Types Of Screw Heads – A screw drive is essentially a series of formed protrusions and chambers on the screw head that enable torque to be applied to it. Typically, it also involves a mating tool that turns it, like a screwdriver. The next set of heads are divided by frequency groups, with some of the less frequent drives being labeled as “tamper-resistant.”
The majority of heads exist in various sizes that are commonly identified by a number, such as “Phillips #00.” These sizes are arbitrary names rather than descriptions of a specific drive form measurement.
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Various Types of Screw Heads
Slot screw drives are driven with a “common blade” or flat-bladed screwdriver and feature a single horizontal depression (the slot) in the fastener head. Since it was the original type of screw drive created, it has always been the most straightforward and affordable to produce. The slot head’s simplicity of production and the fact that a basic handtool can operate it make it special as well. The slotted screw is frequently used in existing goods and installations, as well as in straightforward carpentry tasks and situations where little torque is required. Slot screws are widely employed in the restoration of vintage equipment, automobiles, and furniture.
However, because a power driver frequently eludes the slot during installation, damaging the screw and the material around it, this design is not recommended for use with power tools. Because of this, drives with cruciform slots have taken the place of slots in many applications. Common blade, flat-blade, slot-head, flat-tip, or flat-head / flathead screwdriver are all names for the device used to drive a slot. More torque may be given without damaging the screw head with a hollow-ground screwdriver because it is less likely to cam out (leave the slot as a result of the torque being converted into an axial force, similar to that seen with Phillips drive but depending only on driver blade). Hollow-ground tips are typically seen on flat-blade jeweler’s screwdrivers and 14-inch or 6.4-millimeter drive sets. This common chisel design, which has the disadvantages of not fitting as tightly as a hollow-ground screwdriver would and raising the risk of injuring the fastener or the surrounding region, allows 9 screwdriver sizes to drive 24 distinct slotted screw sizes.
The screwdriver tips’ worldwide standard size and form are described in ISO 2380-1, along with the minimum test torque that the blade-to-handle connection must sustain. For example, 1.2 6.5 corresponds closely to a traditional North American 1/4″ screwdriver, albeit the North American one is frequently a little bit thinner (1.0 mm). Screwdriver tips are typically characterized by blade thickness breadth in mm.
A slotted screw can be temporarily held to a matching screwdriver using at least one mechanical mechanism, the Quick-Wedge screw-holding screwdriver, which was developed by the Kedman Company in the 1950s.
Coin-slot drives get their name from the curved bottom of the recess, which makes it easier to drive them with the right coin. They are frequently employed on things where the user is unlikely to have a screwdriver available when needed, including the battery compartments in some equipment like children’s toys and the recessed screws that connect cameras to tripod adapters.
A slotted screwdriver is still used to drive just one of the two perpendicular slots found in the fastener head of a cross or double-slot screw drive. This kind is typically found in roofing bolts and other similarly priced products that have a thread that is at least 5 mm (0.20 in) in diameter with a big, flattened pan head. The benefit is that they offer a certain amount of redundancy: should one slot distort while in use, the second one may still be used.
Alcoa Fastening Systems created high-torque slot drives for applications where a fastener needs to be installed and removed frequently while also requiring very high torque. Unlike the slot drive’s straight walls, this design has curved walls. The Type II (Conical/Connie) design enhances the alignment of the driving tool to the fastener recess by including a conical cup that accepts a centering pin on the driver.
The following are screwdrivers with cruciform, or cross-shaped, designs. These drives are also known as cross-recessed, cross-head, cross-tip, and cross-point drives. Because the geometry is not recessed and comprises merely two stacked plain milling slots, a double-slotted screw drive is not regarded as cruciform. In ISO 4757, Cross recesses for screws, several of these varieties are described.
John P. Thompson invented the Phillips screw drive, which is referred to as an ANSI Type I Cross Recess and type H in ISO literature. Thompson sold the industrialist Henry F. Phillips his concept after failing to attract manufacturers’ attention. Phillips is credited for founding a business (Phillips Screw Company), enhancing the design, and encouraging the use of his invention. The Phillips Screw Company kept creating better versions after the initial 1932 patent expired in 1966.
