Collecting the many screwdrivers for the many types of screw heads available is critical for any DIY project. Doing so might help you with several inconvenient trips to the hardware store.
Given the variety of screw types available, you may spend years figuring out each different one from the rest based on its applications and characteristics. In such circumstances, realizing that you can tell screws apart very simply based on their various physical characteristic makes life much easier.
This discernment is critical since using the incorrect driver could harm the screw and, as a result, the material you’re using it on. Stripping the head can turn into a nightmare of having to drill it out afterward or turn it back out with pliers.
To save you from the inconvenience of trying to find the right information on each screw and their heads, here’s a list to help get you started.
Table of Contents
Wooden screws, which manufacturers used in wine and olive oil presses, originally appeared in the Mediterranean region in the first century B.C. Europeans utilized metal screws to join two things since the 15th century. Instrument maker Jesse Ramsden invented the first screw-cutting lathe in the late 1700s, which led to the mass manufacture of screws.
In the late 1900s, various varieties of screw heads became available. Manufacturers used the square-headed Robertson screw in 1908 and the Phillips head screw in 1930. Industries launched small screws commonly found in gadgets such as phones and laptops in the twenty-first century.
Binding screw heads have two sides: a male side and a female side. This variety has a slightly domed crown and serves various vital applications by screwing one another for a firm hold. These screws can hold together a variety of book-binding projects and huge manuals, as well as leather, swatches, and a variety of other objects.
If you wish to recall what binding screws are, imagine them having two sections rather than one, as most screws do. These parts join together through a product to ensure the object stays together for a very long period.
Bugle heads, commonly seen on drywall and plasterboard screws, are designed similarly to flat screw heads. The difference is that a curved shape reduces surface damage rather than an angle placed beneath the surface of the head. Bugle screws are self-drilling. Thus no pilot holes are required before using them.
Their unusual form also allows them to disperse stress across a significantly larger surface area than flat screws. Bugle screws fix relatively soft materials, such as softer woods utilized in outdoor decks and modern framing. It would be best if you never used them in extremely hard or strong woods.
Button screw heads are available in various diameters and lengths. However, they all have a small, round, button-shaped head, hence the name. They can be flat or slightly rounded, but they always have little button-like heads.
Domed screw heads are substantially more frequent than many other types of screw heads. These screw heads are appropriate if you don’t need to conceal the head of the screw, as you would with a flat head.
An ottoman with ornamental screws that protrude through the cloth is one example. The dome form is appealing as a surface design in this situation. The dome’s flat inner half allows the screw to stop precisely where it has to stop on the item’s surface.
This screw, pronounced “Zeus,” is similar to high-torque screws and is frequently employed in various applications in the aviation sector. They can be used to secure access doors that must be opened and closed often, such as inspection panels. However, they are typically too thin or narrow to accommodate other latch types.
They are quarter-turn fasteners for securing skin panels on high-performance vehicles and aircraft. Dzus screws, also known as quick-action panel fasteners, are typically double-coated with a jet-black lacquer. As a result, it increases longevity and gives them a more natural appearance.
Flange screws, also known as frame screws, have heads that can range from hexed to round and protrude from a circular flange placed just beneath the head itself. The flange component makes it easier for the screw to stay in place, and in some cases, it can even replace a washer. Vehicle chassis employ flange screws, most notably in trucks and anywhere else where a head bolt of some kind is required.
Flat screw heads, as the name implies, sit flush with the surface, leaving no exposed screw head. You must countersink these screws, and one of the main advantages of utilizing them is that you don’t have to worry about the screw protruding beyond the surface and catching on to other items.
This step is critical when working on projects like customizing a sofa or building your bookcase in a location where other people will walk past it. You can also make the screw head invisible by using a screw cover.
Flat screw heads are also available in various degrees, which refers to the head angle, or the angle between the top of the screw head and the surface where the head meets the threaded portion. A usual angle is an 82-degree flathead, but 90-degree and 100-degree angles are also available.
In other words, the higher the degree, the shorter and broader the countersink hole should be. The only difference between flat undercut 82-degree screw heads and regular 82-degree flat screw heads is that they are shorter than other screws.
8. Hex External
These screws have a hexagonal head that protrudes from the surface. Some feature built-in flanges, while others have a hexagon-shaped complete head. A socket or a wrench is required to remove or install these sorts of screws. Because the entire head spins during the operation rather than just the internal piece of the head, you may achieve much leverage with this style of the screw head.
9. Hex Internal
A hex internal screw head requires an Allen wrench to remove or install. They are very common for furniture that requires some assembly, as they are less likely to be damaged by an Allen wrench when you’re installing the screws.
If you were to use a slotted or Phillips screw, there might be some damage to the furniture, which no one wants. Hex internal screw heads have an indented shape on the top, so they are called internal screw heads.
This type of screw has excellent force distribution due to its 12 small teeth, which are much finer than those in the TORX. It is similar to the TORX screw in that there is a large area for the driving force, allowing high torque transfers.
