Step 49: Phillips® Recess

br]]This cross drive screw story starts when Henry Phillips purchased a crude form of a cruciform-recessed screw head concept from an Oregon inventor named J.P. Thompson.

Henry F. Phillips (1890 to 1958), a U.S. businessman from Portland, Oregon, has the honor of having the Phillips head screw and screwdriver named after him.

Phillips developed Thompsons" invention screw into a workable form. Phillips had come up with a recessed cross screw designed for efficiency on an auto assembly line. The idea was that the screwdriver would turn the screw with increasing force until the tip of the driver popped out, called camout. When tightening a Phillips screw with a Phillips screwdriver you will notice that when the torque gets to be too strong, the screwdriver winds itself out of the screw so the screw head would not be ruined or brake off.

Phillips also founded the Phillips Screw Company in Oregon in 1933, but never actually made screws. He had called on every established screw manufacturer in the US and was told simply that the screw could not be made. Screw makers of the 1930s dismissed the Phillips concept since it calls for a relatively complex recessed socket shape in the head of the screw; as distinct from the simple milled slot of a slotted type screw.

Phillips then called on the American Screw Company, a newcomer to the industry whose new president, Eugene Clark, personally became interested in the new product, despite the opposition of his engineers, who like others in the industry had insisted it could not be made. According to one printed report, the president of American Screw Company said: "I finally told my head men that I would put on pension all who insisted it could not be done. After that an efficient method was evolved to manufacture the fasteners and now we have licensed all other major companies to use it."

Use of the Phillips screws spread through the automobile industry at a rapid rate. By 1939 it was used by all but two automobile manufacturers. By 1940, Phillips" screws were used by the entire automotive industry, although one major manufacturer still would not use them on its passenger cars. Gradually the Phillips screw and screwdriver worked their way into other industrial applications; then consumer products, and eventually showed up in hardware stores.

The American Screw Company spent approximately $500,000 in the 1930s to produce the Phillips screw and obtained patents on the manufacturing methods. It was the sole licenser of the process. By 1940 10 American and 10 foreign companies were licensed to manufacture the screw. Although Henry Phillips received patents for the drive design in 1936 (US Patent #2,046,343, US Patents #2,046,837 to 2,046,840), it was so widely copied that by 1949 Phillips lost his patent ("exclusive" protection would only have lasted until 1956 anyway.)

Phillips' major contribution was in driving the crosshead concept forward to the point where it was adopted by screwmakers and many automobile companies. Henry Phillips died in 1958 at the age of sixty-eight.

The Phillips system was invented for use in assembling aluminum aircraft, with the object of preventing assemblers from tightening screws so tightly that the aluminum threads strip. The driver will cam out before that happens. The Phillips screwdriver has four simple slots cut out of it, each slot is the result of two machining processes at right angles. The result of this process is that the arms of the cross are tapered and has slightly rounded corners in the tool recess. Phillips is designed so that when excess torque is applied it will cam-out rather than ream the recess or destroy the bit. The driver has a 57° point with a blunt tip, tapered wings. Identified in ANSI standards as type I.

In all cross drive systems the driver will self-align with the fastener. The tapered design that allows camout can become a problem as the tooling that forges the recess in the head of the screws begins to show signs of wear. The recess becomes more and more shallow, which means the driver will bottom-out too soon and will cause the driver to cam-out early. Another problem is even though the ease to insert, Phillips screws can be tough to get back out. The main disadvantage is the screwdriver pops out too readily, stripping the screw, gouging the work, and in general transferring all the problems that were formerly with the Slot design. Consumers are likely to think that any screw head with a cross drive recess is a Phillips which can lead to other problems.[[br]]

