Router Forums banner
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,625 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In a totally unrelated recent thread both the Robertson and Phillips screwdriver/screws seemed to draw some interest. So I decided to do some googling and found this video to be the most interesting one of the bunch.

Interesting in that the evolution of the screw and driver and the success and failure of them is related to historical events.

I hope you find this as interesting as I did...but then again, I'm easily amused...:grin:

 

·
Registered
Theo
Joined
·
7,195 Posts
Very interesting. That guy has some really interesting videos. When I was young I was always told, use screws if you intend to take something apart later, and use nails when you never intend to take something apart later. Works for me.
 

·
Retired Moderator
Joined
·
16,385 Posts
Many of our hardware stores sell then in bins like yours do nails. (We have bins of those too of course.) My local store has them for under $4/lb starting at 1 1/4" and going up to either 5 or 6". Many also have bins of the coated deck screws too. They really are the best screw in the world. Quite often when I get something that has included Phillips screws I'll thread a the hole first with a Robertson so that I can get the Phillips in without destroying the head.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,625 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Many of our hardware stores sell then in bins like yours do nails. (We have bins of those too of course.) My local store has them for under $4/lb starting at 1 1/4" and going up to either 5 or 6". Many also have bins of the coated deck screws too. They really are the best screw in the world. Quite often when I get something that has included Phillips screws I'll thread a the hole first with a Robertson so that I can get the Phillips in without destroying the head.

Most often it seems the screw and the bit were made for something else...I found the Dewalt bits fit Phillips best...depth, angle and fit to width...

And don't ya just hate long Phillips stainless...? Going in or coming out...
 

·
Premium Member
Retired since June 2000
Joined
·
15,065 Posts
What a fascinating video. The first time that I heard of Robertson was just a few days ago on a TV quiz show, the question was "what did Robertson invent" the answer was to my surprise "square drive screws" and that is the name that I've known them as. They are available here but haven't really caught on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,045 Posts
Interesting thread and likely news to most of us that simply take these things for granted. I have avoided slotted screws for a very long time because of their drive issues but it's common for our fancy copper/brass hinges to come with them. No idea why but they do. Square and multiple (star/square) drive screws are becoming quite common here in the USA but the drive design isn't my biggest gripe as it is the quality of the screw itself.

There are some real poor screws out there and the drive method doesn't really matter at that point. And then of course there's the fact that some of us aren't well schooled as to when a pilot hole should be drilled first and then drive the screw. Then there's the design of the thread itself where some are deeper than others. I guess the line of Kregg screws is as good an example as any. The type of thread (fine/course) is determined by the type of wood being used as well as the thickness of the boards. I for one have probably been a violator of using the proper screw more times than not.
 

·
Retired Moderator
Joined
·
16,385 Posts
Most often it seems the screw and the bit were made for something else...I found the Dewalt bits fit Phillips best...depth, angle and fit to width...

And don't ya just hate long Phillips stainless...? Going in or coming out...
If you back out. Or all the way in. Often the problem is that you destroy the socket on a Phillips so badly trying to drive it in that you can't get it back out. It's possible to drive a Robertson dozens of times in any of the construction softwoods before the socket starts wearing out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,625 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If you back out. Or all the way in. Often the problem is that you destroy the socket on a Phillips so badly trying to drive it in that you can't get it back out. It's possible to drive a Robertson dozens of times in any of the construction softwoods before the socket starts wearing out.

A lot of times I jam in a square drive to act as an extractor...oh, the woes...:grin:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,243 Posts
I started using star drive screws last year, really by accident. I grabbed a box of them without realzing. Fortunately they included a short driver for them and I found they were terrific. Drove the coated screws in and they never let the screw driver slip. I use Robertson for pocket hole construction because they never strip out, but philips are the past for me now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
154 Posts
I've found the quality makes a difference for Phillips screws as it seems the fit is better on higher quality ones. They're still less reliable than Robertson in my experience.

That said, I remember discovering GRK fasteners with star drive a number of years ago and being a convert very quickly! They're great.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
205 Posts
Great video and thread. My first introduction to real performance of Robertson screws was when my younger brother ( a carpenter) took me to a job site in 1986 where they were building a cedar solarium. The boys were shooting 4" long #10 threaded Red (No.2) Robertsons into and thru fir and pine 2x4s and 2x6s without predrilling.
The Apex power bits and the 1/2" drive Metabo/Walther drills were the only thing that could survive this barbarism for 8 hrs a day. I remember them wearing gloves cause the metal body drills got so hot! Nothing like loading another 4" screw onto a Robby bit and being able to wave and manipulate the tool/screwdriver without fear of losing the screw. Even Pozidriv are not that good.

One thing curiously absent from the video, is the fact an exposed Philips screw looks finished and precise, especially when stainless or painted/coated. Robertson screws are ugly, maybe the deck screws are better, but no comparison when incorporating into a car dashboard or trim panel for example.
In a vehicle, there will be visible fasteners, Philips was THE standard, now Torx and other, more sophisticated designs exist, across screws, bolts etc. My favourite is the ARP stainless steel 12 pt head, as used in the aircraft industry. Huge pain to work with though, since they are not magnetically inclined lol.


More reading: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_screw_drives
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
I saw this video over a year ago on YT. I found a book about the history of the screw, I was intrigued and sent an email to the author. He actually responded with a nice email. The book is One Good Turn: A Natural History of the Screwdriver by Witold Rybczynski. A pretty good read. I recommend it.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,625 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
On Paul's point about the resistance encountered when driving long fasteners, I keep a candle stub in my tool pouch. Rub the fastener threads up and down the end of the candle until the threads are nicely waxed. It'll go in slick as ...well you know what.

Much better idea than the bar of soap I used to carry...tough when working in the rain :grin:
 
  • Like
Reactions: DaninVan
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top