Other screw manufacturers of the 1930s rejected the Phillips concept because it was named for a fairly complex recessed socket shape in the head of the screw, as opposed to the straightforward milled slot of a slotted screw. The American Screw Company of Providence, Rhode Island, was in charge of developing a method to efficiently manufacture the screw, and they successfully patented and licensed their method. The high cam-out potential of slotted screws, the requirement for exact alignment to prevent slippage and damage to the driver, fastener, and surrounding surfaces, and the challenge of driving with powered tools were all issues that the Phillips screw design was created to address directly.
The Phillips screw drive has been enhanced with the Pozidriv, which is occasionally spelled mistakenly as “Pozidrive.” By ANSI standards, it is known as “Type IA,” and by ISO publications, it is known as “Type Z.” GKN Screws and Fasteners obtained a patent for the Pozidriv in 1962. It was created to offer higher engagement and torque capacity than Phillips drives. The Pozidriv is hence less likely to emerge. It is compatible with and similar to the Supadriv screw drive.
The initials “PZ” are frequently used to denote pozidriv screwdrivers, which are then followed by a size code of 0, 1, 2, 3, or 5. (in order of increasing size). The figures don’t match the nominal screw size figures. The standard screw sizes for PZ1, PZ2, and PZ3 are 2-3 mm, 3.5-5 mm, and 5.5–8 mm, respectively. These dimensions generally match the numbers on Phillips heads.
Pozidriv screws are easily distinguished from Phillips screws by their set of radial indentations (tick marks) that are positioned at a 45° angle from the main cross recess on the screw head.
A Pozidriv screwdriver features parallel flanks, a blunt tip, and extra tiny ribs that are angled at 45 degrees to the main slots as opposed to a Phillips screwdriver’s slightly tapering flanks, pointed tips, and rounded corners. Both types of screwdriver bits may be produced in four cuts from a tapered blank, while Pozidriv requires a somewhat more complicated cutter than Phillips.
Pozidriv and Phillips seem to be mostly interchangeable, but if taken improperly, they might be harmful. When tightened, pozidriv screwdrivers may slide or pull off the Phillips screw head even if they would jam fit into Phillips screws. As opposed to this, Phillips screwdrivers may spin Pozidriv screws with a loose fit, but if enough torque is applied, they will come out, potentially injuring the screw head or screwdriver.
JIS B 1012
JIS B 1012 is frequently seen in Japanese-made goods like cameras and motorcycles. To give less inclination to come out, it superficially resembles a Phillips screw with smaller and more vertical grooves. The driver’s point must be blunt since the reese’s bottom is flat. The same 26.5 degree cone angle is present in a Phillips screwdriver, but due to the tapered grooves, it will not seat completely and, if pressed, will break the screw. A Phillips or Pozidriv head screw will engage at full depth with a JIS driver that is the right size, although slightly loosely and without damaging the screw. A single dot or a “X” to one side of the cross slot are frequently used to identify JIS heads.
For this kind of screw, “JIS” standardized cruciform-blade screwdrivers are readily available and ought to be used at all times to prevent driver and head damage.
The Pozidriv screw drive and the Supadriv screw drive are quite similar in terms of how they operate and look. It is a subsequent creation by the same business. Supadriv fits the same description as the Pozidriv head. Despite the fact that each has a unique driver, the same screwdriver heads may be used for either kind without causing damage, therefore it is usually not essential to differentiate between the two drives. The details of Pozidriv and Supadriv screws vary significantly; the latter permits a minor angular offset between the screw and the screwdriver, but Pozidriv requires that they be lined up exactly.
The Supadriv screwhead resembles Pozidriv in every way except for the fact that it has just two identifying ticks and its secondary blades are bigger. Drive blade thickness is nearly the same. The biggest practical difference is when driving screws into vertical surfaces. Supadriv has greater bite, making screwdriving more effective with less came out when driving screws into nearly vertical surfaces.
However, Phillips II recesses contain a vertical rib located between the cruciform recesses that engages with horizontal ribs on a Phillips II driver to generate a stick-fit and give anti cam-out qualities. Phillips II recesses are compatible with Phillips drivers (the ribs are trademarked as “ACR” for Anti Cam-out Ribs).
