Anyone used torx pocket hole screws?

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Forum topic by Purrmaster posted 05-13-2015 09:26 AM 4073 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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915 posts in 2055 days

05-13-2015 09:26 AM

I’ve got the Kreg pocket hole jig and use it all the time. I like the jig but I kind of hate the Kreg screws. I frequently end up destroying half the screws I use because the driving bit slips and rips up the screw head. This is especially a problem when trying to drive the screws into harder woods like oak.

I was thinking perhaps it’s time to find some torx (star drive) pocket hole screws. I’ve rarely had a torx screw slip out of the driver bit.

I see that these things do, apparently, exist on the Internet. I don’t know if I can find a torx driving bit as long as the square head driving bit Kreg makes through.

Has anyone else used torx (or other types) pocket hole screws? Were you able to find a long driver bit?

21 replies so far

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1239 posts in 1193 days

#1 posted 05-13-2015 11:51 AM

I used these in production. Go for the square head drive. #2. I never had a problem with the head stripping. I drove them in with pneumatic drivers. I believe there was a bit of a hammer to the driver. But the square head was the bomb. You wont regret it. We drove in oak, ash all the time; and we did a huge jotaba job (which is now on the bottom of the Gulf after Katrina).

EDIT: The biggest problem was not stripping the head, it was breaking the driver tip once in a while. They hold that good.

DBL EDIT: Just saw you said you are using square heads. Sorry. I didnt have a problem with them. maybe try a different brand.

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

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17926 posts in 1819 days

#2 posted 05-13-2015 12:36 PM

I’ve never used them or found them, but I’ve never had the problem you’ve had with the square heads. What speed are you setting on your driver. Lower speed is best for driving screws. There is more torque at slow speed as opposed to trying to use the high speed setting at a slow speed. That make sense?

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View skipj's profile


97 posts in 2235 days

#3 posted 05-13-2015 01:17 PM

Never had a problem with square head screws. Bill has it right,slow down.I use a 6-1 1/4 instead of the 7x in hard maple.

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Kaleb the Swede

1821 posts in 1932 days

#4 posted 05-13-2015 01:20 PM

I never even buy the kreg screws anymore. I don’t use pocket holes all that often, unless it is a shop project. And in that case I just use drywall or construction screws. I think any screw that fits the hole works fine.

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View distrbd's profile


2252 posts in 2409 days

#5 posted 05-13-2015 01:29 PM

I never even buy the kreg screws anymore. I don t use pocket holes all that often, unless it is a shop project. And in that case I just use drywall or construction screws. I think any screw that fits the hole works fine.

- Kaleb the Swede

Kaleb,I used drywall screws in pocket holes a couple of times and although it works I still find the Kreg screw head being “washer head” give much better clamping power and don’t break off as easily as drywall screws.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

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991 posts in 2938 days

#6 posted 05-13-2015 02:03 PM

I’ve also not had any issues with the square drive screws. Are you using the fine thread screws for the oak? The few times I’ve used pocket holes in oak, I rubbed the threads over some candle wax before screwing them in.

When in the process of screwing a screw in does the head get stripped? Is it after joint is pulled tight or while it is still loose and screw is not fully in?

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1454 posts in 2947 days

#7 posted 05-13-2015 02:06 PM

It seems like a very similar thread came up recently. The square heads are actually designed so that they don’t cam out (unlike Philips which are designed to cam out at certain torque) and thus shouldn’t strip. If you are breaking off heads, something is wrong, be it a bad batch of screws, too much torque with your driver, incorrect technique, etc. I’ve done many a project with them in everything from pine to hard exotics. Never an issue with the screws. If your bit is slipping out, then you probably need a new bit. Good sharp corners are very helpful.

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

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1028 posts in 1537 days

#8 posted 05-13-2015 03:49 PM

I used torx for awhile, now I don’t.every torx driver I have strips the driver down at the contact point.I.e where the driver connects t the screw.
Never had a problem with square screws.

View waho6o9's profile


8162 posts in 2539 days

#9 posted 05-13-2015 04:09 PM

The Small set has 180 yellow zinc screws from #6×5/8” to #10×2”, plus #2 square & phillips bits. The Large set has 330 regular zinc plated screws, 2 insert bits and a magnetic bit holder/screwdriver. Both sets are housed in durable plastic boxes with reliable see-through lids.

Highland might be able to help you out. :)

“You can drive #10×3-1/2” screws into unpiloted hard maple—normally an exercise in wasted screws—with no breakage. Their head design is the most convenient available: they feature a combination recess that accepts either phillips or square drive bits”

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188 posts in 2059 days

#10 posted 05-13-2015 09:28 PM

pretty much gotten rid of all square drive in my construction work . star drive has been far superior .though i am not finding the longer screws with panheads for pocket screws star drive . the long torx bits are easy to get .generally torx screws are very good quality . i get way more life out of torx bit then a square drive . I am using a 1/4” lag for the large kreg jig . get them from this company .

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8162 posts in 2539 days

#11 posted 05-13-2015 09:39 PM

GRK might have a longer screw with a panhead for ya

View Purrmaster's profile


915 posts in 2055 days

#12 posted 05-13-2015 10:56 PM

Wow, thanks for all the replies. Much appreciated.

I’m generally stripping the screws about halfway in. I’m using the Kreg screws and the Kreg driver bits. Usually the super long one. I’ve gotten several fresh driver bits and they don’t help much.

As soon as the screw has to bite through some wood the screw head doesn’t want to turn. The self tapping screw doesn’t want to tap. Unless I can put enormous downward pressure on it.

Since the screws go in at an angle and are in sometimes hard to reach places I don’t always have the luxury of downward pressure.

Speed wise I usually go slow, even more slowly if I start encountering resistance.

I don’t think it’s a bad batch of screws as I’ve used many batches.

It sounds like I’m probably screwing this up somehow but I’m not sure how. I’ve driven in smaller square head screws without issue. But the square slot seems to have been deeper on those screws.

I couldn’t tell from the photo on the Highland page whether those screws are pan/washer head or not. If so, they might be worth trying. I’ve used Spax screws in a different context before and they were pretty good.

I’ll have to see if GRK has the right type of screws. I routinely use the GRK trim head screws and absolutely love them.

Does anyone know a source for torx driver bits that are as long as the Kreg ones? I looked briefly yesterday and all I came up with was something that looked like it was meant for a socket wrench, not a drill.

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8162 posts in 2539 days

#13 posted 05-13-2015 11:05 PM

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3312 posts in 1760 days

#14 posted 05-13-2015 11:16 PM

I don’t use my Kreg jig as much as I used to, but I bet I’ve driven 1500 Kreg screws, and I can’t remember stripping one: 1 1/4, 1 1/2, and 3 ” in softwoods, hardwoods, ply, etc. Something odd is going on here.

I’ve used them in many non-pocket hole situations because they’re so easy to use, although I’ve switched to SPAX torx screws for most things now.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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188 posts in 2059 days

#15 posted 05-13-2015 11:58 PM

no problem with getting a long driver .my lumber supply yards carry them . pretty much the yards in my area sell mostly star drive . also the site i posted carries them .But GRK sells the colored in referance to size . great product .
curious problem your having ,wonder if your driver is junk /worn . I used to buy the hardened tip ones from MC Felley’s .But even those are a bit rounded over now .
I find star drive tips last way way longer .Far easier to find the head in hidden places and get them driven . I appreciate how they hold the bit connection so you do not have to focus on pushing to keep tip to bit contact as with phillips and square drive.

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