<p>I think I've seen these on Ikea furniture. If I'm right about that, use of these screws may be part of the reason folks have a hard time putting their furniture together.</p>
<p>Do you mean that S - shaped metal rod with hexagonal cross-section? These are supplied with IKEA kits, and are standard size metric &quot;Allen&quot; keys. Any one who has assembled these kits usually end up with a collection. If it gets lost, the IKEA store will happy to give you a spare.</p>
<p>If you're just getting started I would recommend going to your local craft store and talking to an associate about what's best for a beginner. Or, the best price for a started set is going to be on amazon. Best of luck!!!</p>
<p>Where can I buy the bit for Penta-Plus ?</p>
<p>this came with my 100 piece harbor freight security bit set, I've seen it in other sets as well. does anyone know what kind of screw this goes to?</p>
<p>These are for driving screw-eyes. They work _fairly_ well. If the eye of the screw eye fits the slot tightly you can start and drive them. If it is loose, you have to get the screw part well-started before finishing the drive with these bits.</p>
<p>These are great screws with no drive, they look like a rivet or nail head once they are installed. The slightly out of round screw is a good tamper proof deterrent on its own. The special tool makes it even better. </p>
<p>This looks very similar to AVSAFE screws: <a href="http://www.avsafescrews.com" rel="nofollow"> www.avsafescrews.com</a></p>
Something similar to this can be found on old (early 80's)&nbsp;Nintendo Game &amp;&nbsp;Watches.<br /> The long slot sides are parallel, and I&nbsp;guess the hemispherical dip in the middle is to help the screwdriver bit centre in the screw. I&nbsp;presumed they had automated machines installing the screws. I&nbsp;can take macro photos if needed.<br />
<p>Similar to which? This doesn't sound like the Nintendo gamebits I encountered. I would very much like to see those photos.</p>
Would certainly be interesting to see. If you wouldn't mind.
<p>I got these at the Home Depot for I think $3 the Milwaukee ECX 1&amp;2 supposedly their only sizes, package says for electrical fasteners, these have their impact driver compatible shank and looks like the &quot;step110: combo slot - square&quot;</p>
<p>photos by me feel free to add them to the list</p>
I have a tool box of many shaped bits I have collected. Some I have modified and hardened. I have various types of screw extractors and pliers. It also contains a cordless Dremmel with the cutting disks as mentioned by some. I also have Super Glue and fast setting JB Weld in it. The latter gets so hard it can be machined. I have mixed some up, filled the offending screw head and stuck a bit in it and let it harden and then backed the screw out or filled the head and then cut a slot in the hardened JB Weld and used a straight blade.<br><br>It is not a large tool box. It is an old tackle box actually. All of the bits fit in a roll up canvas Skil bit assortment set I got many years ago...it came with 5 of each of many types of bits and drills in it. About 320 screw bits and drill bits in all. Now it has just the various types of screw bits, some extractors, and the drill bits are just a set of cobalt drill bits for screw drilling, the others are long gone giving their space to more screw bits. When it is rolled up it is about a foot long and about 3&quot; in diameter. <br><br>It doesn't take much space to build up a kit. I used to hit specialty tool shops for equipment I worked on and trained techs to repair. I was in electronics, but bought tools to make tool sets for our field techs, if I saw some odd bits while out and about and they were not much in cost I'd pick them up for myself.
<p>please explain this jb weld method better, perhaps in an instructable...I'm very interested</p>
anyone ever see one of those rectangular insetted screws found in mobile homes? <br> <br>They say to use a square # 2 but I always end up cutting them or chiseling them out. <br> <br>Anyone know what they're called and what, if any, insert is made for them? <br>
Take a closer look at a &quot;fresh&quot; (undamaged) screw head, preferably under some magnification. All the factory-original screws in our &quot;prefab&quot; house (basically, a late-50s or early-60s &quot;double-wide mobile home&quot;, but with a full foundation-and-basement under it, rather than a crawlspace) look rectangular at first glance, but are actually more &quot;butterfly&quot; shaped, and, I believe, are known as &quot;clutch head&quot; screws, available in at least two sizes. Sounds like that might be what you're looking at....