The multi-tooth screw is commonly used in the automotive industry, for example, when high torques are required to transfer high-tensile force. It’s also an excellent screw to use to keep unauthorized people from tampering with the screws themselves.
The contours of the multi-tooth screw are very fine, as is the associated engagement with the screw head. As a result, if there is dirt in the screw head, it can affect its overall function and cause it to be less than adequate.
When there is dirt in the screw head, complete insertion of the bit becomes difficult, which is why the bit can potentially act as a cutter and destroy both the tool and the screw.
This name refers to the shape of the screw head that comes in Phillips or several other designs. They are available in a variety of lengths and materials, but their head shape is always oval.
A pan screw is a machine screw with sides that are rounded and flat tops. They are similar to overhead machine screws, but the difference is that with oval screws, they have a round top. Another difference is that oval screws have tapered bases.
Phillips screw heads are among the most popular screw heads on the market today. The screw itself is a cross shape that self-centers to avoid drilling at odd angles, which can ruin your project.
Phillips screws can handle drills due to their shape, as their self-centering design allows them to stay in place as you apply the force of the drill.
Of course, you still need to be cautious when using a Phillips screw because using too much force can quickly strip the head. Thus you will be required to start over with that particular part of your project.
These screw heads have a similar appearance to a Phillips screw head, but they have a few more grooves in them, creating a star shape. Although this does not always work, you can sometimes remove Pozidrive screw heads with a Phillips screwdriver.
When using force, Pozidrive screw heads provide more stability than Phillips screw heads. However, you will most likely need a specific screwdriver orbit to match the grooves on a Pozidrive screw head.
Because the Pozidrive screw looks so similar to the Phillips screw, you can quickly tell the difference from the side. If you’re looking at a Pozidrive screw, you’ll notice ribs between each of the four arms and the letters “pz”, etched onto it.
Also known as bolts, screws are fasteners installed into materials with tools such as hammers or screwdrivers. Screws come in a variety of sizes and shapes, each with its own set of characteristics. They can be round, fat, thin, short, long, or any other shape.
1. Decking Screws
Decking screws are either of stainless steel or carbon steel. They function to hold wooden or composite boards to metal or wood. These screws are available in various widths and lengths and are ideal for fastening decking boards to frames.
- Used for fastening wood or composite deck boards to frames, thus making them ideal for the shipbuilding industry
- Widely used in exterior fence-building applications
- Can fasten wooden chairs and simple decking structures
- No pre-drilled holes are required
2. Pan-head screws
Pan-head screws are commonly used in metal applications and have flat heads with rounded sides. These machine screws are similar to rounded oval head screws, except that oval head screws are also rounded on top, whereas pan-head screws have flat heads. Pan-head screws are also available with slotted heads and a single cut, making them compatible with any screwdriver’s screw drive.
3. Hex cap screws
Hex cap screws are large bolts with a hexagonal head – thus the name! They are used to join two pieces of wood or metal. Hex screws have tiny steel threads that make them ideal for interior home improvement projects and stainless steel exterior tasks. These screws have a flat washer under the screw head and are ideal for precise applications.
4. Carriage bolts
Carriage bolts fasten metal to wood in woodworking projects. The domed head of these bolts prevents them from loosening. Carriage bolts’ large head shape also prevents them from being pulled through a wooden structure.
In addition to being intended for use in woodworking projects, Carriage bolts are also suitable for metal applications due to their machine screw thread. However, because carriage bolts are incompatible with drill adaptors, installing them in a metal can be difficult, if not impossible.
5. Lag bolts
Lag screws have a hexagonal head intended for high-impact applications. Decks and wood-retaining sidewalls are two of the most common places to find these screws.
Lag bolts are robust, long-lasting, and durable. The core is of high-carbon steel, with an outer layer of galvanized zinc. They are protected from rust and corrosion by the galvanized zinc material. Furthermore, lag screws are impervious to moisture and air, making them rust-resistant.
6. Hammer drive screws
Self-tapping screws and hammer drive screws are both types of screws. They are unslotted round heads that attach nameplates or signs as well as seal drain holes. Hammer drive screws are also excellent for rustproofing tubular structures.
These screws work similarly to nails. They are driven into holes with a hammer or mallet to facilitate quick assembly. It’s important to remember that the screw must be of a stronger material than the mating part. To complete the task successfully, you’ll also need a small pre-drilled hole.
Hammer drive screws are extremely durable and robust due to their unique design. Aside from attaching nameplates, they are also ideal for wall signs and other similar applications.
7. Square head bolts
Squarehead bolts resemble hexagonal-shaped cap screws, but instead of a 6-sided hex head, they have a 4-sided square head. This square head allows for a more secure wrench grip when fastening.
Squarehead bolts, also known as screws, are designed to be driven with a grip wrench. These bolts are for aesthetic purposes, such as adding character to a new structure or matching the bolts in older buildings.
