Recommendations for decent screws

jlimey

Jeff
Senior User
Hi, I am hoping that someone can point me towards decent woodworking screws. I wanted to screw some steel straps on the back of a LARGE (maybe 100" long by 9' tall) display case to hold the upper glass cabinets to the bottom case, just in case I ever have grandchildren. Anyway, I bought some 1 1/4" #8 screws at HD. Despite predrilling with a tapered bit to account for the shank, waxing the screws, and trying to be careful, I stripped out a few of the phillips head screws screwing into walnut. Not impressed with the toughness of the steel, to say the least. Seems like the were way tougher in my youth.

Any suggestions welcomed!

Thanks.
 

HMH

Heath Hendrick
Senior User
Seconds on McFeeleys. They have lots of different platings, but i used the regular “unplanted” the most. The combo kits are a great value if you’re just getting started as well.
 

pop-pop

Man with many vises
User
I was going to recommend the 25-25-25 assortment (25 types, 25 screws each, for $25). However, the cost is now $50.
 

Robert LaPlaca

Robert
User
For screws I buy from either Jamestown Distributors (80%) or Bolt Depot. I build traditional furniture and if I use screws, I use slotted head screws only.

I have a jar of Slide Ez that makes driving screws into anything so much easier than wax, in fact one needs to be careful you don’t over drive.
 

Henry W

HenryW
Senior User
I use a lot of Torx screws and have never stripped one. The driver strips first.
While I too use Torx, as these are what my supplier carries for deck screws; I have had a few of them strip out. Deck 'trim' screws have a very narrow head, and so I believe a T15 (T10?) driver. I have stripped a few of these. but never (very seldom?) a regular sized T25 or T30.
 

Mark Johnson

Mark
Corporate Member
I like GRK screws. I have stripped a head by not pre-drilling in hardwood, but overall they are great. Home Depot usually carries them as well. They are a star drive.
 

tvrgeek

Scott
User
Torx head all the way. I HATE the square drive as the seem to strip as easy as Phillips. OK I guess for automated assembly with fixed force.

Check what size you are predrilling. The part you are attaching hole should just clear the threads and the "bite" area about the size of the inner core.
 

Henry W

HenryW
Senior User
Torx head all the way. I HATE the square drive as the seem to strip as easy as Phillips. ......
WHAAAATTTTT? Strip a SQ drive screw??? Really? Sure you have the right size bit? ;) :rolleyes::D
Here's my experience:

As a Canadian I grew up calling these Robertson screws, named after the inventor I believe; they have been common in Canada since at least the mid 60's and my Dad (the carpenter) ALWAYS chose these if possible - I quickly saw why. I knew these to be far superior to Phillips and espcially to slot head scerws. One huge advantage is that the Robertson screws will stay on the screw driver, no matter which way it is positioned. A proper Robertson screw and driver have a taper - and the fit is snug - allowing the grab and hold; I don't have enough experience with the recent SQ drive screws or drivers to know if this feature has carried over. I love this feature, especially in a fussy or awkward installation.

I live with other driver options because that is what is carried by local vendors, but I love Robertson (SQ).
I have never stripped one; I have found that nearly impossible - but have not driven several decks worth with these either.
 

tvrgeek

Scott
User
Yup. Many a time. Mostlly when I had to use a hand driver. Better when using power.( what they were designed for) Owned a couple mobile homes that were put together with them, and of course the Kreg screws. I use TORX. Better than slot? Oh yea. Better than Phillips, a little. Better than Allen marginally. Best are the Bristol spline, but very expensive.
 

Henry W

HenryW
Senior User
... Better when using power.( what they were designed for) ....
Not sure I agree about being designed for power drivers. Ok I just looked it up (Dr Google!) - and the site I saw noted that manufacturers (Ford was cited) picked it up quickly - but not sure that was the actual reason for the design. Doesn't really matter - it's my heritage and I like 'em! Obviously your (Scott's) experience is different; (and if everyone thought like me, the world would be a boring place).
 

Hmerkle

Hank
Corporate Member
Yup. Many a time. Mostlly when I had to use a hand driver. Better when using power.( what they were designed for) Owned a couple mobile homes that were put together with them, and of course the Kreg screws. I use TORX. Better than slot? Oh yea. Better than Phillips, a little. Better than Allen marginally. Best are the Bristol spline, but very expensive.
I think he means he stipped the screw thread...
What the OP means is called "cam-out" and that can NEVER happen with square-drive screws...

Square drive is NOT designed for automation

Torx or torx plus is better than any drive out there - but beware, likely nothing any of US buys is torx... like the square drive is a knock-off of Robertson, the star drive or other copiests out there have cheapened the original design... there are so many factors that go into a proper drive and bit for torx it is a little dizzying...

As for torx plus, it was designed for automation, the bit will slip into the drive while the driver is running and creates a "back angle" drive... I can explain it in a LOT more detail if anyone cares, but simply it is the drive angle - a hex (internal or external) drives at 60 degrees meaning you have the potential of an off-angle of 30 degrees, the Torx drive has an off-angle of 15 degrees and the torx plus is 0 or actually negative making cam-out nearly impossible! (the square drive is similar, but automation struggles finding the square hole with a square bit!
 

Hmerkle

Hank
Corporate Member
Oh, and another option for the OP is Klingspor - they have some screws they purchase from Pan American - not sure if all are, but some are made right here in Conover, NC!! (I believe they do import some product...)

They make a Kreg knock-off... (that is a Square-drive-F-type thread - a slotted thread that cuts with various head styles) the head styles we are most familiar with are the pan washer and the cheese head from our Kreg experiences...

.
 

red

Papa Red
Red
Senior User
McFeely's square drive screws. In the past 25+ years I have never had an issue with stripping the square drive and only broke maybe 5 screws in that time. Good stuff. Get yourself several boxes of different lengths and you will be good to go.

Red
 

Henry W

HenryW
Senior User
I think he means he stripped the screw thread...
What the OP means is called "cam-out" and that can NEVER happen with square-drive screws...
Well if we are talking about stripping the screw thread, that is unrelated to the screw head (except if the screw head doesn't cam out and the driver has enough power, the you could strip the wood fibers by continuing to overdrive the screw).
If we are discussing screw threads stripping we need to be talking about actual brands and screw types and specific woods and what we use to drive and ....
And I too thought cam-out was highly improbable with SQ drive.
 

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