw bits, in order to get my hands on a single #0 bit. So… my decision to use square drive was driven (heh) by the generally good comments I heard here on two other recent threads, but jeez, nobody told me that the #0 size was such a problem! So… as I said, I will not mix head configurations on a project, and this bad experience tells me to avoid square-drive if a project will have #4 screws. The Sears screws are of good quality, I was told they are closing out their brass fasteners entirely. Brandon : Now that I have the proper #0 driver, they are not bad to use.
To reiterate, My work generally requires nicely finished slotted-head screws where fasteners are visible. I would NEVER EVER EVER use a Torx or square-drive on a fine piece of furniture. Slapping a zinc-plated hasp on a cheezy utility shed, yeah, I’d use whatever is on hand. If you want to use them on whatever you’re doing, FINE!!! But this bad experience with #0 size square drive really further turns me off from the whole Robertson/square drive thing. I will try to keep an open mind. A properly piloted flat-bladed wood screw, waxed and driven by hand, is a delight to experience.

-- 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 Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10094 posts in 4047 days

#13 posted 04-25-2012 03:39 AM

I have never used a #0 screw / bit… #1 has been my smallest… #2 the most common…

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View MrRon's profile


4764 posts in 3238 days

#14 posted 04-25-2012 04:04 PM

Mr Poopiekat, This link will tell you everything to know about screw heads.

View pintodeluxe's profile


5654 posts in 2808 days

#15 posted 04-25-2012 04:18 PM

That is the world we live in. Be prepared to encounter phillips, square, torx 15, torx 20, torx 25, torx 30, ACE phillips/square combination bits, and occasionally this odd one… I think it’s called a flat head screw.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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