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the saga of the lonely straight slot screw

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  • the saga of the lonely straight slot screw

    So, now that most folks prefer Phillips head screws, or even square head aka
    Robertson screws, why do they still make and sell the obsolete straight slot screws?

    I look at all of my hardware and I do not have any straight slot screws! I have Robertson, and Phillips head and even a few torx.

    Whenever I build or repair something I replace the straight slot screws.


    Cactus Man

  • #2
    Re: the saga of the lonely straight slot screw

    Straight slot screw seem compatible with more screwdrivers. If you get the wrong screwdriver head with a philips it strips very easily. I dont have this problem with "straigh slot" Phillips and straights both have their problems. Square works best for me.

    So I guess my answer is there are still some of us out there that use the staright screws.

    Josh

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    • #3
      Re: the saga of the lonely straight slot screw

      I'm not sure how true this is but I recall reading somewhere that back in the day when decisions were being made on what type of screws to standardize on American companies choose the straight slot as their standard. As time went by, phillips head screws became the choice for many companies. Canada on the other hand went the Robertson (square) route. Chalk one up for Canada. Personally, I detest both straight slot and phillips head screws and replace them with square drive every chance I get.
      Last edited by BadgerDave; 06-23-2007, 07:09 AM.
      ================================================== ====
      ~~Don't worry about old age; it doesn't last that long.

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      • #4
        Re: the saga of the lonely straight slot screw

        Many years ago I hated phillips screws because they would strip out so easily. Then I got an electric screw driver. Now I hate the straight slot screws because the bit slips out too easily when trying to use an electric screw driver. I always assumed manufacturing companies switched over to phillips head screws for the same reason.

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        • #5
          Re: the saga of the lonely straight slot screw

          I've often wondered this too. I understand for decorative places like outlet covers and such, but otherwise it sucks for the most part. I read somewhere sometime that the screw was first used when putting knights in their suits of armor. We shouldn't be making screws the same way as the days of freaking yore!
          A good carpenter makes few mistakes, a great carpenter can fix his own.

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          • #6
            Re: the saga of the lonely straight slot screw

            The only "good" slotted screw is the one in the trash can! LOL

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            • #7
              Re: the saga of the lonely straight slot screw

              I think maybe VegasGuy has a good point about power screwdrivers and assembly lines. I would think companies and efficiency experts would see how much easier it is to drive Philips with a power driver than slotted.

              I'm rather surprised that the Square/Robertson drive hasn't become even more popular. I've switched over completely to square drive now. I had my last project ruination by Philips driver, and have decided no more Philips!! I spent some of my Christmas money on a full set of stuff from McFeely's and have never looked back. It's so much easier to drive square drive with a power driver. Not to mention that the bits hold the screw a lot tighter. When you're trying to hold something together before you put the screw in, it just makes sense to have something that holds the doggone screw so you don't have to try and grow that third hand to get everything together in the same place at the same time!!
              I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

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              • #8
                Re: the saga of the lonely straight slot screw

                Originally posted by VASandy View Post
                I
                I'm rather surprised that the Square/Robertson drive hasn't become even more popular.
                Oh but it is in the construction field, top choice for screws.
                Great Link for a Construction Owner/Tradesmen, and just say Garager sent you....

                http://www.contractorspub.com

                A good climbing rope will last you 3 to 5 years, a bad climbing rope will last you a life time !!!

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                • #9
                  Re: the saga of the lonely straight slot screw

                  FYI: You can get power screwdriver bits for about any screw head style you can ever come up with. APEX is a good USA company for them and WIHA is a good German company that makes lots of them. There are many others too.

                  Plase have a look at these sites. If you need them, rather than woodworking or hardware type dealers, get serious and checkout Industrial Supply Houses. WIHA does sell driectly from their web site, but if you do your homework you can find their products on sale at better prices. They are quality and if you get some of their products they won't let you down. The same for APEX. APEX is part of Cooper Industries. This is serious stuff for people needing it.


                  APEX and more - http://www.cooperpowertools.com/bran...ning/index.cfm

                  WIHA catalog order - http://www.wihatools.com/feedback.htm

                  WIHA main home page - http://www.wihatools.com/

                  Got a cordless or air power screwdriver? Please look here. - http://www.wihatools.com/indexes/Indx_power_bits.htm

                  Square head manual screwdrivers - http://www.wihatools.com/indexes/indxsquare.htm

                  By the way if any of you do any watch or clock repair or get into working on small electronic devices, WIHA has micro size screwdrivers and such. I own some and really like them. Not cheap, but good

                  Note: I am in no way connected with and do not work for either of the above companies. I just like quality products and here are some.
                  Last edited by Woussko; 06-23-2007, 04:54 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Re: the saga of the lonely straight slot screw

                    You can actually blame the "Phillips" mess on Henry Ford!
                    Vegasguy is right, it started because of assembly-line speed/ease...... Robertson was really first and better...but Henry wanted to manufacture the screws himself (not buy them). Robertson wouldn't allow this and the two butted heads and parted ways. Ford then settled on Phillips, which became the standard in America because Robertson was Canadian and relatively un-known.

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                    • #11
                      Re: the saga of the lonely straight slot screw

                      After "discovering" the Kreg pockethole jig (and it's accompanying square-head screws) halfway through my built-in bookshelf project, I may never go back to phillips/straight slotted screws again.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: the saga of the lonely straight slot screw

                        I know in the old days before powertools my grandfather could drive a straight slot screw with a hand brace faster than I can drive a square slot with my Makita drill. Perhaps the other reason is quality of tools, it's rather easy to produce a flat blade screwdriver, but making a square drive one that will last isn't easy. Back in the early days before they discovered some of the new alloys the Robertson style probably couldn't stand up to abuse.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: the saga of the lonely straight slot screw

                          I'm with Sandy for all the reasons she cited. I think there should be a law against anything but square head screws, especially wood screws. Why make life any tougher than it already is?


                          Blind Bill

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                          • #14
                            Re: the saga of the lonely straight slot screw

                            I'm with Sandy too. Those square heads are great. However, on my last project I used Torx head screws which for the most part were great. Every now and then I had one that the provided Torx bit wouldn't fit into. Obviously a QC issue. Anyway, I'm going to stick with the square heads as much as possible now.
                            No, the half of the missing finger was not power tool related.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: the saga of the lonely straight slot screw

                              Originally posted by LONGHAIR View Post
                              You can actually blame the "Phillips" mess on Henry Ford!
                              Vegasguy is right, it started because of assembly-line speed/ease...... Robertson was really first and better...but Henry wanted to manufacture the screws himself (not buy them). Robertson wouldn't allow this and the two butted heads and parted ways. Ford then settled on Phillips, which became the standard in America because Robertson was Canadian and relatively un-known.
                              Look at this, two posts: two Longhair quotes!

                              The real reason Mr. Robertson wanted to retain control of the manufacturing process was that these are VERY precision screws. There is actually a morse-type taper in the head of the screw, which allows the screw to "stick" to the bit. When I began my career many years ago, all Robertson screws came in a Robertson box, and they always worked perfectly.

                              In recent years, either the patent ran out, or Mr. Robertson's heirs franchised the manufacturing process, and I often run across bad screws that don't stick to the driver.

                              Pretty much everything I build is screwed together with coarse threaded screws, counter-bored and plugged. I find the phillips pattern to be adequate, as long as you throw away the bits before they become too worn.

                              Here is my latest project:
                              Attached Files
                              Make sure you cut it good and short, you can always splice a piece in.

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