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Old 11-24-2017, 03:35 PM   #21
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Advantages of Robertson over Phillips

- Much more rotational force can be applied without slipping/stripping
- Vertical pushing force is not required
- The screw will stay on the end of the screwdriver allowing one-handed work in tight spaces (very useful on a boat)
- Less problems with paint or dirt because there is more depth to the driver
- Only 5 sizes of Robertson cover the full range (3 common) vs 7 sizes for Phillips (5 common)
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Old 11-24-2017, 03:39 PM   #22
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The Robertson or "square head" are far and away my preferred head. Hatteras used them throughout the boat. Not only near impossible to strip but snap right on to the bit for easy one hand driving.
Never had an issue getting them. They are very popular in construction of high quality docks decks and boardwalks.
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Old 11-24-2017, 03:52 PM   #23
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Robertson.
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Old 11-24-2017, 04:53 PM   #24
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I prefer the square drive but replace them with Phillips. If the square drive were available in all the sizes, plus pan, oval and flat head, and in 316 SS I would use them. Unfortunately they're not, and I find it annoying to keep going back and forth. Will only use 316 SS on the exterior of the boat, and square drive 316 SS isn't available except for the most common sizes.

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Old 11-24-2017, 04:59 PM   #25
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Robertson! Philips screws are the spawn of Satan! Robertson screws in high grade stainless are readily available in Canada.
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Old 11-24-2017, 05:33 PM   #26
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I love the square drive but my local chandlery has quit carrying them because they strip out. I think the issue is that stainless is just too soft for a lot of pressure in a small screw no matter what the drive pattern is. I try to use the largest square drive head I can fit so it has less chance of stripping.

I often damage phillips head stainless hardware on the first install, after the hole is made they are a lot easier to drive (the second time) and damage potential goes down. I especially love them for wire hangers driven where you can't see what you are doing, they stay on the driver so much better...
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Old 11-24-2017, 05:56 PM   #27
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Actually a Square Drive and a real Robertson are not the same.
The Robbie driver has a wee taper for an interference fit with the screw socket. If the screw was well made it will have that same wee taper. Means you can get the screw to stick on the driver similar in manner to a Morse taper but not as determined.
A Square drive screw will not do that. It will fall off.
YOu may not have a choice but I roundly/squarely curse the Square drive. The difference really does make a difference.
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Old 11-24-2017, 05:57 PM   #28
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In new work anyway no matter what type scewhead, it pays to dril a tapered pilot hole. Rockler Insty-Drive 3-Piece Tapered Countersink Set with Bonus Driver Bits | Rockler Woodworking and Hardware
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Old 11-24-2017, 06:11 PM   #29
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Actually a Square Drive and a real Robertson are not the same.
The Robbie driver has a wee taper for an interference fit with the screw socket. If the screw was well made it will have that same wee taper. Means you can get the screw to stick on the driver similar in manner to a Morse taper but not as determined.
A Square drive screw will not do that. It will fall off.
YOu may not have a choice but I roundly/squarely curse the Square drive. The difference really does make a difference.
I can believe that. You also need the right driver. When the hardware monger showed me the driver he uses- I was amazed. I used to buy the cheapies by the dozen, now I use the more expensive ones. The screw/driver fit was superior and there was far less zinging. Same screws. And indeed you can feed the screw on to the driver and have it stick.
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Old 11-24-2017, 06:33 PM   #30
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anything but slotted!
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Old 11-24-2017, 06:47 PM   #31
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Good old Robertson. Invented in Ontario. Until the USA sees the light it will never be ubiquitous unfortunately.

I really hate the Phillips in comparison, generally replace them with Robertson if I can.


The US will likely move to square drives as standard around the same time we convert to metric....

Being close to Canada, Robertson is very popular here, but still not easy to find.
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Old 11-24-2017, 06:49 PM   #32
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I'm a huge Torx drive fan, too. Just about all I use these days.
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Old 11-24-2017, 06:55 PM   #33
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mcfeelys.com carries a huge variety of fasteners in several materials and head types. We used SS square drive for structural fastenings on a cypress home 20 years ago and still like new.
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Old 11-24-2017, 07:04 PM   #34
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I like the square drives. I find stainless phillips OK, because stainless seems harder to me than other screws as I am less likely to strip them. I have found that cheaper drive tips wear much quicker, and once they are worn, they will strip your screw heads. The phillips tips are cheap enough that replacing them often isn't expensive and really makes a difference.

