Phillips screws suck

I hate them. Why are they still around?

Torx man, are you?

Because they are perfect for their designed goal; allowing self-centering, quick assembly of products via automation or assembly line workers.

The technology is sound, but when the Chinese are allowed to manufacture screws out of the cheapest scrap metal they can buy, it causes all the problems.

My Pops hated those things, I never saw the hate, much easier then slotted screws as they are self centering.

I think they’re fine, unless you need something where you want to put in a decent amount of torque, and in that case, some other head is a better option.

Yeah, it’s all about the Torx now.

Also, if you drive a lot of screws (or have trouble driving screws with a normal drill/driver for whatever reason), an impact driver is a good investment. A decent one can be had for about a C-note and takes pretty much all of the physical effort out of it (only now you have to be careful about over-driving screws).


When P. L. Robertson tried to license the Robertson screw in England, the licencee screwed* him so bad that he subsequently refused to license them to any others. The result is that good quality self centering Robertson screws are rare outside of Canada.

  • no pun intended.

not anymore. They were designed for that back in the days before anyone had screwdrivers with adjustable torque settings. They were better than slot screw heads, but that’s not saying much. Philips screws stink because the screw head and driver are intentionally designed for the driver to “cam out” of the screw once it reaches a certain drive torque. and as anyone knows, if you’re using a powered screwdriver/cordless drill, that “rat-tat-tat-tat-tat” of the driver bit jumping out and into the screw head tears the screw up.

these days, hex socket (Allen,) square socket (Robertson,) or Torx screws are far, far better than Philips. but decades of legacy keeps the piece of junk around.

Oh, and the especially maddening thing I run into with Philips screws is that Japan came up with their own JIS cross screw head standards, which are similar-but-not-similar-enough to western Philips screw heads where you’re pretty much destined to destroy a JIS screw if you don’t know that’s what it is.

oh, and of course there’s the rarer cases where you unwittingly end up with a Reed & Prince or Pozidriv screw or driver.

I was gonna post about JIS screws! Love them. I changed all my Phillips head driver bits out for JIS bits years ago. The prevalence of the crosshead screw in the US is immense, so if I gotta use 'em, I’m using a JIS driver bit.

The JIS bit is better because it is designed to NOT cam out.

That just changes the question to “Why are they around in shops/stores”?

Blood, you could not be more correct.


Really? I see them a lot around here, especially for screws used in decking and flooring.

Can you recommend a good one?


The tools to make them are in place, and someone will buy them.

When I was making furniture I never used any screws but Robertson’s. But then I mostly used pegs. But Robertson’s are much better than Phillip’s and slotheads are a real pain.

Well, just about everyone makes one, and for DIY home use they’ll pretty much all get the job done, so if you have a cordless system brand you’re already “married” to, I’d just go with that. I happened to have a bunch of DeWalt 18v stuff already so I bought a DeWalt DC825B ($98, battery and charger not included). Note that you will have to also buy hex shank bits for it if you don’t already have a set (not just for the DeWalt, they all take hex shank bits). It’s a great little tool and makes driving screws easy and fun. It’s easily my second favorite tool after the angle grinder.

Yeah, I noticed the screws on my parents’ deck, and it was all Robertsons. I’m pretty sure I must have some furniture with Robertsons here, too, as I few Robertson screwdrivers that I know I’ve used for some reason.

Well I’m from Canada. It might be our best invention.
P. L. sure blew that one and the world is a worse place for it.

I have a Ryobi One drill\driver and like it well enough for most household projects. My wife and daughter also use it and haven’t had any issues. I like that line because there are a number of tools that use interchangeable batteries and the price is right.

Pronounced Jizz?