Sign In to join the community | Help
Tools & Hardware


How to Identify Screw Heads

User-added image


More than 40 years ago there were primarily two different screw head types, Phillips or slotted, and you probably had 5-6 TV stations. Well times have sure changed today, and the number of screw types has risen dramatically!  


With the advent of the computer, more and more manufactures use the computer to design the right screw for the product they want to bring to market. I’ll touch on a few here, otherwise we’ll be here all day, and I’m sure you have important things to do.






The earliest documented evidence of this type goes back to the late 15th century, in Germany. This is oldest and most common screw, but your screwdriver can slip out or "cam-out" damaging the screw head and/or the work surface.




Where the Slotted head has one groove, the Phillips head has two intersecting grooves to hold the screwdriver in place to prevent slippage or "cam-out" and give you more torque on four grooves to drive in the screws.




Also know as a square drive, the Robertson head is easy to use one-handed, because the tapered socket tends to retain the screw, even if it is shaken, reduce "cam-out", and can be removed if painted over.




The name is a combination of "positive" and "drive". Its advantage over Phillips drives is its decreased likelihood to "cam-out", which allows greater torque to be applied—you have the option to use either a Phillips or Robertson screwdriver.



The Hex head can be turned with an Allen Wrench, Allen Key or Hex screwdriver—originally designed for the automotive industry, they can be found in many applications including furniture, and are available in two sizes, either SAE or Metric.



These can be found consumer electronics, automobiles, motorcycles, and the construction industry--they can resist "cam-out" better than Phillips or slotted head screws.


Many manufactures use the design of one or many screw head types and modify the head to make them tamper-proof for their products, so you must have the exact fitting screwdriver in order to remove the fastener. Aside from head design, the screw can be found in different sizes to match the application.

Not what you were looking for ? Try posting a question
Posted 2016-01-07T19:51:53+0000  by Angelo_HD_CHI Angelo_HD_CHI
Great article Angelo!

In the interest of having tools that are multi-taskers, I have found that Torx screw drivers will also drive Allen, or Hex screws. But Allen (Hex) wrenches will not operate on Torx screws, so if I am choosing one tool with the capability to operate more than one type of screw, I choose the Torx driver.

Of course, all of these type of screws require specific sizes of drivers, so a multiple set of these Torx drivers is needed.

Husky SAE Folding Tamperproof Torx Set (8-Piece)


Best Answer

Posted 2016-02-02T16:36:34+0000  by Travis_HD_ATL
Not what you were looking for ? Try posting a question