Which screw head design: SQ, Torx, phillips ACR, Spax - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 37 Old 02-27-2014, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
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Which screw head design: SQ, Torx, phillips ACR, Spax

I've been using McFeely Square heads for a while. I like them, but have gone through a boat load of bit drivers because they become rounded way too soon as far as I'm concerned. Been buying them in 6 packs. With impact drill drivers it's even worse. You can buy hardened bit drivers like the Wiha bit drivers at over $9.00 ea. But I've heard others have had this problem and maybe have found some of the other design screw heads work as better solutions for the new impact drills. Would appreciate hearing from people who have had the same problem as I have and found a better answer. Hate to give up on McFeely, but they've been recently bought out and I'm concerned their screws and bits which will now be made in China will not be what they used to be. Trying to keep ahead of the game. Thanks.
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post #2 of 37 Old 02-27-2014, 11:57 AM
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I like torx bits and screws, but square drive are almost as good for me. Oddly I don't think I've ever rounded over a square drive bit, I think with my recent floor tiling project I went through about 1500 screws and never changed the bit.

The tools don't make the craftsman....
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post #3 of 37 Old 02-27-2014, 12:05 PM
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I have been using square drive for years with no problems. I heard McFeeleys had been bought out but did not know their screws would be coming from china, was fixing to order a bunch of screws but may have to rethink where to get them.

Bob making sawdust in SW Louisiana
with a EX-21
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post #4 of 37 Old 02-27-2014, 12:07 PM Thread Starter
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Since this was a first post I hadn't noticed "Similar posts" below. They took care of answering most of my question. Looks like Torx and/or Sq. drive are about equally liked with Torx maybe a hair more so. Too bad the Robertson Sq drives aren't as readily available in the US. I have a hardened Wiha drive on order and will see if that solves some of the rounding problem I've had. I have a drawer full of old slightly rounded #1 and #2 sq. drive bits.
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post #5 of 37 Old 02-27-2014, 06:11 PM
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TORX is my first choice when I can get it in a size I need. I've never had a rounding problem, and you can not only get them in, but back out, which is not always the case with even a square drive.
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post #6 of 37 Old 02-27-2014, 07:45 PM
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I estimate 99 percent of screw and bit problems are caused by assembly preparation technique.
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post #7 of 37 Old 02-27-2014, 10:36 PM
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If you can hold the bit properly in the screw, torx or square drive will work well for you. I've never rounded either of those bits unless I messed something up, like using a bit a size too small.
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post #8 of 37 Old 02-28-2014, 01:23 AM
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I have to agree with Mr. Miller. If you use the appropriate size driver, the drivers should last almost forever.

tip: There are two types of driver bits. One type is two part metal with what appears to be a hardened tip while the other type is a single piece of metal. The former last for years while the latter is best bought in lots of 50 on special at Lowe's.

One other thing. There are screws that are combination Robertson and Phillips. Regardless of driver bit, neither work very well.

Use the right tool for the job.

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post #9 of 37 Old 02-28-2014, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SandburRanch View Post
I estimate 99 percent of screw and bit problems are caused by assembly preparation technique.
+1. I agree that there's more to driving screws than just the screw head (whatever type), and the tool. There may need to be a correctly sized pilot hole, and countersinking where necessary helps. Keeping the bit in the head seems to be the problem. If the tool... whether it be a cordless drill, or a handheld driver of some sort is used, the screw should be perpendicular to the subject piece, and the driver held in that same line.

I use a cordless drill (for most applications) on slow speed. When the screw is almost tight, I just bump the trigger to pull up tight. I don't drive it fast until it stops. That's what heats up the screw, snaps off heads, and over spins them when seated, and likely makes their holding strength less than predictable.






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post #10 of 37 Old 02-28-2014, 11:27 AM
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There is also now undersized bits available for coated square head screws, which work better for them but don't work well with plain screws.

Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something -Plato

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post #11 of 37 Old 02-28-2014, 02:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cabinetman
+1. I agree that there's more to driving screws than just the screw head (whatever type), and the tool. There may need to be a correctly sized pilot hole, and countersinking where necessary helps. Keeping the bit in the head seems to be the problem. If the tool... whether it be a cordless drill, or a handheld driver of some sort is used, the screw should be perpendicular to the subject piece, and the driver held in that same line. I use a cordless drill (for most applications) on slow speed. When the screw is almost tight, I just bump the trigger to pull up tight. I don't drive it fast until it stops. That's what heats up the screw, snaps off heads, and over spins them when seated, and likely makes their holding strength less than predictable. .
+2. Correct pilot holes solve most issues from splitting wood, screw breakage and heads being stripped. I really like they tapered drills with the countersink all in one. Clean look and it is less time for me with the double handling than the repair from the last screw I drove in splitting the material.

I've had pretty good success using a cordless impact driver on slow speed with a quality bit.
I have had problems with bulk bits stripping out hanging drywall. Now that's some junk.

Cut it twice, measure once and it's still too short.
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post #12 of 37 Old 02-28-2014, 02:17 PM
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I really don't care which screw type they use. I wish the world would pick ONE and ban the rest. It's getting where you have to carry a pocket full of different drive bits to work on anything.
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post #13 of 37 Old 02-28-2014, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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Another factor to consider

I think all your points have good merit. There are a couple more points to accomplish "best woodworking practices" I think that haven't been stressed or mentioned that in my readings are worthy of mention. I've read about others who have had their square driver bits and others get rounded over too quickly, or snap off when not expected. The relatively new shift to impact drivers puts a lot more force on the bit and screw head than before. Cheap Chinese metals creeping into the manufacturing process to reduce cost or just cheaper USA metals to accomplish the same end? You have to be ever more watchful of blending your purchases to match your equipment selection nowadays it seems. impact drivers with no torque selection or little torque selection may be cheaper, but not overall as functional. When I made my change from a DeWalt 12v system to the Milwaukee 18v fuel system, one of the factors that sold me was the 3 fold torque control capability. I've used the lower torque setting on some projects and was glad I had it. I guess I could have bought a Harbor Freight 18v system for much less without that torque control, but after having it: it's better to have and not want, than to not have and wish you had...Perhaps we need the companies to develop screws, drill drivers etc. to match the new equipment better. Then again, I've always been a dreamer. Love your input guys. thanks!
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post #14 of 37 Old 03-01-2014, 03:40 AM
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I use Pozidrive which are a variation on Phillips.
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post #15 of 37 Old 03-01-2014, 04:17 AM
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As well as the variables of metal quality in screws and driver bits , and of screwdrivers , both machine and manual ,
there is the totally unpredictable one of the timber being used .

Matching up screws to bits for a firm fit as well as metal quality helps , as does pre drilling , and consideration for machine speed and torque.

And leave the impact driver in it's case . It is for use with hex head fasteners , not finishing screws .

Personally , I'm waiting for the advent of triangle-head screws
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post #16 of 37 Old 03-01-2014, 06:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manuka Jock View Post

Personally , I'm waiting for the advent of triangle-head screws
There is a 3 wing...close to a triangle...
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post #17 of 37 Old 03-01-2014, 06:07 AM
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look at the buggas ,
28 of them eh , 2 more and we have the full set of 30



The tri wing , seen them , never used them , how do they stand up to scrutiny ?
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post #18 of 37 Old 03-01-2014, 07:57 AM Thread Starter
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I think it's OK to use the impact driver on those finishing screws IF...you also have adequate torque control on that tool.
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post #19 of 37 Old 03-01-2014, 08:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manuka Jock View Post
As well as the variables of metal quality in screws and driver bits , and of screwdrivers , both machine and manual ,
there is the totally unpredictable one of the timber being used .

Matching up screws to bits for a firm fit as well as metal quality helps , as does pre drilling , and consideration for machine speed and torque.

And leave the impact driver in it's case . It is for use with hex head fasteners , not finishing screws .

Personally , I'm waiting for the advent of triangle-head screws
You mean these?
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post #20 of 37 Old 03-01-2014, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
You mean these?
Interesting , but no cigar .
They're not woodscrews , but thats the idea . The driver bit would be the same

Last edited by Manuka Jock; 03-01-2014 at 10:52 AM.
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