8. Socket-head cap screws
Socket-head cap bolts function in applications where space is limited. These screws’ inner wrenching and cylindrical features make them suitable for applications where you cannot use external wrench fasteners. Socket-head cap screws appear machine tools, mining equipment, and engineering applications in the automotive industry.
9. Oval head screws
Oval head screws are available in undercut or trim heads with shorter screw lengths to allow more extended thread grip. This is the case with the oval undercut head screws that come with a more shallow countersink.
Oval countersunk screw heads have an aesthetically pleasing rounded finish top and are commonly used to cover switches. They are also an excellent choice for making the finished product more appealing. These stainless steel screws are so strong and long-lasting that they don’t require any maintenance.
10. Wood Screws
Wood screws have a threaded shaft and are used to join two pieces of wood. These screws have varying thread times and come in a variety of different heads. However, the most common wood screw heads are flat and round heads.
11. Sheet metal screws
Sheet metal screws fasten or connect two pieces of sheet metal to tubing or other metals. The heads come in various shapes and sizes, including flat, hex, and round. These varieties are pure steel with a weather-resistant stainless steel or aluminum coating.
12. Thread-rolling screws
Rather than cutting threads into the material, thread-rolling screws create threads by applying pressure to the material’s walls. These screws function on softer materials like wood, plastic, or nylon. Their double lead thread design reduces torque while increasing pullout power. This design keeps the fabric from cracking or becoming damaged. Some thread-rolling screws also have widely spaced threads, making them easier to insert into pre-drilled holes.
13. Socket-head screws
Socket-head screws are ideal for when you need a fastener to sit below the surface of your material. These screws are extremely strong and dependable wherever a joint is required. They are also highly corrosion-resistant. Aside from their sturdiness, they also ensure an appealing and high-quality finish.
14. Set screws
Set screws secure one object to or against another. A set screw, for example, can be used to secure gear or pulley to a shaft. These screws are fully threaded with no exposed head and come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
15. Weld screws
Weld screws are welded to an aluminum or metal surface to form a shaft for fitted or fastened components. You can accomplish this with a washer or nut. Weld screws have tabs that extend from the head to allow welding without the use of a hole. After that, the welding stud combines with a metal piece. This stud is at the bottom of the metal.
These screws find uses in the automotive, industrial, marine, construction, cookware, and aerospace industries.
16. Raised or slotted cheese screws
Slotted cheese head screws have a circular, raised head and are stainless steel. The height of the cheese head is nearly equal to half of its diameter. Because they are extremely rust and corrosion-resistant and function in underwater projects, these screws are extremely popular in industrial, electrical, telecommunication, and automotive lighting applications.
17. Fillister head screws
Fillister head screws are slotted head machine fasteners with a large oversized head that you can use to connect metal to metal. These fasteners, also known as cheese head screws, are similar to pan head machine screws but have higher side heights.
18. Drywall screws
Drywall screws are standard fasteners used to secure partial or complete drywall sheets to joists in the wall or ceiling. There are two kinds of drywall screws on the market. They are as follows:
Coarse: This drywall screw functions in wood studs. The threads are widely spaced and effective at gripping into the wood. The drywall screw also has a phosphate finish and an extra sharp tip.
Fine: this drywall screw is self-threading, making it ideal for metal studs. The fine drywall screws have double threads to make self-starting easier and more practical.
19. Concrete or masonry screws
Concrete screws come in a variety of head styles, ranging from flat and pan to slotted hex. Pan and flat head screw styles can flush the material’s surface to make it look aesthetically pleasing. In contrast, hex-head slotted screws are easier to drive in. Because of their high-low threading design, these screws provide long-lasting and solid results when attached to concrete or stone.
20. Machine screws
Machine screws secure machine parts in various industries, including electronics, engineering, and manufacturing equipment. These screws fasten to a tapped hole on a surface using a nut. Their blunt ends connect metal parts. Machine screws are available in various materials, including nylon, brass, stainless steel, and carbon steel.
21. Modified truss screws
Modified truss screws are the self-tapping varieties that are also known as round washer heads or wafer heads. They find uses in numerous industries, from HVAC to sheet metal and woodworking. These screws can be used to attach the air conditioner’s ductwork parts or for insulation installation on wood and metal surfaces. You can also use them for simple metal or aluminum framing tasks.
22. Self-tapping screws
Self-tapping fasteners, as the name implies, tap their thread. To use them, drill a hole slightly smaller than the diameter of the screw. After drilling a pilot hole in a soft material such as wood, insert the self-tapping screw. The screw threads will dig into the wood and keep it secure.
You can use self-tapping screws in materials other than wood, such as metal and brick. Self-tapping screws with pointed tips on their thread may be preferable to cut into the material for harder surfaces. However, not all self-tapping screws have pointed tips; some are flat or blunt, so make sure you get the right one for your application.