Phillips, Square Drive Slotted. What is the best?

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Forum topic by Raymond posted 07-01-2011 06:03 PM 9492 views 0 times favorited 31 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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683 posts in 4242 days

07-01-2011 06:03 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

What are your thoughts on various types of screws. I personall like #2 square drive. Lots of torque, easy in and easy out. What are your thoughts.

-- Ray

31 replies so far

View Jeff's profile


510 posts in 3709 days

#1 posted 07-01-2011 06:09 PM

I try to use only Robertson screws (square drive for you non-Canadians). I can’t understand why anyone would want to use a Phillips but I will use the Phillips/Robertson hybrids.
I just read the Wiki on Phillips screws. They were designed to purposely strip out when the torque of the drive got to great. This was because early power drivers didn’t have torque limiters. Why use a screw today that’s designed to strip out?

View Tedstor's profile


1678 posts in 3147 days

#2 posted 07-01-2011 06:12 PM

The mechanical advantages of square drive seem indisputable. I really don’t understand why it not more prevelent.
About the only time a phillips would be advantagous is when the screw head is visable. IMO, phillips look nicer.

View Jonathan's profile


2609 posts in 3565 days

#3 posted 07-01-2011 06:21 PM

I try to use square drive screws whenever possible. I love that they’re really hard to strip out. I’ll just set my drill torque a bit light to start with, then either increase the torque accordingly, or use a hand driver to tighten them. Most of the time that any hardware I’m using comes with screws, I automatically throw them in the screw pile, then get out the square drive screws and use them instead. I do occasionally use a Phillips, but try to avoid using them if and when I can. The star drives for fencing/decking/etc. are just OK. I used some of them on a fence I built last summer and was not that impressed with them.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View Raymond's profile


683 posts in 4242 days

#4 posted 07-01-2011 09:04 PM

Ah the good old Robertson, former Canadian here. I only use square drive screws. I cring with I have to use a philips, or worst a Slotted screw.

-- Ray

View Jim K's profile

Jim K

94 posts in 3652 days

#5 posted 07-02-2011 06:12 AM

What i use depends on how i want rhings to end up looking like. If i’m doing things for my myself around the house or in my yard i use phillips head or the combo square drive/phillips head. I’m still old fashioned tooI will pre drill a small pilot hole first and either use my drill/driver or for short screws i use a ratcheting screwdriver too. I have tryed using the new star driver screws they sell at lowes and i like those too. i still use my drill/driver for longer deck or drywall screws too.

View eaglewrangler's profile


64 posts in 3051 days

#6 posted 07-02-2011 06:39 AM

I think the phillips head screw is, like politics, another case of the best getting out marketed by a worse product. Mr Phillips bought the invention and named it for himself, but his marketing was to Henry Ford to use it on the model T, and so it became widely used early and stuck even though clearly the worst head design for many reasons, fills with paint, strips out etc. With a drill, the square head is best, with a driver, the star bits, with a hand screw driver, the flat head is still the easiest to remove when rusted or painted over. The flat head was easier to make by hand and used in Knights armour and has been around a lot longer than the rest. Still the three sided ones used in public bathrooms have to get some credit for aintitheft abilities.

View devann's profile


2250 posts in 3207 days

#7 posted 07-02-2011 08:54 AM

I throw the slotted screws away and use any other type of screw when assembling something with a power tool. Slotted are ok if I have to use a screw driver.

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

View KBX500's profile


35 posts in 3077 days

#8 posted 07-02-2011 10:11 AM

Whenever possible I use the square drive.
It can’t be beat.


View cloakie1's profile


204 posts in 3069 days

#9 posted 07-02-2011 10:48 AM

square drives definately…as long as the driver bit is in good soon as they start to wear get rid of it and get a new one.i have a few old slots around home which i predrill and drive in with the battery drill.but only cos i was given them and thankfully they are nearly all used up andbeing replaced with the squaredrives

-- just get stuck in and have a go!!!

View Greedo's profile


473 posts in 3475 days

#10 posted 07-02-2011 12:56 PM

Torx is the best i think, lets you transfer the most torque and you can hook your driver to them easily.
whereas i suspect that with square drivers it can be fiddly to connect the driver to the screw as you only have an “opening” every 45 degrees.

View extremehobbiest's profile


42 posts in 3501 days

#11 posted 07-02-2011 05:03 PM

#1 – Torx #2 – square #3 – Pozidrive

View syenefarmer's profile


540 posts in 3595 days

#12 posted 07-02-2011 05:54 PM

I tossed 100% of my slotted screws and 95% of my Philips Head screws. Square drive whenever possible.

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 3440 days

#13 posted 07-02-2011 06:16 PM

Robertson wins at my shop and on the jobsites. Inexpensive and effective.

Torx are acceptable, but not nearly as common here.

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View Bluepine38's profile


3387 posts in 3600 days

#14 posted 07-02-2011 07:07 PM

I used the square drive for quite a few years after I was introduced to them by an electrician I was working
with, even ordered special hardened bits to keep the bits from wearing out and slipping too much. Then I
discovered the torx drive, I put the front deck frame together with torx screws, and used only one bit on
a 1/4 keg of screws, and no cam out. I still have some of the square drive and phillips bits in brass and
stainless screws that I am too cheap to throw out, but everything else in the shop is torx drive.

-- As ever, Gus-the 80 yr young apprentice carpenter

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 3199 days

#15 posted 07-02-2011 07:18 PM

gotta vote for the torx (star) if available…

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