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Preferred screwhead type?

Discussion in 'Scenery, Props, and Rigging' started by derekleffew, Jun 14, 2009.

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Preferred screwhead drive type?

  1. Slotted

    1.3%
  2. Phillips

    41.6%
  3. Robertson/Square Drive

    45.5%
  4. Torx/Six-lobe

    9.1%
  5. Other (please specify...)

    2.6%
  1. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    If you had a choice, barring budget and other realities, what head would you use?
     
  2. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    In ideal world, I would still probably use Phillips as that's what i'm used to.

    It's much easier to back out a Phillips screw that you can't see than a slotted one.
     
  3. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods

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    Robertson all the way. Of course I assume we are talking scenic and construction jobs here.

    The biggest downside with Robertson is that if you use the wrong size driver and strip it out, it's harder than a stripped phillips to remove. With the right driver, it is near impossible to strip, plus, the square head holds a screw, so you can pop on a screw and reach in a tight space and not have it fall off.

    Both Robertson and Torx and great improvements on slotted and Phillips. However, where Phillips and slotted gain the advantage is that, for the rest of the world, you can fudge your way by with one or two slotted and phillips head drivers your whole life and turn almost anything you come across. With Robertson, Torx, Hex and all the rest, you need to proper sized driver if you want a shot at turning that screw. Maybe fine for tool junkies like me but not everyone seems to want a box full of drivers when one or two in the junk drawer has been fine.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2009
  4. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    I wish more people would use square/robertson. I put square drive screws in to equipment racks as often as possible, and find that they strip out the least.
     
  5. Les

    Les Well-Known Member

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    They're also a little more tamper resistant, being that not many people walk around with a square bit on them. I also agree with gafftapegreenia that it's a lot easier to get them to stay on the bit when you can't hold the screw in place with your fingers.
     
  6. thatactorguy

    thatactorguy Active Member

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    Like avkid, I'm also used to Phillips and generally stick with them, but I love the Robertsons. In a pinch, a Phillips bit can be used to pull them out (slowly! lol), and both the Phillips and Robertsons are still easier to remove if a little paint gets in them; not so with the torx, in my experience...
     
  7. porkchop

    porkchop Well-Known Member

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    I'm a bit fan of Torx, a lot of things I have are put together with them so I have all the bit sizes handy. Robertson is good too but we always call it Canadian drive and it's more fun to razz the Canadians if we don't use it.
     
  8. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    I just use a magnetic drive guide.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. DaveySimps

    DaveySimps CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    I prefer Phillips, just from a standard maintenance standpoint. There is always a Phillips driver available everywhere, you do not have to worry about forgetting the right driver, loosing your only driver in the work truck on a gig, etc. It is all in what you are use to.

    ~Dave
     
  10. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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  11. seanandkate

    seanandkate Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Gotta say Robertson. Not just because is one of the slickest Canadian inventions ever (is my Canuk side showing?), but because it holds a screw like anything. Good design doesn't need additional 'magnetic drive guides.'
    I will now go eat some back bacon with my beaver . . .
     
  12. thatactorguy

    thatactorguy Active Member

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    Coolness. Just the ribbed Phillips bits themselves make a huge difference not only in driving/removal, but holding as well...

    Anyone know (or want to hazard a guess) why slotted is still made? Very old design, but it can't be for sentimental reasons :confused:
     
  13. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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  14. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Be careful with those Phillips 2 screws. You have to have the correct bit. I had a box of 3" Philips 2's get mixed in with the regular's and my students stripped nearly every screw because the normal Philips head driver just couldn't deal with them.

    Personally I would much rather just keep my shop simple. If everything would fit a #2 Phillips driver I would be a happy camper.

    I took over a highschool program that was all Robertson and converted to Philips because the screws were so much more expensive and the students had a harder time learning how to drive them correctly. You would be surprised how easy it is to strip out a Robertson if you are 14 and have never used a screw gun before. I've had far more success teaching students to use phillips heads. Plus if they screw up the screws and the driver bits are a lot cheaper to replace.
     
  15. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods

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    Those Phillips II remind me of the Pozidrive. The biggest problem with Phillips is that by their nature they were DESIGNED to cam-out due to their initial use on automated machinery before finely tuned torq drivers were developed. From what I understand Pozidrive has greatly replaced Phillips in Europe. By anything from IKEA and there are almost assuredly going to be Pozidrive fasteners holding it together.

    Also for the history lesson, the Robertson drive is older than the Phillips by nearly 30 years. However, Mr. Robertson was much more protective of his patent than Mr. Phillips. When approached by Henry Ford, who was looking for a screw to speed up the assembly process, Mr. Robertson refused to license his screw to Henry, having been screwed over (lol pun) on a previous licensing agreement. Mr. Phillips on the other hand didn't press his patent, and thus with widespread use, followed by several imitations on the marked, lost the patent it in the 40's, whereas Robertson remained patented till the 60's. Of course, by that point, Phillips had come to dominate. I think in the future, as has already begun to happen in the past few years, we will see Robertson becoming a lot more common here in America.

    Also, when buying your Phillips bits (or any really) please don't cheap out and go for the cheapest bits on the shelf. The cheap bits strip faster, which lead to more stripped screws, OR if you are diligent about swapping out stripped bits, a usage of more bits. In the long term you are loosing money by buying cheap bits. Myself, and of course showing my DeWalt bias here, like their contractor sized bit packs. To each their own I guess.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2009
  16. Erwin

    Erwin Member

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    The fact that there are answers other than Roberston in the poll shows that the majority of the user base here at CB is American.

    I can't for the life of me figure out why flat/slot screw heads are even being made still!?

    Phillips is ok, but still, I can't think of a single advantage over roberston.

    Roberston all the way!
     
  17. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Why use Phillips:
    -I have to go to a specialty fastener store to find a full selection of Robertson screws. (Home Depot and Lowes carry some but not all sizes and not in a large quantity to make them reasonably priced).
    -Robertsons will cost me 2-3 times the price of Phillips head screws when I finally do find the ones I want.
    -A Robertson bit costs about $3 each. I can get 25 Phillips bits for $10.

    In the end it's just a screw. (Sorry, couldn't resist that.) Once it's in place, it holds the same be it Robertson, Slot, or Phillips. The advantages of the Robertson head for driving the screw simply do not justify the extra expense and time of acquiring them for many of us.

    Are Robertson's easily available and priced the same as Phillips up there in Canuck Land? If that was the case I'm sure many of us down here in 'Merica would switch.
     
  18. Dionysus

    Dionysus Well-Known Member

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    Defiantly have to go with Robinson... They are a million times better, especially when using a cordless screw gun.
    And yes Robinson screws and drivers are much cheaper in Canada than in the states. Good thing I live in Canada... Really in Canada the only stuff that has slotted or Phillips screws comes from out of the country, mostly from the US.

    I ALWAYS have at least my Robinson Green and Red drivers handy, at any time. And have Yellow and Black in my truck and toolboxes at all times as well.

    The heads practically only strip if you are stupid with them, and if they do strip you can usually still manage to work them out and replace them.

    I swear by Robinson, especially when working 'live'. Nothing sucks more than dropping a Phillips screw onto a live electrical contact... BOOM.
     
  19. thatactorguy

    thatactorguy Active Member

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    I visited British Columbia when I was a year old- does that count for anything?;)
     
  20. Erwin

    Erwin Member

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    Oh yes! It didn't even occur to me that they would be more expensive south of the border. Bits here are 0.25 each and screws are available in 5K and 10K boxes at any building centre (er Center :p )

    If any of you Americans want some quality screws (insert joke here) I'd be glad to ship some to you!
     

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