A lot depends on the application. If I know I'll be removing and replacing a screw frequently, I'll take the time to get a square drive....if its a one time install, I'll go phillips.
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Old 11-24-2017, 07:20 PM   #35
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One issue if you are disassembling items that have been painted/varnished over, it's far easier to pick the paint out a square drive. You don't have to get to the bottom to get a good connection. A phillips needs to be cleaned down to the center and star drives are a pia. There seems to be no exact standard between manufacturers.
I have a wood boat and at times use a lot of screws. I have no problem finding square heads of all types online. I use 316, but inside if it stays dry, ordinary hardware stainless (I think 304) works fine. Submerged I use silicon bronze. Even 316 will corrode in the absence of air.
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Old 11-24-2017, 07:50 PM   #36
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Torx is favorite for sure.
Square for SS when I can’t get Torx or starr.
Hex male or female. I do like the hex head w flange as if it had a washer. Widely available in galvanized.
To soften the hate of slots they are much more usable w a good hardened driver that will hold it’s edge. Actually if you have a new screwslot and really good driver one can put a lot of torque to the screw w good fwd driver pressure. One can easily dig paint out of the slot too and that can’t be said for socket slots square, starr or hex.
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Old 11-24-2017, 09:11 PM   #37
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Quote:
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Australia is finally starting to stock Robertson (square drive) screws. We can even buy them stainless Robertsons at Bunnings now for a good price.

I also like European Pozi drive screws. Both the screw and the screwdriver are often mistaken for a phillips but are much better. They are used on Ikea furniture and cabinet hinges. Invest in a Pozidrive screwdriver if you don't have one because I'm sure everyone uses the screws on occasion.

Pozidrive ,huh? Good to know The picture looks like those darn screws that raymarine sends with their equipment & I usually replace them because I don't have a bit to fit them & a phillips ends up wiping out the screw head before its tight.
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Old 11-24-2017, 09:27 PM   #38
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Pozidrive ,huh? Good to know The picture looks like those darn screws that raymarine sends with their equipment & I usually replace them because I don't have a bit to fit them & a phillips ends up wiping out the screw head before its tight.


You can tell if itís a Pozi-drove screw because it will have 4 diagonal hash marks on the head.
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Old 11-24-2017, 09:45 PM   #39
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Posi Drive. It appears in a lot of electrical equipment and you need both the Pozi drive and the Philips and need to know to look to see which it is or the wrong screwdriver in the wrong screw will result in you being in trouble. They ALMOST fit but just enough to ruin each other. Other wise the Pozi is a better drive, a more positive, solid engagement.


For the Robertson I agree, get good quality drives, whether hand screwdrivers or power bits. The good ones will outlast many times the difference in cost and also the cheapies will ruin the screw heads.

Where I used to work, electrical and millwrighting, we used lots of Robertson, Allen, some Torx. SLots went into the round bin, Philips we left behind unless forced to use them.

I will say though for ALL screw head types, get good tools. Sloppy fitting or poorly made, soft steel screwdrivers or driver bits are a recipe for trouble. Does not matter what the type is; slot, Robertson, Philips, Pozi Drive, Torx, etc. Poor tools will Fail to undo the part or ruin the screw head drive and then you have trouble.
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Old 11-24-2017, 11:00 PM   #40
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Most Excellent discussion every one!

THE one thing I've found (of which I am most guilty) is NOT drilling a large enough pilot hole. For example, when drilling a pilot hole into a fiberglass stringer, you must drill the hole deep enough to cover the depth of the screw AND the diameter must be larger than the inter diameter of the screw body. Most of all screws I have ever striped were due to a pilot hole not deep or large enough. Fiberglass is harder than we think it is and the old screw gun is NOT going to force that screw into solid fiberglass, hence the "Oh S** when you know you tried to put a screw into too small a hole and at that point any screw head type might be subject to damage. That's my story anyway.

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