The Reed and Prince screw drive, sometimes referred to as the Frearson screw drive and designated as ANSI Type II Cross Recess, resembles a Phillips screw but has a sharp tip and a greater angle in the V shape. The fact that one driver or bit fits all screw sizes gives it an edge over the Phillips drive. It may frequently be discovered in naval hardware and needs a Frearson screwdriver or bit to operate correctly. In contrast to the rounded, tapering Phillips head, which can come out at high torque, the tool recess is a precise, sharp cross, allowing for higher applied torque. It was created in the 19th century by an English inventor called Frearson, and it was manufactured from the late 1930s through the middle of the 1970s. The Worcester, Massachusetts-based Reed & Prince Mfg. Company was declared bankrupt in 1987 and liquidated in 1990. At the liquidation auction, a different company called Reed & Prince Manufacturing Corporation, now based in Leominster, Massachusetts, bought part of the assets, including the name.
Frearson screws and Frearson bits are widely accessible in a range of sizes as of 2022. Silicon bronze is used to make the screws that are on hand.
The Phillips Screw Company created the Mortorq drive, which is a format used in aerospace and automotive applications. With complete contact across the whole recess wing, it is made to be a lightweight, low-profile, high-strength drive, lowering the chance of stripping. When compared to other screws at the time of its conception, this low recess was able to provide a reduced head height. This drive type’s weight might be decreased because of the reduced head height. Originally intended for aircraft use, the Mortorq. For several aerospace projects, this head height weight reduction allowed for the creation of lighter components. The cost of manufacturing these parts is reduced by the weight decrease since the materials used in aerospace applications are costly. This will make it possible to utilize thinner materials for the screws. More “Clearance for internal parts and more design freedom” are made possible by the reduced head height. The Mortorq drive can now function in both simple and intricate constructions thanks to this.
A Robertson screw, often referred to as a square or Scrulox screwdriver, has a square-shaped slot in the screw head and a square projection on the tool. It is designated as an ANSI Type III Square Center screw. The socket and the tool both have a very little taper. This taper has two additional benefits that have contributed to the drive’s widespread use: it makes inserting the tool simpler and tends to maintain the screw on the tooltip without requiring the operator to hold it there. It was originally designed to enable the cold shaping of the screw heads practicable.
Although they have been used in other nations and are now much more widespread there, Robertson screws are common in Canada. Robertson fasteners have gained popularity in ordinary building and woodworking as patents expired and word of their benefits spread. In the electrical industry, Robertson/Phillips/slot drive combinations are often utilized, especially for device and circuit breaker terminals as well as clamp connections.
Because the tapered socket tends to hold the screw even when it is shaken, Robertson screwdrivers are simple to operate with one hand. They also permit the use of trim head screws and angled screwdrivers. The Robertson screws with socket heads decrease cam out, stop power tools when set, and may be taken off if they are painted over or rusted and old. They expedite productivity and lessen product damage in the industrial setting.
Brad Wagner created the LOX-Recess screw drive, and licensees Hitachi, Dietrick Metal Framing, and Grabber sell fasteners utilizing it. Four square recesses that overlap each other have 12 contact points, and the design is intended to enhance torque, reduce wear, and prevent cam-out.
Two squares are overlaid at a 45° angle to generate an 8-pointed star in the double-square drive. The structure is comparable to a square drive (Robertson), but the driver may engage at greater angles.
A kind of screw drive with 12 evenly spaced protrusions that each end in a 90° internal angle is known as the triple-square or XZN. The pattern with 12 right-angled protrusions is created by layering three identical squares. This pattern gives rise to the name (a 12-pointed star). In other words, three Robertson squares are stacked one on top of the other at 30° rotations. The design is comparable to the double-square; in both situations, the driver may contact it at more frequent angles while seeming like a square (Robertson). Standard Robertson bits may be used to drive these screws.
M4, M5, M6, M8, M9, M10, M12, M14, M16, and M18 are the sizes available. Although the naming convention is identical to that of metric fasteners, there is no connection between the name of the size and the tool’s dimensions.
The 12-pointed internal star form resembles the “double hex” fastener head on the outside, but it varies somewhat in that the points have a 90° internal angle (derived from a square) instead of a hexagon’s 120° internal angle. In actual use, the fastener drivers may be interchangeable, but before exerting force, each one should be thoroughly inspected for appropriate fit. In cases when a key with a square cross-section would work better, a hex key shouldn’t be utilized.
In the UK, triple-square fasteners are known as “spline.” If you’re looking for the more rare 12-spline flange kind, this might be perplexing. Although each of the 12 points on the XZN has a 90° angle at the tip as opposed to a 60° angle, which allows for closer examination, the overall resemblance between them makes it possible to harm the head if the incorrect tool is inserted.