My favorite screwdrivers are some quality JIS screwdrivers. I work on vintage audio equipment a lot and they work great, also on motorcycles. Using regular Phillips drivers frequently mangles the screw heads as well as the screwdrivers and bits. You only get to 'cam out' a couple times before a screw is trashed, especially with cordless drill drivers. The JIS screwdrivers and bits work so much better and as a bonus they work better on regular Phillips screws too. I use Vessel brand JIS screwdrivers and bits, I bought quite a few just in case they stop making them. <br>I realize the 'camming out' part was designed into Phillips on purpose but in my opinion it was a mistake and the JIS design with its parallel faces is much superior.
Avsafe screws available at Loss Prevention Hardware <br>www.lpfast.com
<a href="http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/outlawfasteners/screwing-reinvented-the-worlds-best-deck-screw" rel="nofollow">This</a> is on Kickstarter right now. They have a drive system called UniGrip, which appears to be very similar or identical to the Uni-Screw you've listed.
Thanks for sharing this article, its just what I was looking for. I haven't had much experience with <a href="http://www.abrafast.com/http/www.abrafast.com/blindbolts.aspx" rel="nofollow">blind bolts</a>. I have used them one or twice but I don't feel like I fully understand what they are. Thanks again for sharing and explaining!
If you ever need one of those triangle Happy Meal screwdrivers in a big hurry, you're not going to find one at your local hardware store.&nbsp; Not to worry.&nbsp; Just use a 6-side Torx of a nice size that fits snugly.&nbsp; Two of the six points of the Torx driver will touch each side of the triangular screw cutout.&nbsp; (Yeah, yeah, experience....)<br />
Using that theory so would an allen key.&nbsp; Possibly handier.
I thought that as well, but it turns out that an allen key, no matter how snug a fit, simply cams out. Using a torx, you have to bear down to prevent it from doing so as well, but it *is* possible. Just be careful not to munge up the screw. <br> <br>I wouldn't want to make a habit of taking out the same screw repeatedly using this method, but it worked for me in a pinch. Thanks for the tip wjcarpenter!
It seems somewhat dodgy, given that:<br> <br> - The japanese web it was on seems to be down (&nbsp;<a href="http://www.seihin-world.com/s/2005/07/03_1551.php" rel="nofollow">http://www.seihin-world.com/s/2005/07/03_1551.php</a>&nbsp;references news at NTT and asahi which seem to have been retired).<br> - The photo seems to be photoshopped from one available at&nbsp;<a href="http://nejikouba.com/titan2.htm" rel="nofollow">http://nejikouba.com/titan2.htm</a><br> <br> As a comparison:<br>
I have used a brand called &quot;Screw Doctor&quot;.&nbsp; It has gritty particles in a green liquid carrier.&nbsp; Comes in a plastic tube, 99 cents at local True Value hardware.&nbsp; I've had some success when screw heads were damaged.&nbsp; It isn't a miracle material, but it CAN make the difference in marginal conditions.&nbsp; Used a similar one some years ago that felt like slightly thinned Clover valve-grinding compound - was carbide grit in oily-feeling carrier - but don't know brand.&nbsp; Useful, IMHO.<br />
You see all them flatheads in there? lol
Thank you for your time, patience and perseverance .... this was a &quot; Highly Educative Article &quot; ..... we think we know it all ; but what else exist out there ?
This is the only place on the web I could find this screw head. I'm an HVAC/Boiler guy and I make regular trips to the junk yard to turn in copper and bronze valves, fittings, pump housings, etc. <br><br>Anyway, I keep all the leaky relief valves that I replace and strip them for thier brass housing. Some of them use tamper proof Torx or even Clutch G screws to secure the valve/spring assembly to the brass housing. But alot of them have these Torx 3-lobe screws that I've used larger Tri-wing bits to remove them but eventually the bit gets ruined and those aren't the easiest to come by either. Torx 3-lobe are impossible to come by and now I'm forced to just sawzall 'em off. Here's a couple pics.
Came across one of these guys a little while ago, frustration led me to 'trimming' an olive fork to fit the screw head :)<br><br>Excellent 'ible by the way!
does anyone know where i could buy a good tri-wing screwdriver for a fair price in the U.S?
