Home>Discussions>TOOLS & PRODUCTS>which one do you like better robertson screws or Philips screws
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bill
which one do you like better robertson screws or Philips screws

which one do you like better robertson screws or Philips screws. I personally love Robertson and hate philips. In Canada where i live everyone uses robertson but when i travel to the united states i do not see many robertson.
so my question to my american friends is have you ever used roberston srcews and what do you think.

I am including a web page for your information
http://www.robertsonscrew.com/products.html

A. Spruce
Re: which one do you like better robertson screws or Philips screws

Personally, I prefer phillips, just because it is far more common than Robertson heads. What I'd REALLY like is for fastener manufacturers to come up with something and stick to it, as it is very frustrating to have to have 6 different screwdrivers to take something apart. The auto manufacturers seem to have started this trend and it's been picked up by nearly every other trade since.

dj1
Re: which one do you like better robertson screws or Philips screws

Some of the greatest mysteries of this universe are:
- Why the heck do we have so many types of screws - they slow us down.
- Why do we have so many sizes - they slow us down.
- Why do we have so many paint colors - they confuse us to death.
- Why do we measure in inches and feet...then why do we mix metric and standard measurements?
And so on.

Sombreuil_mongrel
Re: which one do you like better robertson screws or Philips screws

I prefer pozidrive. R are useless to me. I use slotted screws 99% of the time if I can help it.
Casey

keith3267
Re: which one do you like better robertson screws or Philips screws

Personally I like torx screws the best. I really can't find a downside to using them. I hate slotted screws and square drive screws.

bill
Re: which one do you like better robertson screws or Philips screws

I love robertson screws here is why
1) They never fall off the screw driver, once the screw is on the bit you can turn it up, down, any direction and it does not fall off, this is great because because if you put it on a bit in a drill you can hold it with one hand and the other hand can keep what every you are screwing in place .
2) the amount of tourk you can generate without slipping is incredible. I find Philips screws start to slip and strip and do not grab like robertson. I did a deck this years and used #10 x 3 1/2 screws , if i wanted to i could drive that screw right thought the 2x6 to the other side.
3) if i make a mistake and have to back out a robertson no trouble but if it is a philips some times they slip and i have to go into my bag of tricks.
4) If there is a wavy floor that needs to be fixed robertson can pick up the wood that has dropped and bring it up to a level with other parts of the floor.
5) i watched tommy(toh) this week putting in a frame for a partion and he was using Robertson screws

Fencepost
Re: which one do you like better robertson screws or Philips screws
dj1 wrote:

Some of the greatest mysteries of this universe are:
- Why the heck do we have so many types of screws - they slow us down.
- Why do we have so many sizes - they slow us down.
- Why do we have so many paint colors - they confuse us to death.
- Why do we measure in inches and feet...then why do we mix metric and standard measurements?
And so on.

The nice thing about standards is there are so many to choose from... :cool:

I'm not accusing any of the regulars on here of doing this, but one of the most common problems I see that cause people to get frustrated with screws and screwdrivers is using the WRONG size screwdriver for the screw head. The most common of this type of error is using a #1 Philips screwdriver for a #2 Philips screw. Second most common is using a #2 Philips screwdriver for a #3 Philips screw. Even some screws that look very small actually have a #2 slot.

The rule of thumb is this: always use the largest screwdriver that will solidly engage the head of the screw.

If you use the wrong size screwdriver, you will damage the screw, the screwdriver, or both.

Sombreuil_mongrel
Re: which one do you like better robertson screws or Philips screws

Deckmate screws have a cool head design, they can be driven with their own proprietary bit, or a #3 Phillips bit, or a R3 square bit. The head is a fusion of a Phillps and a R.
Casey

Mastercarpentry
Re: which one do you like better robertson screws or Philips screws
Sombreuil_mongrel wrote:

Deckmate screws have a cool head design, they can be driven with their own proprietary bit, or a #3 Phillips bit, or a R3 square bit. The head is a fusion of a Phillps and a R.
Casey

You've taught me something new Casey- thanks! I do remember when these switched from a 2R head to the new style, had to have both bits handy from box to box and keep them sorted in different pouches. The new bit did work a lot better though. I just never knew so many drivers fit it.

At the OP question, I like Robertson better but with soft screws bit wear strips them worse than Phillips- at least you can back those out if they strip going forward. Not so with R. Torx is awesome, better than either. Slotted I hate because the driver doesn't self-center, however with the exact right driver you can make these tighter than anything but Torx.

Some history: Phillips became a standard when early US automakers had assemblers over tightening screws which broke them and ruined assembly time efficiency. Slippage was as common then as now ruining finished surfaces. And with no standards set in place, most of the time you didn't have a perfectly fitted screwdriver exacerbating the problems. Phillips solved all this in one fell swoop; the bit cammed out before over-tightening, stayed centered when it slipped, and the sizes were standardized from the start. Making the screwdrivers accurately was tough. Making the screws proved to be harder but that was also overcome. During the same timeframe Robertson was vying for the same market and his drivers did the same job as Phillips save for the self-cam-out action. The screws were stronger than the slotted of the time so that was a lesser concern. He too had problems getting the screws manufactured. They sold well in Canada but the US was sold on Phillips and that trend still exists. The advantage has to go to Robertson in the end because his bits and screws have a slow taper so the bite doesn't change as the driver wears, it just goes deeper. You can easily gring a bit of the end off to renew them. Phillips has a fast taper and the bits bottom out when new so the bits wear out much faster and thus slip more than they are supposed to leaving proper tightening impossible to manage consistently. And they cannot be easily renewed for wear.

Source: the book "One Good Turn" by Witold Rybczynski. He traces the history and development of the screw back to it's origins and is a remarkable person as well, having built his own home with hand-saws just because he wanted to do it that way. For folks like us that book is a very interesting read :D

Phil

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