Organize & Clean

Screwing Around: Identifying Different Screw Heads

published Jan 5, 2009
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

This past weekend we spent some time at our local hardware store in search for some special screws and drill bits for installing a security motion detecting light at the base of our apartment stairway into a concrete wall (strangely, a very popular spot for midnight trysts according to the regular appearance of various prophylactic wrappers). We had never drilled into concrete, so we asked the folks at the hardware store for a primer on drilling attachments and different screws, which we found surprisingly interesting with the variety of different screw heads we had seen at one time or another, but had never learned their names (sort of like some of our relatives). Now you can have a cheat sheet of your own, thanks to Instructables contributor, arcticpenguin, who classified/identified a multitude of cross-head, cross-point, cruciform, and square drive screws and drivers…

These screw types have a “+” shaped recess on the head and are driven by a cross-head screwdriver, designed originally for use with mass-production mechanical screwing machines. There are a few other recessed drive screws presented that you also want to be aware.

So, why all the confusion? Why all the damaged screw heads and drivers? Why is this screw and driver thing so awkward? Read on and be amazed while I unravel the mystery of screw drives and present some you may have never seen.

Read all about it at When a Phillips is not a Phillips.

FYI: though several online sites recommend using a special hammer drill, we discovered using a concrete/masonry drill bit with our regular cordless drill worked fine. Next time we’d consider using a Tapcon concrete fasteners, which was recommended by a friend after installation.