Internal Hex Drives
A hex wrench, also known as an Allen wrench, Allen key, hex key, or inbus, or a hex screwdriver (also known as a hex driver) or bit can be used to drive the hexagonal recess in the hex socket screw drive. There are variations with a pin in the recess that are tamper-resistant. The ISO 4762 (socket head cap screws), ISO 4026 (socket set screws with flat point), ISO 4027 (socket set screws with cone point), ISO 4028 (socket set screws with dog point), and ISO 4029 (socket set screws with dog point) standards all specify the metric sizes of the hex socket (socket set screws with cup point).
The hex socket was invented in 1936 and was given a patent by the German business Bauer & Schaurte, who also sold items based on it.
The word “inbus” is derived from the German phrase “Innensechskant Bauer u. Schaurte,” which is equivalent to the English phrase “Allen key” in the US. It is widely but wrongly referred to as “imbus” in several nations. Unbrako is the typical name for the format in Denmark.
A screw drive known as a double hex has a socket that is made up of two coaxial offset hex recesses and may be driven with ordinary hex key tools. Triple square and spline screw drivers are similar in design but are not compatible.
Although their number is doubled, each arris has a smaller radial “height” than a six-point. They may be able to handle higher torque than a six-point, but in order to prevent slippage and rounding off, there are extra requirements put on the tools and head metallurgy.
Apple uses a five-pointed tamper-resistant technology called the pentalobe screw drive in its devices. Midway through 2009, Apple secured the battery in the MacBook Pro for the first time using a pentalobe drive. The iPhone 4 and later devices, the MacBook Air (since the late 2010 model), the MacBook Pro with Retina Display, and the 2015 MacBook all employ smaller versions of the current technology. TS1 (also known as P2 or 0.8 mm, used on the iPhone 4 and later phones), TS4 (also known as P5 or 1.2 mm, used on the MacBook Air [from late 2010], the MacBook Pro with Retina Display, and the 2015 MacBook), and TS5 are pentalobe screw sizes (also known as P6 or 1.5 mm, used on the 2009 MacBook Pro battery). Because the TS designation might also refer to a Torq-set screw drive, it is confusing.
LISI Aerospace created the ASTER recess as a more dependable alternative to the hexagonal recess for composite structural assembly on airplanes. The fit of this recess on the threaded end of aircraft fasteners is ideal. With these fasteners, a single person may tighten the nut and retain the bolt while working on the same side of the structure.
The hexalobular socket screw drive utilizes a star-shaped depression in the fastener with six rounded points. It is frequently referred to by the original private brand name Torx or by the alternative generic name star drive. Compared to previous drive systems, it was created to allow for more torque transmission from the driver to the bit. The drive was created by Camcar Textron in 1967. Due to its resistance to cam out, long bit life, and ability to decrease operator fatigue by reducing the need to apply pressure to the driving tool, Torx is highly well-liked in the automotive and electronics sectors. The Security Torx head contains a tiny pin within the recess that prevents tampering. A Torx driver can be used in place of a hex driver because of its six-fold symmetry, although careful sizing is necessary to avoid stripping the socket.
Torx Plus is an enhanced version of Torx that allows for higher torque transmission and further increases tool life. There is an external Torx variant of the screw, which is driven using a Torx socket and has a screw head shaped like a Torx screwdriver bit.
Torx Plus Tamper-Resistant
The five-lobed, center-post version of Torx Plus that is tamper-resistant is frequently referred to as Torx Plus Security. Due to the rarity of the drivers, it is employed for security.
With claims of 40% more drive system torque than Torx and 20% more than Torx Plus, Torx Paralobe is an advancement over Torx.
A Torx variant called Torx ttap is backwards compatible with conventional hexalobular tools and lessens swaying between the fastener and the tool.
FAQs about Types Of Screw Heads
How many types of screw heads are there?
Countersunk and non-countersunk screw heads are the two most common varieties, and each have varied distinctive designs. Your selected head type or shape can be used functionally or aesthetically.
What is hex head vs flat head?
Flat Head (Metric) – Screws with metric flat heads typically have a 90 degree head angle. Hex Head – A common type of bolt, hex heads provide more torque and are driven by pushing the driver’s force on the exterior of the head as opposed to the majority of drives, which are internally driven.
What are the 3 most common types of screws?
Machine, sheet metal, and cap screws are the three most popular types of screws.
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