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Thread: I've had it with Phillips screws

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Villa Park. CA
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    12,879

    I've had it with Phillips screws

    I've never liked Phillips screws. Driving them into anything hard requires that you push the impact driver hard into the screw and are easy on the trigger, or the bit cams out. I tried square drive bits and they're better than Phillips screws, but there's something even better.

    I now use screws with a Torx head (about T-25). The bit doesn't cam out and it's much easier to drive screws into hard wood.

    I realize many of you may have alread discovered this but I'm slow to learn.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    63,470
    I also don't like Phillips head screws and try really hard to avoid them. Most of what I use are square drive for two decades now but a lot of T25 has entered the picture during the shop build because that's what many construction type screws now come in. Both work for me, but I think T25 Torx is better for the harder driving applications for sure.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  3. #3
    My experience with Phillips head screws improved dramatically when I started using Wiha bits. It gets even better when I avoid the lower priced big box store screws.

    And yes, the Torx are superior IMO.

  4. #4
    I carry a change purse in my pocket with a dozen different screw tips, and not because I want to.

    I'll give you a quarter if you can tell the difference between a T-20 and a T-25, or between a T-25 and a T-27.

  5. #5
    Torx YES! Especially with stainless. I use up any Phillips I have, then buy that size in Torx only.


    I saw an electrical video that suggested using the slotted part of an outlet scrw for the final tightening.
    Last edited by Ron Citerone; 02-22-2023 at 8:14 PM.

  6. #6

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    2,325
    I adopted Robertson (square drive) screws many years ago and have never looked back. I just don't have the problems that others have. I'm certainly aware of Torx but don't need to switch. Likely influenced by my inventory of stainless steel screws of every size that is worth many many hundreds of buckaroos.

    IMO, the secret to driving screws lies in mastering the variable speed trigger. Start slow, get your alignment right and then increase the speed.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Toronto, ON
    Posts
    585
    I'm Canadian, so Robertson all the way.... (those in the know call them Robbies)
    Howard Rosenberg

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
    Posts
    8,640
    I hate those electrical screws that are sorta philips and sorta slotted. Now some are also sorta square drive. I hear there is an actual name for that head type and one maker in Switzerland makes a screwdriver to fit.
    BilL D.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2021
    Location
    Columbia MO and Howard County MO
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    2,078
    The secret to driving screws for me is a proper plot hole. Phillips has worked perfectly for me for over 40 years (the exception being side case screws on vintage motor cycles). Oh how I dislike having to keep 10 different driver tips in my kit. I always look for Phillips screws. I always drill a proper pilot hole even if it requires 3 sizes. I do not use an impact driver for wood working. Square drives have made their way into my regulars only because of their availability in stainless steel. For an education on how wood screws are supposed to work, drive few hundred with a screwdriver, then graduate to a Yankee screwdriver, then get a cordless driver drill. The lessons learned with a screwdriver are of upmost importance to a thoughtful woodworker. (personal rant)
    Missouri, Where the Walnut trees grow straight, tall, and gigantic. Therefore, it's not that bad.
    Best Regards, Maurice

  11. #11
    Then there is Pozi...............

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Maurice Mcmurry View Post
    The secret to driving screws for me is a proper plot hole. Phillips has worked perfectly for me for over 40 years (the exception being side case screws on vintage motor cycles). Oh how I dislike having to keep 10 different driver tips in my kit. I always look for Phillips screws. I always drill a proper pilot hole even if it requires 3 sizes. I do not use an impact driver for wood working. Square drives have made their way into my regulars only because of their availability in stainless steel. For an education on how wood screws are supposed to work, drive few hundred with a screwdriver, then graduate to a Yankee screwdriver, then get a cordless driver drill. The lessons learned with a screwdriver are of upmost importance to a thoughtful woodworker. (personal rant)
    I agree. When doing some construction I just drive them mostly but not always. When making furniture with hardwood I always drill pilot holes.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    So Cal
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    3,431
    Iím glad my name isnít Phillip Screw.
    Aj

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    NE OH
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    2,468
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Dufour View Post
    I hate those electrical screws that are sorta philips and sorta slotted. Now some are also sorta square drive. I hear there is an actual name for that head type and one maker in Switzerland makes a screwdriver to fit.
    BilL D.
    They are ECX screws. Two sizes are common on electrical devices and circuit breakers, ECX1 and ECX2. Lots of folks, including Klein, make drivers and bits for them. I do a fair amount of electrical work so I have a set of manual drivers and also bits. A phillips, a straight blade, and a square drive tool will all drive them in a pinch, but the correct bit works best.
    --The bad news is: time flies. The good news is: you're the pilot.-- (Michael Altshuler)

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    McKean, PA
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    15,030
    I've switched to Spax wood screws for everything except Kreg pocket hole screws. The Spax screws are stronger and drive easier than any other type of screw. I still drill clearance and pilot holes in cabinet work.
    Last edited by Lee Schierer; 02-22-2023 at 9:16 PM.
    Lee Schierer
    USNA '71
    Go Navy!

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