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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    New Haven, CT
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    977

    Default star vs square drive

    Are star drive screws suppose to be an upgrade over square drive the way square is an upgrade over phillips?

    I've been using some star drive and I don't see the advantage over square drive other than that they are prettier once they're in.
    Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. -- Benjamin Franklin

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Washington, DC
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    4,685

    Default Re: star vs square drive

    Quote Originally Posted by Manny Davis View Post
    Are star drive screws suppose to be an upgrade over square drive the way square is an upgrade over phillips?

    I've been using some star drive and I don't see the advantage over square drive other than that they are prettier once they're in.
    I don't know if they're "supposed" to be an upgrade, but from my experience using both, I have less problems with the stars stripping than the square. You let the square driver slip out of the screw just a few times, and the driver loses its tight fit, which in turn makes it more prone to slipping. The driver fit in the star screws is better, imo, in that it rarely slips out of the screw. It's more forgiving.

    But, the star tips are more prone to breaking when using an impact driver. Overall, I prefer the star, but when using them, I'll use the drill/driver more than the impact.

    Tom
    1) Unconsciously Incompetent: He knows not, and knows not that he knows not. He is a fool. Shun him.
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    3) Unconsciously Competent: He knows, and knows not that he knows. He is asleep. Wake him.
    4) Consciously Competent: He knows, and knows that he knows. He is wise. Follow him.

    May we all endeavor to progress from not knowing that we know not, to knowing that we know.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    east tennessee
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    230

    Default Re: star vs square drive

    i'm down with the square.combo's too.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Brooklyn, Fire Island
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    5,413

    Default Re: star vs square drive

    What I don't understand, is why squares are so much less common here than in Canada or Europe.

    I didn't see a phillips all summer, in Italy. And last time I was in Quebec, the only phillips I saw were the DW screws. But walk into a random hardware store, or one of the Boxes, here? Mostly phillips, even some slotheads... no squares, no stars.

    on-topic - I find the squares and stars way less likely to strip out than a phillips.
    Last edited by frenchie; 12-05-2008 at 08:09 PM.
    Francois


    Truth is just one man's explanation for what he thinks he understands. (Walter Mosley)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, Washington
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    13,029

    Default Re: star vs square drive

    I use lots of both, and think they're just about even. For exposed screws I'd much rather see a square.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Bergen County, NJ
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    4,410

    Default Re: star vs square drive

    Call me "Mr. High Torque Screw Guy" being a deck guy.

    I use T20 screws from 1/2" to 3" daily (probably a couple thousand this summer alone) and have not had one strip or break.

    We run gazillions of #1 square drive screws in our HFS and they are much more prone to stripping under the same conditions.

    So...my vote is that square drives be outlawed altogether.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    southeastern South Dakota
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    1,742

    Default Re: star vs square drive

    Square drives stay on the bit better when you load them. Torx screws fall off the driver no matter what you do. You have to keep the driver in line with the screw with a square drive, or the bit will slip out. A torx you can offset the driver about 5 degrees from the screw and still drive the screw in without slipping, which is handy if you're screwing something together that would normally require the use of a right angle drill. #1 square drives are useless POS's and should be outlawed, like Greg said.
    Mark


    If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say, "If I had a dollar for every time....", I'd be a rich man.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Essex, MA
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    789

    Default Re: star vs square drive

    I perfer torx drive...but really only get to use them on 2 occasions. Cabinet screws and trim heads. .
    http://www.putfile.com/jeffaah/images/107329

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    leavenworth kansas
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    520

    Default Re: star vs square drive

    i really like the star or torx head. seems to not cam out as bad as square and definitely way better than phillips.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Des Moines, Iowa
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    3,834

    Default Re: star vs square drive

    Anything is better than phillips when you want to get a grip.

    The Phillips screw was meant to let loose and "Cam Out " by design.

    Just a little history for those interested.

    Cross-head, or Phillips screw has an X-shaped slot and is driven by a cross-head screwdriver, designed originally in the 1930s for use with mechanical screwing machines, intentionally made so the driver will ride out, or cam out, under strain to prevent over-tightening.
    Mark Parlee
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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    5,890

    Default Re: star vs square drive

    Quote Originally Posted by frenchie View Post
    What I don't understand, is why squares are so much less common here than in Canada or Europe.
    The screws with a square type head used in Canada are Robertson screws not the square drive used in America. In addition to having a square head they are tapered so they fit tighter on the driver than square drive. In is infuriating that Home depot and the tool companies like Bosch and Dewalt bring square drive bits into Canada that NEARLY fit Robertson screws. For any Canadian readers that want bits that work buy the bits that are color coded red, green, black sold at the sales desk of the lumber yard NOT the cheap ones in the bulk pack.

    The reason for the phillips and square drive being the screws used in America.

    Patents. http://www.mysteriesofcanada.com/Ont...son_screws.htm
    Last edited by dave_k; 12-06-2008 at 03:18 AM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Upstream
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    10,019

    Default Re: star vs square drive

    I don't know...I'm kinda partial to slotted screws. Bought pallets of them back in the 70's, and I'll probably never need to buy them ever again. ;)

    Remember when Phillips screws manufactured by companies such as Grabber were actually sufficient enough because they were tooled properly and weren't made of zinc and paper mache? Brass deck screw? Please! Nowadays, they're so flimsy the manufacturers needed to bump them from a #6 to a number #8.

    Found a chart of all the popular screw-drive types, down the right side of the page in the link. Never seen nor heard of a few of them:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pozidriv
    Richie Poor

    See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil, value engineer your unit prices.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Louisville, KY
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    3,771

    Default Re: star vs square drive

    The stars all the way or "torques" screws is what we call them.

    I built all my shelving in my shop out of them a few months ago. When I moved shop I took all my shelves apart. Saved the screws and put another project together with them. They where still good as new.

    I just bought a couple hundred dollars worth of mcfeely's square drive. Mainly because I needed an assortment of screws. I hate the square drive. I thought I'd be fine with it but I've already stripped a couple out.
    Last edited by J.Buesking; 12-06-2008 at 07:53 AM.
    Louisville Exteriors
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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Southern Maine
    Posts
    434

    Default Re: star vs square drive

    I think torx head screws are much better when using stainless. Much less likely to strip out. One other advantage I've found is that you can sink a torx screw just a little farther than a square drive. Sometimes I need just one more turn to suck two pieces of trim tight togehter and a square drive can't quite get there. The torx bits have a longer driver section.

    --Ben

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    S.W. Florida
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    2,411

    Default Re: star vs square drive

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Di View Post
    I use T20 screws from 1/2" to 3" daily (probably a couple thousand this summer alone) and have not had one strip or break.

    We run gazillions of #1 square drive screws in our HFS and they are much more prone to stripping under the same conditions.

    So...my vote is that square drives be outlawed altogether.
    this is the exact same experience i have had especially with SS, just not with the same quantity.

    i still use square/combo drives for cabinet assy. because that is what is available and they work. i have not had problems with the heads stripping out probably because there is not enough torque generated from using the screws in plywood.
    S.M.Titmas.

    "Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you. You just gotta find the ones worth suffering for."
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