Types of screws and the top tips for using them

July 29, 2015

When you're dealing with screws, it's essential to choose the right screwdriver. Matching the right kind of pair together will help make removing and inserting screws a breeze.

Also, whatever your project, when you're picking up new screws be sure to grab a screw pack that includes a bit.

Types of screws and the top tips for using them

Slot head screws

  • These screws have a limited range and are difficult to use with a power driver.

Phillips head screws

  • Phillips head screws have a simple cross and are used widely.
  • Coarse-threaded Phillips head screws work well with particleboard and other wood joinery.

Pozidriv and Supadriv screws

  • These screws have extra indentations between the main slots that make up a star-shaped recess.
  • This recess securely grips the screwdriver tip.
  • Pozidriv and Supadriv screwdrivers are interchangeable.

Square head screws

  • Square head screws are mostly found in stainless-steel decking work.
  • These kinds of screws are also common as coated screws for treated pine and other soft wood.
  • Square head screws are ideal for outdoor projects.

Top tips for dealing with screws

  1. If you're struggling with an overtightened screw, try dabbing a few drops of vinegar around the screw head. Let the vinegar sit there for a minute or two so that it can penetrate down the screw threads. This will make removing the screw much easier.
  2. While drilling, if the bit is skipping in the screw head and your applying reasonable force, then it's time to replace the bit. Be sure to have spare bits on hand so you can replace them at the first sign of wear.
  3. Stroke a bar magnet along the shaft of your screwdriver a few times in one direction to magnetize it. With a magnetized screwdriver you won't lose those little screws you're trying to get into tricky, hard-to-reach spots. To demagnetize your screwdriver, just run the magnet along its shaft in both directions.
  4. If you want to lubricate a screw to make your job easier, use beeswax. Using soap, oil or grease could stain the wood, so be sure to avoid them.
  5. To use the various screw types and sizes, you'll need a set of varied screwdrivers to be versatile. To save space and to avoid buying a full set of screwdrivers, pick up a set with one driver and an array of interchangeable heads instead.
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