It depends on the size of driver that you need, McMaster-Carr has bits and drivers of most sizes available. In fact they have more tools than you'll ever see in one place.
You could go to autozone and get a security bit set for less than $20USD. It has most of the bits discussed in this 'ible.
DealExtreme sells one for a dollar with free shipping: http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.1887
Problem with any of these security screws.... take a cutting disk and make a groove for a flat head screw driver.
I do understand your point. Simple at first look, but not always so simple. <br>A slot would most often work, although this would depend on how deeply countersunk the head is, and if the head is large enough to cut or cutting disc is thin enough. I do have some very small ones with very little 'lip' left after a slot was cut to easily remove. Security screws are intended to deter removal by unauthorised persons while retaining full functionality to authorized persons. If the screw was never intended to remove then there are some very permanent adhesives. <br>As well security screws are often used to indicate attempts to remove. One example of this would be when screw removal voids warranty. <br>
For almost any security bit, you can use the right size flathead screwdriver to open it.
Problem with these like others is you can jam a flathead between the square part and the center pin!<br />
Not with many of these designs, trust me, they test them very thoroughly for that. You just can't get the torque behind it that is needed.<br>All being said though, they are by no means as secure as an actual lock and key, but even those can be bypassed with picks ... and axes.
Cutting a straight slot isn't always possible...eg. recessed screws. Here's a few tricks i've used in the past- 1/ Centre drill into head and use an 'ezy-out' (avail from most tool or bolt shops. This is a reverse tapered helical designed to 'bite' the hole and unscrew). 2/ Modify an old screwdriver, i.e. on a straight blade, cut a groove in the middle with a Dremel (also good for truing spoked wheels with the tyre off). I've also ground the point off a phillips bit, then cross-cut a recess in-between the outside edges to form 4 points. And ground 3 of the edges off an allen-key to form a rounded triangular drive. 3/ When all else fails, buy 'security pack 1 &amp;2 driver bit sets from jaycar.com.au and use a Kinchrome 1/4 inch screwdriver handle. P.s. I always try to replace the screw (if-nec.) with a standard head type.<br>
Mate,<br /> <br /> great lexicon of screws :)<br />
Deck Mate is owned by Home Depot and they have changed manufacturers so they no longer use this bit.&nbsp; The manufacturers website: <font color="#000000" face="Arial" id="role_document" size="2"><a href="http://www.bigblued.com/kelley/ariza/" rel="nofollow">http://www.deckmatescrews.com/</a></font>&nbsp; These can now be purchased at Lows under the Phillips II Plus label.<br />
Is Resex a spelling mistake?<br />
Often used in Compaq computers<br />
What i always do to remove nasty unique screws:<br /> <br /> weld a piece of metal on it so i can just unscrew it.<br /> <br /> Bzzzz, and screw<br /> <br /> =D<br />
Haha.<br /> Not suitable if the <br /> * screw is screwed into plastic<br /> * screw is screwed into wood<br /> * screw head is 3mm wide<br /> * equipment has to put back together, with the same screws, and no evidence is to be left, that it has been opened<br /> * deeply recessed (no access)<br />
This is a way to remove <strong><em>ANY </em></strong>screw:<br /> <br /> just weld a piece of metal on it and unscrew it =P<br /> <br /> Tell me if this won't work on a screw, i would love to try it myself!<br /> <br /> <br /> ~hope this helps someone<br />
Unless of course it's screwed into wood, glass, ceramic, plastic, pot metal, etc.&nbsp; <br /> <br /> I believe the intent of tamper proof or tamper resistant is to discourage average vandalism.&nbsp; Of course almost any screw can be bypassed eventually but your average vandal won't go to the lengths of welding, grinding, drilling, or carrying several&nbsp;specialised tools,&nbsp;etc.
New drive just added and confirmed existing, (believe this is the one Dodgy commented on.&nbsp; Of course this will change almost every drive step referenced previously by one.<br /> <br /> I've&nbsp;insert it between step 19 and 20.&nbsp;&nbsp;Called a &quot;Notched Spanner. I have no idea how I could have missed this very logical design.<br />